Dr Jennifer  Melvin

Dr Jennifer Melvin

LSE Fellow

Department of International Development

Connect with me

English, French
Key Expertise
UK aid, Commonwealth, human rights, development, reconciliation, Rwanda

About me

Dr Jennifer Melvin is a Fellow in International Development at the Department of International Development. She holds an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights (Essex) and a PhD in Sociology (SAS, University of London). Her PhD was informed by ethnographic research conducted at gacaca genocide courts and commemoration events and through interviews with genocide survivors, government officials, and court representatives in Rwanda. She sought to understand the RPF government's efforts to tackle the social and economic challenges it identified after the genocide and to examine the effects its reconciliation program had on society. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and a sole-authored book, Reconciling Rwanda: Unity, Nationality and State Control. Her research focus has expanded beyond genocide but continues to be informed by themes of power and politics. Her more recent publications have examined remittances in the context of UK-African diasporic relations and the SDGs, and the ways the UK government uses Aid for Trade discourse to construct its post-Brexit donor identity. She is currently collecting data for a project that critically examines the UK’s aid, climate, and security interests and how they influence UK policy. She is also very interested in UK relations with Commonwealth African countries, particularly Rwanda. Prior to joining LSE, Jennifer taught courses in advocacy, activism, and human rights research. Her approach to pedagogy and activism is represented in a forthcoming co-authored book chapter, ‘The Challenges of Teaching Human Rights’.

Selected publications



Book chapters:

  • Ammaturo, F. and J.Melvin (accepted 2023) The Challenges of Teaching Human Rights in Teaching Political Sociology, W. Outhwaite and L.Ray (eds), Edward Elgar.
  • Melvin, J. (2017) Rebel Victory and the Rwandan Genocide in Violent Non-State Actors in Africa: Warlords, Rebels, and Terrorists. C. Varin and D. Abubakar (eds.), Palgrave Macmillan.




Expertise Details

UK aid policy; Aid for Trade; UK-Commonwealth relations; remittances; direct action and human rights activism; human rights-based approaches to development; genocide studies; Rwandan politics