Swati Srivastava

Program Area(s):  International Relations

Dissertation Title:

Configurations of Sovereignty: Public-Private Authority Negotiations in World Politics

Dissertation Committee:  Ian Hurd (chair), James Mahoney, Mary Dietz, Bruce Carruthers

Research Interests: International Private Authority; State Power and Sovereignty; Global Governance; International Relations Theory; Historical and Interpretive Methods; Big Data

Dissertation Description:

I research how public and private authorities negotiate sovereignty in international politics and how these power dynamics change over time. Specifically, I use extensive original archival data and comparative historical, big data, and interpretive methods to investigate a variety of global private actors, such as the English East India Company, Blackwater, the International Chamber of Commerce, and Amnesty International, to highlight their relations with public authorities in creating different "configurations of sovereignty." I also converse with many conceptions of state power to build a new framework for how public, private, international, and politics are variously assembled.


“Assembling International Organizations” in Journal of International Organizations Studies 4(3): 73-85; 2013.


  • Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2016)
  • Northwestern University R. Barry Farrell Teaching Award for undergraduate teaching (2015)
  • Northwestern University Presidential Fellowship Department Nominee and University Finalist (2015)
  • International Studies Association Fred Hartmann Award for best conference paper (2014)
  • Northwestern University Fellowship (2011 – 2012, 2015 – 2016)
  • University of Chicago Masters Program Full Tuition Scholarship (2010 – 2011)

Research Grants:

  • Buffett Institute for Global Studies Dissertation Research Grant (2015, 2016)
  • Northwestern University Graduate Research Grant (2015)
  • Northwestern Political Science Minar Memorial Award for summer research (2015)
  • Northwestern Department of Political Science Summer Research Grant (2012, 2014, 2015)

Conference Travel Grants:

Buffett Institute for Global Studies (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), American Political Science Association (2015, 2016), International Studies Association (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016), Northwestern Department of Political Science (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Northwestern Center for Legal Studies (2014, 2015), British International Studies Association (2014), Northwestern Critical Theory Cluster (2014), Aberystwyth-Lancaster Graduate Colloquium (2014)