GSDEC Members

The Global South Dialogue on Economic Crimes Network seeks to advance dialogue, research, and capacity on economic and financial crimes

deretha bester

PHD Candidate


Born into South Africa’s first free-born generation amid its peaceful transition to democracy, my upbringing unfolded against a tapestry of transformation and complex socio-political intricacies. The troubled history and persistent conflict in my continent ignited an analytical curiosity in me to understand, decipher, analyse, and scrutinize the world’s multifaceted conflicts. This investigative impulse dovetailed with an unwavering commitment to academic rigor, collectively shaped the contours of my intellectual odyssey. Captivated by the world’s paradoxical nature – replete with joy, hope, and beauty, yet marred by suffering – I felt an irresistible pull to explore and comprehend its variegated conflictual landscapes. This quest first led me to earn a BA in International Studies in South Africa. My academic journey then transported me to Europe’s core—the Czech Republic— where I attained a Master’s in Conflict and Democracy Studies. I am currently augmenting my academic repertoire and extending my intellectual horizons by pursuing a PhD in Security and Strategic Studies. My global academic and professional sojourns – spanning Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East – have served as both forge and fuel for my expertise. These experiences have endowed me with a nuanced, multi-regional perspective, vital to my specialized interests in political violence, jihadism, conflict risk assessment, shifting political dynamics, and African conflict studies. Through an array of educational experiences, I’ve refined the skills requisite for high-impact research, deepening my understanding of the intricate political and security challenges that mark our contemporary landscape. By synergizing my experiential learning with my scholarly pursuits, I aim to contribute meaningfully to the discourse that grapples with the labyrinthine complexities of security and conflict defining our age.


Masaryk University, Czech Republic