Martijn Koster
  • Utrecht
  • Netherlands
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Full Name (no screen names or handles)
Martijn Koster
School/Organization/Current anthropological attachment
Utrecht School of Governance


Key words: political anthropology, urban anthropology, anthropology of the state, citizenship, urban renewal, space, urban governance, politics, social contestation, public organizations, youth and ethnography. 

Martijn Koster (1978) is currently involved in a research on citizenship and urban renewal in Overvecht, an underprivileged neighbourhood in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Martijn holds a degree in Development Sociology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He has conducted ethnographic research in Bolivia, Brazil and the Netherlands. His dissertation presents an anthropological study of a slum in Recife, Brazil, and deals with issues of citizenship, local leadership, politics, grass roots organizations and urban renewal.

In his approach, Martijn combines urban and political anthropology, the anthropology of the state and the anthropology of organizations. He also works on material culture.

At the Utrecht School of Governance (USG/ USBO), Utrecht University (UU), Martijn lectures on qualitative methods and techniques and on subjects such as organizational culture, change and the anthropology of organizations. He is involved in the master’s program “Organizations, Change and Management” and in the research master "Public Administration and Organisational Science".

Recent publications: please see for recent updates.

Koster, M. (2013) Fear and intimacy: citizenship in a Recife slum, Brazil. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, iFirst at

Koster, M. (2012) Mediating and getting "burnt" in the gap: Politics and brokerage in a Recife slum, Brazil. Critique of Anthropology 32(4):479-497

Koster, M. & E. van Dijk (forthcoming, 2013) Ethnographies of leadership: the convergence of diverging values. In: P. Leisink, P. Boselie, M. van Bottenburg, D.M. Hosking (eds) Managing Social Issues: A Public Values Perspective. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Koster, M. & M.C.M. Nuijten (2012) From preamble to post-project frustrations: the shaping of a slum upgrading project in Recife, Brazil. Antipode 44(1):175-196

Nuijten, M.C.M., M. Koster & P.A. de Vries (2012) Regimes of Spatial Ordering in Brazil: Neoliberalism, Leftist Populism and Modernist Aesthetics in Slum Upgrading in Recife. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 33(2):157–170

Koster, M. & P.A. de Vries (2012) Slum politics: community leaders, everyday needs and utopian aspirations in a Recife slum, Brazil. Focaal 62:83-98

Koster, M. & K.J. Mulderij (2011) Gezellig en gewend: jongeren over wonen en de toekomst in een herstructureringswijk [Cosy and accustomed: youth, their lives and futures in a "restructuring" area]. (

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