Esther Marijnen

Dr. Esther Marijnen

Associate Researcher


Esther Marijnen recently succesfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled "Beyond Rebels and Gorillas: The multi-scalar politics of conservation and conflict in the Virunga National Park, DR Congo". For her PhD she conducted in total of 7 months of field research in north-Kivu. Results of her PhD research are published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, and Geoforum, and other articles are forthcomming.

Esther has been granted a Max Batley fellowship at the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) at the University of Sheffield (UK) where she will start as of February 2017. She will continue to conduct research on the relationship between environmental change and conflict dynamics, with a specific focus on ecological distribution conflicts.

Her research interests include the politics of development, conflict dynamics, Congo (DRC), Rwanda, political ecology, political anthropology, discourse analysis and critical theory.

You can follow Esther on Twitter @EstherMarijnen

Profile and Publications



  • MARIJNEN, Esther. 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. Link
  • MATTELAER, Alexander & MARIJNEN, Esther. 2014. EU Peacekeeping in Africa; Towards an indirect approach, in Tardy, Thierry & Marco Wyss (eds), Peacekeeping in Africa, the evolving security architecture, London: Routledge, p. 54-72 Link
  • Marijnen, Esther & van der Lijn, Jair (SIPRI). 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 Link
  • Grin, John (University of Amsterdam) & Marijnen, Esther. 2011. Global Threats, Global Changes and Connected Communities in the Agrofood system, In H. G. Brauch, U. O. Spring, C. Mes­jasz, J. Grin, P. Kameri-Mbote, B. Chourou, P. Dunay, J. Birkmann (Eds), Coping with Global Environmental Change, Disasters and Security – Threats, Challenges, Vulnerabilities and Risks. Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, vol. 5, Berlin – Heidelberg – New York : Springer-Verlag.

Conference Papers

  • MARIJNEN, Esther. 2015. Militarisation of nature conservation, daily practices and symbolic violence in the Virunga National Park, DR Congo, paper presented at the ECAS, Paris, June 2015
  • MARIJNEN, Esther. 2015. The transnationalisation and militarisation of nature conservation in conflict areas: making the Virunga National Park a 'state in a state' in the DR Congo?, presented at the AAG, Chicago, March 2015
  • MARIJNEN, Esther. 2014. "Beyond development for peace": the case of the European Commission ‘s support to the Virunga National Park in North Kivu DRC, paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Studies Assosiation (ISA), Toronto, March 2014
  • Marijnen, Esther. 2013. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) vis-à-vis Rwanda’s Sixth Province: the Rwandan Diaspora(s), paper presented at conference Rwanda Under the RPF: Assessing Twenty Years of Post-Conflict Governance, SOAS, London.

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • MARIJNEN, Esther and VERWEIJEN, Judith . 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, Judith and MARIJNEN, Esther. 2016. The counterinsurgency/conservation nexus: guerrilla livelihoods and the dynamics of conflict and violence in the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Journal of Peaant Studies, online advanced publication Link
  • MARIJNEN, Esther. 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.

Articles, Essays & Reviews

  • MARIJNEN, Esther. 2014. Het oosten van de Democratische Republiek Congo: een situatie van ‘geen oorlog, geen vrede’?, Internationale Spectator, Vol. 68, No. 11, p. 22-26 Link
  • Marijnen, Esther. 2010. Literature review ‘Mathijs van Leeuwen, Partners in Peace: Discourses and Practices of Civil-Society Peacebuilding, in Vrede en Veiligheid, Vol 39, No 4.
  • Marijnen, Esther. 2010. De macht van Kagame, een zegen of vloek voor Rwanda, in Internationale spectator, No. July-August.
  • Marijnen, Esther. 2010. Literature review ‘Paul Collier, Wars, Guns and Votes; Democracy in Dangerous Places, and Robert H. Bates, When Things Fell Apart, Vrede en Veiligheid, Vol 39, No 3.

Commissioned Research & Policy Work

  • Marijnen, Esther. 2013. The EU’s Regional Strategies: Assessment from a Peacebuilding Perspective, Civil Society Dialogue Network Discussion Paper No. 8

Newspaper Op-eds & Online Commentary

  • MARIJNEN, Esther, MUHIRE, Blaise & VERWEIJEN, Judith . 2015. Trouble in Virunga: the challenges of conservation amidst conflict, violence and poverty, Congo Siasa website, August 2015 Link
  • ERIKSSON BAAZ, Maria, GONDOLA, Didier, MARIJNEN Esther (and others). 2015. Virunga's White Savior Complex, How the Film Distorts the Politics and People of Congo, Foreign Affairs, March 2015 Link
  • Marijnen, Esther. 2013. Internal political shifts in Rwanda triggered by returning diaspora politicians, African Argument, Royal African Society. Link