Drs. J.H. Jonkman

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+31 20 59 86475
faculteit der sociale wetensch ( afd. sociale en culturele antropologie )


  • Citizenship
  • Political culture
  • Anthropology of the state
  • Ethnicity and nationalism



Jesse Jonkman’s PhD research explores the socio-territorial frictions that pervade informal gold mining in the Chocó, Colombia. At the intersection of domestic obstacles to formalization and the rocketing transnational demand for gold, in the last decade informal mining has mushroomed in Colombia’s gold producing regions. The Pacific department of Chocó has been particularly shaken up amidst the current gold boom. Here, small-scale miners, often coming from neighboring departments, have installed suction dredges and excavators in and around the lands of rural Afro-descendant communities. While these communities receive a share of the miners’ profits, they also have to endure the drastic ecological transformations that mechanized extraction brings along, such as mercury pollution and the sedimentation of river bodies. The miner newcomers on their turn win and wash their gold under conditions of insecurity and uncertainty, facing extortion by non-state armed actors as well as the possible confiscation and destruction of their equipment by state officials. Jesse studies how rural communities and miners alike understand and negotiate political, economic, and territorial arrangements of gold mining. Particularly, he analyzes how these engagements relate to hybrid forms of governance and citizenship.

Jesse completed a Research Master in Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University (cum laude). He has conducted ethnographic research in Guatemala and Argentina and has worked as a thesis supervisor at Utrecht University. His PhD trajectory started in February 2016.



2015       Microcitizenships amidst Post-Neoliberal Politics: The Political Articulation of Contentious Enitlements among the Middle Class in Salta, Argentina. Encuentro Latinoamericano 2(2): 6-29.

2014       Restoring the Argentine Order:  Economic Insecurity and Narratives of Class and National Belonging among the Middle Class in Salta, Argentina. MA Thesis Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University.

2011       God and the Construction of Indigenous Identity: A Study of Maya Protestantism in Rural Guatemala. BA Thesis Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University.


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Last changes Ancillary activities: Amsterdam 27 januari 2017