Dr Cori Wielenga

Dr Cori  Wielenga

South Africa

University of Pretoria

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Work and Research

My research interest has been in the intersection between the local community level and the policy level in the area of reconciliation and transitional justice after violent conflict. The urgent need for empirical research in this area, which has been identified in the literature as crucial for sustaining peace, is evident in the gap that exists between policy and what actually happens at the level of the local community. To address this, I’ve engaged in extensive fieldwork in Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe, and have used grant opportunities to bring together teams of early career (including postgraduate students) and more experienced scholars to undertake empirical, comparative research in this area.

Fields Of Expertise

Transitional Justice
Informal Justice Systems
Policy Development

Research Profiles

My vision for the future of research at UP and how I will contribute to this development

South African scholars have the potential to challenge theory and practice being developed in the global north that affect complex social issues on the continent. Particularly in the area of peacebuilding, there is increasing critique about the ways in which current practice and policy is compounding rather than resolving the problems we face.The University of Pretoria is particularly well situated to shape theory and practice in this area for several reasons. Firstly, Pretoria is the diplomatic capital and we have access to high level meetings, organisations and people. Much of the policy related to peace on the continent is developed and debated here in Pretoria. Secondly, students from all over the continent come to our University, and many of those in the Political Science programme go on to work in domains that have the potential to directly shape policy across the continent. Thirdly, South Africa plays an important role on the continent, and our own South African students have the potential to powerfully influence policy in the country, region, continent and internationally. I would like to see the University of Pretoria becoming a centre for shaping research, policy and practice in the area of peacebuilding on the continent. My own role in mentoring and developing our postgraduate students is a central part of this.