Stéphanie Perazzone is a PhD Candidate in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Her research is currently funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation and based at the Centre on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding (CCDP). In 2016-2017, she also became a visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Stéphanie is an expert on African politics and, in particular, the Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Her work focuses – presently – on ethnographic explorations of the postcolonial ‘failed state’ and their broader implications for state theory, but her expertise extends further into security sector reform, peacebuilding, international intervention, critical theory and urban studies. She has conducted extended periods of fieldwork across Africa and maintains deep roots with the DRC, where she was raised. Most recently, Perazzone has been carrying out an extensive series of ethnographic observations of urban agents including bureaucrats, police officers, transport operatives, local leaders, and beyond in the three cities of Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Goma. On the basis of this work she is currently writing a monograph describing the contours of supposedly ‘failed states’ from the perspectives of local Congolese actors describing – in fact – the complexities and ‘aliveness’ of the Congolese state from below.

Beyond academia, Perazzone possess extensive experience working for and with both local and international non-governmental organisations. She previously worked at the UNDP’s country and field offices in the DRC and conducted further field research as a graduate and undergraduate student in Rwanda and the Congo. She has gained additional academic and field expertise in conflict resolution and peacebuilding as a research assistant at the CCDP’s ‘Broadening Participation’ project and a background research contributor to the Small Arms Survey in Geneva.


Kinshasa, during field research with the Police Sous-Commissariat of Quartier Djalo.

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