Dr Friedman is a senior lecturer in International Relations. Her research and teachings are at the intersection of reconciliation, transitional justice, collective memory, gender and peacebuilding. Rebekka has cross-regional expertise, having conducted extensive field research in rural and urban areas in Peru, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka. Her book, Competing Memories: Truth and Reconciliation in Sierra Leone and Peru was published with Cambridge University Press in 2017. Co-author (with Kirsten Ainley and Chris Mahony) of Evaluating Transitional Justice: Accountability and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone (Palgrave, 2015).
Holder of an MA and PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA Joint Honours in Political Science and International Development from McGill University. I previously served as an editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies.
Dr Friedman was principal investigator of a two-year ESRC funded Future Research Leaders grant project, entitled, Hidden Voices. The project examines gendered experiences of marginalisation and recovery in Sri Lanka and Colombia.
She was also a co-investigator on an ESRC funded Justice, Conflict and Development project, researching the links between conflict resolution and justice in Colombia, Sri Lanka, Syria and Uganda.
Now starting a new project on disappearances and parental harm as part of the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub. The aims of the Hub are to advance gender justice and inclusive security. The Hub partners with eight core countries in the global South and is focussed on the implementation of the UN Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Within the Hub, co-leading an Innovative Methodologies project together with Professor Laura Sheperd (the University of Sidney, Australia) and Professor Neloufer de Mel (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka).
Please visit the Research Portal for a list of publications.
- Reconciliation, healing and trauma: One of my primary research areas is reconciliation in divided societies and protracted social conflicts. I am currently working on a book manuscript on reconciliation and peacebuilding in Sierra Leone and Peru (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). I have a strong interest in qualitative and interpretive methodological approaches to the study of societal reconciliation. My current research agenda focuses on inter-generational trauma and reconciliation.
- Gender and peacebuilding: My second research interest lies in the gendered politics of peacebuilding, reintegration and healing. I recently carried out field research on the impact of formal and informal community healing initiatives in Northern Sri Lanka. I am interested in the intersections of gender and ethnicity and the politicization of women’s agency is post-conflict reconstruction and nation-building.
- Transitional justice: My third research interest examines how societies address the legacies of violence. My research bridges the theory and practice of transitional justice and peacebuilding, critically evaluating how to assess impact and success in peace processes. I recently published a co-edited book volume, together with Kirsten Ainley and Chris Mahony, examining Sierra Leone’s post-conflict transition ten years since the end of the civil war (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015). I was the recipient of a Harvard University Radcliffe Institute grant for my collaborative research on transitional justice in Sri Lanka.
- Collective memory and identity politics: I study the role of memory in intragroup conflicts. I look at memory both as a driver of conflict, shaping individual and group identifications, as well as a conduit through which groups resolve past violence. I designed a forum on grief and trauma for Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 38, 2.
- Transitional justice