The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies is pleased to present:

“Bridging the Gap? The Interaction between Local and International Actors in Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo”

with Sara Hellmüller
Swiss Peace Foundation

and discussant Séverine Autesserre
Barnard College

Using the example of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sara Hellmüller has undertaken an analysis of how, and with what effects, different actors interact in a peacebuilding context. Join us as she presents her preliminary findings on three distinct elements of peacebuilding processes: perceptions of peace and their influence on priority-setting, the effect of varying levels of power held by various actors on their interaction, and the changes these interactions can induce in local authority structures. In this framework, Mrs. Hellmüller uses her extensive research in Ituri to examine the theory and policy of peacebuilding in the DRC.

Sara Hellmüller is a Program Officer at the Swiss Peace Foundation in Bern Switzerland, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the Saltzman Institute. During her studies, Sara Hellmüller worked in an orphanage in South Africa, interned with a local NGO in Mongolia, served at the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria, volunteered at the African Division of the NGO “terre des hommes” in Geneva, and took an internship with UNDP in the eastern DRC. She is currently completing her Ph.D. program with the University of Bern, Switzerland, and holds a Master Degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

Séverine Autesserre is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and a Member of the Saltzman Institute. She is an expert in peacebuilding and civil wars, and recently published a book on international intervention in the Congo, The Trouble With the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010). She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University.