Skip to main content

Robert Muggah

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Cities

Issue Expertise
Social Media
Robert Muggah headshot

About Robert Muggah

Robert Muggah is a specialist in cities, security, migration, and new technologies. He cofounded the Igarapé Institute—an independent think and do tank devoted to data-driven safety and justice across Latin America and Africa, where he is currently the director of research. He also cofounded the SecDev Foundation and Group—organizations committed to cybersecurity, urban safety, and the digital economy, especially in the Middle East and Eurasia, and South Asia regions. As a consultant, he regularly works with governments, the UN, World Bank, and firms ranging from Google to McKinsey. The award-winning interactive data visualizations he's designed track the global arms trade, homicidal violence, fragile cities, and climate change; and he's also developed open source body cameras for police accountability and predictive crime dashboards.

In addition to serving as a nonresident senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Muggah is a fellow or faculty at Singularity University, the University of Oxford, the University of San Diego, the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, the University of British Columbia, and the Graduate Institute Switzerland. He is the cofounder and executive editor of Stability, an international journal covering security and development, and is on the editorial boards of several academic journals. Between 2012 and 2013 he was an adviser to the High Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda and in 2016 he was nominated by the UN secretary general to serve on an expert panel for Youth, Peace, and Security.

Previously, Muggah was research director at the Small Arms Survey (2000-2011), a lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and an adviser to a number of multilateral and bilateral organizations on issues of arms control, security sector reform, humanitarian issues, and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. He has led research and evaluations in over 50 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, and South Asia and the South Pacific. Included in the list of chapters he's overseen are international publications such as UN Human Development Reports, the World Bank's Development Report, the World Economic Forum's Global Risk reports, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's reports on armed violence, and others.

Muggah has published seven books and hundreds of policy and peer-reviewed articles. His latest volumes include Open Empowerment (Ottawa: IDRC, 2016), Stability Operations, Security and Development (New York: Routledge, 2013) and coeditor of the Global Burden of Armed Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011 and 2008). He is also the author of Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dealing with Fighters in the Aftermath of War (New York: Routledge, 2009), Relocation Failures in Sri Lanka: A Short History of Internal Displacement (London: Zed Books, 2008), and No Refuge: The Crisis of Refugee Militarization in Africa (London: Zed Books 2006), and several editions of the Small Arms Survey (Cambridge University Press) since 2001.

Muggah's research is featured regularly in the international media, including The Atlantic, BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Economist, El Pais, FastCompany, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Guardian, o Globo, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and Wired. He is a regular speaker at Global Smart City Expo, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, World Economic Forum (Davos), and TED in 2015, 2016, and 2017. He's a member of several international networks, including the World Economic Forum's Council on Cities and Urbanization (fellow), Global Parliament of Mayors (cochair of the advisory group), Know Violence in Childhood (cochair), the Transnational Organized Crime Initiative (fellow), the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (fellow), the RESOLVE network (board of directors) and others. Muggah received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and his MPhil from the University of Sussex.

Latest Commentary & Analysis

Latest Research