SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Dr Althea-Maria Rivas

BA (McGill), MPA (Concordia), PhD (Sussex)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Rivas Althea-Maria
Department of Development Studies

Senior Lecturer in Global Development, Peace & Conflict

Violence, Peace and Development Research Cluster

Research Cluster Member

Centre for Gender Studies


Centre of African Studies


Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)


Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies


Dr Althea-Maria Rivas
Email address:
020 7898 4754
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Room 294
Academic Support Hours:
By appointment:


I draw upon critical, feminist and decolonial theoretical frameworks and employ innovative grounded methodologies, such as photovoice, storying and narratives to explore debates in the field of conflict, security and development. Most of my research focuses on Afghanistan, Liberia and Somalia, however, I have worked more broadly in West and East Africa as well.
I moved to SOAS (2019) after holding posts at York University (Toronto) and the University of Sussex. After completing my PhD in Development Studies at Sussex University, which was supported by the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, I took up a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Centre for Development Studies, Department of Social and Policy Studies, University of Bath.

In a nutshell, my research focuses on exploring the politics of development, conflict, humanitarian intervention and peace through the lens of the everyday. It goes beyond traditional state-centric investigations into development, peace and security and links the local to the global by interrogating everyday relationships, affect and identity.  A central theme in my current work is intersectionality, specifically the racialised and gendered nature of processes of aid, post-conflict reconstruction and social justice. The insights that have emerged from my research are the result extensive fieldwork areas in affected by conflict and international intervention. Consequently, I developed an academic interest in research ethics and methodologies. Some of which are explored in Fieldwork Interrupted:  Experiences with Violent Research and Researching Violence (2018).

Before starting my academic career, I worked for 12 years in the areas of diplomacy, post-conflict reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, gender and development and governance with various INGOs, and local and international organisations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Whenever possible I try to draw upon the practical insights gained during those years to enrich my research and teaching and to bring theory to life for my students.

Teaching and student engagement are very important to me. I regularly use critical and innovative pedagogies in class. My teaching philosophy is inspired by the work of authors such as hooks, Giroux and Freire. I am actively committed to addressing and countering cultures of exclusion, racism and inequality in higher education institutions and decolonizing the curriculum.

I am the Convener of the MSc Humanitarianism, Aid and Conflict and the MSc Humanitarian Action (Distance Learning). I am happy to speak to anyone who would like to know more about the MSc programmes or potential doctoral study across any area of my research interests.



Humanitarian intervention, post-conflict reconstruction, the politics of global development, everyday violence in post-conflict settings, gender (in)security, violence and development, race, racism and development, peace and justice, emotion and conflict, the relationship between peace, forgiveness and justice, black and indigenous feminisms, feminist and decolonial theory and pedagogy, postcolonial conversations on resistance and development, research methods and ethics. Regional focus: Central Asia, West and East Africa.

Research Clusters


Authored Books

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2020) Security, Development, and Violence in Afghanistan: Everyday Stories of Intervention. London: Routledge.


Rivas, Althea-Maria and Safi, Mariam (2022) 'Women and the Afghan peace and reintegration process'. International Affairs, (98) 1, pp 85-104.

Rivas, Althea-Maria and Lopez Medina, Claudia (2020) 'No lockdown on violence against women and girls during COVID-19: a view from Peru'. Feminist Review Blog.

Fortin-Rittberger, Jessica and Wadia, Khursheed and Ayoub, Phillip and Rivas, Althea-Maria (2020) 'A welcome from our new editors: change and continuity in politics and gender'. European Journal of Politics and Gender, (4) 1, pp 3-5.

Devereux, Stephen and Masset, E. and Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel and Samson, M. and Rivas, Althea-Maria and te Lintelo, D. (2017) 'The targeting effectiveness of social transfers'. Journal of Development Effectiveness, (9) 2, pp 162-211.

Cornwall, Andrea and Rivas, Althea-Maria (2015) 'From “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” to Global Justice: Reclaiming a Transformative Agenda for Gender and Development'. Third World Quarterly, (36) 2, pp 396-415.

Edited Books or Journals

Rivas, Althea-Maria and Browne, Brendan Ciarán, (eds.), (2018) Experiences in Researching Conflict and Violence: Fieldwork Interrupted. Bristol: University of Bristol Press.

Book Chapters

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2018) 'The Everyday Practices of Development'. In: Rutazibuwa, Olivia U. and Shilliam, Robbie, (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics. London: Routledge, pp 166-196.

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2018) 'Thinking about race and gender in conflict research'. In: Rivas, Althea-Maria and Browne, Brendan Ciarán, (eds.), Experiences in researching conflict and violence: fieldwork interrupted. Bristol: University of Bristol Press, pp 135-142.

Rivas, Althea-Maria and Browne, Brendan Ciarán (2018) 'Introduction'. In: Rivas, Althea-Maria and Browne, Brendan Ciarán, (eds.), Experiences in researching conflict and violence: Fieldwork interrupted. Bristol: University of Bristol Press, pp 1-12.

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2015) 'The role of donors in remote management in Somalia: eyes wide shut'. World disaster report 2015: local actors at the centre of effective humanitarian action.. Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, pp 133-135.

Monographs and Working Papers

Rivas, Althea-Maria and Beckles-Raymond, Gabriella and Simpson Miller, Brandi (2021) BAME Researcher Practices, Policies and Processes at UK Higher Education Institutions. London: Open University.

Rivas, Althea-Maria and Wardak, Mirwais (2020) Holding the middle ground: Experiences of displacement, community relations, and conflict between IDPs, returnees and host communities in Herat, Nangarhar, and Takhar: A Scoping Report. Berlin and Kabul: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2016) Cross Cutting Evaluation of DFID's Approach to Remote Management in Somalia and Noth-East Kenya. London: DFID.

Devereux, Stephen and Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel and Masset, E. and te Lintelo, D. and Rivas, Althea-Maria (2015) Evaluating the Targeting Effectiveness of Social Transfers: A Literature Review. No 460. Brighton: Institute for Development Studies.

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2015) No longer a last resort: a review of the remote programming landscape. Kenya and Somalia. London: DFID.

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2011) Health and education in Afghanistan: ten years later – quantity not quality.. Kabul: Afghan Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR).

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Rivas, Althea-Maria and Bardall, Gabrielle (2016) Women in Politics, Part 1: Women, Inclusive Political Participation, and Canadian International Development Policy.

Rivas, Althea-Maria (2016) Women in Politics, Part 2: Moving Forward — Supporting Gender-Inclusive Political Participation.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 21:01 Europe/London.