Associated researchers

Associated researchers collaborate with NAI and work with issues that are strategic to NAI. 

Deborah Fahy Bryceson, Extraordinary Professor

Senior Research Associate at NAI

Deborah Bryceson is a well-known Africanist scholar, oft-cited for her pioneering work on the concepts of ‘deagrarianization’ and ‘transnational families’ Having completed her BA and MA degrees in Geography at the University of Dar es Salaam (1972-1978). She obtained a PhD in Sociology from the University of Oxford in 1988. Her academic career began as a researcher at the Bureau of Resource Assessment and Land Use Planning at the University of Dar es Salaam (1976-1981), going on to become a Senior Research Fellow at the Afrika-studiecentrum, University of Leiden (1992-2005) and the University of Glasgow (2009-2013). She lectured at the Architectural Association, London (1982-1985) and the University of Birmingham (2002-2003) and is currently Honorary Fellow and Professor at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. She has delivered keynote addresses around the world, notably Fukui Japan, Oxford, Utrecht, New Delhi, Edinburgh and Canberra Australia.

She has served as a Research Consultant for numerous UN agencies over the years, including UNICEF, ILO, UNCTAD, UNU, FAO and the World Bank, as well as for the Tanzanian Government, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the British Department of International Development, DANIDA and CARE International. She has been member of the journal editorial board of Urban Studies and is currently Co-Director of the International Gender Studies centre at the University of Oxford.

She has published 15 books and edited collections and over 130 journal articles and book chapters. Her region of specialization is East Africa, however, in her research grant work she has specialized in pan-African comparative research and led country case study research teams spanning East, West and Southern Africa. Her three main subject areas are:

Livelihood, labour, mobility and settlement in processes of transition – notably urbanisation in developing countries, urban economies, urban growth and mobility patterns of the poor, occupational change and deagrarianisation.

Social dynamics and institutions – including the changing nature of the family, transnational families, creole societies, social networks, drinking patterns, work cultures, age and gender differentiation, women's employment patterns and participatory research methodology.

Agrarian studies - rural social and economic development, notably: food marketing, agricultural policy, famine prevention and rehabilitation, urban food supply constraints, rural transport, the impact of public investment on rural welfare, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on famine-prone rural African communities. 

Heidi Hudson, Professor

Research Associate at NAI for the period of 2019

Heidi Hudson is Professor of International Relations with a PhD in Strategic Studies, and Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Before that she was Director of the Centre for Africa Studies. Prof Hudson serves on the Advisory Board of the African Peacebuilding Network at the Social Science Research Council in New York.

In 2018, she was the Claude Ake Visiting Chair, hosted by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University and the Nordic Africa Institute. Her Claude Ake Memorial Lecture focused on the decolonisation of gender and peacebuilding in Africa.Her work will continue to focus on gender, security and peacebuilding in the African context, with specific focus on National Action Plans for UNSCR 1325.

Over the years she has contributed several chapters in books and has published numerous articles in, amongst others, International Peacekeeping, Security Dialogue, Security Studies, Politikon, Agenda, Strategic Review for Southern Africa and African Security Review. She is co-editor of International Feminist Journal of Politics. 

More information and CV at the UFS staff page for Heidi Hudson

Stephen Marr, Senior Lecturer

Research Associate at NAI

Stephen Marr is Senior Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies at Malmö University with a PhD in Political Science from the University of Florida.  He has previously had teaching appointments in Political Science Departments at Linnaeus University (Växjö, Sweden) and Haverford College (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA).  Steve has also been guest researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute and the Center for Globalization and Development at the University of Gothenburg.  His current research engages issues of comparative urbanism, with a focus on practices of DIY urbanism amidst pervasive socio-economic and spatial insecurity in cities of sub-Saharan Africa (Lagos) and the post-industrial American Midwest (Detroit).  Marr has extensive field experience in southern Africa generally, and Botswana in particular, where he conducted dissertation research in Gaborone.  He is most recently published in Race & Class and is currently at work on a book manuscript entitled, World Cities, Wild Cities: Lagos, Detroit, and the Political Uses of Apocalypse

Involved in the project The practice and politics of urban climate mitigation and adaptation efforts at the margins
(together with Patience Mususa, Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues, Marwa Dabaieh and Jonathan Makuwira.)

Henning Melber, Director emeritus and Extraordinary Professor

Senior Research Associate at NAI

Henning Melber studied Political Sciences and Sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin (1972-1977). He obtained a PhD in Political Sciences in 1980 and a Habilitation (venia legend: Development Studies) in 1992 at the University of Bremen. He was Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kassel (1982-1992), Director of The Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek (1992-2000), Research Director at The Nordic Africa Institute (2000-2006) and Executive Director of The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (2006-2012), where he remains employed as a Senior Advisor since then. He is Extraordinary Professor at the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria since 2011 and Professor Extraordinary at the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein since 2013. He was the Swedish member of the Executive Committee of the European Association for Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) for more than ten years. Henning is co-editor of the Africa Yearbook (, managing co-editor of Africa Spectrum ( and editor-in-chief of the Strategic Review for Southern Africa (

He has published over 40 monographs and (co-)edited volumes, as well as some 500 journal articles and book chapters, mainly on Namibia and Southern Africa, global governance and African policy issues, international civil society, racism, and the legacy of Dag Hammarskjöld. His special focus is on liberation movements as governments in Southern Africa and the limits to liberation.

Language skills: German, English, Afrikaans

Tim Murithi, Professor and Extraordinary Professor

Senior Research Associate at NAI

Professor Tim Murithi is a Senior Research Associate with the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) and Head of the Justice and Peacebuilding Programme, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, in Cape Town. He is also Extraordinary Professor of African Studies, at the Centre for African Studies (CAS), University of the Free State, South Africa. He has over 23 years of experience in the fields of peace, security, international justice, governance and development. He has held previous posts including: Claude Ake Visiting Professor at NAI-Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University; Senior Research Fellow, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, United Kingdom; Head of the Peace and Security Council Report Programme, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Senior Researcher, Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), University of Cape Town; Programme Officer, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Geneva. He has served as an Adviser/Consultant to the African Union, UNDP, UK DFID, and German GiZ. He is a Member of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa Technical Committee ( He is also a Board Member and Senior Associate, Centre for Mediation (CMA), University of Pretoria, and a Research Fellow with the African Gender Institute (AGI), University of Cape Town. From 1995, he taught at the Department for International Relations, Keele University, England, where he also obtained his PhD in International Relations, in 1999.

He is on the International Advisory Boards of: Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, African Journal of Conflict Resolution (ACCORD) and the African Peace and Conflict Journal (UPEACE), Journal of African Union Studies, and Peacebuilding. He has authored over 80 journal articles, book chapters and policy papers. He is author and editor of 9 books including: as author The Ethics of Peacebuilding (Edinburgh University Press, 2009) and The African Union: Pan-Africanism, Peacebuilding and Development (Ashgate, 2005); as co-author: The African Peace and Security Architecture: A Handbook (FES, 2014); as editor: Routledge Handbook of Africa’s International Relations (Routledge, 2014); The Politics of Transitional Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa (Jacana, 2016); Towards a Union Government of Africa: Challenges and Opportunities (ISS, 2008); as co-editor: The African Union Peace and Security Council: An Appraisal (ISS, 2011); Zimbabwe in Transition: A View from Within (Jacana, 2011); The African Union and its Institutions (Jacana, 2008). He is General Editor of the Routledge/Europa Series on Perspectives in Transitional Justice.


Eva Tobisson, Senior Policy Adviser

Senior Research Associate at NAI

Eva Tobisson is a social anthropologist with forty years of experience from research, and from work with development cooperation and development policy. Her research focus has long been Tanzania. Her Ph.D. thesis (Gothenburg University 1986) Family Dynamics among the Kuria focussed on systems of social organisation of agro-pastoralists in Northern Tanzania in which women have pivotal kinship and economic roles, and processes of change due to both internal and external factors including the effects of government policies. Eva’s current interest concerns livelihood strategies in coastal communities in Zanzibar, in the context of national and global drivers of political and economic change. Through recurrent visits to Zanzibar over the past fifteen years, her research comprises a longitudinal assessment of the ways in which individuals and families are dealing with new situations associated with a volatile and constantly changing macroeconomic, social and political environment as well as the effects of climate change. Her most recent publications are Framing African Development. Challenging concepts (co-editor with K. Havnevik, T. Oestigaard and T. Virtanen, Brill 2016), and Concequences and Challenges of Tourism and Seaweed Farming. A narrative on a coastal community in Zanzibar. Western Indian Ocean Journal of Marine Sciences, Special Edition on Coastal Livelihoods, Vol 12, No 2, 2014.  

Eva´s specialization in development policy dates back to the early 1980s when she joined the Development Studies Unit (DSU) at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. The Unit managed a long-term collaboration contract between the Sida and the Department that involved, among other things, participation in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes. She was Acting Director of DSU 1987-1992 and Director 1993-2000. In 2002 she joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) as a Senior Policy Adviser with a portfolio containing a number of thematic areas of development policy including research, social protection systems, methodology development for poverty reduction, and migration in a development perspective. Eva has been involved in drawing up and monitoring the implementation of major Swedish development policies since 2002, ranging from Sweden’s Policy for Global Development (2003) to the recent Policy Framework for Swedish Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance (2016). She was responsible for developing the Government Strategy for Research Cooperation and Research in Development Cooperation (2015-2021), which guides Sida´s and the Swedish Research Council´s use of aid funds for research capacity building and development research. She also coordinated MFA´s contribution to the Bill to Parliament that forms the basis for Sweden´s national research policy 2017-2027. With the exception of an 18 months’ secondment to NAI in 2010-2012, she remained with the MFA up to her retirement in July 2017.

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