Johannes Langer

Johannes LangerAfter high school, I knew that I would want to work on issues of violence, security, conflict and memory. This motivated me to work for a year in the Holocaust museum in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Afterwards I did my Magister in political science and history at Vienna University with the chance to study for one year at Uppsala University in Sweden thanks to an Erasmus scholarship. I also obtained a masters in International Peace & Conflict Resolution at the American University’s School of International Service which was made possible with a Fulbright scholarship.

After some field experience in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), I moved to Colombia in 2013 where I was teaching international relations and researched about truth commissions within the field of transitional justice. In 2017, I am starting with my PhD at GIGA about the new truth commission in Colombia.

About my PhD

University affiliation: Research Fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, Germany and Philipps University of Marburg in Marburg, Germany

Working title of the PhD: Colombia’s attempt to overcome its violent past: Victims’ perspectives on a truth commission

While truth commissions have been a major focus in the field of transitional justice, the local perception of truth commissions has been largely ignored. A few studies have identified the perception of victims at the local level of truth commissions during and after their intervention, but none has studied local people’s perceptions at the inception of truth commissions. The Colombian truth commission provides an opportunity to study local people’s perceptions at all three phases – before, during and after –, using process tracing and participatory action research. This dissertation uses three dependent variables – justice, reconciliation and truth – and studies three different regions in Colombia in a sub-national comparison.

Academic interests

  • Transitional justice with a focus on truth commissions
  • Peacebuilding
  • Conflict resolution
  • Memory

Geographical areas of interest

  • Colombia
  • East Africa
  • European Union

Latest publications


Twitter: @global_outlook
Email: langerjohannes[at]