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Professor Alcinda Maria Honwana

Alcinda Honwana

Profile summary

  • Visiting Informal Academic
  • Visiting Professor
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Social Sciences & Global Studies
  • Development
  • alcinda.honwana

Professional biography

Alcinda Honwana worked as a Professor and Chair of International Development (Africa) at the Open University. She was also the director of the International Development Centre (IDC) an OU inter-faculty centre that focused on research and interventions on issues of international development. Before joining the Open University she was the Director of the Africa and the Children and Armed Conflict Programmes at the Social Science Research Council in New York. Honwana also worked at the United Nations in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in New York, and was the office’s research activities, developing a research agenda on children and armed conflict.

Born in Mozambique, Alcinda Honwana holds a BA degree in History and Geography from the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique; a Maitrise in Sociology from l’Universite de Paris 8 in France; and another MA and a PhD in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. She lectured on Anthropology at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, and in South Africa where she was a Senior Lecturer in the department of Social Anthropology of the University of Cape Town. She has also been a Visiting Professor at Graduate Faculty at the New School University in New York.

Alcinda Honwana was a member of the board of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar from 1998 to 2002. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the African Studies Association in the USA in 2004-2005. Honwana is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the International African Institute, the African Sociological Review and the Journal for Higher Education in Africa.

Research interests

Honwana carried out extensive research in Mozambique on spirit possession and traditional healing, political conflict and politics of culture, and on the impact of political conflict on young people. Her studies on children, youth and armed conflict also took her to Angola where she carried out her research as a consultant for Christian Children’s Fund. Her work has given particular attention to the role played by local communities in processes of post-conflict healing, reconciliation and social reintegration of war-affected children and youths, especially child soldiers and abused girls. Honwana’s current work continues to focus on youth and conflict and she has been paying more attention to the role of younger generations in post-conflict reconstruction and development. She is working on a book project on these issues for publication with James Currey.


Youth Struggles: From the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter & Beyond (2019-03-13)
Honwana, Alcinda
African Studies Review, 62(1) (pp. 8-21)
Children's Involvement in War: Historical and Social Contexts (2008-01)
Honwana, Alcinda
Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, 1(1)
Child Soldiers in Africa (2005)
Honwana, Alcinda
Ethnography of Political Violence
ISBN : 9780812239119 | Publisher : University of Pennsylvania Press | Published : Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Healing and social reintegration in Mozambique and Angola (2005)
Honwana, Alcinda
In: Skaar, Elin; Gloppen, Siri and Suhrke, Astri eds. Roads to reconciliation (pp. 83-100)
ISBN : 739109030 | Publisher : Lexington Books
Undying Past: Spirit Possession and War Memory in Southern Mozambique (2003)
Honwana, Alcinda
In: Meyer, Birgit and Pels, Peter eds. Magic and modernity: interfaces of revelation and concealment (pp. 60-80)
ISBN : 804744645 | Publisher : Stanford University Press | Published : Stanford, USA
Negotiating Post-War Identities: Child Soldiers in Mozambique and Angola (2002-02-10)
Honwana, Alcinda
In: Bond, George Clement and Gibson, Nigel C. eds. Contested Terrains and Constructed Categories: Contemporary Africa in Focus
ISBN : 813336783 | Publisher : Westview Press | Published : New York, USA
Children of war: understanding war and war cleansing in Mozambique and Angola (2001)
Honwana, A.
In: Chesterman, Simon ed. Civilians in War
ISBN : 978-1-55587-988-4 | Publisher : Lynne Rienner Publishers | Published : Boulder, CO, USA and London, UK
Makers & breakers: children and youth in postcolonial Africa (2005-07-12)
Honwana, Alcinda and de Boeck, Filip eds.
ISBN : 852554346 | Publisher : James Currey | Published : Oxford, UK