• Reflections on humanitarian intervention

    After participating in the summer school for comparative conflict studies in Belgrade, I can conclude that this summer is off to a great start. I participated in the track ‘from intervention to non-intervention: the triumph of state sovereignty over human rights?’ led by dr. Maxine David from Leiden University. The course addressed four core themes in the study of humanitarian intervention (sovereignty, legitimacy, legality, human rights) through a comparative case study of Bosnia, Kosovo, Darfur, and Syria. For me, the program was relevant, intense, highly valuable, and David is an inspiring lecturer who pushes you to think beyond your preconceptions and disciplinary training.  I can highly recommend anybody who is interested in learning more about the history of contemporary conflict and humanitarian intervention, the Balkans, or transnational justice to go next year. In this post I will share with you some of my reflections and insights from the course.

  • Second selfie-treasure hunt with refugees in Utrecht

    Great success! Two weeks ago we played the selfie-treasure hunt with refugees from the Utrecht refugee center to have them playfully explore the city. The selfie-treasure hunt is developed by me and my fellow PhD candidate Sjors Martens, and research master students Nico Lopez Coombs and Arash Ghajarjazi. The main objective of the game was to create a safe and playful way for this vulnerable group to explore the city. This is the second time we’ve played it.

  • Doing a selfie treasure hunt with refugees

    Over the course of a couple of weeks, me and my game colleagues at Utrecht University developed a semi-analog location-based game for the refugees in Utrecht. The game is a selfie treasure hunt, and uses play as a way to turn the space of Utrecht into a more familiar place. The play test exceeded our expectation and as it turns out, the selfie is a universal phenomenon.

  • Theories of Violent Conflict Part 1: Rationalism and Greed

    This is the first post of the series ‘theories of violent conflict’, where I will engage with theories and perspectives in conflict and peace research. In this post I aim to highlight two things: first and foremost, I will explain a dominant view on studying contemporary conflict: rational choice theory and the ‘greed theory of war’ (Collier 2003). This theory assumes that people will conduct in civil war if the perceived costs outweigh the benefits. Second, I will contextualize this theory in relation to the politics of portrayal.