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Department of Geography Political Geography

Christoph Vogel

Christoph Vogel, Dr.

  • Research Associate
Room number
Y25 L 64

My academic engagement is perched at the intersection of critical geography, conflict studies and political anthropology, in addition to a keen interest in the ethics and metholodogies of complex fieldwork. The Great Lakes region in Central Africa being the empirical focus of my research, I currently work on two main topics, the governance of 'conflict minerals' in eastern Congo as well as dynamics of violent conflict and mobilization in eastern Congo's landscape of armed groups.

Academic Publications

Refeered journals

Vogel, C. & Stearns, J. (2018): Kivu's Intractable Security Conundrum, revisited. African Affairs,

Vogel, C. (2018): Between Tags and Guns: Fragmentations of Public Authority in Eastern DRC's 3T Mines. Political Geography,Vol. 63, pp. 94–103.

Vogel, C., Musamba, J. & Radley, B. (2018): A miner’s canary in eastern Congo: Formalisation of artisanal 3T mining and precarious livelihoods in South Kivu. The Extractive Industries and Society, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 73–80.

Vogel, C. & Musamba, J. (2017): Brokers of Crisis: the everyday uncertainty of Eastern Congo’s mineral négociants. Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 567-592. 

Vogel, C. & Raeymaekers, T. (2016): Terr(it)or(ies) of Peace? The Congolese Mining Frontier and the Fight against ‘Conflict Minerals’. Antipode, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 1102-1121.

Musamba, J. & Vogel, C. (2016): Rapprochements ethnolinguistiques aux zones minières artisanales à l’est de la RD Congo. Annuaire des Grand Lacs 2015/2016, pp. 207-231.

Radley, B. & Vogel, C. (2015): Fighting windmills in eastern Congo?  The ambiguous impact of the ‘Conflict Minerals’ movement. The Extractive Industries and Society, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 406-410.

Vogel, C. (2014): Contested Statehood, Security Dilemmas and Militia Politics: The Rise and Transformation of Raia Mutomboki in eastern DRC. Annuaire des Grand Lacs 2013/2014, pp. 307-330.

Ponthieu, A., Vogel, C. & Derderian, K. (2014): Without Precedent or Prejudice? UNSC Resolution 2098 and its potential implications for humanitarian space in Eastern Congo and beyond. Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, Tufts University.


Vogel, C. (2012):  Operational Stalemate or Politically Induced Failure? On the Dynamics Influencing Humanitarian Aid in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tectum Wissenschaftsverlag, Marburg.

PhD dissertation

Vogel, C. (2018): Conflict Minerals, Inc. - Transnational Regulation, Fragmented Authority and Violent Resource Networks in Eastern Congo. Unpublished monograph, University of Zurich.

Other refeered publications

Stearns, J. & Vogel, C. (2017):  The Landscape of Armed Groups in Eastern Congo: Fragmented, politicized networks. Congo Research Group. New York University. (in french here)

Vogel, C. & Musamba, J. (2016): Recycling rebels? Demobilization in the Congo. Usalama Project II. Rift Valley Institute, London. (in french here)

Stearns, J. & Vogel, C. (2015): The Landscape of Armed Groups in the Eastern Congo (with Jason Stearns). Congo Research Group. New York University. (in french here)

Vogel, C. (2014): Islands of Stability or Swamps of Insecurity? MONUSCO’s intervention brigade and the danger of emerging security voids in eastern Congo. Egmont Institute, Brussels.

Vogel, C. (2014): La MONUSCO : une mission de maintien de paix en trouble ? Actes du Colloque. Pole Institute, pp. 139-143.

Brabant, J. & Vogel, C. (2014): In Their Eyes: The perception of aid and humanitarian workers by irregular combatants in the Democratic Republic of Congo . INSO, London. 2014

Vogel, C. (2012): Causes of the Congolese Civil Wars and their implications for Humanitarian Assistance. Cologne University.

Vogel, C. (2010): The Africa Policy of ‘normative’ power EU considering Cotonou Agreement and promotion of EPAs. Cologne University.

Non-academic publications

Official reports

Behalal, Zobel/Vogel, Christoph et al. (2017): Final Report of the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2017/672). New York, United Nations.

Sharp, Michael/Vogel, Christoph et al. (2016): Midterm Report of the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2016/1102). New York, United Nations.

Edited volumes and series

Vogel, Christoph (2015): The evolving landscape of Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Vogel, Christoph (2015): Amani Itakuya II Essay Series.

Vogel, Christoph (2013): Amani Itakuya I Essay Series.

Analyses and opinion pieces

UN Peacekeepers killed in Congo. Here is what we know.

Washington Post. Washington, 2017.

Congolese Mathematics: Kabila, elections, and the slide rule of dialogue & duress

Mail & Guardian. Johannesburg, 2016.

The dogged persistence of the FDLR

Congo Research Group. New York, 2016.

“Just let us fight, and the war will end” – a review of Justine Brabants new book on eastern Congo

African Arguments. London, 2016.

New documentary film, ‘We Will Win Peace,’ skillfully debunks many myths behind conflict minerals in the Congo

Africa Is A Country. New York, 2015.

Les minerais du sang ou les avatars de la bonne conscience

La Revue Nouvelle, Brussels. 2015.

After UN-Kinshasa fallout, operations against FDLR begin in eastern DRC

African Arguments, London. 2015

Why was the UN sidelined in “joint” DRC operation against rebels?

IRIN, Nairobi. 2015

Review: Peaceland – Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention

African Arguments, London. 2014

DRC: Conflict minerals movement at a crossroads

Al Jazeera English, Doha. 2014

In eastern Congo, economic colonialism in the guise of ethical consumption?

Washington Post, Washington. 2014

Assessing the performance of MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade

African Arguments, London. 2014

Peace accords, but the puzzle still perplexes 

The Africa Report, Paris. 2014

Eastern DRC: Stop Fixating on Conflict Minerals

Think Africa Press, London. 2014.

Beyond greed or grievance: understanding conflict in resource-rich states

African Arguments, London. 2014.

Post-M23 Euphoria and the Recurrent Peace Dividends in Eastern DRC

Kujenga Amani Forum, Social Science Research Council (SSRC). 2014.

Dancing with the Word “Genocide”

International Peace Institute (Global Observatory), New York. 2014.

Reconfiguring the state in eastern DRC: fixing the unfixable?

openDemocracy, London. 2014.

DRC: The Amani Festival Shows Off Goma’s Fun Side

Think Africa Press, London. 2014.

Autopsie d’une stabilisation complexe de l’ONU en République Démocratique du Congo

Resolution Possible, London. 2014

Musicians sing for peace at DRC festival

The Guardian, London. 2014

DR Congo risks violence despite rebel defeat

Al Jazeera English, Doha. 2014.

With M23 gone, will other armed groups in Eastern DRC demobilise?

African Arguments, London. 2013.

Big Victory as M23 Surrenders, But Not an End to Congo’s Travails

International Peace Institute (Global Observatory), New York. 2013.

End of an era? What next for the DR Congo now the M23 has been defeated?

Think Africa Press, London. 2013.

Why peacebuilding in eastern Congo often goes wrong, and why it is so hard to get it right

Kujenga Amani Forum, Social Science Research Council (SSRC). 2013.

République Démocratique du Congo: Mon nom pour une chanson

Courrier International, Paris. 2013.

Eastern Congo’s recent troubles: who pulls the strings, what is at stake, and why do things happen?

African Arguments, London. 2013.

Congo: Why UN peacekeepers have a credibility problem

The Guardian, London. 2013.

Say my name: How ‘shout-outs’ keep Congolese musicians in the money

The Guardian, London. 2013.

North Kivu braces for potential UN-armed group clashes

IRIN News, Nairobi. 2013

UN’s elite force raises the stakes in DRC

Al Jazeera English, Doha. 2013.

DRC: Who are the Raïa Mutomboki?

Think Africa Press, London. 2013.

Thin-Skinned quarrels: MONUSCO and Humanitarian Action in the Congo

African Arguments, London. 2013.

Why Herbst and Mills are wrong about Congo’s “invisible state”

African Arguments, London. 2013.

Taking the Fight to the DRC Rebels: The Potential Pitfalls of a UN Intervention Brigade

Think Africa Press, London. 2013.

Congo’s Most Powerful Rebel Speaks

Real Clear World, Washington. 2013.


'The state functions according to its entirely own logic'

D+C. Bonn, 2018

Newshour on the Uganda’s anti-ADF operations on 22 December 2017

BBC. London, 2017

Tote Blauhelme im Ostkongo

Spiegel. Hamburg, 2017

Réforme des Nations unies: faire mieux avec moins?

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2017

(Re)penser la guerre en RDC

L’Afrique des Idées, Paris. 2016

Décryptage : Joseph Kabila restera-t-il président après 2016 ?

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2016

DR Congo entering period of political contestation

Deutsche Welle, Bonn. 2016

Why DR Congo wants UN peacekeepers reduced (Link to audio file is here)

Deutsche Welle, Bonn. 2016

Carte : groupes armés et autres milices pullulent (encore) dans l’est de la RDC

Jeune Afrique, Paris. 2015

Des élections en RDC, oui mais quand?

Deutsche Welle, Bonn. 2015

Quid de la médiation au Burundi?

Deutsche Welle, Bonn. 2015

Justiztheater zwischen Werte- und Gefühlsstandards

SWR, Stuttgart. 2015

Trends: Crisis in Burundi

TVC Nigeria, Lagos. 2015

Tentative de coup d’état au Burundi

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2015

Monusco: “Un retrait de troupes est questionnable 

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2015

Un an depuis la chute du M23: Les groupes armés dans l’est de la République Démocratique du Congo

Deutsche Welle Français, Bonn. 2014

Les impacts positifs de la loi Dodd Frank sont presqu’invisibles (invité du jour)

Radio Okapi, Kinshasa. 2014

RDC: le role des minerais dans les conflits remis en cause

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2014

Kerry urges to Kabila to respect DRC constitution

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2014

Newshour on the verdict against Germain Katanga on 7 March 2014

BBC World Service, London. 2014

La traque des rebelles ADF mérite une bonne planification

RFI Mondoblog, Paris. 2014

Newshour on the surrender of M23 on 8 November 2013

BBC World Service, London. 2013.

Up All Night live on Congo on 6 November 2013.

BBC 5, London. 2013.

Rebuilding eastern DR Congo

Al Jazeera English (The Stream), Washington. 2013.

Will new court in DRC be truly independent?

Radio France Internationale, Paris. 2013.

Newshour on UN intervention brigade in the Congo on 25 July 2013

BBC World Service, London. 2013.

Tagesschau on the fall of Goma on 23 November 2012

ARD Tagesschau, Hamburg. 2012

Zwischen schwierigen Nachbarn und hilflosen Helfern

ARD, Hamburg. 2012.



Au Congo-RDC, les guerres noircissent le bilan de Kabila

Mediapart. Paris, 2018

Shadary's nomination for presidency in the Congo

Radio France Internationale. Paris, 2018

RDC : Joseph Kabila se retire de la course tout en préservant l’avenir

Le Monde. Paris, 2018

‘Kabila Must Go’: How Gridlock in Kinshasa Is Driving Violence in Eastern Congo

World Politics Review. Washington, 2017

RDC: dans l’est du pays, les groupes armés sont plus nombreux et plus politisés

Radio France Internationale. Paris, 2017

What one of the deadliest ever attacks on UN peacekeepers means for Congo

IRIN. Nairobi, 2017.

Le Burundi et l’ONU filent-ils désormais le parfait amour ?

Deutsche Welle. Bonn, 2017

A constitutional coup in Congo

Foreign Policy. Washington, 2016

La RD Congo est-elle le malade incurable de l’Afrique?

Le Figaro. Paris, 2016

In Congo, Wars Are Small and Chaos Is Endless

New York Times. New York, 2016

Peut-on fabriquer un téléphone équitable ?

Le Monde diplomatique. Paris, 2016

Apple and Samsung suppliers linked to child labor in Africa, report says

The Verge. New York, 2016

Neue Gewalt im Ostkongo

Deutsche Welle. Bonn, 2016

Groupes armés et autres milices pullulent (encore) dans l’est du Congo

Jeune Afrique. Paris, 2016

Will peacekeeper plan help end Burundi violence?

IRIN. Nairobi, 2015

Retour sur l’arrestation de Ladislas Ntaganzwa, génocidaire présumé

Le Monde. Paris, 2015

A rare map of the most complex conflict on earth

Business Insider. Washington, 2015

DRC rebels ‘crying for attention’

Mail & Guardian. Pretoria, 2015

The losing battle against conflict minerals

Al Jazeera America. Washington, 2015

Catholics in Bangui prepare for Pope Francis

Vatican Radio. Roma, 2015

Doubts plague Congo’s latest demobilisation programme

IRIN. Nairobi, 2015

Burundi on the edge as Disarmament Deadline Passes

Foreign Policy. Washington, 2015

NGO workers kidnapped for ransom in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Radio France Internationale. Paris, 2015

FDLR resurfacing poses huge threat to Great Lakes security

The East African. Nairobi, 2015

Kongos zersplitterte Opposition

Deutsche Welle. Bonn, 2015

Burundi crisis gets serious for regional leaders

IRIN. Nairobi, 2015

L’ONU, soixante-dix ans et un bilan mitigé

La Croix. Paris, 2015

L’instabilité règne au Burundi

Le Figaro. Paris, 2015

Finding and tracking conflict minerals in the hear of darkness

Earth Magazine. Alexandria, 2015

Ugandan rebel leader’s arrest a shot in the arm for justice

IRIN. Nairobi, 2015

Analysis: Burundi protests – the opposition, security forces and regional implications

Radio France Internationale. Paris, 2015

Burundi: contestation politique, acteurs multiples et avenir incertain

Radio Télévision Belge Francophone. Brussels, 2015

How Dodd-Frank is failing Congo (french version here)

Foreign Policy. Washington, 2015

Rogue army for a fragile state

Good Governance Africa. Johannesburg, 2015

Crossing the line

Good Governance Africa. Johannesburg, 2015

DR Congo Delays Disputed Law After Deadly Protests

Deutsche Welle. Bonn, 2015.

Kongos Präsident unter Druck 

Deutsche Welle. Bonn 2015

The human cost of conflict-free minerals

Mashable. New York, 2014

Beni, symbole du mal Congolais

Courrier International (Afrikarabia). Paris, 2014.

RDC : pourquoi la réorganisation du M23 à l’est n’est pas exclue

Jeune Afrique. Paris, 2014.

RDC: un an après la défaite du M23, le terreau de sa révolte reste fertile

L’Express. Paris, 2014.

Rebels kill 23 people in east Congo village

Reuters, London. 2014

Congo Officials Blame Machete Attacks in North Kivu on Allied Democratic Forces

Vice News, New York. 2014

Conflict mineral law does more harm than good for Congo, say experts

Humanosphere, Boston. 2014

Les lois sur la traçabilité des minerais de l’Est remises en cause par un groupe d’experts (dialogue entre congolais)

Radio Okapi, Kinshasa. 2014

Kurswechsel bei “Blutmineralien”

Die Tageszeitung, Berlin. 2014

DR Congo’s miners bear brunt of attempts to make minerals conflict-free

The Guardian, London. 2014

Conflict Minerals law starts despite poor industry responses

Reuters, London. 2014

Fighting an invisible enemy in DRC

IRIN, Nairobi. 2014

DDR in eastern DRC: Try, try again

IRIN, Nairobi. 2014

The false rumour about President Kagame’s death

BBC, London. 2014.

Kongo: Der Tod der niemals eintrat

Süddeutsche Zeitung, München. 2014

Colonel Ndala: slain hope of reformed DR Congo army

AFP/Global Post, Kinshasa. 2014

Four stories you may have missed in 2013

CNN, Atlanta. 2013.

RDC : qui est Jamil Mukulu de l’ADF, le rebelle islamiste du Nord-Kivu?

Jeune Afrique, Paris. 2013

Making sense of the DRC declarations on M23

IRIN, Nairobi. 2013.

Crise dans le Kivu: Que reste-t-il des FDLR?

Jeune Afrique, Paris. 2013.

‘It’s a new Congo, we won’t bow down to the enemy again’: Optimism as DRC’s vanquished rebels sign up for peace

The Independent, London. 2013.

RDC: de l’AFDL de Kabila au M23 de Makenga, la fin d’un cycle?

Jeune Afrique, Paris. 2013.

Analysis: Extending peace in DRC after M23’s demise

IRIN, Nairobi. 2013.

Profile: Sultani Makenga, DR Congo’s M23 rebel leader

BBC, London. 2013.

Congo’s defeated M23 rebels vow to disband and disarm

Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles. 2013.

Briefing: Armed groups in eastern DRC

IRIN, Nairobi. 2013.

The UN’s turning point

MacLeans, Toronto. 2013.

RDC : Les “lignes rouges” infranchissables de Kampala

Afrikarabia, Paris. 2013.

UN seeks to restore credibility in DRC

Deutsche Welle, Bonn. 2013.

Why Blair and Buffett are wrong about giving international aid to Rwanda

The Guardian, London. 2013

Trotz Kriegserklärung ist ein Friedensschluss im Kongo in Reichweite

Greenpeace Magazine. 2013

Zwischen schwierigen Nachbarn und hilflosen Helfern

ARD Tagesschau, Hamburg. 2012.

Miliz im Kongo verspricht Rückzug

Tagesspiegel (Die Zeit), Berlin. 2012.

La chute de #Goma vue par Twitter

Grotius International, Paris. 2012.

RDC : quand le M23 fait de la “pub” à l’UMP de Nicolas Sarkozy

Jeune Afrique, Paris. 2012.