The politics of belonging, social continuity and change, religion and ritual, border studies, conflict and integration
Liberia, Upper Guinea Coast, West Africa
Before coming to Halle, Maarten obtained an MA in African Studies from Ghent University (Belgium) with a research project on the reintegration of ex-combatants in post-war Liberia and an MPhil in African Studies from Leiden University (the Netherlands) for which he studied increasing mobility in relation to urbanization in Malawi. His current research project focuses on the persistence of local social institutions despite the upheaval caused by the civil war in Liberia (1989-2003). By developing a phenomenological approach to "traditional" idioms like landlord-stranger reciprocity and secrecy, Maarten analyzes their meaning as it emerges in a post-war environment.
Interview about the Ebola crisis in Liberia on the Dutch public radio programme ‘De Kennis van Nu’, NPO Wetenschap, Ntr.
“Een nieuw ‘Hart der Duisternis’? Over beeldvorming en ebola”, an analysis of media representations of the Ebola crisis, published on www.dewereldmorgen.be
“Hoe win je verkiezingen in Liberia? Een verslag van binnenuit”, an analysis of the 2011 Liberian presidential elections published on www.dewereldmorgen.be