Close this search box.

Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Great Lakes Course 2018 / Stage d’études sur la région des Grands Lacs 2018

Pour la version française, cliquez ici.

The 2018 RVI Great Lakes Field Course offers a regional and thematic approach to governance and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. It will examine the political evolution of these post-conflict polities and analyze their backsliding towards authoritarianism.

Years after the official end of large-scale wars, the Great Lakes Region continues to struggle with the peaceful transfer of political power and democratic consolidation. As instability has rocked Burundi and the DRC, the course will look at the different trajectories of security sector reforms and the role international and regional organizations have played in crisis management. It will also offer an analysis of trends in armed group mobilization in the eastern Congo and Kasai and the impacts on neighbouring countries. The Co-Directors of Studies for the course will be Yolande Bouka and Judith Verweijen. They will be joined by a team of leading experts. 

The course will be in English and French with simultaneous translation.




Highlights of the syllabus

DAY 1 History, identity and violence

  • The origins of ethnicity
  • The Congo Wars: 1996 to present
  • Trends in armed mobilization in the Great Lakes

DAY 2 Survival and enrichment in the Great Lakes

  • Land and refugee politics in Burundi and Rwanda
  • The political economy of the Great Lakes
  • Managing natural resources

DAY 3 Political transformation and legitimacy

  • Past, precent and future of the CNDD-FDD
  • The Congo’s politcal paralysis
  • Post-liberation regimes: The NRM and RPF in comparative persepctive

DAY 4 Gender and transitional justice

  • Justice and commemoration after genocide
  • Transitional justice and conflict in Uganda
  • Female political participation in the Great Lakes

DAY 5 International and regional interventions

  • Security sector reform in the Great Lakes
  • Regional cooperation and integration
  • Peacekeeping interventions in the region
  • The rising region: Regional politics and crisis management

Core teaching staff

Yolande Bouka PhD Co-Director of Studies
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Denver

Judith Verweijen PhD Co-Director of Studies
FWO Postdoctoral Fellow, Ghent University

Godefroid Muzalia PhD
Professor, l’Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Bukavu, Bukavu

Irene Ovonji-Odida
CEO, FIDA Uganda

Andrea Purdeková PhD
Senior Lecturer, University of Bath

Assumpta Mugiraneza
Director, Centre IRIBA, Kigali

Jason Stearns PhD
Director, Congo Research Group

Willy Nindorera
Political Analyst

Richard Businge


  • Recent Publications