Dr Cori Wielenga

Cori Wielenga is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences and the Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation. She holds a PhD in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Her research interest is in 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 the informal justice systems in Burundi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia. Findings from these projects are intended to inform emerging transitional justice policies and guidelines in Africa and further abroad.

Research Focus:

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


  • 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).
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