Stefanie Bognitz

Stefanie Bognitz

Stefanie Bognitz studied Social Anthropology, History of Art, English and American Studies at the University of Halle in Germany and Sociology, Social Anthropology and South African Languages at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In 2010 she received her MA with a thesis on ‘Contesting tongues: the politics of language rights and claims at an Afrikaans-medium University in South Africa’ and a PhD Start-up Grant from the Graduate School Society and Culture in Motion at the University of Halle. In April 2011 she joined the International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment as a PhD candidate where she is affiliated to the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Institute of Social Anthropology at the University in Halle. Her current research “The Promise of Access to Justice in Rwanda” addresses the implications of contemporary re-makings of legal institutions and offers an analysis of the aftermath of genocide and its legal redress in Rwanda. Her research areas included South Africa, the Great Lakes Region and in specific Rwanda. Her areas of Interest include transitional justice, rule of law, legal aid, human rights, civil society, reconciliation, governance, travelling models, Science and Technology Studies. Between 2014 and 2016 she worked as advisor to the Ambassador of Rwanda in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Current position
PhD Researcher
University affiliation
Graduate School Society and Culture in Motion, University of Halle
E-mail
bogntiz@lost-research-group.org
Link
http://www.remep.mpg.de/employees/40780/3378

Research

Currently Stefanie works on an ethnography which will lead to her dissertation on “The Promise of Access to Justice in Rwanda”. It addresses implications of contemporary re-makings of legal institutions. The study considers repercussions of the aftermath of genocide and its legal redress. Going beyond conventional works on transitional justice mechanisms, her work shifts the focus to what actually remains after (inter-)national justice initiatives have come to an end and state institutions come back in. Today the Rwandan justice system has become a site of continuous transformation, experimentation and juridification. The making of law gains momentum and has shifted the boundary of the justice system. Emerging legal institutions and involved actors reiterate past violence and injustice by investing in certain forms (of legal aid or dispute resolution in mediation committees). It is of interest how organizational forms and legal institutions are embroiled in violent history and hopes and anticipations of a better future. In establishing legal aid and mediation as forms of organizing access to institutions of the legal system, contemporary Rwandan legislation and legal institutions are anticipated to right the wrongs of the past by including ordinary Rwandans in the legal sphere. This study is also an attempt to consider the capacity of ordinary Rwandans and peasants in the making and analysis of legal institutions on the threshold of the legal system.

Publications

  • Bognitz, Stefanie (2017) "Mistrusting as mode of engagement in mediation: Insights from a socio-legal practice in Rwanda." in Mistrust. Ethnographic Approximations , edited by Florian Mühlfried Bielefeld: transcript.
  • Bognitz, Stefanie (2017) "Trusting mediators: On becoming inyangamugayo in Rwanda." in POLITIKA.https://www.politika.io/en/atelier/mediation-and-conciliation
  • Bognitz, Stefanie (2016) "Technologien der Zukunft: Einblicke in Strategien der Aneignung neuer Technologien in Ruanda." in Ruanda Revue 1/2016: 18-20 → http://rwa.rlp-ruanda.de/de/medien/ruanda-revue/
  • Bognitz, Stefanie (2015) "Rwanda." in The SAGE encyclopedia of world poverty, 2nd ed. , edited by Mehmet Odekon Los Angeles: SAGE
  • Bognitz, Stefanie (2015) "Lawyers without borders." in The SAGE encyclopedia of world poverty, 2nd ed. , edited by Mehmet Odekon Los Angeles: SAGE
  • Bognitz, Stefanie (2013) "Crafting transitional justice: Significations of rights-based organizations and legal aid in Rwanda." in Nouvelles études pénales 24: 269-83.