Natascha Mueller-Hirth
Title: Dr
First Name: Natascha
Surname: Mueller-Hirth
Position: Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Telephone: 01224 263299


Duties and Responsibilities


  • Global Development (Module Co-ordinator)
  • Violence and Conflict (Module Co-ordinator)
  • Social and Economic Contexts of Sustainable Development (Module Co-ordinator)
  • Sociology of Consumer Culture (Module Co-ordinator)
  • Social Construction of Everyday Life

PhD Supervision

I am keen to supervise students in any area of my research interests, particularly peace processes and transitions, post-conflict societies, development and environment and society.

Academic Background

  • BA Hons
  • MRes (Master in Social Research)
  • PhD in Sociology (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Natascha is a political sociologist. Her research utilises qualitative methods to examine issues around peace and conflict, development, gender, transitional justice and the environment, particularly in South Africa and in Kenya.

Natascha's edited monograph (with Sandra Rios, 2018, Routledge) Time and temporality in transitional and post-conflict societies examines how time is experienced, constructed and used in transitional and post-conflict societies. Presenting empirical and often ethnographic research from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cambodia, Mozambique, Palestine/Israel, Rwanda and South Africa, contributors use a temporal lens to investigate key issues including: transitional justice institutions, peace processes, victimhood, perpetrators, accountability, reparations, forgiveness, reconciliation and memoralisation. The book can be ordered here:

Before joining RGU, Natascha was a Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen (2010-2014), with responsibility for the South African project in the Leverhulme Trust-funded multi-national 'Compromise after Conflict' research programme. The findings from this research have been published in The Sociology of Everyday Life Peacebuilding (2018):

Please get in touch if you would like a copy of any of Natascha's papers, or visit her ResearchGate page:

Research Interests

Areas of research interest and activity are:

  1. Peace and conflict: the intersections of conflict and development; time and temporalities in transitional and post-conflict societies; gender and peacebuilding; environmental peacebuilding
  2. Transitional justice, particularly focusing on gender, development and inequalities.
  3. Development governance: the role of NGOs in development and in civil society; monitoring and evaluation/audit culture in development; governmentality approaches to the study of development
  4. Time: The sociology of time, temporal domination and socio-temporal marginalisation
  5. Environmental change and sustainability: gender and climate change adaptation; sustainable livelihoods; environment and violence; environmental peacebuilding.

All of her research utilises qualitative methodologies to understand how people, often from marginalised communities, that are directly affected by issues such as conflict, development, environmental change or transitional justice experience and negotiate these issues.

Natascha is currently involved in research on the social and gender impacts of climate change in vulnerable coastal communities in Vietnam.

Natascha's recent research, for which she has been awarded funding from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, explored women's demands for sustainable peace and their experiences of peacebuilding in violence-affected communities in Kenya.


Grants and Awards

  • Lead Academic Supervisor, Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Robert Gordon University and Petrofac, 2017-2019, £147,275 (Innovate UK)
  • Principal Investigator, 'From transition to transformation? A victim centred study of women's demands for sustainable peace', 2016-2017, £5,901 (Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland)
  • ESRC 1+3 Scholarship, 2005-2010 (Economic and Social Research Council)
  • Co-Investigator for two projects examining social dimensions of climate change adaptation in Vietnam; Principal Investigators: Dr Leslie Mabon, RGU and Dr Nguyen Song Tung, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (British Academy; Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund)

Professional Memberships

Membership in Professional Associations

  • Higher Education Academy
  • Development Studies Association
  • British Sociological Association
  • European Sociological Association

External / Professional Roles


Natascha is a member of the editorial board for Time & Society. 

She has reviewed for Development and Change, Environmental Development, Security Dialogue, Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Journal of Transitional Justice, Time & Society, Gender, Place and Culture, Sociological Forum, and others; as well as reviewing proposals for DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Palgrave Macmillan, Sage and Cambridge Scholar Press.



Mueller-Hirth, N., & Oyola, S. R. (Eds.). (2018). Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies. Series: Routledge Advances in Sociology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Brewer, J. D., Hayes, B. C., Teeney, F., Dudgeon, K., Mueller-Hirth, N., & Wijesinghe, S. L. (2018). The Sociology of Everyday Life Peacebuilding. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Journal Articles

Yuill, C., Mueller-Hirth, N., Song Tung, N., Thi Kim Dung, N., Tram, P. T., & Mabon, L. (2019). Landscape and well-being: A conceptual framework and an example. Health23(2), 122-138.

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2018) Women’s experiences of peacebuilding in violence-affected communities in Kenya, Third World Quarterly. doi: 10.1080/01436597.2018.1509701

Mabon L, Nguyen Song Tung, Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Pham Thi Tram, Cao Thi Thanh Nga, Le Thu Quynh, Dang Thanh Trung, Nguyen Thi Huyen Thu, Nguyen Thi Bich Nguyet, Le Hong Ngoc, Tran Thi Tuyet, Bui Thi Cam Tu, Tran Ngoc Anh, Mueller-Hirth N and Yuill C (2018) ‘Bringing social and cultural considerations into environmental management for vulnerable coastal communities: responses to environmental change in Xuan Thuy National Park, Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam’. Ocean and Coastal Management V158, p32-44.

Yuill, C., & Mueller-Hirth, N. (2018). Paperwork, compassion and temporal conflicts in British social work. Time &

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2017) Temporalities of victimhood: Time in the Study of Postconflict Societies’. Sociological Forum. 32(1):186-206.

Brewer, J., Hayes, B., Dudgeon, K., Mueller-Hirth, N., Teeney, F. & Wijesinghe, S. (2017) ‘Victims as moral beacons of humanitarianism in post-conflict societies’. International Social Science Journal


Mueller-Hirth, N. (2012) 'If You Don't Count You Don't Count: Monitoring & Evaluation in South African NGOs'. Development and Change, 43 (3), 649-670.

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2009) ‘South African NGOs and the public sphere: between popular movements and partnerships for development’. Social Dynamics, 35 (2), 423-435.

Book Chapters

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2019) ‘Walking the tightrope’: South African NGOs and the governance of community development. In N. McCrea and F. Finnegan (eds) Funding, Power and Community Development. University of Bristol: Policy Press

Mueller-Hirth, N. & Rios Oyola, S. (2018) Introduction: Temporal perspectives on transitional and post-conflict societies. In: Mueller-Hirth & Rios, eds. Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2018) Forgiveness and the practice of compromise in post-apartheid South Africa. In J. Brewer, B. Hayes and F. Teeney (eds), The Sociology of Compromise. Palgrave Macmillan.

Mueller-Hirth, Natascha. (2018) Still waiting: victim policies, social change and fixed liminality. In: Mueller-Hirth & Rios, eds. Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Mueller-Hirth, Natascha & Rios Oyola, Sandra. (2018) Conclusion: Defusing time bombs: towards an understanding of time and temporality in peacebuilding. In: Mueller-Hirth & Rios, eds. Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2017) ‘Business and social peace processes’. In S. Idowu & S. Vertigans (eds), Corporate Social Responsibility: Academic Insights and Impacts. Springer International.

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2016) 'Corporate Social Responsibility and development in South Africa: socio-economic contexts and contemporary issues'. In S. Vertigans, S.O. Idowu & R. Schmidpeter (eds), Corporate Social Responsibility in Sub-Saharan Africa. Springer International.

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2013) 'Racial Formations: South Africa'. In A. Doolin (ed.) Encyclopedia of Race & Racism 2nd edition, Macmillan & Co.

Mueller-Hirth, N. (2010) 'South African NGOs and the public sphere: Between popular movements and partnerships for development'. in A Fowler & CW Malunga (eds), NGO Management: the Earthscan companion. Routledge, London.