Prof Cori Wielenga

Cori Wielenga is an associate professor in the Department of Political Sciences and the Acting Director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa. She holds a PhD in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Her research interest is in non-state actors in mediation processes and the intersection of formal and informal governance and justice systems during transitions. This has led to in-depth research on Rwanda’s gacaca courts, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and comparative projects on mediation processes, and informal justice and governance systems in South Africa, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia. Findings from these projects are intended to inform emerging peacebuilding, mediation and transitional justice policies and guidelines in Africa and further abroad.

Research Focus:

Reconciliation, transitional justice, formal and informal governance, justice systems and Mediation


  • 2018: Women and justice on the ground: Continuities and discontinuities in Southern AfricaHandbook for the Centre for Sexualities, Aids and Gender, University of Pretoria

  • 2017: A comparison of the reconciliation barometers in South Africa and Rwanda. In ‘Rethinking reconciliation: Evidence from South Africa’ Kate Lefko-Everett, Rajen Govender, Don Foster (Eds). HSRC Press.

  • 2016: The liberal peacebuilding framework, electoral democracy and reconciliation: The cases of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In Paschal B. Mihyo (Ed). Election Processes Management and Election-Based Violence in Eastern and Southern Africa. OSSREA. pp.233-262. (co-authored with Ruth Murambadoro and Zef Matsimbe).

  • 2016: Mapping Conflict and Peace in Burundi: An analysis of the Burundi Conflict Terrain. A technical report for the African Leadership Centre, Nairobi. (co-authored with Sinmi Akin-Aina).

  • 2015: Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: The conflict between a state-centred and people-centred approach. Strategic Review for Southern Africa, 37(1), p.31.  (co-authored with Ruth Murambadoro).

  • 2014: 'Lived' identities in Rwanda-beyond ethnicity?. Africa Insight, 44(1), pp.122-136.

  • 2014: Reconciliation from the top down? Government institutions in South Africa, Rwanda and Burundi. Strategic Review for Southern Africa, 36(1), p.25.

  • 2013: ‘Healing and reconciliation after violent conflict: Preliminary thoughts on remembering the past in South Africa and Rwanda’. Acta Academica 45(1).

  • 2013: ‘Shattered stories: Healing and reconciliation in South Africa.’ Verbum et Ecclesia 34(1).

  • 2012: Building peace and security after genocide: the contribution of gacaca courts of Rwanda. African Security Review 20(1).

  • 2011: Longing for home: Pre- and post-genocide refugees in Rwanda. African Journal of Conflict Resolution 12(3). (co-authored with Geoff Harris).

  • 2019: The failure of peacebuilding in Somalia and the myth of the nation-state. Studia Europaea 2(1): 81-118. (co-authored with Samuel Igba).

  • 2020: Epistemic (in)justice and decolonisation in higher education: experiences of a cross- site teaching project. Acta Academica 52(1): 54-75. (co-authored with Su-ming Khoo, Withold Mucha, and Christina Pesch).

  • 2020: Social Cohesion From the Top-Down or Bottom-Up? The Cases of South Sudan and Burundi. Peace & Change 25(3). (co-authored with Emmaculate Liaga).

  • 2020: Beyond restorative justice: Understanding justice from an African perspective. Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation 91(1): 43-69. (co-authored with Mike Batley and Ruth Murambadoro).

  • 2021: Unequal access to redress for women ex-combatants in Zimbabwe: an intersectional analysis. African Identities, 7(2) pp.1-16. (co-authored with Nontando Ndhlovu).

  • 2022: Who is Being Served? How Competing Norms and Values Shape the Transitional Justice Agenda in Zimbabwe, Politikon 49(1). (co-authored with Chenai Matshaka).

  • 2022: African Feminisms and Women in the Context of Justice in Southern Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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