Dr. Aymar N. Bisoka is a lawyer and political scientist and assistant professor at the University of Mons. He works in the African Great Lakes Region on the access to natural resources, the peasantry and armed groups and the afro-critical perspective in social sciences. Bisoka has taught in recent years in several universities in Africa and Europe. Before moving into research, he worked for ten years on development cooperation in Africa and Europe and continues to collaborate in this sector on issues of development, governance, and security. He has published numerous articles in English and French in several leading journals as well as in several books and journals readily available to his African students and colleagues. He has published numerous articles in English and French in several leading journals as well as in several books and journals readily available to his African students and colleagues. Bisoka has also won several international awards and grants—including from the African Studies Association (USA, 2019), the CODESRIA (Dakar, 2018) and the SSRC African Peacebuilding Network (USA, 2017). He has recently been elected into two visiting scholarships to Oxford University (2019) and Cambridge University (2020).
Bisoka has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, APAF Fund (2020-22); researcher at Ghent University, Special Research Fund Fellow (2020-22); a postdoctoral researcher at University of Cambridge, ALBORADA Fund, (2020-21); a postdoctoral researcher at the UCLouvain & Université d’Anvers, FNRS) (2016-2019); an assistant Political Analyst at the European Union in Burundi (2011-2012); a program coordinator in Belgian cooperation in Burundi and Rwanda (2008-2011); program coordinator in Swiss cooperation in Burundi and DRC (2003-2006). Bisoka teaches at the Higher Institute of Rural Development in the DRC (since 2017), the Rift Vally Institution UK (since 2017), the Catholic University of Bukavu in the DRC (2018-2019) and the University of Burundi (2018-2019).
Bisoka's work on power and resistance in rural areas is becoming increasingly recognized internationally. His work is related to three theoretical and epistemological challenges that he is developing in recent years through several collaborations: the subjective approach to power in access to natural resources (since his PhD thesis); the reformulation of the peasant issue in studies on armed groups in Africa (as part of a postdoc at Ghent University); and the development of an Afro-critical perspective in social sciences (in a project with Cambridge University and the African Postgraduate Academy of Goethe-Universität Frankfurt). Bisoka has co-constructed the Land Rush Theatre method and tested it out in various settings. These topics are currently funded through various projects including : “Ex-combatants and State Violence in the African Great Lakes Region: A Critical African Perspective”, Derek Brewer Fellowship, University of Cambridge (2020-2021); “Rural materialism and peripheral rebels: Re-thinking peasantry and politics in conflict-areas in the DRC », Special Research Fund de UGhent (2020-22); "Ebola & resistance and politics in eastern DRC", UGhent (2020-2021); « The challenges of localizing land-registration in conflict-affected Burundi and eastern DRC », UCLouvain, Wageningen et Radboud Universities, UE (201-2021), etc.
Bisoka has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in several journals and co-edited volumes, co-edited 10 books and published more than 20 online essays, policy briefs and blogs to further disseminate his research. Many of his scholarly writings are published internationally in French and English in highly reputable journals. In addition, Bisoka is still collaborating with the Belgian development cooperation agency, Swiss agency for development and cooperation, and the European Union. He is currently working with the European Union and the World Bank on projects related to his research on the peasantry.
Over the past six years, Bisoka has won several awards (Presidential Fellow of the African Studies Association, USA in 2019; Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Senegal in 2018 ; African Peacebuilding Network Grant, USA in 2017; Review of African Political Economy, UK in 2015), grants (Derek Brewer Fellowship, University of Cambridge, UK 2020; African Postgraduate Academy, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany, 2020; ALBORADA Research Fund, University of Cambridge, UK ; The AfOx ASC Fellowship, University of Oxford, UK in 2020; International Studies Association, USA 2019; Social Science Research Council, USA 2028) and scholarships (African Postgraduate Academy, post-doc, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Allemagne 2020; Special Research Fund, post-doc. 202, Université de Gand, Union européenne/FNRS, 2018; FNRS, 2016, etc.). Bisoka is involved in many research networks at the international level, among others: Associate Member of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge; St Antony's college, University of Oxford; Associate Researcher at Center for Development Studies, the ULouvain and CETRI Tricontinental Center, Belgium. He is also Member of International Studies Association, Storrs, USA; CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal; African Studies Association, New Jersey, USA; African Peacebuilding Network, New York, USA Since 2015; International Political Science Association, Montreal, Canada; the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of African Studies.