Author Archives: Marieke Krijnen

About Marieke Krijnen

I am a self-employed researcher, writer and editor with a PhD in Political Science and a strong background in urban studies and geography. I specialize in the study of the gentrification and financialization of real housing, real estate and urban space, as well as in the political economy of the Middle East.

Tips to stay mentally healthy as a PhD-student

In October last year, I published a blog post with tips for staying mentally healthy as a PhD-student. You can find the original here. I wrote it for the blog Pubs and Publications, a great resource for PhD-students, by PhD-students.

“The mental health of PhD-students is an increasing cause for concern. A recent study conducted in Belgium found that one third of PhD-students was at risk of developing a common psychiatric disorder like depression. Unfortunately, this does not surprise me. The rise of mental health problems among PhD-student populations has been attributed to increasing job insecurity, pressure to deliver results before the PhD is finished, and the isolation that comes with having to produce a dissertation by oneself. While I cannot present easy, clear-cut solutions to these problems, there are ways to decrease your risk of developing mental health problems, and to ensure that you seek help in time. I, for one, wish I had known these things when I started my PhD! Continue reading

The contradictions of capital investment in the built environment.

While not everyone might associate the work of David Harvey or Neil Smith, two Marxist geographers, with poetry, I must say that while reading their work, I was very often struck by its poetic quality. Consider this quote:

“Capital represents itself in the form of a physical landscape created in its own image” (Harvey, 1978, p. 124)

How did these geographers end up with sentences that carried such literary quality?

Both Harvey and Smith, Harvey’s PhD-student, tried to understand the relationship between capital and space from a Marxist perspective, and focused especially on the built environment. As it turns out, the built environment presents capitalists with an inherent contradiction: they need it, but once it has been created, it presents barriers to further accumulation. Continue reading

I got interviewed by Peerwith!

The academic services portal Peerwith has interviewed me about what it is like working for them. You can find the interview here. Some quotes:

“My work for Peerwith, which consists mostly of language editing, is now part of my business as a self-employed researcher, writer and editor, based in The Netherlands. I love my work and have not regretted my decision to leave academia, not even for one second! And in a sense, I have not left academia, because I am working with academic texts on a daily basis and I still write and publish my own journal articles.”

“Is there anything you want to say to people who are hesitant about getting support, or advice to people who are considering using the Peerwith Platform?

I would of course say go for it! A second pair of eyes makes everyone’s work better, my own included. There is no such thing as an embarrassing paper; almost everyone’s first draft looks bad. Editors want to help you, and I really enjoy improving others’ work. So go ahead and post your request; I’m sure someone will be able to help you!”

CFP: Special Issue on the financialization of home in the Global South

I am happy to announce that I will co-edit a special issue for the journal Housing Policy Debate on the financialization of home in the Global South. The international comparative special issue is planned to be published in 2019 and will also be edited by Manuel B. Aalbers (KU Leuven, Belgium), and Raquel Rolnik (University of São Paulo, Brazil). Interested researchers are encouraged to submit an abstract! Instructions below.

Deadline for Abstracts: June 1, 2018
Notification of Abstract Selection: July 1, 2018
Deadline for Full Paper Submissions: December 1, 2018

Continue reading

The contestations of Beirut’s Sunday market

A few years ago, I co-authored an article about one of the few markets in Beirut: the Souk al Ahad weekend market. This is a lively and busy outdoors market located on the eastern edge of Beirut, near its heavily polluted river. As it turned out, the land that the market is sitting on is heavily contested between different two different public actors, and the very existence of the market itself is threatened by this conflict. Continue reading

Turning money into stone

In my professional life, I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to research and engage with a number of fascinating topics related to how humans build cities. Coming to Beirut as a graduate student in 2007, the rapid transformation of the urban environment captured my attention and resulted in a master’s thesis that tried to understand how the Lebanese state facilitated real estate developers through changes in the legal and institutional framework. The results of the thesis were published in a journal article written with my fantastic supervisor Prof. Mona Fawaz. Continue reading