Prof. dr. Marleen Easton

Prof. dr. Marleen EastonContact details / research disciplines / publications

Personal website

Question & answer

What is your hidden talent?

I’m a good cook, or so I’m told.

What is your research about?

I have been doing research in the security domain ( since 1994. Currently, I am focusing on three areas. The first is the mutual relationship/cooperation between several security actors (ranging from companies, civil society, customs, inspection services, police, citizens, etc.). A second area is the role of technology and innovation in providing security in our digitised society. This is also expressed in my civic engagement via the Innovation Center for Security ( A third focus is more cross-disciplinary where, based on my recent research, I examine the relationship between science, policy and practice.

Where did the interest in that subject come from?

It grew rather by chance. As a curious sociology student at the VUB, I managed to conduct an organisational sociological analysis of the gendarmerie, which was a closed bastion to outsiders at the time. I discovered a fascinating world about which I wanted to do further research. As a final-year student, I managed to secure a Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) mandate, I got started straight away and that is how the ball got rolling. Over the course of my career, I have had the privilege of meeting many inspiring academics and practitioners who have continued to feed my passion for the broad security domain to this day.

Why is your research socially relevant?

Security, in the broad sense of the word, is important to each and every one of us. It is a basic need to be able to build a quality life.

How would colleagues describe you??

No idea really …

What do you still hope to achieve in your academic career?

I would like to continue doing research that I find interesting and that is socially relevant. In addition, I would like to work with people who inspire me and with whom I enjoy working in a team. Also, I would like to supervise as many students as possible in their Master's programmes and in obtaining doctorates, because this kind of supervision gives me a great deal of satisfaction.

What is the first thing you do when an unexpected slot opens up in your schedule?

I go offline for a while, because this gives me inspiration and stimulates my creativity. Either that or go for a run ... that tends to do the trick, too.