skip to content


Dr. Robert Muggah is the Research Director of the Igarapé Institute, a Research Director of the SecDev Foundation, and teaches at the Instituto de Relações Internacionais, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. He is also a fellow at the University of Oxford, the University of San Diego and the Graduate Institute Switzerland. He is the co-founder and executive editor of Stability Journal. Dr. Muggah serves as a senior adviser to the Inter-American Development Bank, various UN agencies, and the World Bank. He is also partnered wtih Google Ideas on issues related to fragility, conflict and violence and ways new technology can help. Dr. Muggah received his DPhil at Oxford University and his MPhil at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex.

From Brazil Robert directs several projects on violence prevention, citizen security, stability operations, and development in the Americas and Africa. He currently oversees the Humanitarian Action in Situations Other than War (HASOW) project, the States of Fragility project and the Urban Resilience project. He routinely advises governments, international organizations and civil society groups on security and development. For example, in 2012 and 2013 he was an adviser to the High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda and the Global Commission on Drug Policy. In 2013, he was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world on armed violence reduction by a UK-based organization and in 2014 he was awarded a digital age grant by Google.

Previously, Dr. Muggah was research director at the Small Arms Survey (2000-2011), a lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and an adviser to a number of multilateral and bilateral organizations on issues of arms control, security sector reform, humanitarian issues, and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. He has led research and evaluations in over 30 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, South Asia and the South Pacific on related themes. His recent policy outputs includes chapters for forthcoming flagship reports of the Inter-American Development Bank, UNDP, World Bank.

Dr. Muggah's work is published in dozens of academic and policy journals. Most recently, he is the editor of Stability Operations, Security and Development (New York: Routledge, 2013) and co-editor of the Global Burden of Armed Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011 and 2008). He is also the author of Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dealing with Fighters in the Aftermath of War (New York: Routledge, 2009), Relocation Failures in Sri Lanka: A Short History of Internal Displacement (London: Zed Books, 2008), and No Refuge: The Crisis of Refugee Militarization in Africa (London: Zed Books 2006) and contributed more than 14 chapters to the Small Arms Survey (Cambridge University Press) since 2001. He is a regular contributor to the Atlantic, BBC, CBC, Guardian, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and o Globo.

Dr. Muggah has published over one hundred articles in peer-review journals including International Peacekeeping, Security Dialogue, Contemporary Security Policy, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Conflict, Security and Development, The Journal of Refugee Studies, The Journal of Disasters, Forced Migration Review, and many others. In addition to featuring in international media and writing opeds for the NYT, LAT, Guardian, Huffington Post, Atlantic and others, Dr. Muggah has also been involved in co-writing and advising documentary films on violence, drug policy and development. Most recently, he has been designing new interactive online visualization tools of the global arms trade, as well as android applications to enhance police accountability from Rio de Janeiro to Nairobi and Cape Town.



Fragile Cities: Confronting the Changing Landscapes Violence

The twenty first century will be urban. By 2030, more than 3 in 5 people will live in cities and slums. It is not just size or density of cities and their periphery, but the pace of urbanization that will define global trajectories of violence. There are at least five major risks that will influence patterns of organized and interpersonal violence over the next 30 years. These include the changing geography, topography, demography, ecology and technology of violence. If violence is to be halved in the coming decades, the dimensions of the urban dilemma need to be acknowledged. Attention needs to be refocused specifically on those cities and settlements generating disproportionate levels of violence, building-in resilience to our cities, and harnessing technological innovation to improve safety and security. 



Latest news

Join the VRC on social media!

Would you like to stay updated about the Violence Research Centre's research, events, news in the field of global violence reduction and opportunities to work with us? "Like" us on Facebook. If you have missed some of our events, please visit our YouTube Channel. You can also find us on LinkedIn and Twitter