I'm a writer and scholar in the social sciences, affiliated with the LINES institute (Leuven International and European Studies) at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. In 2007 and 2008, I was a visiting scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University. My research focuses on minority politics, nationalism in East-Central Europe and the Balkans, democratization, and, most recently, restorative justice. I was born in Bruges and have lived, studied and conducted research in several Central European countries. Currently I live in Brussels.
In 2014, De Bezige Bij (Amsterdam) published my literary debut — Ex, a book of essays and reportage in and about the former Yugoslavia. My first academic book The Romani Movement appeared with Berghahn Books in 2006. In 2016, I co-edited, with Koen Slootmaeckers and Heleen Touquet, The EU Enlargement and Gay Politics(Palgrave Macmillan). Other work of mine has appeared in literary and news magazines and a range of academic journals, including East European Politics and Societies, Problems of Post-Communism, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Work in progress
Out of the margins: reflections on Roma and youth development (book chapter, to be published by Oxford University Press)
Victimhood as victory: the role of memory politics in the process of de-Europeanization in East Central Europe (journal article)
Nationalism with a human face: European human rights judgements and the reinvention of nationalist politics (journal article, co-authored with Kristin Henrard)
A new nonfiction book on restorative justice following a murder trial in Brussels (under contract with De Bezige Bij)
Current research projects under my supervision
Masculinity, vulnerability and victimhood: male victims of conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia (2018-2020, researcher: Heleen Touquet)
Neo-Ottomanism? New strategies of Turkey and the impact of foreign aid to post-war cultural reconstruction in the Balkans (2018-2020, researcher: Ana Devic)
Invisible edges of citizenship: re-addressing the position of Romani minorities in Europe (2017-2019, researcher: Julija Sardelic)
The geopolitical effects of a global renewable energy transition on regime stability in Russia (2018-2019, researcher: Niels Smeets)
Leuven Institute for International and European Studies (LINES) Faculty of Social Sciences KU Leuven Parkstraat 45, box 3602 B-3000 Leuven