Rachel Sigman


​​I am an assistant professor of political science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California where I conduct research and teach courses on African politics, governance, development, and security. I am also a project manager with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute at the University of Gothenburg.


My current research focuses on the politics of state performance in sub-Saharan Africa. I am also working on projects related to the measurement of state capacity and exclusion, the effects of oil revenue on bureaucratic institutions, the relationship between distributional inequality and autocratization, and how international actors exert influence on government decision-making in African countries.


My recent research is published or forthcoming in The Journal of Politics, Comparative Political StudiesWorld Development, ​The Journal of Global Security Studies, Political Science Research and Methods, and Development Policy ReviewMy work has been funded by The British Academy/Department for International Development, The World Bank, The German Development Institute, The V-Dem Institute, The Smith Richardson Foundation, The Moynihan Institute, U.S. Africa Command, and others. I have conducted field research in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Madagascar, and Senegal. In 2020, I was the recipient of the Naval Postgraduate School's annual Hamming Award for Teaching.