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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Sublime N. Mabiala

Sublime N. Mabiala
Sublime N. Mabiala
International Development School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
+44(0)7428 982556
Research Interests
Religion and Politics, African Christianity and Ethics, Theo-Political Anthropology, Epistemology of Hope, Post-Conflict Environment, Participatory Reconstruction, G/Localization, Diaspora and Transnationalism, North-South Partnership, Congolese Spiritualities, , the Democratic Republic of Congo

PhD Title

Religion, Political Participation and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the Democratic Republic of Congo

My Ph.D. investigates the political participation of religious institutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC). This country is respectively labeled as a post-conflict environment (PCE) and the Africa's largest Christian nation. This research examines why is the political participation of faith-based organizations important in the democratization, reconciliation, and state reconstruction processes. It covers the period from 1990 to 2019 and allows for a deeper analysis of the effectivity of the religious elite in the shaping of the country's politics.

My research seeks to trace the historico-political trajectories of two principal religious institutions, and to understand their rationale in the domains of human capital investment, public mobilization, protests, transnational lobbying, and elections. Through a diachronic, constructivist and qualitative approach, it collects the political discourses and practices of religious figures, and constructs their prospects related to the consolidation of democracy, peace and participatory development. This multidisciplinary research synergizes history, political theology and social anthropology of religion to contribute to the increasing debate on the place of religion in political science and development studies. it also questions how religion fits in the post-conflict reconstruction theory and praxis. 

Co-supervisors: Dr. Tom Boylston and Dr. Barbara Bompani