Prof Cori Wielenga

Prof. Cori Wielenga is an associate professor in the Department of Political Sciences and the Director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa. She holds a PhD in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal. Her research interest is in non-state actors in mediation processes and 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 mediation processes, and informal justice and governance systems in South Africa, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia. Findings from these projects are intended to inform emerging peacebuilding, mediation and transitional justice policies and guidelines in Africa and further abroad.

Research Profile


Wielenga, C. and Nshimbi, C.C. 2023. Justice during transitions: Policies that reflect African realities. Dakar, CODESRIA.

Wielenga, C., 2022. African Feminisms and Women in the Context of Justice in Southern Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Selected articles in peer-reviewed journals 

Wielenga, C., Hajayandi, P. and Igba, S. 2023. Why Burundi intervenes in the DRC: Self-interest or Pan-Africanist considerations?. The Strategic Review for Southern Africa, 45(1).

Holtzhausen, M. and Wielenga, C. 2023. A relational approach to human development in a crisis: perspectives from two case studies in South Africa during COVID-19, Development Studies Research, 10:1, DOI: 10.1080/21665095.2023.2213844

Rabele, Litlhare, and Cori Wielenga. 2022. “Women in Mediation Leadership: UNSC Resolution 1325 and IGAD’s Mediation in South Sudan”. Politeia 41 (1 & 2):13 pages .

Matshaka, C. and Wielenga, C. 2022. Who is Being Served? How Competing Norms and Values Shape the Transitional Justice Agenda in Zimbabwe, Politikon 49(1).

Ndhlovu, N. and Wielenga, C., 2021. Unequal access to redress for women ex-combatants in Zimbabwe: an intersectional analysis. African Identities, 7(2) pp.1-16.

Wielenga, C., Batley, M., & Murambadoro, R. 2020. Beyond restorative justice: Understanding justice from an African perspective. Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation 91(1): 43-69.

Liaga, E.A. and Wielenga, C. 2020. Social Cohesion From the Top‐Down or Bottom‐Up? The Cases of South Sudan and Burundi. Peace & Change 25(3).

Khoo, S., Mucha, W., Pesch, C. & Wielenga, C. 2020. Epistemic (in)justice and decolonisation in higher education: experiences of a cross- site teaching project. Acta Academica 52(1): 54-75. 

Igba, S. & Wielenga, C. 2019. The failure of peacebuilding in Somalia and the myth of the nation-state. Studia Europaea 2(1): 81-118.

Ajao, T. & Wielenga, C. 2017. Citizen Journalism and Conflict Transformation: The Ushahidi’s Response to Kenya’s 2008 Post-Election Violence. Matatu 49(1), 467-486.

Murambadoro, R. & Wielenga, C. 2015. Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: Hearing from the community in Matabeleland. Strategic Review of Southern Africa 37(1). 

Wielenga, C. 2014. Lived identities in Rwanda: Beyond ethnicity? Africa Insight 44(1): 122-136.

Wielenga, C. 2014. Reconciliation from the top down? Government institutions in South Africa, Rwanda and Burundi. Strategic Review of Southern Africa 36(1).

Wielenga, C. 2013. Healing and reconciliation after violent conflict: Preliminary thoughts on remembering the past in South Africa and Rwanda. Acta Academica 45(1). 

Wielenga, C. 2013. Shattered stories: Healing and reconciliation in South Africa. Verbum et Ecclesia 34(1). 

Wielenga, C. 2012. Longing for home: Pre- and post-genocide refugees in Rwanda. African Journal on Conflict Resolution 12(3). 

Wielenga, C. & Harris, G. 2011. Building peace and security after genocide: The contribution of the gacaca courts of Rwanda. African Security Review 20(1).

Selected chapters in books   

Wielenga, C. 2019. Transitional justice from below: Learning from ‘everyday’ lived experience in southern Africa. In J. Ogude & U. Dyer (eds). Ubuntu and the everyday. Africa World Publishers.

Wielenga, C. 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.

Wielenga, C. Matsimbe, Z. & Murambadoro, R. 2016. The liberal peacebuilding framework, electoral democracy and reconciliation: The cases of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. With OSSREA. 

Wielenga, C. 2012. Narrative research and human rights: The case of Rwanda, in Beyond the law: Multi-disciplinary perspectives on human rights, (ed) Frans Viljoen, University of Pretoria: PULP.