• Universitetsvej 1, 14.2

    DK-4000 Roskilde


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Personal profile


Current and Past Research

CASH-IN: privately managed cash-transfers in Africa

The overall objective of CASH-IN of this five-year research programme is to investigate whether and to what extent privately managed cash transfers (PrivCTs) are politicized by ruling elites and how this affects inclusive sustainable growth and state-society relations. Cash transfers have become an increasingly popular way of providing international development and humanitarian assistance. Giving money to people in need is not new, but over the last two decades direct cash transfers have emerged as a key aid modality bridging the development–humanitarian nexus. Cash transfers may be funded by private donors, governments or as part of international aid. While publicly managed social-protection and cash-transfer programmes have been extensively scrutinized, hardly any studies exist of privately managed programmes.


HIERARCHIES of Rights: land and Investment in Africa

The main aim of this research programme is to analyse how struggles related to large-scale investments into natural resources affect rights to land in Sub-Saharan Africa. This research programme tests the overall working hypothesis that in developing market economies in Sub-Saharan Africa hierarchies of rights become established that structure how struggles related to large-scale investments are played out. The programme explores this in relation to major investments in gas/oil; minerals; and agriculture. The programme runs from 2015-2018.

Elites, Production and Poverty

This 4 year comparative study was initiated in 2008. It is a political economy study of the implementation of productive sector initiatives in five countries (Mozambique, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Bangladesh) and has as its main objective to contribute to the theoretical and empirical understanding of the conditions under which ruling elite coalitions support for productive initiatives in poor countries occurs. The specific objective is to understand how and why elite coalitions support, oppose, or ignore the implementation of productive sector initiatives with a poverty reduction edge – or is excluded from influencing them.

Markets for Peace? Informal economic networks and political agency

This is an interdisciplinary research network which was initiated in 2007 based on research fund­ing from The Danish Research Agency/ FSE. The overall objective of the research network is to gain a better understanding of the role and significance of informal economic activities on political processes.

Post-conflict state and extra-state forms of justice enforcement

The project emanates from my post-doctoral research project (2001-03) and has been continued until 2007. The study focused on the dynamics of post-con­flict state formation in the justice sector and explored attempts to integrate extra-state forms of justice enforcement under the sovereign control of the state in South Africa. A book titled “Patha-Patha: sovereign violence and vigilantism in the new South Africa” is presently in the process of being prepared.

Truth and Reconciliation technologies

This was the basis of my doctoral research (1997–2000) and was continued up until 2004. The study explored the technologies used to objectify and document human rights violations, the hist­or­ical truth constructed in order to create a foundation for a common future, and the compens­ation claimed for those classified as victims.


Cell: +45 29253335

Skype: lars.buur



Twenty-four years’ research experience, through grants and assignments at research insti­tu­tions. Additional experience includes research managing research programmes and research networks, commissioned research and consultancies, and public education at institutions of higher learning.


Geographic Specialisation

Southern and Eastern Africa with focus on Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa.

Thematic Research Specialisation

The Political Economy of Extractive Natural Resource Governance

The Political Economy of the New Poverty Agenda: Elites, Production and Poverty

Long termed project Post-conflict state formation and sovereignty in Southern Africa

Nation-state formation and truth and reconciliation technologies


Employment Record

2014/      Associate Professor, Roskilde University.

2013/04  Assistant Professor, Roskilde University.

2005/14  Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies.

2003/05  Programme Coordinator, Nordic Africa Institute Uppsala, Sweden.

2001/03  Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Development Research.

1997/00  PhD Researcher, Aarhus University, Denmark.


Leadership Experience

  • Programme Coordinator. HIERARCHIES of Rights: Land and Investments in Africa, FFU. (2015-2020)
  • Grant committee, CISU, Civil Society in Development (2018-)
  • Coordinator, Nordic Research network on Economic Nationalism, NOS-2017-2019. (SEK 445.050)
  • Member of Research Committee Roskilde University (2016-)
  • Members of External Relations Committe Roskilde university (2018-)
  • Team Leader, Oil Governance in Mozambique, ESID, Manchester University (2018-2019) (£39.999)
  • Team Leader, Political economy of social protection, World Bank and ESID, Manchester University (2016-2018) ($30.000)
  • Vice-chair, Censor panel, Center for Africa Studies, Copenhagen University (2014-2018)
  • Member of the consortium: Elites, Production and Poverty, FFU (2008-2012) (10 million DKK)
  • Team Leader, RECOM study Extractive Natural Resource Development: Governance, Linkages and Aid. (Danida, Sida and UNU-WIDER) (2013)
  • Member of Expert Panel, FRISAM, Social Science Research Council, Norway (2012-2013)
  • Member of Research Board, Danish Institute for International Studies (2012-2013)
  • Network coordinator, FSE sponsored research network DIIS, Copenhagen (2007-2009)
  • Board member, Danish Institute for International Studies (2006-2009)
  • Shop steward, DIIS, Copenhagen (2005-2011)
  • Programme Coordinator, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala (2003-2005)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Publication network

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or