Prof. Dr Rita Abrahamsen

Senior Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 (0)203 379-5230
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276


05/2011 – present

University of Ottawa, Canada

School of Public and International Affairs

Full Professor

05/2017 – present

University of Ottawa, Canada

Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS)


01/2009 – 05/2011

University of Ottawa, Canada

School of Public and International Affairs

Associate Professor

05/2007– 01/2009

University of Aberystwyth

Department of International Politics, Wales


Research Interests

  • African Politics and International Relations
  • Security and Militarism
  • The Radical Right
  • Pan-Africanism and World Order


Prof. Dr Rita Abrahamsen joined the research group 'Global Cooperation and Polycentric Governance' in January 2021 and will be a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre until June 2021.


Research Project at the Centre

The Global Networks of the New Right: The Case of South Africa

This project investigates polycentric anti-globalization networks that oppose and seek to undermine existing forms of global cooperation. It argues that we can only understand contemporary challenges to polycentric forms of cooperation if we also simultaneously engage with polycentric counter-movements, their critiques, modes of organization and their alternative political visions. The specific empirical focus of the project is the global New Right and its connections to and impacts on South African politics. It explores how the construction of South Africa as a futuristic dystopia for the white race has galvanised right-wing international networks and normative agendas, and has formed an important element of their political rhetoric and strategies. This international support has in turn increased the domestic legitimacy of right-wing groups in South Africa, contributing to a more fractured and polarized political discourse at a crucial time for the country.


Abrahamsen, Rita (2011). Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics, Cambridge University Press (co-authored with Michael C. Williams).

Abrahamsen, Rita (2000). Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and Good Governance in Africa, London: Zed Books.

Abrahamsen, Rita (2020). ‘Internationalists, Sovereigntists, Nativists: Contending Visions of World Order in Pan-Africanism’, Review of International Studies 46(1), 56–74.

Abrahamsen, Rita (2020). ‘Confronting the International Political Sociology of the New Right’ (with J.F. Drolet, A. Gheciu, K. Narita and M.C. Williams), International Political Sociology 14(1), 94–107.

Abrahamsen, Rita (2019). ‘Defensive Development, Combative Contradictions: Towards an International Political Sociology of Global Militarism in Africa’, Conflict, Security & Development 19(6), 543–562.

Abrahamsen, Rita (2018). ‘Return of the Generals? Global Militarism in Africa from the Cold War to the Present’, Security Dialogue 49(1-2), 32–43.

Abrahamsen, Rita (2017). ‘Africa and International Relations: Assembling Africa, Studying the World’, African Affairs 116(462), 125–139.