Dr Andrea Purdekova

Dr Andrea Purdekova

Junior Research Fellow
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Dr. Andrea Purdeková is a Junior Research Fellow, a post she holds in conjunction with a Departmental Lectureship in African Politics at the African Studies Centre. Her research explores the political dynamics of post-conflict states, specifically the politics of reconciliation and nation building, and the uses of space, (dis)placement and camps in ‘peace governance.’ Andrea’s regional focus is the Great Lakes of Africa and she has conducted most of her research in Rwanda and Burundi.

Andrea received a BA with Honors in Political Science, International Studies and Psychology from Macalester College, USA. She later completed an MA in International Relations at SAIS Johns Hopkins and an MSc in Forced Migration at Oxford. In 2011, she received her DPhil in Development Studies from University of Oxford.


Andrea’s DPhil thesis explored the politics of unity building in post-genocide Rwanda, tracing unity as a policy and a process, and as an idea deployed and performed in diverse settings from office to street to camp. The thesis also investigated the nature and politics of encampment in peace transition, specifically Rwanda’s ingando camps deployed after the genocide in the framework of civic education, reintegration and nation building.

Andrea’s most recent research project investigates political transition in Burundi through the lens of spatial reconfigurations, specifically socio-spatial experiments including peace villages, land sharing and site dispersal enacted in the name of coexistence and integration in the post-war period. Andrea investigates the resistances and ‘ontopolitics’ surrounding these reconfigurations, and what people’s narratives and practices reveal about the post-war political order. Andrea’s research has been supported by the Wingate Foundation and the John Fell Fund.

Andrea is the author of Making Ubumwe: Power, State and Camps in Rwanda’s Unity-Building Process (Berghahn, 2015). Her work has appeared in a number of peer reviewed journals including The Journal of Modern African Studies, African Studies Review, Journal of Refugee Studies, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Development and Change (forthcoming), as well as edited collections published by Oxford University Press and Palgrave Macmillan.

Selected Publications: 

Respacing for Peace? Post-War Socio-Spatial Experiments and the Ontopolitics of Rural Planning in Burundi,’ forthcoming with Development and Change  

‘ “Barahunga Amahoro— They are Fleeing Peace!” The Politics of Re-displacement and Entrenchment in Post-War Burundi,’ Journal of Refugee Studies doi:10.1093/jrs/few025, 2016

‘Mundane Sights of Power: A History of Social Monitoring and its Subversion in Rwanda,’ African Studies Review 59(2): 59 - 86, 2016

 Making Ubumwe: Power, State and Camps in Rwanda’s Unity-Building Process. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, October 2015.

 ‘Violent Conflict, Population Mobility and Displacement: A Micro Analysis’ (with

  Roger Zetter and Maria Ibáñez), Ch.7 in Justino, P., Brück, T., Verwimp, P. (eds)

  Destruction, Resilience and Transformation: A Micro-Level Perspective on the

  Dynamics of Violence and Conflict, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014


‘Rendering Rwanda Governable: Order, Containment and Cleansing in the Rationality of Post-Genocide Rule,’ L’Afrique des Grands Lacs: Annuaire, 2012-2013, November 2013

‘ “Civic Education” and Social Transformation in Post-Genocide Rwanda: Forging the Perfect Development Subjects’, in Campioni, M. and P. Noack (eds), Rwanda Fast Forward: Social, Economic, Military and Reconciliation Prospects, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

‘ “Even If I Am Not Here, There Are So Many Eyes:” Surveillance and State Reach in Rwanda’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 2011, 49(3): 475-497

‘Rwanda’s Ingando Camps: Liminality and the Reproduction of Power,’ Oxford Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) Working Paper No. 80, September 2011

 ‘Building a Nation in Rwanda? De-ethnicisation and its Discontents’, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 2008, 8(3): 502-523