Anca-Elena Ursu

Former Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility
  • Politics and Crime
  • Migration


  • Sub Saharan Africa

Anca-Elena Ursu was a research fellow with Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit until March 2019. A legal professional by training, she worked at the intersection of traditional justice and local governance in the Sahel. 

Elena’s work strives to be disciplined by theory, informed by cutting-edge empirical efforts, and connected in a practical way to contemporary policy endeavours. She is passionate about building bridges between formal and informal structures of political and legal governance while offering constructive analysis that can help unlock the full potential of the regions she studies. 

Prior to joining Clingendael, Elena has collaborated with a number of international organisations and European institutions in the fields of humanitarian affairs and justice. She worked extensively for Asylos, a Brussels-based NGO supporting asylum claims and country of origin information research. She counts among her top accomplishments being nominated a “Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leader” for her academic work on Asia-Pacific security affairs. Elena is also a member of the Forced Migration Unit at the University of Nottingham. 

My work



Conflict and Fragility

How the US lost: China's growing foothold in Africa

13 June 2018 - 11:41
Strategic Foresight

Global Security Pulse: Migration & Security

31 May 2018 - 15:23
Conflict and Fragility

China and the EU in the Horn of Africa

09 April 2018 - 16:56
Conflict and Fragility

Malian customary justice and international human rights

09 April 2018 - 16:16
Conflict and Fragility

Organised crime and migration in Sicily

04 March 2018 - 13:13
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Conflict and Fragility

Customary mediation and engagement in Mali

10 April 2018 - 09:00