Claudia Seymour


Head, Applied Research Projects and Practice, MINT
Spoken languages
English, French
Areas of expertise
  • Armed conflicts, violence
  • War and peace
  • Human security
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


Dr. Claudia Seymour is an applied social researcher with more than 20 years of experience, working primarily in conflict-affected environments. Her research specialisations include youth, protection, resilience to violence, and the ethics of international engagement. She has extensive experience working with the United Nations and as a research consultant for a range of international NGOs and think tanks, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. She is a trainer in protection and human rights and a lecturer and convenor in MA courses on the political economy of violence, conflict management, and the ethics of international engagement.

Her current research project, ‘Balancing on the margins: young people’s pathways to engaging with/transforming violence,’ is a comparative interdisciplinary inquiry into how young people cope with and make sense of violence, drawing on mixed methods including ethnography, narratives, and the practice of yoga and pranayama. She is the author of The Myth of International Protection: War and Survival in Congo, published by the University of California Press in 2019. Claudia is a Senior Researcher with the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva) and a Research Associate at the Department of Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). 

She welcomes scholars and practitioners to engage in conversation about transformative social action in her blog #actionsofoureveryday :


Peer-reviewed publications:

Seymour, C. 2020. Book Review: Quagmire in Civil War. Schulhofer‐Wohl, Jonah Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (2020), Swiss Political Science Review, 26 (4), 535-537.

Seymour, C. 2019. The Myth of International Protection: War and Survival in Congo. Oakland: University of California Press.

Seymour, C. 2017. Young people, war, and interrogating ‘resilience’. In: Hopkins, B. et al (eds.), Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development, second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 862-68.

Seymour, C. 2017. Kids Coping in Congo. In: C. Harker and K. Hörschelmann (eds.), Geographies of Children and Young People, Volume 11: Conflict, Violence, and Peace. Heidelberg: Springer, 149-168.

Seymour, C. 2015. Unprotected: Young People in Post-conflict Burundi. Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 243- 267.

Seymour, C. 2014. Everyday violence and war. In: Wells, K. et al. (eds.), Childhood, youth and violence in global contexts: researchers and practitioners in dialogue. Hampshire: Palgrave, 153– 172.

Seymour, C. 2014. Zero in the court of nine to one: patronage and tactical weakness in coping with violence. Children’s Geographies: War, Conflict and Children’s Geographies special issue, 12 (3), 268- 280.

Seymour, C. 2013. Young people's experiences of and means of coping with violence in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. PhD Thesis. SOAS, University of London.

Seymour, C. 2012. Ambiguous Agencies: Coping and survival in eastern DRC. Children’s Geographies, 10 (4), 373-384.

Seymour, C. 2011. Selective Outrage: the dangers of children’s DDR in eastern DRC. Disarmament Forum, 3, 57- 66.

Seymour, C. 2011. Re-conceptualising child protection interventions in situations of chronic conflict: North Kivu, DRC. In: S. Evers, C. Notermans and E. van Ommering (eds.), Not Just a Victim: The Child as Catalyst and Witness of Contemporary Africa. Leiden: Brill, 223-246.

Commissioned research and policy reports

2018. Cradled by Conflict: Implications for Programming Preventing and Responding To Child Recruitment and Use in Contemporary Conflicts, Technical Note. New York: United Nations University.

2016. Alternative Education in the DRC Final Research Report. Washington DC: USAID-ECCN.

2016, with Nicolas Florquin. Down, but not Out: The FDLR in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Small Arms Survey Research Note. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

2014. Countering Improvised Explosive Devices. Small Arms Survey Research Note 46. Geneva: Small Arms Survey.

2013. Resilience Profiling and Capacities for Peace Among Adolescents in Burundi. Bujumbura: UNICEF.

2013. Assessment of Adolescent Development and Participation Priorities in Kenya. Nairobi: UNICEF.

2013. Engaging Adolescents in Conflict Analysis: A Guidance Note. New York: UNICEF.

2012. Leçons Apprises sur le Processus de Désarmement, Démobilisation et Réinsertion/ Réintégration des Enfants Sortis des Forces et Groups Armés au Burundi. Bujumbura: UNICEF.

2011. Gaps in accessing formal and non-formal education opportunities for adolescents in the DRC.Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and Save the Children UK.

2011. Evaluation for Sida of the project ‘Protection, Health and Education: A holistic approach to addressing children’s rights.’ Save the Children.

2011. Evaluation for Comic Relief of the project ‘Protection and community reintegration of Girls Affected by Armed Conflict in the DRC.’ Save the Children UK.

2010. Strengthening Community-based Child Protection Mechanisms in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. War Child UK.

2008. State of Knowledge Study on the UN Security Council Resolution 1612 Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism for the Central African Republic. Bangui: UNICEF.


University teaching, training and speaking engagements (selection):

Lecturer: Conflict analysis; Political Economy of Violence; Gender, conflict and peace. Development Policies and Practices MA, Graduate Institute. March 2021.

Course convener and lecturer: Prévention des conflits, paix et sécurité, Université Senghor, Alexandria Egypt, January 2021.

Course convener and lecturer: On 'Doing Good': Ethics, power and privilege in International Enagagement. 6 ECTS-credit course for MA students at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, September- December 2020.

Project Planning and Management in International Development (online).School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 23-25 June 2020

Opportunities and challenges in 21st Century Africa: The youth dimension (online). Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 31 March 2020

Action Learning for Conflict Analysis, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (IHEID) with UN OCHA, 9-13 March 2020

The Myth of International Protection. SOAS Migration and Mobilities Seminar Series (London), 23 October 2019

On myths of protection and doing less harm. OCHA Civil-Military Coordination Workshop (Sigriswil, Switzerland), 7 October 2019

Transitional Justice in Context: Conflict Analysis. Geneva Academy, 3 October 2019
Security and Development: A panel discussion. IHEID Security and Insecurity Today, 28 June 2019

The Myth of International Protection Book Launch. IHEID, Geneva, 3 June 2019
Researching and Writing Situation Reports for Humanitarian Contexts.Norwegian Red Cross (Oslo, Norway), 24 April 2019

Finding Courage: From eastern DRC to Annecy. Annecy Professional Women’s Network, 13 September 201

Operationalizing Youth Peace and Security. Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 9 April 2018

'That’s just how it is’: survival despair in unending violence. IHEID African Studies Seminar, 7 November 2017

Surplus: the uncounted. Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, Exploring the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding nexus in the city Working Group, 26 June 2017

Researching in violent contexts: methods and ethics. University of York, 28 October 2016

Coping with violence: Adolescents in eastern DRC and Burundi. Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, 9 June 2016