About me

Photo: Zahara Abdul @photobyzaharaabdul Twitter: @zahraabdul1

Politics & Voice is created by Simone Datzberger. I am currently employed as a Marie-Curie Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam, Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development (GPIO). My present research project (see Democratization through Education) – which is generously funded by the European Commission – focuses on the role of education in increasing civil agency and voice in the sub-Saharan African context. Previously, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher (research associate) at the UNESCO Centre – Ulster University (School of Education), where I was part of a research consortium in partnership with UNICEF on Education and Peacebuilding. During that time, I acted as the lead researcher for the country case study on Uganda (see Peacebuilding and Education). I obtained my PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2010–2014) in International Relations, where I also taught the courses ‘Democracy and Democratization’ and ‘International Organizations’. My thesis focused on the depoliticization of civil society during the peacebuilding and development process in Sierra Leone from 2007-13. Prior to my doctoral studies I worked for the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in New York (2007–2010), for which I conducted research and in-depth analysis on several countries in transition from conflict to peace. Over the past decade, I have gained extensive field research experience in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Mexico. My research is published by highly ranked journals (e.g.: Third World Quarterly, International Peacekeeping) and esteemed international institutions (e.g.: SAIIA – South African Institute for International Affairs and UNICEF).

In the scope of my work, I rebel and research with a cause. I am dedicated to find new theoretical insights into and practical avenues for increasing the agency and voice of people who are most affected by poverty, conflict, and political and economic instability. In this endeavour I do not limit my work to academic publishing alone but explore various avenues – ranging from small-scale projects on the ground, to policy papers, blog post or various forms of art. Doing so, I find pleasure in networking and socializing around the world. Every single second and encounter can be a new source of inspiration. Politics & Voice captures this path.

Get involved or contact me at: s.datzberger@uva.nl