Erica Harper

Erica Harper

Head of Research and Policy Studies

Areas of expertise

Human Rights and Development  /  Transitional Justice  /  Aid Effectiveness  /  Counter-Terrorism/PVE  /  Youth and Resilience  /  Environmental Good Governance  /  Non-State Justice Systems

Erica Harper is a practitioner-academic specializing in international criminal law, human rights law and post-conflict governance. As Head of Research and Policy Studies, she leads the Geneva Academy’s work on non-state actors, transitional justice, digital technologies and sustainable development. She also works closely with various United Nations Special Rapporteur, as an Advisory Board member at Terre des hommes, and is a fellow at the Leiden University’s Van Vollenhoven Institute.

Dr Harper’s current research centres around development effectiveness, and the intersectionality between economic development, security and the rule of law. She manages a multi-country research project examining best practices in the reintegration of former foreign fighters and building resilience against violent extremism in children and youth.

Dr Harper has extensive programming and policy experience, having worked for a variety of UN agencies and non-government organizations in Timor Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, Jordan, Ethiopia and Somalia. Prior to joining the Geneva Academy, Dr Harper established and served as the Executive Director of the West Asia-North Africa Institute, a Jordan-based policy think tank specializing in security studies, economic policy and good governance. During her 5-year tenure, the Institute grew to become one of the region’s leading think tanks, producing approximately 70 publications annually, including academic journal pieces, policy white papers, books and print media pieces. She also served as an Assistant Professor at Leiden University’s Van Vollenhoven Institute, teaching on aid effectiveness, human rights programming and non-state justice systems.

Dr Harper holds a Bachelor of Laws (hons) and Bachelor of Commerce in Economics, both from Macquarie University, and a PhD in International Law from the University of Melbourne. She has authored five books, including on aid effectiveness, non-state justice and rule of law programming, as well as four edited volumes on the subjects of legal pluralism, governance and development in the Middle East and North Africa. Her latest book, The Last 10 Percent: Why the world needs a leaner, more innovative and pragmatic development sector, today will be released in fall 2022.

Research Projects

A session of the UN Human Rights Council Project

IHL Expert Pool

The IHL-EP works to strengthen the capacity of human rights mechanisms to incorporate IHL into their work in an efficacious and comprehensive manner. By so doing, it aims to address the normative and practical challenges that human rights bodies encounter when dealing with cases in which IHL applies.

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Publications

Cover page of the Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law

The enduring utility of customary justice in fragile and post-conflict states: why development actors need to stop searching for magic bullets and solve the political economy and human rights challenges associated with justice programming

2022

Erica Harper

Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, Vol 53:3

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Cover page of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

Re‑Imagining Customary Justice Systems: Interrogating Past Assumptions and Entertaining New Ones

2022

Erica Harper, Yann Colliou

Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

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Cover page of the article

Solutions for Children Previously Affiliated with Extremist Groups

2020

Erica Harper

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General UN New York

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Cover page of the report

'Reconceptualizing the drivers of violent extremism: an agenda for child & youth resilience

2018

Erica Harper

Terre des hommes

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Masters

We are a leading education institution in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice.

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Research

Our research examines issues that are under-explored, need clarification, or are unconventional, experimental or challenging.

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Executive Education

We provide training and short courses for professionals who want to deepen their expertise in a specific issue.

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Events

Our events provide a critical and scholarly forum for experts and practitioners to debate topical humanitarian, human rights and transitional justice issues.

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The fiver directors of the Geneva Academy

Leading the Geneva Academy

Since our creation 15 years ago, we've been led by five Directors: Professor Andrew Clapham, Professor Paola Gaeta, Professor Robert Roth, Professor Marco Sassòli and Professor Gloria Gaggioli. Discover our photo gallery where they tell what the Geneva Academy represents to them.

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News

15 Years: Key Facts and Figures

22 December 2022

Numbers don't tell everything but are a good indicator of our growth, of the wealth of activities we've carried out over the last 15 years and, to some extent, of our realizations.

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Geneva Academy flags on the Mont-Blanc bridge News

The Geneva Academy Flags Fly on the Mont-Blanc Bridge for our 15th Anniversary

14 November 2022

From 14 to 20 November, flags with the Geneva Academy’s logo will be flying on the Mont-Blanc Bridge on the occasion of our 15th anniversary.

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