Karen Brounéus

Director of Studies, Associate Professor  

Clinical psychologist, Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Research

Research | Teaching | Publications | Other

Research Areas

Reconciliation processes after intrastate armed conflict. Truth telling and transitional justice mechanisms. Psychological health in postconflict peacebuilding. Psychological health in soldiers returning from peacekeeping operations. The effect of dialogue in inter-ethnic conflict.

Ongoing research projects:

  • Women, war-trauma and peace building (Funded by the Swedish Research Council)
  • Truth for Peace - the outcomes and impacts of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission on attitudes toward peace (Funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund) Report for the Solomon Islands government and ministries
  • Gender and violence in Thailand (With Professor Erik Melander and Assoc Professor Elin Bjarnegård, Uppsala University, and King Prajadhipok Institute, Thailand)
  • Dialogue, Identity and Trust: A randomized field experiment in Ethiopia (With Professor Isak Svensson and the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University)
  • The psychological well-being of New Zealand soldiers returning from Peacekeeping Operations (With the New Zealand Defence Force, NZDF)

Teaching 

Lectures at the Department and the Hugo Valentin Centre:

  • Transitional Justice and Reconciliation After War
  • Testifying in Truth Commissions: A Blessing or Burden?
  • Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda
  • The Legacies of War: Postwar Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
  • Active listening

Supervision

PhD candidates at Uppsala University and the University of Otago, New Zealand. 

Publications 

Peer-reviewed original articles

Brounéus, Karen, Mariane Wray and Peter Green (2015). "Underestimating the burden for peacekeepers? Difficulty in determining psychological well-being following operational deployment with low response rates from NZDF personnel." Journal of Military and Veterans' Health 23(2): 7-13.

Brounéus, Karen (2014). The Women and Peace Hypothesis in Peacebuilding Settings: Attitudes of Women in the Wake of the Rwandan Genocide. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol 40(1): 125-151. 

Brounéus, Karen (2014). On Return from Peacekeeping: A review of current research on psychological well-being in military personnel returning from operational deployment. Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health 22(1): 25–30.

Svensson, Isak and Karen Brounéus (2013). Dialogue and inter-ethnic trust: A randomized field trial of 'Sustained Dialogue' in Ethiopia. Journal of Peace Research 50(5): 563–575.

Brounéus, Karen (2010). The Trauma of Truth Telling: Effects of Witnessing in the Rwandan Gacaca Courts on Psychological Health. Journal of Conflict Resolution 54(3): 408–437.

Brounéus, Karen (2008). Truth Telling as Talking Cure? Insecurity and Retraumatization in the Rwandan Gacaca Courts. Security Dialogue 39(1): 55–76.

Brounéus, Karen (2008). Analyzing Reconciliation: A Structured Method for Measuring National Reconciliation Initiatives. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 14(3): 291–313.

Book chapters

Bjarnegård, Elin, Erik Melander, Gabrielle Bardall, Karen Brounéus, Erika Forsberg, Karin Johansson, Angela Muvumba-Sellström, and Louise Olsson (2015). “Gender, Peace and Armed Conflict”, SIPRI Yearbook. Oxford University Press.

Fairhurst, Rachel and Karen Brounéus (2013). The Promise of Truth Telling for Learning about the Past: The Case of the Rwandan Gacaca Courts. In Peace & Policy – Empathetic Understanding and Virtuous Dialogue in a World of Risk and Uncertainty, Eds. Kevin P. Clements and Olivier Urbain, Transaction Publishers: NJ.

Brounéus, Karen (2011). In-depth Interviewing: the Process, Skill and Ethics of Interviews in Peace Research. In Understanding Peace Research: Methods and Challenges, Eds: Kristine Höglund and Magnus Öberg, Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Brounéus, Karen (2009). Reconciliation and Development. In Building a future on peace and justice: Studies on transitional justice, conflict resolution and development, Eds: Kai Ambos, Judith Large, and Marieke Wierda, Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg. 

Doctoral thesis

Brounéus, Karen, 2008. Rethinking reconciliation: Concepts, Methods and an Empirical Study of Truth Telling and Psychological Health in Rwanda. PhD dissertation, Uppsala University. 

Reports (peer-reviewed)

Brounéus, Karen (2009) The Effects of Trauma for Peacebuilding: A Survey on Rwandan women and men 12 years after the genocide. Report for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Section for Peace and Reconciliation. 

Brounéus, Karen (2003). Reconciliation: Theory and Practice for Development Cooperation. A report for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Stockholm: Sida. 

Lundwall, Karen (2001). Psychological Aspects of Collective Violence and Reconciliation: A Survey of Current Research. The Current Issues Series #2. Uppsala: The Centre of Multiethnic Research, Uppsala University. 

Other

Previous positions

Lecturer, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand, January 2011–January 2014.

Postdoctoral Fellow, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand, August 2009–December 2010. 

Assistant Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, 2008–2009. 

PhD candidate, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, 2002–2008. 

Clinical psychologist, Private clinical practice, cognitive behavioral therapy, Uppsala, 2002–2006. 

Clinical psychologist, Childrens’ psychiatric clinic (BUP), Sala, Sweden, 1999-2000. 

Clinical psychologist, UNHCR, New Delhi, India, 1999. 

Awards

2013: Early Career Award for Distinction in Research, University of Otago, New Zealand 

2011: New Supervisor of the Year Award, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Media (a selection)

Swedish National Television, “Forska för livet [Research for life]", Kunskapskanalen, February 2015. 

Radio National New Zealand, Summer Nights with Charlotte Graham, December 30, 2013. 

Obs i P1, Swedish national radio, “Is the truth healing?”, interview December 10, 2013. 

Channel 39 News Dunedin, New Zealand, interview June 13, 2013. 

Radio National New Zealand, Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw, October 24, 2010. 

ABC Radio Australia, Pacific Beat, interview September 29, 2010 

Radio National New Zealand, Tangata, interview September 25, 2010 

SBS Radio Australia, World View, interview September 15, 2010 

Otago Daily Times, interview September 15, 2010 

Channel 9 News Dunedin, interview September 14, 2010 

Radio Rhema, Auckland, interview September 13, 2010 

BBC, Northern Ireland, The Stephen Nolan Show, “Moving on after the conflict”, interview September 3, 2010 

SR P1 Vetenskapsradion, Swedish national radio, interview on reconciliation in Spain, August 2007 

SR P1 Vetandets värld, Swedish national radio, interview on the reconciliation processes in Rwanda and the Balkans, January 2007 

Photo: Catharina Hugosson

Karen Brounéus
Director of Studies, Psychologist, Associate Professor  

E-mail: karen.brouneus@pcr.uu.se
Phone: +46 (0)18 471 23 27
Fax: +46(0)18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden