Dr. phil Michael Aeby
Assistent / PostDoc
Michael Aeby
Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät
Zentrum für Afrikastudien

Assistent / PostDoc

Zentrum für Afrikastudien Basel
Rheinsprung 21
4051 Basel


Michael Aeby ist SNF-Postdoc fellow am Zentrum für Afrikastudien der Universität Basel. Er absolvierte seine Ausbildung an den Universitäten Fribourg (Bachelor in Medienwissenschaft und Geschichte) und Basel (Master in Geschichte und Politischer Soziologie) und promovierte 2016 bei Prof. Patrick Harries (Geschichte Afrikas) mit einer Dissertation zum Thema Zimbabwe’s Gruelling Transition: Interim Power-Sharing & Conflict Management in Southern Africa. Ein SNF Postdoc.mobility Stipendium führte ihn an die Universitäten von Kapstadt und Edinburgh.

African politics; Peace and Conflict Studies; African Peace & Security Architecture (APSA); peace agreement implementation; mediation; civil society inclusion; power-sharing; coup d’états; early warning; Southern Africa; Zimbabwe

Current project (2022-23)

Supporting the Implementation of Peace Agreements in the APSA

The study examines how the AU, IGAD, ECOWAS and SADC support the implementation of framework agreements for transitions through continued mediation, guarantees and monitoring. It reviews the four organisations’ policies and structures, traces implementation support practices in eight peace processes, and compares commitments for third-party support in 30 agreements. The 12 months-long postdoc project is financed through a Return Grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Recent projects (2019-22)

Civil Society Participation in Conflict Prevention and Peace-making in the APSA

The postdoc project compared the involvement of African civil society actors in early warning, preventive diplomacy and mediations of the AU, ECOWAS, IGAD and SADC. The two years-long postdoc at the University of Edinburgh was financed by the SNSF.

Coups d’états in Africa since the Lomé Declaration

The project compared 17 successful coups that occurred since the adoption of the anti-coup norm of the AU. Our research focused on the objectives and outcomes of contemporary coups and on the responses of regional organisations. The project was  led by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies of the University of Notre Dame. 

PeaceRep Global Transitions Project

The Global Transitions project of the Peace Research & Evidence Platform (PeaceRep) examined the role of emerging powers and regional organisations in peacebuilding worldwide. My contribution to the project examined how the AU, IGAD and SADC envision peace-making and supported transitions in Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe. The project was financed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom.


  • University of Cape Town, Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa – Research Associate


  • University of Edinburgh, Politics & International Relations – visiting postdoc
  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva – researcher
  • Swisspeace, Statehood & Conflict Programme – researcher
  • University of Basel, Department of Historical Studies – PhD candidate
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Department of Political Studies – visiting PhD fellow
  • University of Zimbabwe, Department of History – visiting PhD fellow
  • University of the Western Cape, Centre for Humanities Research – visiting PhD fellow
  • Human Science Research Council, Democracy & Governance Programme – research intern


Journal articles

Policy research reports

  • 2022. How African Organisations Support Peace Agreement Implementation: AU, IGAD and SADC Mediation, Guarantees and Monitoring Practices in Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe, PeaceRep: The Peace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform, Edinburgh. Download
  • 2021. Civil Society Participation in Peace-Making and Mediation Support in the APSA: Insights on the AU, ECOWAS and SADC. Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town. Download
  • 2019. SADC – The Southern Arrested Development Community? Enduring Challenges to Peace and Security in Southern Africa. Policy Dialogue, N° 14, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala. ISBN 978-91-7106-854-5. Download

Policy briefs

  • 2022. How African Organisations Envision Peacemaking: AU, IGAD and SADC Policies and Structures for African Solutions, PeaceRep Global Transitions Sercies, PeaceRep: The Peace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh. Download
  • 2019. Peace & Security Challenges in Southern Africa: Governance Deficits and Lacklustre Regional Conflict Management, Policy Note N° 4:18, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala. Download
  • 2018. Women in South Africa’s Democratic Transition (1990-1998). Women in Peace & Transition Processes. Geneva: Inclusive Peace & Transition Initiative, Graduate Institute. Download

Book chapters

  • 2022. ‘Navigating Channels for Civil Society Participation in Conflict Prevention and Peace-Making in the African Peace and Security Architecture’. In Civil Society and Peacebuilding in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Anthropocene, edited by Jean Chrysostome K. Kiyala and Geoff Thomas Harris, 34:465–98. The Anthropocene: Politik—Economics—Society—Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95179-5_19.
  • with Jamie Pring. 2021. The Buzz about Inclusion in Peace Research, Policy and Practice in IGAD and SADC, in: U. Engel, L. Gelot, K.  Döring, J. Herpolsheimer (eds.), APSA Inside-Out: Researching the Inner Life of the African Peace & Security Architecture, Leiden: Brill Publishers, pp 186-208.