Fransje Molenaar

Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility
  • Politics and Crime
  • Migration


  • Americas
  • Sub Saharan Africa

Fransje Molenaar is a research fellow with Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit. Her academic background in Latin American politics has left her with the desire to understand the intersection between organised crime and political life and of how this often leaves society as a whole worse off. She currently applies this lens to the study of the human smuggling industry in Africa, with a particular focus on the Sahel and Libya.

Fransje obtained a PhD in Political Science form Leiden University. Her appointment as one of the Royal Netherlands Association of Arts and Sciences’ (KNAW) Faces of Science has trained Fransje to translate her research findings into easily digestible and informative products. She has published extensively in the form of academic articles, policy documents, opinion pieces and blogs.

Previous experience

  • Independent political finance consultant for organizations such as International IDEA, Global Integrity, IFES, and NIMD (2012-2016)
  • PhD trajectory at Leiden University (2010-2016)

Recent field research

Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica (2012), Colombia (2013), Mali and Niger (2016), Niger (2017)

My work



Conflict and Fragility

Crises Alerts Libya

27 July 2017 - 12:20
Conflict and Fragility

ECFR Paris Podcast: Regional stability in the Sahel

13 June 2017 - 15:55
Conflict and Fragility

Social movement organization under cartel rule in rural Guatemala

17 March 2017 - 15:17

Turning the tide

31 January 2017 - 13:12
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