2022-2023 Residential Fellows
Brenda Kombo is a sociocultural anthropologist and human rights lawyer with broad interests in legal anthropology, human rights, and international law. Previously a Norbert Elias Fellow at the University of Bielefeld’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research (Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung), she also recently held postdoctoral fellowships at the Free State Centre for Human Rights at the University of the Free State and New York University’s Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora. These fellowships followed several years of work with non-governmental organizations in the human rights field, primarily at the African continental level, including at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, and Equality Now. She also held research fellowships at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s African Centre for Gender and Social Development and the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris through the Yale Fox International Fellow Program. Brenda holds a PhD and MPhil in Anthropology from Yale University, a JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and a BA from Hampshire College.
At the IGLP, Brenda’s research will try to reimagine the social justice potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by rejecting the assumption that free trade has a particular, predetermined structure and exploring the role law and lawyers can play in strengthening the AfCFTA’s ability to reach its goals of promoting socio-economic development and gender equality. She will use a focus on labor to reflect more narrowly on these issues.
Aliki is a PhD candidate at the IHEID Geneva Graduate Institute. Her current research focuses on the thesis of indeterminacy of international law. By drawing from the currents of thought of structuralism, poststructuralism, deconstruction, postcolonial and cultural studies, she traces how the indeterminacy thesis emerged in international legal discourse, how it influenced and changed international legal scholarship, and in particular, what is today the indeterminacy’s potential for its employment for contestation and emancipatory projects – especially in relation to gender and sexuality and queer approaches to international law. In the course of her PhD, Aliki has also served as a Teaching Assistant at the International Law Department of the IHEID, assisting courses and teaching tutorials on theories of international law, transnational regulatory processes, a discourse analysis of international law, and history of international law. She has also worked as a research assistant to the IHEID’s Global Health Program, and to the UN’s International Law Commission (ILC). Prior to that, Aliki worked at the EU’s European Commission, at the Directorate General for Trade, and provided legal research in the course of the EU’s negotiation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Her research has been published in the Melbourne Journal of International Law and the Common Market Law Review. Aliki holds a Master in International Law from the IHEID Geneva Graduate Institute, an LLM in International and European Law from the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels, and an LLB in Law from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.