Karibu! I wear several different hats in Rwanda. I am a professor at African Leadership University in the interdisciplinary Global Challenges program. I teach an international political economy course that is an interactive simulation game in which students take on stakeholder roles to rebuild a fictional national economy after a natural disaster. The theme for the course is “From Poverty to Prosperity for Africa.” My research activities focus on the nexus of gender politics, law, and environmental conflict. I am transitioning away from looking at oil conflicts, which was my focus in Nigeria, towards minerals and environmental policy in Central Africa.
I am a 2021 Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar. This generous funding allows me to conduct qualitative field work for my book manuscript, “Women, Conflict, and Modern Mining in Rwanda.” I examine the gender dynamics of Rwanda’s growing mining sector through ethnographic mapping methods. I am looking at the gender impacts of mining operations, the role of women in extractive activities, and the interaction between state law and traditional law on the ground. I recently incorporated an analysis of COVID-19’s impacts.
I am also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (CoEB) at the University of Rwanda. In this role, I am part of an international research team working on the UKRI-funded, “Climate Change & COVID-19 (CCC19): Achieving a Sustainable and Equitable Recovery in Malawi and Rwanda.” In partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, two Malawian universities, and two NGOs, we ask, “What is the interrelationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and climate resilience?” I am the Gender Equity Officer for the project so I am particularly focused on how rural women navigate climate change challenges during the pandemic.
As an international development consultant, my collaborative consulting work has focused on gender mainstreaming, legal analysis, poverty alleviation, and environmental studies. I have contributed to the planning of baseline studies, audits of national budgets, and impact assessments for NGOs and government agencies. I specialize in structuring qualitative methodologies for both short-term and long-term projects. I see my academic research, my mentoring of students, and my consultancies as all mutually buttressing.
As part of my work on forced displacement that I conduct independently, I am also an active contributor to the Africa Research Group at UNSW’s Kaldor Center for International Refugee Law in Australia, Emerging Scholars and Practitioners in Migration Issues (ESPMI), and I am now contributing to a book on everyday insecurities for the Migration Institute of Finland that will be published next year.
I hold an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Law and Society from New York University (2015) and an interdisciplinary M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia University (2008). My interest in African sociopolitical affairs began during my Peace Corps service in Mozambique (2004-2006) and was further fostered during my Boren Fellowship to study the Igbo language in Nigeria (2011-2012). Most recently, I completed a research fellowship at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR) at George Mason University Korea where I first published and began serving as a peer reviewer for academic journals.
I am a member of the International Studies Association, African Studies Association, Women’s Caucus for Political Science, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, Law and Society Association, and the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy for the Theme on Environment and Peace.
You can contact me via email at email@example.com. I only use Twitter sporadically, @LaineMunir.
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