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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Devon Curtis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Emmanuel College. Her main research interests and publications deal with power-sharing and governance arrangements following conflict, UN peacebuilding, non-state armed movements in Africa, and critical perspectives on conflict, peacebuilding, and development. Her field research concentrates on the Great Lakes region of Africa, especially Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Previously, Devon worked for the Canadian government and the United Nations Staff College, and she has been a consultant for the UK Department for International Development, the Overseas Development Institute, and a Visiting Senior Advisor to the International Peace Institute. She has had fellowships at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. 


Peace and security, power-sharing, international intervention, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, transitional governance, post-conflict ‘reconstruction’ and development, humanitarianism, rebel movements in Africa, the United Nations, the African Union, contemporary politics in the Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo).


Key publications: 



  • (2013)  'The Limits to Statebuilding for Peace in Africa' South African Journal of International Affairs, 20, 1, (April), pp. 79-97.

Selected Book Chapters and Reports

  • (2019) The United Nations (with Paul Taylor), in John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (eds). The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (Oxford University Press). Also previous editions in 2013, 2010, 2007, 2004.
  • (2018) Burundi: Recent History, in Africa South of the Sahara 2018 (Routledge). Also previous editions every year.
  • (2017) South Africa’s Peacemaking Efforts in Africa: Ideas, Interests and Influence, in Adekeye Adebajo and Kudrat Virk (eds), Foreign Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Security, Diplomacy and Trade, (IB Tauris).
  • (2013) 'Post-conflict peacebuilding', in Nic Cheeseman, David Anderson and Andrea Scheibler (eds), Routledge Handbook of African Politics, London: Routledge.
  • (2010) ‘Complementary Approaches to Peacekeeping? The African Union and United Nations in Burundi’, in H Besada (ed), Crafting an African Security Architecture, Ashgate (with G Nibigirwe)
  • (2009) Rebel Movements and Political Party Development in Post-Conflict Societies, Working Paper for the Program on States and Security, 2009 (with Jeroen de Zeeuw)

Teaching and Supervisions



Conflict and Peacebuilding 

Politics of Africa 

Post-Graduate Supervision Interests

Dr Curtis offers research supervision on a variety of topics in African politics and international relations. She is particularly interested in research projects that focus on peacebuilding, humanitarianism, rebel movements and non-state actors, and the politics of north-south and south-south engagement.

Associate Professor of Politics and International Studies
Emmanuel College
Office hours: Mondays 12–1pm
Dr Devon E.A. Curtis

Contact Details