Born on November 4, 1959 in Brasschaat, Belgium. Study University of Antwerp (BA Philosophy and Law 1979), Catholic University of Leuven (MA Law 1982, MA Philosophy 1984, MA Anthropology 1985). 1990 PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Catholic University of Leuven. Research assistant, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Catholic University of Leuven (1985–1990). Advocate Member of the Brussels bar (Orde français des avocats du barreau de Bruxelles) (1986–1994). Post-doctoral fellowship, National Foundation for Scientific Research and Assistant Head, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Catholic University of Leuven (1990–1995). Professor of Anthropology (Social & Cultural), Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Antwerp (1991–2012). Full time professor at the Law Faculty, Catholic University of Leuven, Chair of the Institute for Migration Law and Legal Anthropology; Member of the Leuven Center for Global Governance Studies and of the Research Group Human Rights and International Justice (2008–2012). Director of the Department ‘Law & Anthropology’, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany (since March 2012). Honorary Professor of Law and Anthropology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany (since June 2014). Member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences (since 2015).