Kristof Titeca


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About Kristof Titeca

I am a senior lecturer based at the Institute of Development Policy (University of Antwerp). I am broadly interested in governance and conflict in spaces where the state is only weakly present, particularly in Central and Eastern Africa. My current principal research interests are the following:

  • Public services in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a particular focus on the traffic police and taxes
  • ‘Green criminology’, and particularly ivory trade in Central and Eastern Africa.
  • Conflict and rebel movements in the DRC and Uganda, particularly the LRA and ADF in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and conflict dynamics in Western Uganda.

My exhibition 'Rebel Lives, photographs from inside the Lord's Resistance Army', opens on the 28th of June in the Photomuseum of Antwerp. The book with the same name is published with Hannibal press.

Press on the book and exhibition in NRC, Volkskrant, Knack, Klara, VRT, VPRO, De Standaard, De Morgen, Radio 1/Interne Keuken.

My publications can be accessed on my or researchgate pages.

Latest publications:

De Herdt T. & K. Titeca (eds) (2019). Negotiating Public Services in the Congo. London: Zed Books.

Titeca K. & P. Edmond (2019) 'Outside the frame: looking beyond the LRA ivory-terrorism nexus', Conservation and Society 17(3): 258-269.

'Reproducing the state? Organising primary education between state and non-state actors in Somaliland', Journal of Eastern African Studies (with Tobias Gandrup)

Edmond, Patrick and Kristof Titeca (2019) ‘Corporate social responsibility and patronage: effects on popular mobilisation in DRC’s oilfields, Muanda’ in: S. Geenen, A. Nyenyezi Bisoka, & A. Ansoms (Eds.), Conjonctures de l’Afrique centrale, 2019, Paris/Bruxelles: L'Harmattan/MRAC, pp127-156.

I was a project leader for the ‘Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium’ program in the Democratic Republic of Congo, coordinated by ODI and financed by DFID, focussing on public services in the DRC.


'The DRC-Angola dispute over oil-rich maritime territory: how regime (in)security precludes oil claims’, Journal of Southern African Studies (with Patrick Edmond and Erik Kennes)

In the press:

Titeca, Kristof (2019) I testified at the ICC trial of one of Joseph Kony's lieutenants. Here's what the court didn’t understand. The Washington Post, 17 January 2019. Reposted at Duncan Greens’ ‘From Poverty to Power’ blog.

On Congolese politics:

Uitgestelde verkiezing van een Kabila 2.0’, De Tijd, 21 December2018.

‘How to get ahead in DR Congo politics: a flatterer’s guide’, African Arguments, 18 December 2018 (with James Thamani)

DRC elections: Kabila’s perfectly imperfect choice of successor. African Arguments, 15 November 2018 (with James Thamani)

Congo's elections and its political landscape: some key-insights, IOB analysis and policy brief, No 33 (with James Thamani).

On Ugandan politics:

On France 24 about Bobi Wine's candidacy for presidency.

Titeca, Kristof (2019) ‘Its own worst enemy? The Ugandan government is taking desperate measures to control rising dissent’. Africa Policy Brief N° 22, Egmont Policy Institute. January 2019. Reposted by the Independent Uganda.

Titeca, Kristof (2019) Is the Ugandan Government becoming its own worst enemy? Clingendael Spectator, 16 January 2019.

Generation gap: What #FreeBobiWine tells us about Ugandan politics, African Arguments, 23 August 2018 (with Patrick Edmond and Anna Reuss).

In Jeune Afrique (12/09); on Al Jazeera English news (23/08);  on Radio 1, De Wereld Vandaag (23/08); on Bureau Buitenland, VPRO (21/09).

Nee, Afrika stort niet ineen zonder corruptie’, De Standaard, 24 september 2018, met Ivan Ashaba. De printversie van dit stuk bevatte de volgende zin in de introductie, die zonder toestemming werd toegevoegd, en waar we niet mee akkoord gaan:  'Kristof Titeca en Ivan Ashaba zien er de hand van het regime in, dat de bevolking al decennia onderdrukt.' We gaan niet akkoord met de analyse van  'decennia onderdrukking'.

On the Congolese oil sector:

A summary of our argument in a piece for Quartz, 8 March 2019.

‘Why Congo’s decision to open national parks to drilling isn’t really about oil’, African Arguments, 13 July 2018 (with Patrick Edmond) Interview on this in L'Humanité.

Policy brief on the Congolese oil sector: What good is an oil sector without oil? How regime security and shorttermism explains DR Congo's (non-)oil sector (with Patrick Edmond), IOB Analysis and Policy Brief, 2018, N° 26.

On the illegal ivory trade :

'I did the first long-term study investigating illegal ivory traders. Here's what I learned.' The Washington Post, The Monkey Cage, 18 April 2018.

‘Local links across Africa provide key clues to fighting the illegal ivory trade’, The Conversation, 03 May 2018.

In Interne Keuken, Radio 1 (België); op Bureau Buitenland, Radio 1 (Nederland); on Undercurrents, the podcast of Chatham House.

How do illegal ivory traders operate? Field research among illegal ivory traders aims to give an answer.IOB analysis and policy brief 31, 2018.

Opinion on the documentary film & art project ‘The Congo Tribunal’:  

'The ethics of political art', Africa is a Country, 14 September 2018, with Sara Geenen, Christoph Vogel and Josaphat Musamba.

Ook politiek theater heeft spelregels’, De Standaard, 02 Mei 2018, with Sara Geenen.

 ‘Les dégâts d’un « faux tribunal » en RDC’, La Libre Belgique, 04 Mai 2018, with Sara Geenen.

Other op-eds and blog posts:

I was an expert witness for the trial of former LRA-commander Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court, particularly on the cosmology & spirits of the LRA. The transcript can be found here.

Gandrup, Tobias and Kristof Titeca (2019) ‘How schools are kept afloat in Somaliland’, The Conversation, 11 August 2019.

‘Troubling times for the Rwenzururu kingdom in Western Uganda’, Africa at LSE, 29 August 2018, with Eleanor Beevor.

Cited/interviewed on the ADF by AFP.

'How Kinshasa’s markets are captured by powerful private interests', The Conversation, 11 March 2018, with Albert Malukisa.

Museveni: the next ‘benevolent’ President for life?’ Open Democracy, 18 October 2017, with Ivan Ashaba.

Is Uganda really a 'refugee paradise'? Al Jazeera, 29 July 2017, with Julie Schiltz.

'Removing the presidential age limit in Uganda: the power of cash and coercion', Open Democracy, 7 August 2017, with Anna Reuss.

Want to understand Belgium’s complicated politics and scandals? Let’s look at Africa. The Washington Post, The Monkey Cage, 10 July 2017. A more extended version of the piece appeared in Open Democracy, en in het Nederlands op de site van De Morgen. The piece received attention in De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad, Le Soir, RTBF, La Libre, Metro, Bruzz, L’echo, Dernière Heure, Sudinfo, Newsmonkey.

Wir schaffen das in Oeganda: werkelijk? , 07 Juli 2017, with Julie Schiltz.

Why the unrest in Rwenzori is far from over, African Arguments, July 4 2017, with Anna Reuss.

Bye Bye Kony? The Lord’s Resistance Army After the U.S.–Ugandan Withdrawal, Foreign Affairs, 13 May 2017, with Ledio Cakaj.

On the withdrawal of the American and Ugandan troops from the LRA hunt in the Washington Post, De Volkskrant and VICE news.

Radio interview on the withdrawal of American troops from the LRA hunt on Radio 1, Belgium (in dutch, from 02:37:00).

There is new violence in Western Uganda. Here’s why. The Washington Post, 29 November 2016, with Anna Reuss.

Jihadis in Congo? Probably not. The Washington Post, 27 September 2016.

5 years on, South Sudan is at a critical juncture…again, African Arguments, 8 July 2016, with Rens Twijnstra.

The United Nations set an ambitious education goal. Why did it fail in Congo?, The Washington Post / The Monkey Cage, 8 June 2016, with Tom De Herdt.

Museveni got more votes than love in Uganda’s election, The Washington Post / The Monkey Cage, 20 February 2016, with Anna Reus.

My latest academic articles:

Titeca Kristof and Albert Malukisa (2019) ‘Urban governance through personal connections. Kinshasa and its unlawful constructions’. Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium Working Paper 66, February 2019.

Titeca, K. and P. Edmond (2019) 'The political economy of oil in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Corruption and regime control', The Extractive Industries and Society.

Titeca, Kristof 'More is less? Decentralisation and regime control in Uganda', in: Wiegratz, Joerg, Martinello, Giuliano, Greco, Elisa (eds.)  Uganda. The dynamics of neoliberal transformation. Zed Books.

Titeca, Kristof (2018) ‘Understanding the illegal ivory trade and traders: evidence from Uganda’, International Affairs, 94:5, pp.1077-1099.

‘Chicken now, not eggs later: short-termism, underdevelopment and regime stabilisation in the DRC’s oil governance’, IOB Discussion Paper 2018.1 (with Patrick Edmond)

Illegal ivory trade as transnational organized crime? An empirical study into ivory traders in Uganda? The British Journal of Criminology.

Market governance in Kinshasa: the competition for informal revenue through ‘connections’ (branchement). IOB Working Paper 2018.03, with Albert Malukisa.

‘The Rwenzururu kinship question and its aftermath’. In: Doornbos, M. The Rwenzururu Movement in Uganda. Struggling for Recognition. New York, Routledge: 187-210, with Martin Doornbos, and Arthur Syahuka.

'When revolutionaries grow old: The Museveni babies and the slow death of the liberation', Third World Quarterly, 2017, 38 (10):2347-2366  with Anna Reuss.

'Beyond ethnicity: the violence in Western Uganda and Rwenzori's 99 problems', Review of African Political Economy, 2017, with Anna Reuss.

The many faces of a rebel group: the Allied Democratic Forces in the Democratic Republic of the CongoInternational Affairs, 2016, 92(5):1189-1206 with Dan Fahey.

‘Everything changes to remain the same? State and tax reform in South Sudan’  The Journal of Modern African Studies 2016, 54 (2): 263-292, with Rens Twijnstra.

Governance with Empty Pockets: the education sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Development and Change 2016, 47 (3): 472- 494, with Tom De Herdt.

Other recent publications:

'An LRA for everyone. How different actors frame the Lord's Resistance Army', published in African Affairs (together with T. Costeur).

A summary of the argument was published on the Monkey Cage blog/Washington Post: 'An "LRA for everyone": constructing knowledge of rebel groups'

Titeca, Kristof and Matthew Sebastian (2014) ‘Why did Invisible Children dissolve?’. The Monkey Cage blog/Washington Post, Opinion, 30 December 2014.

'Unravelling public authority. Paths of hybrid governance in Africa', published as an IS academy research brief.

You can follow me on twitter: @KristofTiteca


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