Dr Giuditta Fontana

Dr Giuditta Fontana

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Associate Professor in International Security

Contact details

School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Giuditta Fontana is a political scientist specialising in peace processes and war-to-peace transitions. She is interested in the design of peace accords and in the reform of cultural and educational institutions in conflict-affected societies. She is committed to multi-method research and has contributed to the creation of the dataset of Political Agreements in Internal Conflicts and of the dataset of Formal Education in Political Agreements. She has experience of fieldwork in Europe, West Africa and the Middle East. 


  • PGCHE, University of Birmingham, 2018
  • PhD Education and Conflict Regulation, King's College London, 2014
  • MA Mediterranean Studies, King's College London, 2008
  • BSc International Relations and History, London School of Economics, 2007


Giuditta is a Birmingham Fellow in International Security. Her research interests include institution-building in conflict-affected societies, power-sharing, education reform and cultural policy in Europe, the Middle East and West Africa.

She was previously a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow focusing on the interface between peace processes and reforms of cultural institutions (such as schools, the media and museums) in divided societies (Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and North Macedonia).

Giuditta is a United World College alumna and holds a BSc International Relations and History from the London School of Economics (2007) and an MA Mediterranean Studies from King's College London (2008). Her PhD (awarded in October 2014 by King's College London) focused on the political function of formal education in deeply divided societies and compared the experiences of Lebanon, Northern Ireland and North Macedonia.

Prior to her doctorate, Giuditta worked in a number of non-governmental and international organisations in Europe and the Middle East, including the European Commission and Minority Rights Group International.


  • Contemporary Perspectives on Conflict (MA)
  • Global History (BSc)

Postgraduate supervision

Giuditta welcomes new PhD applications in the areas of:

War-to-peace transitions;
Education reform in conflict-affected contexts;
Cultural policy in conflict-affected contexts;
Institutional design and power-sharing

PhD opportunities


Research Interests
Giuditta’s research interests include institution-building in conflict-affected societies, the design of peace agreements, power-sharing, education reform and cultural policy in Europe, the Middle East and West Africa.

Current Projects
Giuditta is currently working on the following projects:

  • Learning from Failure: Tackling War Recurrence in Protracted Peace Processes (Co-I, with S. Wolff, A. Kartsonaki, N. Neudorfer and C. Yakinthou, University of Birmingham, UK).
  • Education in Conflict-Affected Societies Network (Co-I, with T.Gallagher at Queen’s University Belfast, UK, B.Akar at Notre Dame University Louaize, Lebanon and E. Maloku at Rochester Institute, Kosovo).
  • The Prevent Duty in Primary Schools (Co-I, with R. da Silva and M. Armstrong).
  • The Ingredients of Peace (PI, with I.Masiero, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil).
  • The Securitisation of Education Reform in Cyprus and Lebanon (PI, with E.Christodolou, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Germany).

Other activities


Recent publications


Fontana, G 2016, Education Policy and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies: Lebanon, Northern Ireland and Macedonia. Palgrave, New York.


Fontana, G 2023, 'Security, conflict management and peacebuilding: formal education in intra-state political agreements 1989-2016', Harvard educational review, vol. 93, no. 2, pp. 173-201. https://doi.org/10.17763/1943-5045-93.2.173

Fontana, G & Masiero, I 2022, 'Beyond reassurance: the reputational effect of cultural reforms in peace agreements', Government and Opposition. https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2021.62

Da Silva, RDS, Fontana, G & Armstrong, MA 2022, '‘It’s about keeping children safe, not spying’: a governmentality approach to Prevent in primary education', British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 259-276. https://doi.org/10.1177/13691481211021212

Fontana, G, Siewert, M & Yakinthou, C 2020, 'Managing war to peace transitions after intra-state conflicts: configurations of successful peace processes', Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, vol. 2020, pp. 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/17502977.2020.1770479

Fontana, G, Kartsonaki, A, Neudorfer, N, Walsh, D, Wolff, S & Yakinthou, C 2020, 'The dataset of political agreements in internal conflicts (PAIC)', Conflict Management and Peace Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0738894220944123

Fontana, G 2019, 'Does Education Help the Transition out of Power-Sharing in Plural Societies? A Comparative Study', Ethnopolitics. https://doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2019.1595909

Fontana, G 2018, 'Mapping the relationship between education reform and power-sharing in and after intra-state peace agreements: a multi-methods study', Journal on Education in Emergencies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 74-113. https://doi.org/10.17609/3m0x-8692

Fontana, G 2017, 'Educational Decentralisation in Post-Conflict Societies: Approaches and Constraints', Third World Thematics, vol. 1, no. 6, pp. 857-878. https://doi.org/10.1080/23802014.2016.1338921

Fontana, G 2015, 'Religious Education after Conflicts: Promoting Social Cohesion or Entrenching Existing Cleavages?', Compare. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2015.1099422

Fontana, G 2013, 'Education and Peacebuilding: A View from Beirut', Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant, vol. 8, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.1179/1752726013Z.00000000018

Fontana, G 2013, 'War by Other Means: Cultural Policy and the Politics of Corporate Consociation in Bosnia and Herzegovina', Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 447-466.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Fontana, G, Armstrong, MA & Da Silva, RDS 2020, Enacting the Prevent Duty in Primary Schools. in J Busher & L Jerome (eds), The Prevent Duty in Education. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 99.


Fontana, G 2013, State-Building and Religious Education in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Policies and Politics of Teaching Religion. in T Hanf & K El-Mufti (eds), Policies and Politics of Teaching Religion. Nomos, Baden-Baden, pp. 69.

Review article

Fontana, G 2023, 'Institutional designs to manage ethnic diversity in conflict-affected states: conceptual, methodological and empirical innovations', Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537113.2023.2167507

View all publications in research portal



Expertise in conflict management  and constitutional design for divided societies (particularly power-sharing); in cultural expressions (including the media, museums and education) in divided and post-conflict places; in education reform design and implementation in plural societies. 

Policy experience

Giuditta Fontana is an expert on education in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Her first monograph, Education Policy and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies was published in 2016 with Palgrave. She has experience providing consultancy and drafting reports for government departments and international organisations, including the European Commission and the World Bank.