Merel van Meerkerk
Merel van Meerkerk is a junior researcher for the Knowledge Centre on Religion and Development at Oikos. She graduated cum laude from the University of Amsterdam with a Master of Arts in Religious Studies. Her thesis, written at the Knowledge Centre, focused on the role of religion in development cooperation in DR Congo. She is currently working on a project on religion and humanitarian aid.
Religious actors are often able to give structure when the other institutions of a state collapse. However, their role and impact in development cooperation and international relations is routinely overlooked. When focusing on institutional multiplicity, one needs to acknowledge the contribution of religious actors to governance, peacebuilding and development.