“De maatschappij is pas echt duurzaam als alle stemmen gehoord worden”

Paschalina Garidou did a master’s on Human Geography at Nijmegen School of Management. Nowadays she works as a researcher at this faculty. She says that her studies provided her with critical thinking skills: ‘Make your study personal, find topics, courses, readings, and lectures that fascinate and passion you.’

Portretfoto Paschalina Garidou

I aspire to create impact by inspiring people around me, sharing knowledge and engaging into constructive interactions 



Paschalina Garidou

Current role

Researcher Human Geography at Nijmegen School of Management

Previous education

Master Human Geography

What did you want to be as a child?

‘My childhood dream was to become veterinarian.’

What did you study? Why did you chose this study?

‘My bachelor’s studies focused on Political Science and my master’s on Human Geography, specializing in European borders, identities and governance. While younger, I read some books on Political Psychoanalysis and decided to dive into this interweaving. The completion of my studies coincided with the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, whose repercussions had just reached the external European borderlands and thus my home country, Greece. That was a decisive moment that motivated me to continue my studies in the field of Human (par extension political) Geography, and to research the European external border and migration regime, unfolding through the Greek case.’

Did your studies make you look “through another lens” and change your perspective on something in particular?

‘My studies provided me with an overall ability to be more critical and to dive beneath the surface of statements, claims and arguments on various current-day (geo)political affairs. To me, this is what education should aim towards; not to provide a definitive answer, but to unfold the plethora of different paths and lenses that we can choose from.’

You are currently a researcher. What exactly do you do? How do you apply knowledge from your studies here?

‘I happen to be member of a remarkable research team, with Prof. Dr. Henk van Houtum and Luuk Winkelmolen (MSc), with whom we work on the multidisciplinary project ‘Constructing the Limes’, representing Nijmegen Centre for Border Research (NCBR) and Radboud University. There we address current day geopolitical affairs, where the Roman border (the ‘Limes’) and cultural legacy, along with various Roman concepts (like the camp, the barbarian, the empire, the Limes, etc.), are being distorted and abused by populist, extreme-right and conservative thinkers and politicians, in order to legitimize their agendas and raise support for their fierce border and anti-immigration policy and (geo)political aspirations. We take their claims seriously, dive into the Roman conceptual genealogy and then travel back, in order to challenge dangerous claims surrounding the contemporary political debate on borders and migration.’

In what way do you have an impact on your environment? How do you contribute to (making) society more sustainable?

‘I aspire to create impact by inspiring people around me, sharing knowledge and engaging into constructive interactions. I believe that a society is sustainable when all voices are heard, and knowledge is openly accessible. I attempt to contribute to the ongoing academic and political debates on borders and migration by providing the knowledge coming from my team’s collective research as open source.’

Do you have any advice or tips for today's students?

‘Make it personal, that is find topics, courses, readings, lectures, etc. that fascinate and passion you and keep the flame of inspiration burning! In my view, there isn’t a more rewarding feeling than being passionate about growing through learning.’

In the next five years, Nijmegen School of Management should focus on…

‘…promoting conditions for critical research, safeguarding academic freedom, and striving for research aiming at global equity and sustainability.’

Contact information

About person
P. Garidou (Paschalina)