Dr. Luuk Slooter

Internationale en Politieke Geschiedenis
Universitair docent

Luuk Slooter is Assistant Professor in Conflict Studies. He teaches in the BA History and MA Conflict Studies and Human Rights (History of International Relations Section, History Department). He is also a core member of the Centre for Global Challenges and the IOS platform Contesting Governance


His research focuses on urban uprisings, violence, policing, polarization and spatial segregation. He conducted ethnographic research in the French banlieues and several 'complex' neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. 


Luuk Slooter has a background in 'Intercultural Social Psychology' (MSc, 2006) and 'Conflict Studies and Human Rights' (MA Cum Laude, 2007). In December 2015 he completed his PhD at Utrecht University and l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (highest distinction/très honorable avec félicitations du jury). From 2015-2017 he was assistant professor at the Centre for Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM) at Radboud University, Nijmegen. 


Recent books

Geweld (2021, Athenaeum - together with Jolle Demmers) - in Dutch -

Is geweld het bewust toebrengen van schade, of is het meer? Mensen sterven dagelijks aan zaken die voorkomen kunnen worden, zoals honger of een gebrek aan medicijnen: is dat ook geweld? Maar wie is dan de dader? Dit Elementaire Deeltje onderzoekt oorzaken en vormen van geweld. We zien dat het een paradoxaal fenomeen is. Geweld is zichtbaar en onzichtbaar. Het verwoest en vernietigt, maar creëert en verandert ook – en kan daarin constructief zijn 


The Making of the Banlieue: An Ethnography of Space, Identity and Violence (2019, Palgrave Macmillan)

This book studies and disaggregates the “crisis of the suburbs” in France through the stories of inhabitants of 4000sud: a suburban neighbourhood of Paris. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research, this book explores the ‘making’ of the French suburban crisis as constituted both ‘externally’ (by state actors) and ‘internally’ (by young people on the street corner). It reveals how the French state’s understanding of banlieue violence, and subsequent policy measures, contribute to the constitution and hardening of social and spatial boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’, and ‘here’ and ‘there’. But most importantly, The Making of the Banlieue takes the reader on a journey from the center of Paris to the heart of 4000sud. It unveils how young suburban residents try to cope simultaneously with the negative images imposed on them from the outside, and the disciplinary expectations of their peers on the street. In search for identity and dignity they navigate life through diverging strategies: they escape the neighbourhood, contest stereotypical images through contentious performances or confirm and act out the image of ‘gangster from the ghetto’. Drawing on urban sociology, human geography, and cultural anthropology this book offers new, analytical vocabularies to understand the connections between place-making processes, social identity dynamics and violent performances. The book is written for a broad audience of students, scholars and policy makers interested in contemporary (sub)urban violence in Europe.

Reviews of the book were published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, and Urban Studies.


“This carefully researched and beautifully written book provides us with a much needed account that resists the homogenisation of banlieue youth as an undifferentiated, rowdy, violent mass. Luuk Slooter invites us to hear their voices; at times unruly, perhaps violent even, but far from the stereotypical images that
demonise them en masse.” —Professor Mustafa Dikeç, Ecole d’Urbanisme de Paris


“Since the late seventies, the French ‘banlieues’ have been famous all over the world for their riots, with a peak in 2005. However, apart from these pivotal moments, we don’t know much about these neighbourhoods and their inhabitants. This is why this book is so important: living there, sharing the daily experience of young people, talking with them during months of fieldwork enables Luuk Slooter to offer us an impressive, perfectly documented study: a great monograph!” —Professor Michel Wieviorka, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme


“The book is a rare, nuanced and holistical examination of the implications of one of Europe’s most important bouts of civil unrest in the past century. It puts human stories to inhabitants of some of the most marginalised areas of contemporary Europe and demonstrates their daily struggles and strategies in an effort to become more, and not less, French.” —Joseph Downing, European Institute, London School of Economics, UK




Interviews Radio/TV

Interviews national newspapers/magazines/websites

  • 2 Juli 2023: Interview Trouw "In Nanterre begrijpen ze de onvrede van de relschoppers wel". 
  • 22 November 2022: Interview Trouw. "De banlieue is de springplank naar succes voor de helft van de Franse selectie". 
  • 27 January 2021: Interview AD/Utrechts Nieuwsblad "Dit is hoe Utrecht de rust op straat probeert te bewaren". 
  • 29 October 2020: Interview nu.nl "Terrorisme-experts leggen uit waarom het zo onrustig is in Frankrijk". 
  • 13 February 2017: Interview nos.nl. "Er gaat zeker iets mis in de banlieues, maar het zijn geen no-go areas".
  • 24 November 2015: Interview Kennislink "Zet de banlieues niet weg als broeinesten van jihadisme". 
  • 20 November 2015: Interview Vrij Nederland "Geef de Molenbeken niet de schuld".
  • 19 November 2015: Interview Nederlands Dagblad "De banlieues zijn geen ‘wild west’".
  • 18 November 2015: Interview Reformatorisch Dagblad "Jihadisme overstijgt banlieues".