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Dr. Anne Menzel


RU Orders, Freie Universität Berlin

Alumni, Postdoctoral Researcher, Academic Coordinator RU Orders, Theory Network

Edwin-Redslob-Straße 29
Room 1OG-08
14195 Berlin

Anne has a doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin and previously held post-doc positions at the Center for Conflict Studies, Philipps-Universität Marburg, and at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. She also taught at the Institute of the History of Medicine in Gießen and worked as a freelance consultant on issues related to peacebuilding in West Africa. In her research, Anne combines interest in problems that are considered policy relevant with ethnographic and sociological perspectives. Most of her work has focused on peacebuilding, development cooperation and transitional justice in Sierra Leone.

Anne is currently developing new projects that aim to bring questions and perspectives from her research in Sub-Saharan Africa to Germany. The idea is to explore − from possibly underexplored angles − polarization and (state-funded) countermeasures in today’s Germany. In addition, ‘dislocated’ research perspectives offer opportunities to uncover normalized assumptions of difference and, possibly, also unexpected similarities.

Research Interests

  • Anthropological and sociological perspectives on donor-funded peacebuilding, humanitarian and development aid and transitional justice in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Dislocating research perspectives, bringing the Global North and South into symmetric/comparable frames
  • Post- and decolonial theory and approaches
  • Neoliberalism, development, and human rights
  • Feminisms
  • Knowledge production
  • Activism and professionalization
  • Global Health
  • Violence, (in)security, dangerousness

Current Research Projects at Scripts

Anne is currently working on a number of single-authored and collaborative articles on activism and professionalism and professional communities in transitional justice and other peace and development fields. One of these articles is a collaboration with activists in Sierra Leone and was supported by funding from the SCRIPTS Research Unit “Orders”.  

In addition, Anne is developing a new project that aims to bring concepts and perspectives she has used and developed in her research in Sub-Saharan Africa to the Global North (e.g. to Germany and the US). This project will explore imaginaries and practices of “change work” and focus on power relations and combinations of activism and professionalism in NGOs.


Menzel, Anne 2015: Was vom Krieg übrig bleibt: Unfriedliche Beziehungen in Sierra Leone (What remains of war: Unpeaceful relations in Sierra Leone.) transcript Verlag. 


Fofana Ibrahim, Aisha, Alice James, Mariatu Kabba, Aminata Kamara, Anne Menzel, and Nicky Spencer‑Coker 2021: Making sense of girls empowerment in Sierra Leone: a conversation, in International Politics Reviews, online first 18 November 2021. 

Menzel, Anne 2021: Delivering output and struggling for change: Tacit activism among professional transitional justice work in Sierra Leone and Kenya, in Cooperation and Conflict 56: 4, 414-431. 

Menzel, Anne 2020: The pressures of getting it right: Expertise and victims’ voices in the work of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in International Journal of Transitional Justice 14:2, 300-319. 

Menzel, Anne 2020: The Perils of Recognizing Local Agency: The Case of Victims of Sexual Violence and the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), in Journal of International Relations and Development 23: 3, 584-606. 

Menzel, Anne 2019: Without Education You Can Never Become President”: Teenage Pregnancy and Pseudo-Empowerment in Sierra Leone, in Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 13:4, 440-458. 

Menzel, Anne 2014: Zwischen Herrschaftswissen und Irrelevanz? Feldforschung und das Ringen mit der Policy-Relevanz, in Zeitschrift für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung 3:2, 264-283. 

Chojnacki, Sven and Anne Menzel 2011: Peacebuilding: am Scheideweg – oder in der Sackgasse, in Politische Vierteljahresschrift 52:3, 504-536. 

Menzel, Anne 2011: Between Ex-Combatization and Opportunities for Peace: The Double-Edged Qualities of Motorcycle-Taxi Driving in Urban Post-War Sierra Leone, in Africa Today 58:2, 97-127. 

Chapters in edited volumes

Menzel, Anne 2017: Betterment versus Complicity: Struggling with Patron-Client Logics in Sierra Leone, in: Højbjerg, Christian K./Knörr, Jacqueline Murphy, William P. (Hrsg.): Politics and Policies in Upper Guinea Coast Societies. Change and Continuity. Palgrave Macmillan, 77-98. 

Menzel, Anne 2016: From (Un)Employment to Employability: Localized Neoliberal Norms and the Politics of Proper Progress in Sierra Leone, in: Bonacker, Thorsten/Zimmer, Kerstin/Von Heusinger, Judith (Hrsg.): Localization in Development Aid. How Global Institutions Enter Local Life Worlds. Routledge, 208-230.

Chojnacki, Sven and Anne Menzel 2015: State Failure and State Transformation, in: Leibfried, Stephan et al. (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State. Oxford University Press, 733-748.

Menzel, Anne 2010: Nach dem Krieg – vor dem Frieden? Wie kriegerische Gewalt Nachkriegskontexte prägt, in: Soeffner, Hans-Georg (ed.): Unsichere Zeiten. Herausforderungen gesellschaftlicher Transformationen. Verhandlungen des 34. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Jena 2008. VS Verlag (CD-Rom).                                                 

Working papers, short articles, and blogs

Menzel, Anne 2021: „Lokale“ Zivilgesellschaften und ihre Akteur*innen – was steckt in dieser räumlichen Zuschreibung? DVPW blog. 

Menzel, Anne 2020: Widerstand und Verschwörungstheorien in der Gesundheitskrise. Soziopolis, Schwerpunktreihe „Sicherheit in der Krise“. 

Menzel, Anne 2020: Liberal Rationality and its Others in the Pandemic. SCRIPTS Blog No 7.

Menzel, Anne 2020: Positioniertheit im Gesundheitsnotstand: Wahrnehmungen, Auslassungen und Bewertungen im Kontext von Ebola und Corona. #WitnessingCorona series by Blog Medical Anthropology / Medizinethnologie and boasblogs. 

Menzel, Anne and Susanne Buckley-Zistel 2019: Sexuelle Gewalt in Konflikten: Endlich soll wirksam gehandelt werden – nur wie? DVPW blog. 

Menzel, Anne 2018: Building a Movement in a Projectized World: Wangu Kanja’s Struggle for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Kenya. Mauerpark Institute blog.

Menzel, Anne 2018: „Geld ist unser Hauptproblem" Inwieweit trägt Aufklärung zum Wandel gewalthaltiger Geschlechterverhältnissen bei?, in Wissenschaft & Frieden 3/2018, 34-37.  

Menzel, Anne 2017: Sexual violence in post-Ebola Sierra Leone: Old problems and new policy priorities. Mauerpark Institute blog.

Menzel, Anne and Anita Schroven. 2016. The Morning After: Anthropology and the Ebola Hangover. Blog of the Working Group „Integration and Conflict along the Upper Guinea Coast“ at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle.

Menzel, Anne and Anita Schroven. 2016. The Morning After: Ethnologie mit Ebola-Kater. Blog Medical Anthropology / Medizinethnologie.

Menzel, Anne 2015: Foreign Investment, Large-Scale Land Deals, and Uncertain ‘Development’ in Sierra Leone: Impacts, Conflicts, and Security Concerns. CSS Working Paper No. 18, Center for Conflict Studies in Marburg.

Menzel, Anne 2014: „Ebola ist nur eins unserer Probleme“: Ebola-Bewusstsein, Misstrauen und Entwicklungshoffnungen. Blog Medical Anthropology / Medizinethnologie. 

Menzel, Anne 2011: „We Don’t Even Have Toilets! How Can the Country Have Peace?“, in Powision 5:1, 72-74.