• Room nr:0a-59
  • E-mail:l.h.berckmoes@vu.nl
  • Unit:externe organisaties ( nscr )
  • Position:Dr. / Post-doc

Monday till Friday; please call me or send an e-mail for an appointment

Information in Dutch

Website of the department

Promo Master Anthropology



  • Youth
  • War / Peace
  • Identity
  • Refugees
  • Region: Africa; Great Lakes Region; Burundi  


PhD Project

Burundian Youth’s Social Navigation in Fragile Contexts

Burundi’s transition process towards a democracy at peace is internationally considered successful. Yet, recurrent outbreaks of violence show continued fragility of peace. This project investigates how the fractured social fabric reproduces fragility, and whether and how young Burundians ‘navigate’ and contribute to restructuring the social fabric in their own way – following or diverting from social divisions of belonging and exclusion. Burundian youth offer a good point of departure in shedding light on such ‘no peace no war’ situations. Young people are specially focused on social change and possibilities and are seen as both makers and breakers of society. In-depth empirical research is used to examine the local praxis of war and peace-building. The central aim is to contribute to insight in local youth's experiences and enhance scientific theory on post-war situations and policy and intervention for sustainable peace-building. 



Publications (Source: METIS VU)

  • (Forthcoming) ‘Dealing with Deceit: Fieldwork Encounters and Lies in Burundi,’ in, Thomson, S., A. Ansoms and J. Murison, ‘Emotional and Ethical Challenges for Field Research in Africa: The Story Behind the Findings’.
  • (2009) ‘Challenges for Ethnographic Research in Fragile Situations: Youth Research in Post-war Burundi,’ in, de Bruijn, M. and D. Merolla (editors), Researching Africa, Exploration of everyday African encounters, African Studies Collection, vol, 26, Leiden, African Studies Centre.
  • (2008) ‘Being and Becoming in Bujumbura: War and Peace through the Eyes of Burundian Youth,’ thesis Research Masters African Studies, Afrika studiecentrum / Leiden Universiteit.
  • (2006) ‘Growing up in a Refugee Camp: Constructions of Identity among Burundian Youth in Tanzania,’ thesis Culturele antropologie en sociologie der niet-westerse samenlevingen, Universiteit van Amsterdam.


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