Dr. Rens (R.C.) Willems

Programme Leader Peace and Conflict Studies, Research Fellow

Dr Rens Willems works as a Research Fellow at UPEACE The Hague since March 2013. 

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Dr Willems graduated cum laude from Utrecht University in 2008 with an MA in conflict studies and human rights. After graduation, he worked briefly for the Security and Small Arms programme of the Dutch NGO IKV Pax Christi before joining the Centre for Conflict Studies at Utrecht University as a project researcher and PhD candidate. He successfully defended his doctoral thesis in January 2013, entitled Rethinking Security Provision in the Aftermath of War.


His doctoral research examined the ways in which international efforts to build or contribute to security in the hybrid political context of post-settlement countries relate to national and local perceptions and practices regarding security. His particular focus has been on security interventions such as disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR), security sector reform (SSR), armed violence reduction (AVR) and small arms and light weapons (SALW) control. He has done extensive field research in Burundi, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Alongside his research he has been involved in education and project coordination, working closely with knowledge institutions, policymakers, civil society and community-based organisations.

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