Research projects

I am currently working on the project Participatory urban governance between democracy and clientelism: brokers and (in)formal politics.

Coordination: Dr. Martijn Koster | Host Institution: Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands | Funding: European Research Council

Research Team: Martijn Koster | Janne Heederik | Adam Moore | Lieke van der Veer | Sven da Silva

This ethnographic research project investigates the role of brokerage – the social mechanism of mediation between different groups or levels in society – in participatory urban governance, and its implications for state-citizenship engagement, political representation and decision making. It asks: what is the role of brokerage in participatory urban governance, in both its formal and informal dimensions, and what is its impact on state-citizen engagement, political representation and decision making regarding the distribution of resources? This project compares brokerage in four different cities, two in the Global North and two in the Global South, in order to develop a new theoretical framework for understanding the role and impact of brokerage in participatory urban governance. These cities are Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Manchester (UK), Medellín (Colombia) and Recife (Brazil).


I’m an associate researcher on the project How the Bolsa Família Programme affects the preferences of beneficiaries on corruption, clientelism, and politics. This project is coordinated by prof. Ernst Fehr from the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich.

The project started in 2015 and data collection is scheduled to take place in 2018.

Research Team: Christian Zünd | Charles Efferson | Sonja Vogt