Angela Muvumba Sellström
Researcher (Leave of Absence) at Department of Peace and Conflict Research
Angela Muvumba Sellström is a Senior Researcher, Conflict and Security, at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) (2021-) and affiliated to Uppsala University's Department of Peace and Conflict Research. She has led or contributed to research projects on preventing wartime sexual violence; international interventions and mediation; gender, women, peace and security; and the UN Security Council and the role of non-permanent members.
Keywords: rebel actors wartime sexual violence amnesty human security human rights regional organisations gender and unsc 1325
My research and scholarly orientation is guided by an interest in uncovering nuanced and multidisciplinary explanations for the phenomena we see in the context of conflict. Why do some actors believe they can abuse civilians and commit atrocities – including wartime sexual violence? How do institutions in the arena of peacemaking adapt to the power dynamics that shape their priorities and efficacy? Why are some states better at promoting women, peace and security, than others? How can African governments and their Nordic partners influence outcomes in the UN Security Council?
I am interested in how different attitudes, capacities and interests shape outcomes for actors at different levels of analysis. And, I have usually undertaken research (and teaching) by engaging others across disciplinary domains, institutional orientations, countries and continents.
While at Uppsala University (2015-2020) I have designed and taught courses in peace and conflict research; gender, war and peace and international training in dialogue and mediation. I have contributed to research collaborations on international interventions, urbanization and violence and the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Most of my focus in the last five years has expanded upon my doctoral dissertation (Uppsala University, 2015) “Stronger than Justice: Armed Group Impunity for Sexual Violence,” and is also part of my multi-year project “Disciplining Fighters: Understanding Armed Political Actors’ Control of Sexual Violence”, funded by the Swedish Research Council (2016-2018).
Some of my previous research has examined questions about rebel group behavior and the concept of impunity for sexual violence; and patterns of post-settlement sexual violence. Further research on this, and broader topics related to women, peace and security is still ongoing. I have also conducted research on HIV/AIDS as a security issue; and the role of civil society in peacebuilding and in democratisation.
I have carried out research in Burundi, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda.
With over 20 years of policy and research experience, I have also worked at the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI), the African Union Commission (AU) and think-tanks in New York, Cape Town and Durban. Over this period of time, I have contributed to, or spear-headed policy research events in Addis Ababa, Pretoria, Abuja, Dakar, Entebbe, Windhoek and Cairo, in cooperation with civil society actors, governments, military leaders, UN agencies, staff at the AU Commission, and Africa's regional economic communities (RECs).
My main, current research interest at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) centres on Africa and the United Nations (UN) Security Council and multilateral conflict prevention and resolution. This work seeks to develop empirical and theoretical insights into the key dynamics affecting how the UN Security Council makes peace in Africa, and whether and how African elected members, individually and in alliances with the Nordic countries, navigate these processes and outcomes.
Current research projects
- Principal researcher in the project, "Shattering Glass: How Elected Members of the UN Security Council Fight for Women, Peace and Security" (2021-), Nordic Africa Institute, funded by the Swedish Research Council.
- Researcher in the project, "The Urban Dilemma: Urbanization and Ethnocommunal Conflict" (2019-),principal researcher, Emma Elversson, Uppsala University, Department of Peace and Conflict Research (DPCR), funded by the Swedish Research Council.
- Principal researcher in the project “Disciplining Fighters: Understanding Armed Political Actors’ Control of Sexual Violence”, Uppsala University, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, funded by the Swedish Research Council (2016 - 2018).
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