mw. dr. S. (Simone) Datzberger

  • Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
    Programmagroep: Governance and Inclusive Development
  • Bezoekadres
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Amsterdam
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  15629
    1001 NC  Amsterdam

I am a Marie-Curie Research Fellow at the 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 (Horizon 2020 programme) – 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. More information about my work can be found on my personal website:


Research Articles

  • Datzberger, Simone and Le Mat, Marielle (2017): "Just add women and stir? Education, gender and peacebuilding in Uganda", International Journal of Educational Development, forthcoming
  • Datzberger, Simone (2017): “Peacebuilding through non-formal education programmes. A case study from Karamoja, Uganda.” International Peacekeeping, Vol 24 (2), pp. 326-349 – access here
  • Datzberger, Simone (2015): “Peacebuilding and the Depoliticisation of Civil Society: Sierra Leone [2002-2013]” Third World Quarterly, Issue 36 (8), pp. 1592-1609 – access here
  • Datzberger, Simone (2015): “Civil Society a Western induced idea(l)? Exploring alternative approaches in sub-Saharan African fragile states.” in: Austrian Journal of Development Studies, Issue: 31 (1) /2015, pp. 13-29 – access here
  • Datzberger, Simone (2012): “Lumpen Youth, Civil War, and Conflict Resolution. Civil Society Before and After the War in Sierra Leone.” in: Journal of Sierra Leonean Studies, Issue 2. (2), 2012, pp. 22-43 – access here


Book Chapters

  • Datzberger, Simone (2016): “Civil Society as a Postcolonial Project. Challenging Normative Notions of Civil Society in post-conflict Sub-Saharan Africa”, in: Dhawan, Nikita; Fink, Elisabeth, Leinius, Johanna; Mageza-Barthel, Rirhandu (eds.): Negotiating Normativity: Postcolonial Appropriations, Contestations and Transformations, Springer US, pp. 79 – 93 – access here


Policy Briefs

  • Datzberger, Simone (2013): “China’s silent storm in Sierra Leone.” Policy Brief (No 71). South African Institute of International Affairs, SAIIA, August 2013 – access here


Commissioned research studies, reports and other

  • Smith, Alan; Datzberger, Simone and McCully Alan (2016): The Integration of Education into Peacebuilding Processes at Global and Country Levels. Global Synthesis Study: Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda. Ulster University, UNICEF New York. Available online at:
  • Datzberger, Simone; McCully, Alan and Smith, Alan (2015): Education and Peacebuilding in Uganda. Ulster University, UNICEF New York. Available online at:
  • Datzberger, Simone and Denison, Mark (2013): Private Sector Development in Fragile States, EPS-PEAKS UK, Department for International Development DFID UK and Overseas Development Institute ODI UK. Available online at:
  • Ainley, Kirsten; Datzberger, Simone; Friedman Rebekka and Mahony Chris (eds.) (2013): “10 Years On. Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone.” In: International Relations Public Conference: Ten Years On: Sierra Leone’s Post-Conflict Transition, 11 December 2012, Goodenough College, London, UK: LSE International Relations Department, Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP), LSE-eprints – Available online at:


Blog posts and op-eds


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