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I have an interdisciplinary background in social sciences with a focus on anthropology, development, human rights and civil society. My PhD on civil society in Myanmar written at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam was awarded the faculty dissertation prize in 2017 and the research prize of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation in 2018. My research focuses on social and political activism at various levels: community, regional and (trans)national. I particularly look at issues of voice, representation and legitimacy within rights-based advocacy.

My PhD thesis discusses the views and identities of organised Burmese civil society actors, their transnational advocacy strategies, and their relationship with Western supporters. I have published on various issues related to Myanmar and have organized panels at the EuroSEAS conference and the International Convention of Asia Scholars. In 2015, I organised a conference at the VU on Religious Violence in South(East) Asia. In 2019, I co-edited a special issue of Moussons journal on the urbanization of Yangon. In 2022 I will publish articles on documentation work by civil society actors of human rights violations in Myanmar (Journal of Human Rights Practice) and on the experiences of young ethnic women in Myanmar civil society (Journal of Burma Studies).

I have worked for various civil society organisations in The Netherlands on issues such as discrimination, international justice and refugee rights, and served as a board member for the Dutch Foundation for Peace Studies (Stichting Vredeswetenschappen). As a postdoctoral researcher, I contributed to projects on land rights advocacy in Kenya at Radboud University, and on urban intermediaries in the Netherlands at Tilburg University. For these projects I co-authored reports for the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs (BuZa) and the Interior (BZK), and published an article on civil society legitimacy in Kenya (Canadian Journal of Development Studies). I now coordinate a follow-up project in which I further explore community relations with CSOs, and develop content for development practitioners. For this project I partner with Partos and RIVA Illustrations.

I currently coordinate the education programme of the Anthropology department at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and teach in the minor Peace and Conflict Studies.

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