I am the manager of the Quality Assessment and Learning Centre, hosted by the Bioforce Institute in Lyon, France. I am also a visiting professor at the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO), Guadalajara, Mexico; at the Institut Supérieur des Techniques de Développement, Kalehe, République Démocratique du Congo; and the University of Duhok, Iraq.
My original academic specializations have been twofold, first, critical terrorism studies from a peace studies perspective, focusing on the role of humiliation in relation to the emergence of insurgencies, mostly in a Middle Eastern context, and second, post-liberal peace studies, from a decolonial perspective. I am now focusing my research on diverse aspects of human security.
I am currently on a break from full-time academia and focusing on quality learning and assessment of competencies for professionals in the humanitarian and development sectors. I am still engaging in selected academic activities within the fields of peace education, peace research, critical terrorism studies and peace journalism. After conducting research in more than 15 countries on all continents (Burma, Colombia, DR Congo, Kashmir, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, etc), I am currently focusing on the professionalization of the humanitarian sector within a localization agenda.
Decolonizing peace, offers a vivid critique of what I refer to as the “peace industry” and the neo-colonial Northern addiction to helping, hence infantilizing, the Global South. The book looks at social complex adaptive systems for peace which do not rely on Northern funds, or well-meaning peace missionaries. I uses chaos theory, cybernetics and panarchy as post-Cartesian lenses to analyse the sustainablity and resilience of local peace initiatives.
“Victoria Fontan is an emissary of the peace to come, and her work is one of the most meaningful contributions to peace studies I know of. If you haven’t been lucky enough to be her student, you have the chance now to read this book. I wish every peaceworker the opportunity to nourish their work, and improve our world, by reading it.” –Oliver Rizzi Carlson – Newsletter Editor, Global Campaign for Peace Education, USA
“This is a thought provoking study, which through a blend of theory, activism, and detailed empiricism, exposes a paradox at the heart of peace thinking: the tension between colonial and universalist epistemology and liberation or self determination. It is a much needed contribution.” –Prof. Oliver Richmond– University of Manchester, UK
“A key book to rethink the peacebuilding sector and its risk to be part of neo-colonial policies. A milestone for scholars and practitioners in the field.” – Dr. Bernardo Venturi – University of Bologna, Italy