Academic Profile

Christine Giulia Schenk joined the Transformations Research Cluster in June 2016 as an Honorary Research Associate funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. She graduated from the Humboldt University Berlin with a First-Class Honours Degree in Geography. After the twelve-months post-graduate study programme in international cooperation for sustainable development at the Centre for Rural Development (SLE), Humboldt University of Berlin, Christine worked as adviser on governance, peace-building and food security. Her main assignments were in contexts of conflicts, crises and disasters in Latin America (Haiti, Peru, Honduras) and Asia (Sri Lanka, East Timor, Indonesia), and she has more than ten years of work experience in bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental organisational settings.

Christine completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, funded by two Marie-Heim-Vögtlin Fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Her PhD investigated the role of Islamic leaders and civil rights activists in legal reforms to women's rights and Sharia law in Aceh, Indonesia. Complementing her PhD, Christine was an academic visitor at the Department of International Development, London Schools of Economics and Political Science (LSE) between March and June 2013.

Current Research

Through the lens of political geography, Christine is currently researching Muslim authorities and political activism on citizenship in countries affected by conflict, crises and disaster. This comparative research project asks how Islamic leaders intervene in legal reforms to citizenship and how these interventions are reacted to by state and non-state actors in Sri Lanka and in Aceh, Indonesia. This question is investigated through ethnographic methodologies and intersects with scholarship in political anthropology, religious studies, and critical international relations.

Recent Research Grants

  • Swiss National Science Foundation, Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship at the Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Funding: CHF 90'650 CHF, P2GEP1_165427, 06/2016 - 11/2017
  • Swiss National Science Foundation, Marie-Heim-Vögtlin Fellowship, 09/2014 - 02/2015, PMCDP1_155916, CHF 30'024
  • Swiss National Science Foundation, Marie-Heim-Vögtlin Fellowship, 03/2013 - 08/2014, PMCDP1_145537, CHF 92'950


Christine is involved in teaching undergraduates at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed scientific articles

Non-refereed contributions

  • Schenk, C.G. (2009) Negotiating statehood and humanitarian assistance in Timor-Leste: an incompatible pair? In, C. Cabasset-Semedo and F. Durand. Timor-Leste (eds) How to build a new nation in SouthEast Asia in the 21st Century. Bangkok, Thailand: IRASEC Publications. pp. 31-48.
  • Schenk, C.G. and G. Kruk (2004) Ansätze zur Versöhnung und zivilen Konfliktbearbeitung in Ost Timor [Approaches towards reconciliation and civil peacebuilding in East Timor]. Spice Newsletter 2.


  • Korf, B., Singarayer, R., Abeyrathne, R., Devarajah, K., Dharmarajah, D., Flämig, T., Sakthivel, T., Schenk, C.G., Ziegler, J. and Ziebell, M. (2001) Conflict-Threat or Opportunity? Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Landwirtschaftlich-Gärtnerische Fakultät.

Publications intended for professional communities

  • Schenk, C.G. (2009) Desk study on the special reconstruction programme in Aceh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka by the German development cooperation (GTZ, KfW, CIM, DED) after the Indian Ocean tsunami. Zurich, Eschborn: Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ).
  • Schenk, C.G. (2006) Co-operation and management: relation with service providers, situation analysis of mobile registration (with focus on population registration and outlook for civil registration) and organisational development on a revised nomenclature in Calang, Aceh Jaya. Consultancy mission October to December 2006. Liverpool, Banda Aceh: GTZ.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2005) Supporting the peace process in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam: An outline for possible contributions within the framework of the bilateral Indonesian-German Cooperation. Bonn: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Division 200, Section South and Southeast Asia.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2005) Fostering the past and reconciliation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: the examples of Timor-Leste, Bougainville and Cambodia. 'International conference on reconciliation'. Berlin: GTZ and Friedrich Ebert Foundation: January 2005.
  • Schenk, C.G. and Srimanobhavan, S. (2003) Focused impact assessment 2003. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) Trincomalee, GTZ.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2003) Workshop report of the combined review mission on GTZ-supported programmes in Sri Lanka. Colombo, Sri Lanka: GTZ.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2003) The livelihood system approach in project planning. Technical Paper 28. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: GTZ, IFSP.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2003) 'Monitoring and evaluation in IFSP-heading towards impact assessment', in: E. Bauer and N. Schall. Lessons learnt - best Practices 2003. Working Paper 52. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: IFSP.
  • Schenk, C.G. and Austin, A. (2002) Peace-conflict orientation 2003. Technical Paper 26. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: GTZ, IFSP.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2002) GIS and data base management. Technical Paper 20. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: GTZ, IFSP.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2002) An integrated information system for IFSP and Partners. Working Paper 49. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: GTZ, IFSP.
  • Devarajah, B. Korf, C.G. Schenk and M. Ziebell (2001) Grievances over land. Dehiwatte and Menkamam. Thematic area study on land use. Working Paper 44. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: GTZ, IFSP.
  • Dharshinie, D., T. Flämig, B. Korf and C. G. Schenk (2001) Missing the onion boom? Kumpurumpitty - village profile. Working Paper 42. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: GTZ, IFSP.
  • Schenk, C.G. (1999) Sistemas de información geográfica por el manejo de areas protegidas [Geographical Information Systems for the management of protected areas]. Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Project 'Reserva del Hombre y La Biósfera Río Plátano, GTZ/KfW.
  • Schenk, C.G. (1997) Analisa de la situation socio-economica en la cuenca de Quiñota/Mata de Maiz en Chumbivilas, Perú, por la planificacion de la tierra [Analysis of the socio-economic situation in the water catchment area of Quiñota/Mata de Maiz, Chumbivilas/Perú supporting the land use planning intervention]. Cuzco, Peru: Centro de Educación y Promoción José Maria Arguedas (CADEP).

Publications intended for the general public

  • Schenk, C.G. and F. Marré (2005) Zwischenbilanz des Deutschen Beitrags zum Wiederaufbau. Ein Jahr nach der Flutkatastrophe im Indischen Ozean. Materialien. Bonn: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Division 200, Section South and Southeast Asia.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2004b) Post-conflict reconstruction needs assessment in Timor-Leste-lessons learnt and good practices. In-Country Study Timor-Leste. Working Paper 7. in: Needs assessment methodologies in post-conflict situations on behalf of World Bank, UNDP and BMZ. Eschborn, Washington, New York: GTZ, UNDP, World Bank.

Public artistic and design activities

  • Schenk, C.G. (2006) Maps of "Torture locations in Dili and Baucau, Timor-Leste", "Military movements in Timor-Leste and forced displacements in Timor-Leste". Contribution to the Final Report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), Timor Leste.


  • Schenk, C. G. (2016) Islam and the secular: Geography of religion and the making of family law in Aceh, Indonesia. Doctoral Thesis on the basis of articles. University of Geneva.
  • Schenk, C.G. (2000) Ressourcenmanagment im Biosphärenreservat Río Plátano/Honduras [Management of natural resources and monitoring in the Biosphere Reserve Río Plátano, Honduras]. Master of Science, Master Thesis, including comprehensive summary in Spanish, Humboldt University Berlin.