Roddy Brett is Lecturer in the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. His research focuses on the role of civil resistance in peacebuilding and democratisation in Latin America, indigenous peoples, genocide and mass atrocities and human rights issues..
He is a former advisor to the UN System in Colombia (United Nations Development Programme) and Guatemala (United Nations Development Programme, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) on indigenous peoples and human rights. Professor Brett also served as Advisor on Indigenous Affairs to the Norwegian Embassy in Guatemala, where he lived for eight years.
His professional career combines nineteen years of academic research/teaching in political science that has focused on a variety of themes including democratisation, genocide studies, political violence, social movements, human rights and indigenous issues. He lived in Guatemala for eight years and Colombia for three years. He was Political Coordinator of the trial for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity against Guatemala's former military high commands on the 1970s and 1980s, as well as researcher in a range of human rights organisations in the region.
In 2002, Brett received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of London, and previously studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Kent in the UK. He is the author and editor of eight major books, including Social Movements, Indigenous Politics and Democratization in Guatemala, 1985-1996 (Brill Academic Publishers, 2008). He has recently moved back to the UK after over a decade in Latin America. He continues to advise the United Nations and human rights organisations in the region.
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