Sophie Nakueira

Senior Research Fellow

Sophie Nakueira holds an LLM and a PhD in Public Law from the University of Cape Town. She is Senior Research Fellow heading up the Africa component of the Horizon 2020 research project Vulnerabilities under the Global Protection Regime (“VULNER”), which aims to understand how the law evaluates, shapes, addresses, and produces vulnerabilities of protection seekers in practice.

Nakueira’s work cuts across the fields of law, criminology, and anthropology as she attempts to understand the disjuncture between law and practice and associated effects of interactions between diverse actors and contestations between different normative orders. She has explored topics on transnational private governance, the governance of mega-events, and governance in humanitarian spaces. These topics are part of her broader research interest in understanding how contemporary governance takes shape and the resulting effects in global contexts. She completed her PhD in 2014 with a thesis titled New Architectures of Governance: Transnational Private Actors, Enrolment Strategies and the Security Governance of Sports Mega Events.

Nakueira is a research associate at the Global Risk Governance Programme at the University of Cape Town and a member of the Evolving Securities Initiative (ESI), a  cross­-disciplinary group of scholars that undertakes research on current and emerging security challenges. Prior to joining VULNER, she taught at the University of Zurich, where she is currently a research associate. She has worked in various capacities as a researcher, visiting scholar, guest lecturer, and consultant in Uganda, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, and Germany.


Nakueira, Sophie. 2020. Unpacking vulnerability: an ethnographic account of the challenges of implementing resettlement programmes in a refugee camp in Uganda. In: Marie-Claire Foblets and Luc Leboeuf (eds.). Humanitarian admission to Europe: the law between promises and constraints.  Schriften zum Migrationsrecht, Baden-Baden; Oxford: Nomos; Hart, pp. 239–270.

Nakueira, Sophie. 2019. The politics of accusation amidst conditions of precarity in the Nakivale Resettlement Camp. Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 37(2): 39–56.

Nakueira, Sophie. 2019. Governing through paperwork: examining the regulatory effects of documentary practices in a refugee settlement. Journal of Legal Anthropology, 3(2): 10–28.

Berg, J., Nakueira, S. and C. Shearing. 2014. Global Non-state Auspices of Security Governance.  In Arrigo, B. and H. Bersot (eds). The Routledge Handbook of International Crime and Justice Studies.  Oxon: Routledge, pp. 77-97.

Berg, J. and S. Nakueira. 2011. Auspices of Security Governance: FIFA and the 2010 Soccer World Cup.  Paper presented at the 11th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Vilnius, Lithuania, 21-24 September 2011.

Berg, J. and S. Nakueira. 2011. Security governance innovations: the effects of FIFA’s governance on the policing of the 2010 World Cup.  Paper presented at the 16th World Congress of the International Society for Criminology, Kobe, Japan, 5-9 August 2011.

Nakueira, S. and J. Berg. 2010. Innovations in the Governance of Security: Lessons from the 2010 World Cup.  Paper presented at the Institute for Security Studies Conference: Towards a Coherent Strategy for Crime Reduction in South Africa Beyond 2010, Johannesburg, 1-2 December 2010.

Berg, J. and S. Nakueira. 2011. Best Principles of Collaborative Security Governance: Lessons from the 2010 Soccer World Cup.  Research report, Centre of Criminology, UCT.