Fransje Molenaar

Senior Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility
  • Politics and Crime
  • Migration


  • Americas
  • Sub Saharan Africa

Fransje Molenaar is a Senior 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



Strategic Foresight

Global Security Pulse: Migration & Security

31 May 2018 - 15:23
Conflict and Fragility

Why the EU should help former smugglers get a job

04 April 2018 - 11:19
Europe and the EU

Clingendael State of the Union 2018 - report

25 January 2018 - 15:30
Strategic Foresight

Clingendael Radar - Migration

19 December 2017 - 13:04
Conflict and Fragility

The EU-AU’s response to slavery and migration: a way forward?

01 December 2017 - 16:26
Show more Publications



Refugee deals: migration without humanity?

07 September 2016 - 20:00