Dr. Margaret Monyani
Margaret Monyani is a Global Excellence Stature Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where she attained a Doctorate in International Relations in 2021.
Q1. Who are you?
I am a Global Excellence Stature Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a Sessional Lecturer in the Department of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where I attained a Doctorate in International Relations in 2021. My doctoral research focused on the global dynamics associated with refugee governance from an African standpoint by focusing on the ethnographic experiences of Somali refugee women in Nairobi, Kenya. It examined the critical links between Kenya’s securitisation regime, the resultant vulnerabilities it produces, and Somali refugee women’s everyday resistance to state surveillance and discrimination. Before that, I completed a Master’s in International Relations from Moi University, Kenya, where I left with a distinction. I consider myself a versatile, early career researcher and author with skills in executing academic and policy research projects, and I have leadership experience in civil society to academic spheres. I am also a research affiliate with the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), University of London, where I am a reviewer of the RLI Working Paper Series.
Q2. What was your motivation for applying for the FFVT fellowship? Why Germany?
My particular interest in the FFVT fellowship was motivated by its thematic focus, which resonates well with my research interests. My research interests are migration governance, gender, and international security in the Afrocentric context. Likewise, FFVT offers an excellent platform to guide and nurture upcoming scholars, and this would undoubtedly be invaluable to my current research and future academic scholarship as well as research productivity. Besides, for an early career researcher like me, FFVT not only provides a conducive environment and resources for research but also access to seasoned experts in the field of international migration, governance and security, particularly in the Afrocentric context. The FFVT project possesses brilliant fellows, researchers, and academics, who engage in migration governance and security research. I expect that being an FFVT fellow will enhance knowledge productivity and idea exchange and create intellectual intercourse that would shape international migration and security discourse globally. Germany remains the best choice for my research stay because it is one of the world’s leading countries in research and development. This is evidenced by its unwavering commitment to providing resources and mentorship opportunities to upcoming scholars and researchers.
Q3. What do you expect from the fellowship?
Being an FFVT fellow will offer me a platform to connect with research mentors, seasoned disciplinary experts and colleagues who are working not only on gender, security, and migration but also those who are from other disciplines. Significantly, my time at CHREN will be maximised in developing viable research collaboration and a scholarly network that would consequently lead to my advancement of research on migration and security, and other areas such as global peace, humanitarianism, and governance. My time at CHREN will also be used to contribute ideas and learn from colleagues via seminars, workshops and conference participation.
Q4. What is the focus of your work, and what is innovative about it? / What are your planned outcomes and activities for the fellowship period? And how do they relate to your FFVT hosting institution/ the FFVT cooperation project?
My proposed study to be undertaken at CHREN focuses on the humanised accounts of refugee women in securitisation contexts. As an academic, I seek to unpack how international security and global politics are shaped and lived by non-state actors. While exploring the experiences of refugee women, my research sheds light on the experiences of refugee women, whose voices are little heard, and shows how contemporary national and international migration policies impact their security. This prioritisation of increasing invisibility in relations of dominance, and of studying the experiences of these refugee women is fundamental to the study of the insecurities of migration and how international politics of migration may create insecurity for migrants.