My dissertation investigates how the idea of peace is pursued in practice, and how peace itself – as idea and practice – is subject to change. Focusing on UN peace operations’ involvement in urban planning, I document how over time ideas about peace have evolved, just as the very practices of pursuing peace, the technologies, policies and knowledge, have changed. I am also involved in a variety of research projects exploring the role of climate change and disaster risk in conflict and peacebuilding efforts, with a special focus on urban areas and urbanization dynamics.

My research has been supported by the US Institute for Peace through the USIP-Minerva Peace and Security Scholarship, the MIT Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center, the MIT Center for International Studies, the MIT DUSP Rodwin Travel grant, the Harvard Center for African Studies, and the Harvard Program on Negotiation, among others.


Danielak, S. (2021). The Infastructure of Peace: Civil-Military Urban Planning in Mali. International Peacekeeping.

Danielak, S. (2020). Risk, vulnerability and pragmatic inevitability: The conflict-disaster nexus in urban governance in Johannesburg. Disasters.

Danielak, S. (2019). Conflict Urbanism: Reflections on the Role of Conflict and Peacebuilding in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg. Peacebuilding 8(4), 447-459. DOI: 10.1080/21647259.2019.1634867.

Danielak, S. (2019). Navigating Urban Encounters: An Infrastructural Perspective on Violence in Johannesburg’s Taxi Industry. [Special issue: The Spatiality of Post-War Violence] Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 4(2-3), 137-157.

Danielak, S. (2019). Einwanderungsland? Germany’s Asylum Dilemma in Policy and Design. Journal of International Migration and Integration 20(1): 1-13. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-018-0585-x.

Danielak, S. (2017). Wall of Projections, Openings of Imagination: Creating and Effacing Memory along the Cypriot Buffer Zone. OBL/QUE – Journal on Critical Conservation, Vol 2.

book chapters

Danielak, S. (2020). Navigating Urban Encounters: An Infrastructural Perspective on Violence in Johannesburg’s  Taxi Industry. In: E. Elfversson, I. Gusic, and K. Höglund, Spatiality of Violence in Post-War Cities, London; New York: Routledge.

Danielak, S. (2015). Border Management in post-crisis Mali. Challenges and Opportunities for Peacebuilding and Development. In: S. Brüne, H.-G. Ehrhart, H.-G. Justenhoven, Frankreich, Deutschland und die EU in Mali. Chancen, Risiken, Herausforderungen. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag.

Danielak, S. (March 2013). External Aid Incorporated? Infrastructures for Peace and the Challenge of Coordination in Kyrgyzstan. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series, No. 10, Berlin: Berghof Foundation.