Principal Investigators

Prof. Ulf Engel

Ulf Engel is professor of ‘Politics in Africa’ at the Institute of African Studies, Leipzig University, Germany. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a professor extraordinary in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. From 2006 to 2019, Engel advised the AU Peace and Security Department in the fields of conflict prevention, early warning, and preventive diplomacy. He is the editor of the Yearbook on the African Union (Brill).

Prof. Christof Hartmann

Christof Hartmann is Professor of Political Science, in particular International Relations and African Politics at the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), University of Duisburg-Essen. Among his main research interests are the dynamics of political-institutional change in Sub-Saharan Africa, its main driving domestic and international factors, its effects on conflict, as well as regionalism on the African continent.

He has published and edited several books with Oxford UP and Routledge, and contributed to international peer-reviewed journals such as Democratization, Civil Wars, and Journal of Contemporary African Studies. Over the last three decades he has been conducting field research and consultancy work in 18 African states, inter alia for BMZ, GIZ, EU, and the German political foundations. 

Picture: HSFK

Dr. Antonia Witt

Antonia Witt is a Senior Researcher and Head of the Research Group “African Intervention Politics” at PRIF. Her research focuses on African regional organizations (AU, ECOWAS, SADC), legitimacy and authority in international politics, African interventions in response to coups and political crises, as well as societal perspectives on the AU and ECOWAS.

Antonia is the author of Undoing Coups: The African Union and post-coup intervention in Madagascar (Zed Books, 2020) and has published in journals such as the Review of International Studies, Millennium, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, as well as the South African Journal of International Affairs.

Researchers

Dr. Dimpho Deleglise

Dimpho Deleglise is a post-doctoral researcher at PRIF, working on mediation, civil society, as well as the autonomy and agency of African regional organizations. She obtained her PhD in 2018 from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Previously, she was an Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) as well as a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, South Africa. She has worked as a peacebuilding consultant (GIZ, IDEA, etc.) and is a Member of the Advisory Board of the Strategic Review of Southern Africa.

Mona Saleh, M.A.

Mona Saleh is a research fellow at the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), a doctoral research fellow at the Institute of Political Science at Leuphana University Luneburg, Germany, and the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg. Her research interests include governance, international/regional organizations (particularly the African Union & the League of Arab States), legitimacy and legitimation, institutional overlap, and regime complexity. Her regional focus is North Africa and the Middle East.  

She holds a master’s degree in international relations/political science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. She also holds a Master of Global Affairs from the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the American University in Cairo. In 2019, she was awarded the Mediterranean Dialogue (MED) research stay fellowship at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy.

Jonas Schaaf, M.Sc.

Jonas Schaaf is a human geographer by training and a doctoral researcher at PRIF. His main research interests are conflict dynamics along with civil and military interventions in Mali and the Western Sahel as well as African and European peacebuilding approaches that address the intersection of security and development policies in contexts of fragile statehood.

Prior to undertaking a BMZ-funded postgraduate program at the Centre for Rural Development in 2021, he worked as a research associate at the Department of Geography at the University of Giessen from 2017-2020. He is also actively involved in the Network German West Africa Policy.

Jasmin Schmitz, M.A.

Jasmin Schmitz is a research fellow at INEF. She began her academic career studying “Public Governance across Borders at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany and the University of Twente, the Netherlands (2017) after which she continued her studies at the University of Tartu, Estonia where she holds a master degree in “Democracy and Governance” (2020), her research there surrounded the provision of education by NGOs in Cambodia.

Most recently Jasmin worked for the Käthe Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Germany to research global vaccine provision during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of her research interests are the involvement of nongovernmental organization in the provision of human services, the transformation of governance structures and what this can mean for democracy.

Vincent Joshua Schober, M.A.

Vincent J. Schober is a researcher at the ReCentGlobe Institute in Leipzig. Having previously worked at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography and the CRC 1199 “Spatialization under the Global Condition”, his interests focus on spatial matters in various contexts combined with a deepened focus on data science.

He holds a master’s degree from the University of Leipzig and the University of Roskilde in Global Studies (2021). Previously, he studied Geography at the University of Leipzig, during which he was awarded a scholarship by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

Camille Vern, M.A.

Camille Vern is a PhD candidate at the Leipzig University, focusing on mediation organs of the African Union. Currently training to become a certified mediator, her research interests lie in international conflict management and Peace Mediation.

Camille holds a Franco-German double degree in European Media Culture (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and Université Lyon 2). She completed her M.A. program in Global Studies (Universität Leipzig and Uniwersytet Wrocławski) with a focus on Peace and Security in Africa, having spent an exchange semester at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) in Addis Ababa. During her studies, she specialized in migration policies and the rights of displaced communities.

Skollan Elisabeth Warnck, M.A.

After completing her Bachelor in Media Science and English Studies at Tuebingen University, S. Elisabeth Warnck studied Global Studies in Leipzig and Roskilde in her Master. In 2019, Elisabeth Warnck was awarded the CRC 1199 Pre-doc fellowship and, following her interest in regionalism, African peace and security, and critical Geography, she started her PhD in November 2020 at Leipzig University. In her dissertation project, she engages with questions of reconstructing and mapping African regional organizations’ intervention practices in and through a dataset both methodologically and theoretically.