Previously taught at CICAM

At Radboud University I taught various courses and supervised students of the Human Geography master program ‘Conflict Territories and Identities’.

Conflict and Governance in Africa (Bachelor elective course)
Africa is often portrayed as a continent of extremes: Some countries experience extremely rapid economic growth, benefiting of abundant resources, some see the rise of a middle class, while others encounter chronic political and economic crisis or plunge (back) into civil wars. Terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram and civil wars in the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan seem to confirm the idea that sub-Saharan Africa is plagued by violent conflict rooted in ancient tribal hatreds, manipulated by despotic leaders, spilling over uncontrollably from one failing state into the other. The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa demonstrated that also in more stable countries serious governance problems can easily arise.
By analyzing the history and characteristics of governance in sub-Saharan Africa, and by exploring how (violent) conflict plays a role in this, the course aims to move beyond stereotypes. We will investigate the vast grey area between the optimistic prospects for Africa’s rising economies and the dark images of a continent in poverty and conflict. The course aims to debate trends, conceptualizations and theories about governance and conflict in Africa, apply these to specific country cases, and reflect on framing in the media.

Contested Resources; Sustainable Peace (Bachelor elective course with Mathijs van Leeuwen)
Intuitively, many of us see a strong connection between natural resources, conflict and sustainable development. Popular as well as academic debates underscore the significance of those connections. Examples are the role of greed and illegal resource exploitation as a driver of conflicts in eastern DRC or Sierra Leone; the consequences of climate change for urban dwellers in South-East Asia living on slippery slopes; how land grabbing in the south is the result of the quest for land to assure food security or to produce bio-fuels to meet CO-2 reduction agreements.
This course starts from the notion that natural resources are essential to people’s livelihoods and may be a bone of fierce political contention. However, we should be wary of assuming straightforward relationships between resource scarcity or abundance and political conflict, human (in)security and sustainable development. This course provides an introduction to historical and current debates about the nature of different resources, the ways in which they are being governed, as well as the politics through which natural resources acquire such an important role in the economy and public imagination. All the more, the course emphasises the connections that link local challenges of natural resource access, use and competition to global economic trends, the management of global public goods, and global civic activism.

Terrorisme: Beeld en Werkelijkheid (Bachelor elective course, with Luuk Slooter) (Previously with Leon Wecke)
Dit inleidende vak heeft tot doel u kennis te laten maken met de complexe kwesties en beeldvorming rondom het containerbegrip ‘terrorisme’. Terrorisme is geen nieuw verschijnsel en toch heeft het thema aanzienlijk meer aandacht gekregen sinds de aanslagen op het World Trade Center in New York op 11 September 2001. Terrorisme wordt zelfs een van de belangrijkste bedreigingen voor de hedendaagse mensheid gezien. De recente aanslagen in Parijs hebben de discussies over het gevaar van terroristische dreiging, en de beste reactie daarop, weer flink doen oplaaien. Voor lokale, nationale en internationale beleidsmakers is ‘het’ terrorisme een belangrijk beleidsgegeven, een variabel, dat zich op diverse bestuurlijke gebieden doet gelden. Maar wat is terrorisme? Kan het betreffende verschijnsel wel eenduidig worden gedefinieerd? In deze collegereeks worden bestaande ideeën over beeld en werkelijkheid omtrent terrorisme ter discussie gesteld. Gedurende acht weken wordt er aandacht besteed aan de historische, internationale, beleidsmatige en juridische aspecten van het thema terrorisme.

Prepare your Master Thesis (Master Human Geography, with Joris Schapendonk)
The Preparing the Master Thesis course enables you to start reflecting on your research topic, the internship organization and the design of your final master thesis. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for the successful design of your research project and the completion of your master thesis. In particular, you will get acquainted with state-of-the-art debates in human geography and you will be able to position your own research in these debates. Also you are equipped with the tools to critically reflect on your conceptual framework, methodologies and methods for data collection.