I am a criminologist and human rights scholar.
I obtained an MA and PhD from the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, and a BA in criminology and MPhil in sociology from the University of Oslo, Norway. I also earned a BA (Hons.) in Sociology with Psychology from the University of Ghana, Legon-Accra.
My research interests are in the areas of youth justice, children’s rights with focus on female ritual servitude (trokosi), truth and reconciliation commissions and International Service Learning (ISL).
When I was an undergraduate sociology student, I grappled with questions about the purpose and value of academic studies as posed by Robert Lynd’s (1939) book: “Knowledge for what?” Having seen and experienced so many social problems while growing up in my country of birth, Ghana, and having realized that very little was accomplished from our leaders’ efforts to address these problems, I questioned myself about the purpose of pursuing university education generally, and especially sociology. I came to the conclusion that scholars have a responsibility to help ameliorate the social crises their countries face, and I saw myself as having a role in this regard.
This introspection as a young man shaped my scholarly orientation and informs my current research and teaching interests in four main areas:
OTHER RESEARCH IN PROGRESS
2019-2023: Andrew Robinson and Robert Ame (co-investigator). "Assessing the Impact of Laurier's Ghana Summer Internships on Internationalization@Home"
2021-2023: Andrew Robinson and Robert Ame (co-investigator). "Long-Term Internationalization, Community Engagement, and Employment Survey"
2021-2022: Oliver Masakure (PI), Stacey Wilson-Forsberg (Co-Investigator), Akbar M. Saeed (Collaborator), Ginette Lafreniere (Collaborator), M. Raymond Izarali (Collaborator), and Robert Ame (Collaborator). “The Role of African Ethnic Associations in Preparing their Youth for the Future”
2018-2022: Robert Ame (PI). “The Perception of the Juvenile Courts in Ghana of Juvenile Offenders”
I welcome graduate student supervision in the areas of youth justice, children’s rights, female ritual servitude, truth and reconciliation commissions, and international service learning.
For more than a decade, I have assisted students interested in doing international internships with placements in Ghana and Canada. The Laurier-Ghana Partnership is bi-directional and fully funded. Interested students should contact me or Laurier International.
Afua Twum-Danso and Robert Ame (Eds.). (2012). Childhoods at the Intersection of the Local and the Global. London: Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.
Robert Ame, DeBrenna Agbenyiga, and Nana Apt (Eds.). (2011). Children’s Rights in Ghana: Reality or Rhetoric? Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. (A paperback edition was published by Mot Juste Limited (London, UK) solely for the Ghana market in 2012.)
PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
Robert Ame, Lilian Ayete-Nyampong, & Dzifa Ami Gakpleazi. (2020). ‘There’s no functioning child panel in this region’: an assessment of child panels in Ghana’s juvenile justice system. Contemporary Justice Review, 23(4), 373-400. https://doi.org/10.1080/10282580.2020.1719362
Robert Ame, Lilian Ayete-Nyampong, & Dzifa Ami Gakpleazi. (2020). Ghana’s juvenile justice system: assessment of selected formal juvenile justice institutions and agencies. Ghana Social Science Journal, 17(2), 41-64.
Robert Ame. (2019). Towards a relevant and sustainable juvenile justice system in Ghana, Journal of Global Ethics, 15(3), 250-269. Special Issue on Global Justice and Childhood. DOI: 10.1080/17449626.2019.1690550
Robert Ame. (2018). The origins of the contemporary juvenile justice system in Ghana. Journal of Family History, 43(4), 394-408. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363199018798099
Robert Ame. (2017). The juvenile justice system in Ghana: an overview. Ghana Social Science Journal, 14(1), 1-30.
Robert Ame and Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy. (2016). Mental health law in Ghana: the rights of children with mental disorders, Social Development Issues, 8(1), 1-14.
Seidu M. Alidu & Robert Ame. (2012). Civil society activism and the Ghanaian National Reconciliation Commission: the case of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). Transitional Justice Review, 1(1), pp. 103-135.
Ken Ahorsu and Robert Ame. (2011). Mediation with a traditional flavour: managing traditional chieftaincy and communal conflicts in Ghana. African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review, 1:2, 6-33.
Robert Ame. (2011). The rights of children in conflict with the law in Ghana. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 19, 271-293. https://brill.com/view/journals/chil/19/2/article-p271_8.xml?language=en
Robert Ame and Seidu M. Alidu. (2010). Truth and reconciliation commissions, restorative justice, peacemaking criminology and development. Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society, 23(3), 253-268.
Robert Ameh.* (2006). Doing justice after conflict: the case for Ghana’s National Reconciliation Commission. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 21(1), 85-109. Special Issue on Exceptions, Excuses, Norm(e)s. Doi:10.1353/jls.2006.0030
Robert Ameh. (2006). Uncovering truth: Ghana’s National Reconciliation Commission excavation of past human rights abuses. Contemporary Justice Review 9(4), 345-368.
Robert Ameh. (2004). Reconciling human rights and traditional practices: the anti-trokosi campaign in Ghana. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 19(2), 51-72. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0829320100008139
Robert Ame. (2013). Traditional religion, social structure, and children’s rights in Ghana: the making of a trokosi girl. In Deborah Johnson, DeBrenna Agbenyiga, & Robert Hitchcock (Eds.) Vulnerable Children: Global Challenges in Education, Health, Well-Being, and Child Rights, (pp. 239-255). Springer Publishing Company.
Robert Ame. (2011). Children’s rights, controversial traditional practices, and the trokosi system: a critical socio-legal perspective. In Robert Ame, DeBrenna Agbenyiga, and Nana Apt (Eds.) Children’s Rights in Ghana: Reality or Rhetoric?, (pp.129-148). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Robert Ameh.* (2004). Human rights, gender, and traditional practices: the case of trokosi practice in West Africa. In Anita Kalunta-Crumpton and Biko Agozino (Eds.) Pan-African Issues in Crime and Justice, (pp. 23-39). Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Press.
* My surname was changed with the Registrar General of Ontario in 2008. Hence, my works prior to 2008 bear the surname “Ameh,” while those after 2008 bear the surname “Ame.”