My research broadly tackles the challenges of diverse societies: How can trust be built between institutions and the diverse ethnic groups they serve?
Specifically I investigate the trust relations between the police and local communities, since more than any other institution the police represent the state, while simultaneously being active in the local communities. My work asks questions such as, how can trust be built between adversarial groups? How does the trust relation between Black and White into the police differ from each other? How do the expectations of Black communities in the police differ from White communities? Do individuals with a higher acceptance of hierarchy also display a higher trust into the police, as a state institution?
Identifying similarities and differences will help us understand how trust is shaped and how to build strong relations between the communities and their police forces.
In a related line of research, I focus on the preparation of conflict interventions, in particular, conflict mediation. I have worked as a trainer and facilitator in numerous training and conflict settings, and is also is part of an international conflict facilitation team that works with municipal delegates from countries with ethnic conflict such as Cyprus, Israel, Ireland, Iraq, and Kosovo.
I received my PhD from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in July 2012.