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Richard Georgi

Researcher

School of Global
Studies
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2
41314 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 700
40530 Göteborg

About Richard Georgi

Bio

I am a researcher in the field of peace & development at the School of Global Studies (SGS). I have researched human rights, activism, conflict, and violent neoliberalism, particularly in the case of the 2016 Colombian peace process between the government and the FARC-EP. I am grateful to SGS for providing an intellectual home for my PhD thesis on these topics, which I defended in early 2022 and which has received international accolade. I graduated in political science from the Freie Universität Berlin; and prior to joining SGS again, I held a position as a senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.

In my research, I have pursued different approaches to what I call the ‘ethnography of discourse’ that pivots on the lived experiences of activists and those suffering from violence. My work seeks to bring these lived experiences into conversation with contemporary debates on: the potentials and limits of law/rights; the intricacies of activism in-between mobilization and populism amidst the crisis of liberalism; and the nature of violence beyond orders of conflict and peace.

Besides my academic research, I worked, amongst others, for a human rights observatory in Mexico, a LGBTQ project in Kenya, and the German Institute for Human Rights. Those experiences inform both my fierce defense of and staunch criticism on human rights that are are reflected in my work.

Key areas of research interest

human rights, (political) violence, peace & conflict, activism, transformations of capitalism and violent neoliberalism, de/postcolonial perspectives, post-structuralist philosophy, ethnography of discourse, and feminist research methodologies.

Teaching experiences

I have convened major BA and MA courses in political science, global studies, international relations at SGS and the Freie Universität Berlin. I taught on topics such as gender and postcolonial studies, political theory, global governance, human rights, securitization and migration, or dystopian fiction as a pop-cultural lens for contemporary politics.

Current Research:

I am currently working on two research projects:

A) Building ‘Graveyard Peace’? An inside-out perspective on the violent legacies of five years of peacebuilding in Colombia: Together with colleagues at SGS and Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, I seek to analyse how peacebuilding attempts cause or deepen conflict dynamics that yield societal rifts. The project builds on key insights of my PhD research, specifically my work on peace processes as political moments and public polarization, as well as on traditions of the Anthropology of Rights and the State, to understand the wider political, social, and institutional ramifications of developing peace infrastructure. The goal of the project is to produce insights on the ambiguous politics of peace in Colombia and to create scholarly conversations on the conflict-facilitating and divisive effects of peacebuilding globally.

Besides, I develop previous research material into a monograph on the politics of activism amid the challenges for human rights in the 21st Century, including 'post truth' politics, the crisis of the liberal order, and societal polarization.

B) ‘Prepping’ for Security in Sweden. As a multi-disciplinary team bringing together researchers at SGS, Lund University, and Swineburne University in Australia, we explore the contemporary trend of ‘prepping’ – the practice by which the anticipation of calamity prompts individuals and communities to prepare ways to mitigate or adapt to insecurity. ‘Prepping’ came to public attention through reports on the hoarding of toilet paper or the mushrooming of survivalist courses during the pandemic. We aim to contribute to the yet scant research on this global phenomenon by scrutinizing the practice of prepping in Sweden in relation to: the (sub-)types that exist; who is prepping and with what kinds of political ideology; and the imaginaries of security and insecurity that are anticipated through prepping.

Past Projects include: research on current evolution of human rights regulations for business enterprises at the Max Planck Institute with which I am still associated; research on activism, conflict, and (de-)securitization in the case of the Zapatista uprising.