Huma Saeed

Huma Saeed
Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC)
Herbert Hooverplein 9 - box 3418
3000 Leuven
Belgium

contact
Studies higher education Period Institute
PhD researcher 2012 - 2017 Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC), KU Leuven (Fully funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship-USA)
MSc Human Rights 2009 - 2010 London School of Economics and Political Science (Fully funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship- USA)
BA Political Science (major), Anthropology (minor) 2005 - 2009 University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Fully funded by the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program)
Career Period Institute
Affiliated Senior Researcher 05/2018 - ... Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC), KU Leuven
Independent Research Consultant 11/2017 - ...  
Human Rights and Justice Portfolio Manager 12/2011 - 12/2012 United National Development Program (UNDP), Kabul
National Advisor 03/2011 - 12/2011 National State Governance Project, Kabul
Project Manager 10/2010 - 03/2011 Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization, Kabul
Part-time Trainer/Consultant 04-08/2009 Institute for Cooperation and Development, Italy
Human Rights Advocacy 1996 - 2004 Afghanistan, Pakistan and Internationally
Research experience Period
Research project: Economic-State Crime and Transformative Justice in Afghanistan: An Analysis at the Intersection of Transitional Justice and Criminology 09/2012 - 09/2016
Part-time Research Assistant, LSE Global Governance, London 10/2009 - 01/2010
Part-time Research Assistant, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy) 04-07/2009
Forum functions
Sub-committee on Human Rights, European Parliament
Brussels Press Club
Afghanistan Public Policy and Research Organization
Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization
Relevant websites
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&reference=PE-576.827&format=PDF&language=EN&secondRef=01
https://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/documents/Conference2017/2017Speakers.pdf
http://www.justiceinfo.net/en/component/k2/32791-afghan-activists-urge-progress-in-icc-war-crimes-probe.html
http://www.lavanguardia.com/internacional/20100201/53880752649/huma-saeed-que-una-mujer-lleve-burka-no-significa-que-sea-una-victima.html

 

Publications

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  • Van Damme, Ellen; Saeed, Huma; Sheremeti, Furtuna; 2018. Qualitative data analysis with the QUAGOL: a practical and critical review of three criminological cases. Publisher: Institute for Social Drug Research (ISD), Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University
    LIRIAS2314618
    description
    It is not an ostentatious generalization to state that criminological studies have predominantly been quantitative in nature, particularly in certain regions such as the United States. Although in the last decade, many criminologists have employed qualitative methods, quantitative approaches still continue to be densely described in handbooks and journals. This claim can well be demonstrated through the fact that the first volume of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology was published in 1985, whereas it took almost another 30 years for the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology to publish its first volume in 2013. In an attempt to contribute to this growing interest in qualitative methodology in criminological sciences, we would like to reflect on a very valuable and practical, though hardly known, method referred to as the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL). As researchers of criminology, for our PhD projects we opted to employ a qualitative methodology. We each have conducted fieldwork in a different country (Afghanistan, Honduras and Kosovo), mainly engaging with the local population in an attempt to gauge their perceptions in the context of their day-to-day lives. Despite having full proficiency in the language and an in-depth knowledge of the respective countries in which we conducted our fieldworks, a common concern we all faced is related to the loss of the meaning of some aspect of our data during the analysis phase. Although originally designed in the field of nursing, we found out that the QUAGOL as a data analysis method could respond to our quests. With a strong emphasis on carrying out the analysis on paper (at least during its first stage), as opposed to an overemphasis on softwares such as Nvivo, we argue, and demonstrate this through our respective case studies, that the QUAGOL is the method that allows the researcher to stay very close to the data, without losing much of its essence. We will furthermore demonstrate the QUAGOL’s main advantages as regards to its application in criminological research as well as point out a few of its limitations.

    Published online
  • Van Damme, Ellen; Saeed, Huma; Sheremeti, Furtuna; 2018. Qualitative data analysis with the QUAGOL: a practical and critical review of three criminological cases.
    LIRIAS2314630
    description
    It is not an ostentatious generalization to state that criminological studies have predominantly been quantitative in nature, particularly in certain regions such as the United States. Although in the last decade, many criminologists have employed qualitative methods, quantitative approaches still continue to be densely described in handbooks and journals. This claim can well be demonstrated through the fact that the first volume of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology was published in 1985, whereas it took almost another 30 years for the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology to publish its first volume in 2013. In an attempt to contribute to this growing interest in qualitative methodology in criminological sciences, we would like to reflect on a very valuable and practical, though hardly known, method referred to as the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL). As researchers of criminology, for our PhD projects we opted to employ a qualitative methodology. We each have conducted fieldwork in a different country (Afghanistan, Honduras and Kosovo), mainly engaging with the local population in an attempt to gauge their perceptions in the context of their day-to-day lives. Despite having full proficiency in the language and an in-depth knowledge of the respective countries in which we conducted our fieldworks, a common concern we all faced is related to the loss of the meaning of some aspect of our data during the analysis phase. Although originally designed in the field of nursing, we found out that the QUAGOL as a data analysis method could respond to our quests. With a strong emphasis on carrying out the analysis on paper (at least during its first stage), as opposed to an overemphasis on softwares such as Nvivo, we argue, and demonstrate this through our respective case studies, that the QUAGOL is the method that allows the researcher to stay very close to the data, without losing much of its essence. We will furthermore demonstrate the QUAGOL’s main advantages as regards to its application in criminological research as well as point out a few of its limitations.

    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; 2017. Economic-State Crime and Transformative Justice in Afghanistan: An analysis at the Intersection of Transitional Justice and Criminology.
    LIRIAS1909985
    description
    In cases of protracted internal strife and armed conflict, when during several decades, political transitions and regime changes follow one another; standard approaches to transitional justice are bound to fail, theoretically and practically. Things may get even more intractable if the elite presiding over the new regime, installed and maintained into power by the might and resources of the ``international community,'' is among the worst perpetrators of abuses and continues to rule as kleptocrats. Afghanistan is one of these historical situations. In order to start answering the main theoretical and empirical questions about such intellectually demanding cases, this dissertation marshals and combines two fields: an alternative discourse on transitional justice and critical criminology. Looking through the prism of crime and justice, this doctoral dissertation offers an analysis of socio-economic harm during periods of violent conflict and transition combining empirical research and an interdisciplinary framework. The thesis discusses socio-economic harm as a form of state crime and economic crime from a critical criminological perspective. The dynamic questions arising from the political and institutional changes in periods of violent conflict, in particular in relation to war victims, are addressed adopting the concept of transformative justice, an emerging and alternative perspective in the field of transitional justice. Empirically grounded in fieldwork conducted in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2013 and 2014, the research presents perceptions of victims and local experts as regards to the harm borne by victims in relation to the loss of land and property during four decades of violent conflict in Afghanistan. Using a Case Study method, 56 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 102 participants, most of them displaced by war, returnees and victims of land grabs. Experts' views, such as those in civil society and public officials, served as an important conduit through which information could be confirmed or explanation could be sought, in particular in relation to land grab, which has become a defining feature of post-Taliban Afghanistan. Based on a thorough analysis of the theoretical and empirical components, the thesis offers and supports two main arguments. First, certain types of socio-economic harm, such as those borne by victims whose perceptions are reflected in this thesis, can amount to economic-state crime, a framework which this thesis has developed based on existing criminological typologies, to demonstrate the symbiotic relationship between economic crime and state crime in contexts of weak, failed and corrupt institutions where the ruling elite is a part and parcel in committing such crimes. This argument has particularly been demonstrated in relation to land grabbing. Second, in transitional contexts where, on the one hand, national and international political will does not allow the implementation of transitional justice, and on the other, a majority of victim population do not believe they can exercise their agency due to their nescience and dire socio-economic conditions, transformative justice can serve as a pre-condition for the implementation of transitional justice. The thesis concludes that transitional justice and critical criminology, contrary to their apparent disconnect, can mutually inform and reinforce each other. This, nevertheless, requires transitional justice scholars to look deeper into the criminological literature and expertise such as its methodologies, theories and concepts in relation to state crime and economic crime in particular. Likewise, critical criminologists need to come out of their ``comfort zone'' and use their critical lens in situations of violent conflict and post-conflict, beyond the established liberal democracies, to be able to engage more with the field of transitional justice.

    Published
  • media
    Saeed, Huma; 2017. Self-determining refugees: a story of empowerment. Publisher: KU Leuven Blogt
    LIRIAS1909972
    description
    Europe in the last years has seen a refugee exodus unprecedented after the II World War. While one rejoices when a refugee makes it to a safe heaven, the Eurocentric, liberal view presents ‘the refugee’ as a victim who can only find hope within the borders of Europe, the civilized world. This is fallacious in several ways. Firstly: the overwhelming majority of refugees are hosted in non-European countries. Secondly, it’s not only Western countries that can rebuild a refugee’s life. There are countless refugees rebuilding themselves and their communities, all over the world.

    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2017. The Taliban Shadow Justice: a challenge to the state or an opportunity to reinvent the judiciary?. Publisher: Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent
    LIRIAS1909978
    description


    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2017. Democratizing women's rights in Afghanistan through participatory theatre. Publisher: Leuven Institute of Criminology, University of Leuven
    LIRIAS1909977
    description


    Published
  • report
    Saeed, Huma; Parmentier, Stephan; 2017. When Rabbits are in Charge of Carrots…: Land grabbing, transitional justice and economic-state crime in Afghanistan. Publisher: State Crime: Journal of the International State Crime Initiative
    LIRIAS1909975
    description


    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; Parmentier, Stephan; 2017. When Rabbits are in Charge of Carrots…: Land grabbing, transitional justice and economic-state crime in Afghanistan. State Crime; 2017; Vol. 6; iss. 1; pp. 13 - 36
    LIRIAS1187294
    description

    Publisher: Pluto Journals
    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2016. Transitional Justice and Development: Friends or Foes?. Publisher: Metaforum
    LIRIAS1909836
    description


    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; Vandenhole, Wouter; 2016. Book Review: Taking economic, social and cultural rights seriously in international criminal law. Journal of Human Rights Review; 2016; Vol. 17; iss. 3; pp. 413 - 415 Publisher: Springer
    LIRIAS1909709
    description


    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2016. Afghanistan per dove. Publisher: Insieme si può
    LIRIAS1909857
    description


    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2016. Afghanistan per dove. Publisher: Insieme si può
    LIRIAS1909842
    description


    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; 2016. Victim and victimhood in Afghanistan. Oxford University Press Blog; 2016 Publisher: Oxford University Press
    LIRIAS1909710
    description


    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; 2016. Women's Rights Situation in Afghanistan. Publisher: European Parliament
    LIRIAS1909856
    description


    Published
  • media
    Saeed, Huma; 2016. Between research and activism: The role of organic intellectuals. Oxford University Press Blog; 2016 Publisher: Oxford University Press
    LIRIAS1909711
    description


    Published
  • chapter
    Parmentier, Stephan; Aciru, Monica; Saeed, Huma; Rauschenbach, Mina; 2016. Human Rights in Situations of Transitional Justice. The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights; 2016; pp. 235 - 246 Publisher: Routledge; Milton Park, Abingdon
    LIRIAS1485444
    description
    The last couple of decades have witnessed numerous situations of extreme violence: the killing fields in Cambodia, genocides in Guatemala and Rwanda, ethnic cleansings in the former Yugoslavia, ethnic-religious conflicts in East-Timor, Apartheid in South Africa, and successive civil wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is not to mention the ongoing war situations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. In some cases, political regime changes have taken place and new elites have replaced the old ones, while other conflicts leave little imagination to change. New elites and regimes all face the challenge of ‘transitional justice’, namely how to deal with the aftermath of serious human rights violations, international crimes and violent conflict. Transitional justice is understood to encompass four pillars: Criminal prosecutions; Truth commissions; Reparation programmes; and institutional reforms. In each of these, human rights play a crucial role. Our contribution will discuss the development of transitional justice as a notion and a practice, and sketch its relationship with human rights standards and norms. It will also explore the contribution of criminology to transitional justice. These issues will be illustrated with specific reference to violent conflicts in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan and the empirical work conducted in these situations.

    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; 2015. Victims and Victimhood: Individuals of Inaction or Active Agents of Change? Reflections on Fieldwork in Afghanistan. International Journal of Transitional Justice; 2015; Vol. 9; pp. 1 - 11
    LIRIAS1909590
    description
    The question of victims and victimhood is a rarely addressed dilemma in transitional justice (TJ) discourse and practice. It is a complex and subjective term whose meaning seems to lie in the eye of the beholder. The concept is further complicated in multi- layered political contexts that have had many regime changes. Given that the term is embedded in a country’s cultural, economic and social context, it is thus also political. The bigger question that arises then is whether to look at ‘victims’ and ‘victimhood’ as passive individuals or as active agents of change. This is arguably the quintessential question raised by a rights-based approach. Reflecting on my fieldwork in Kabul with war victims since 2008, I argue that this approach can play an important role in TJ dis- course and practice in relation to victims.

    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2015. Refugees Welcome (?): Citizens’ initiative and media response to the refugee crisis and conflict.
    LIRIAS1909848
    description


    Published
  • Saeed, Huma; 2015. Socio-economic Rights Violation as Economic Crime in a Transitional Justice Context.
    LIRIAS1909849
    description


    Published
  • presentation
    Saeed, Huma; 2015. Socio-economic rights violation as state crime? The case of land grabbing in Afghanistan.
    LIRIAS1909847
    description


    Published