I am a seasoned scholar and policy adviser with over two decades experience working on and in conflict-affected, fragile and transitional settings. My focus lies in understanding these contexts and how processes of peacebuilding and transformative social change unfold and can be better nurtured. I am based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I am an Associate Professor at the School of Governance in the University of Witwatersrand, and I direct a research and policy dialogue project on Forging Resilient Social Contracts. I proudly co-founded the internationally peer reviewed Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, and I regularly collaborate with United Nations and other international organisations, conducting research and evaluation, and facilitating strategic, policy-relevant processes and trainings. This brings a strong evidenced based and practically grounded orientation to my scholarly work.
Forging Resilient Social Contracts
Phase I of our research and policy dialogue project Forging Resilient Social Contracts
came to an end with the launching of our work and policy dialogues, in cities around the
world (including Stockholm, New York, Washington DC, Bogotá, Sarajevo, and Harare), and
publishing of our work through numerous outlets. Find full project details on our webpage.
Resilient Social Contracts and Peace
Journal Special Issue (14:1)
This issue features five of our case studies and
an investigation into the role of inclusion in forging resilient social contracts. View journal issue and access complimentary opening article.
Resilient Social Contracts and Sustaining Peace
International Peace Institute (May 2018)
Watch one of our Phase I research launching / policy dialogue events that took place at the International Peace Institute in May 2018. Watch video
Latest media contributions
Interview on protests over the police killing of George Floyd
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)
June 2, 2020 Video
George Floyd: The eyes of the world are watching now, with Mary Hope Schwoebel
The Daily Maverick (May 2020) Article
The global protests over the death of George Floyd will not by themselves create and sustain change — action needs to be taken to change policies and practices, to forge new social contracts that better reflect the principles that we are all sufficiently willing to live by.
We need to forge a resilient social compact in our fight against Covid-19, with Darlene Miller
The Daily Maverick (May 2020) Article (longer version)
The Conversation (May 2020) Article (shorter version)
This piece reflects on overly securitised responses of the military and police in the context of COVID-19 in South Africa, and the need for greater attention to social cohesion and solidarity to inform efforts to address the pandemic.
Critical reflections on World Bank’s draft Fragility, Conflict and Violence Strategy
Bretton Woods Project (October 2019) Article
This piece critically reflects on the World Bank’s draft fragility, conflict and violence strategy. It argues that while pathways are offered to address issues, the strategy doesn't go far enough to address the systemic challenges within the global development system itself.