Image of Esther MarijnenDr Esther Marijnen

Max Batley Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Details:
Telephone: 0114 222 6280
Room: Elmfield Lodge
Twitter: @EstherMarijnen


Dr. Esther Marijnen joined the department in February 2017 as a Max Batley Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sheffield Insitute for International Development (SIID). Esther is working with Professor Dan Brockington (Director of the SIID) and Professor Rosaleen Duffy (Politics). Esther's research explores the intersection of conflict studies and political ecology, analysing various environmental issues and interventions in conflict areas, with a specific focus on Central Africa.

Esther has a doctorate in Political Science from the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) for which she analysed the multi-scalar politics of conservation and conflict in and around the Virunga National Park, in the east of the DR Congo. Previously she studied Conflict studies and Human Rights at Utrecht University (the Netherlands). Parts of Esther’s PhD research have been published in a.o. the Journal of Peasant Studies, Geoforum, and Third World Quarterly.

Professional Services

Esther advises the Vrije University (VU) of Amsterdam on the 1,28 million Euro project “Natural Resource Management and Conflict Resolution for Stability and Inclusive Growth in the Greater Virunga Region”,

Esther has been asked various times to comment on the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Virunga National Park for the Dutch public radio, Radio 1.


During her Max Batley postdoctoral fellowship Esther will focus on how and when ecologicial distribution conflicts intersect, and merge with wider dynamics of violent conflict. Morover, she will critically analyse various environmental governance initatives that aim to contribute to ‘Environmental Peacebuilding’ within these protracted conflict areas (with a specific focus on Central Africa). To do so, Esther will conduct extensive field research.

Publications and Papers

Peer reviewed journal articles

Marijnen, E. (2018) ‘Public Authority and Conservation in Areas of Armed Conflict: Virunga National Park as a ‘State within a State’ in Eastern Congo’, Development and Change, online advanced publication,

Marijnen, E. (2017) 'The ‘green militarisation’ of development aid: the European Commission and the Virunga National Park, DR Congo’, Third World Quarterly, online advanced publication.

Marijnen, E. and Verweijen J. (2016) “Selling green militarization: The discursive (re)production of militarized conservation in the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Geoforum, Vol. 75, p. 274–285.

Verweijen, J. and Marijnen E. (2016) “(Re)producing ‘green militarisation’: the merging of counterinsurgency and conservation in a protected area in eastern DR Congo”, The Journal of Peasant Studies, online advanced publication, DOI:10.1080/03066150.2016.1203307.

Ansoms, A., Marijnen, E., Cioffo, G. D. and Murison, J. (2016) “Statistics versus livelihoods: Questioning Rwanda’s pathway out of poverty”. Review of African Political Economy, online advanced publication, DOI:10.1080/03066150.2016.1203307

Marijnen, E. (forthcoming) “The ‘green militarisation’ of development aid: The European Commission and the Virunga National Park”, Third World Quarterly

Articles, Essays & Reviews

Eriksson Baaz, M., Gondola, D. Marijnen, E., Verweijen, J., Vikanza, P. K., Vlassenroot, K., Carayannis, T., Dunn, K., Fairhead, J., Hochleithner, S., Mvano, C., Mwamba, E., Muhire, B. (2015) ‘Virunga’s white savior complex: how the film distorts the politics and people of Congo’. Foreign Affairs, March.

Marijnen, E., Muhire, B., Verweijen, J. (2015) “Trouble in Virunga: the challenges of conservation amidst conflict, violence and poverty”, blog of the Congo Research Group, New York University.

Peer reviewed chapters in edited volumes

Marijnen, E. (2015) ‘Dealing with dissent across borders: the ‘presence’ of the Rwandan Government in the Rwandan Diaspora(s)’, L'Afrique des Grands Lacs: Annuaire 2014-2015, p. 287-305 (based on my MA thesis)

Marijnen, E. (2014) “Responsibility without Coherence? The Responsibility to Rebuild and Protect in the DR Congo”, in Daniel Fiott and Joachim Koops (eds.), The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar: Legitimacy and Operationalization, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mattelaer, A. and Marijnen E. (2014) “EU Peacekeeping in Africa; Towards an indirect approach”, in T. Tardy & M. Wyss (eds) Peacekeeping in Africa, the evolving security architecture, London: Routledge, pp. 54-72.

Marijnen, E. and van der Lijn J. (2012) “Rwanda 2025: Scenario for the Future Political Stability of Rwanda”, in M. Campioni and P. Noack (Ed) Rwanda Fast Forward: Social, Economic, Military and Reconciliation Prospects, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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