Elsje's doctoral dissertation, which she defended in 2013, was titled "New Maps for Africa? Contextualising the 'Chinese Model' within Ethiopian and Kenyan Paradigms of Development". During her studies, she was a visiting researcher at the Universities of Bath, Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Kent. She has presented her research at several major international conferences, and has begun to publish some of her findings in academic, media and policy fora. Her main research interests are East African economic development, cross-societal emulation and comparative approaches to national modernisation.
Prior to coming to Trento, Elsje received her MA (with distinction) in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford (UK) and her BA (Cum Laude) from the University of Pretoria (South Africa). She also has training in human rights fieldwork and professional experience in the management of development projects, monitoring/evaluation, capacity-building and peacebuilding.
She speaks English and Afrikaans at native fluency and has a working knowledge of German, French and Dutch.
She is currently working as Lecturer of Globalisation and Development Studies at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and can be contacted at elsjef [at] gmail.com