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Mireille Widmer

PhD Student

Mireille’s doctoral research looks at urban safety policies. Specifically, she is interested in finding out how municipalities can influence various security providers – so police, but also private security, citizens groups, militias, vigilantes, or any other group that plays a role in dispensing security – so that these contribute collectively to citizen security.

Mireille has over 10 years experience as a community security practitioner in contexts such as the Philippines, Haiti, the Central African Republic and Somalia, principally with UNDP. In 2012 she was also elected as residents’ representative in a participatory process initiated by the Municipality of Geneva (Switzerland), where she facilitated the working group on safety and security. With these backgrounds as development practitioner, concerned citizen, and now academic researcher, she feels particularly strongly about designing research that will help bridge gaps between academia, policy, and practice.


Mireille Widmer’s recent work



Cities have a distinctive role in development processes: they are focal points for economic growth, jobs and innovation but also for poverty, inequality, vulnerability and conflict. Although we can learn from historical processes of urbanisation, there are many new development elements...