My books and articles have been translated into different languages and are published internationally. 
An overview of my academic articles can be found on my academic profile:

Dr. R.S. (Roanne) van Voorst – University of Amsterdam (

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL. Parents about the future of their children.

An interviewbundle featuring Arnon Grunberg, Fidan Ekiz, Rutger Bregman, Lucy Woesthoff, Jan Drost, Marjolein van Heemstra, Asha ten Broeke, Arie Boomsma and others. 

How does one’s vision of the future change with a child? What concerns do modern parents have? And what can we do? In this book, Roanne van Voorst interviews well-known Dutch thinkers, essayists and philosophers about the future of their children. Concerns about climate change, polarization, racism, exclusion and the exhausting pursuit of optimalization are never far away. But there is always hope, hope for the future and the children who will shape it,
because in the end it turns out: new life requires hope. 

“A must-read for all parents-to-be.”

This book is available in Dutch (Original title: Leven Doet Hopen, Podium).


Love is the most important and intense experience of one’s life. It pushes us to elation, to heartbreak, to sing for joy and sob in disappointment. Connecting in this way to others is an essential quality of being human: without love, we don’t learn and develop properly as children and we don’t flourish as adults – in short, we’re starved of what we need.

But love is on the verge of monumental change. Not only is the impact of AI and robotics set to revolutionise how we relate to each other, but sex robots are already on the market, drugs are being developed which can make you fall in love, polyamory is gaining ground and debates about whether more than two people should be able legally to get married are heating up. At the same time, there is an increasing number of people who have decided to stay single and who go by the name of sologamists.

The Futures Anthropologist Roanne van Voorst spent three years researching love’s fluid landscape and immersing herself in today’s latest trends to gain insight into the human of tomorrow. She cultivated a virtual friendship, hired a rentable friend and an erotic masseuse, shared a bed with sex dolls and flirted with artificial intelligence. She dated and danced in a virtual world, spoke to polyamorists, sologamists, sex workers, pansexuals, asexuals, heterosexuals, homosexuals, men, women, and people who don’t accept the binary gender label. She wanted to know how changes to love are changing our species. This book is her brilliantly engaging answer.

‘Roanne van Voorst is one of the Dutch writers I admire most. She’s radical and nuanced, idealistic and open-minded. Whatever she writes about, each time she broadens your horizons and opens your world.’ – Rutger Bregman, author of “Humankind: A Hopeful History”

‘A charming, insightful, and fearless guide to the new frontiers of sexuality’. – Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of “How the Mind Works”.

This book is available in English (Polity Press), Dutch (Podium) and Spanish.


Combining the ethical clarity of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals with the disquieting vision of Alan Weissman’s bestseller The World Without Us, a thought-provoking, entertaining exploration of a future where animal consumption is a thing of the past. Though increasing numbers of people know that eating meat is detrimental to our planet’s health, many still can’t be convinced to give up eating meat. But how can we change behavior when common arguments and information aren’t working?

Acclaimed anthropologist Roanne Van Voorst changes the dialogue. In Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals, she shifts the focus from the present looking forward to the future looking back—imagining a world in which most no longer use animals for food, clothing, or other items. By shifting the viewpoint, she offers a clear and compelling vision of what it means to live in a world without meat. Hopeful and persuasive, Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals offers a tantalizing vision of what is not only possible but perhaps inevitable.

This book is available in English (Harper Collins), Dutch (Podium), German (Penguin Random),
Japanese, Portugese (Companhia Editora Nacional) and Spanish (Ediciones Destino).


A shocking and urgent novel, based on years of ethnography and true stories of veterans. A book about camaraderie, loneliness, love and anxiety about the unknown, exploring the increasing fear of refugees, characterizing modern politics.

‘Very powerful, with a unique and new voice that continued to resonate for days after I finished the book. Wonderful phrases and images follow each other up at a rapid pace; Roanne van Voorst is a real natural in literature.’ – Herman Koch

‘The most beautiful book of the year. Couldn’t put it away anymore. I cried, laughed, and was deeply moved’.’ – Hebban

Available in Dutch (Original Title: Lief van Je, Brandt)


Modern times are characterized by uncertainty. If there is one skill that we need to thrive inthe nearby future, it is how to deal with stress and the unknown. In this interview bundle, some of the most courageous people in this world share their lessons on courage-building and goal-setting in fragile situations. From self-hypnosis to visualization to rational analyses – the interviewees tested the most effective strategies to overcome anxiety, and share their formula for success in this book. Featuring Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill, Catherine Destivelle, ‘Spiderman’ Alain Robert, Cedric Dumont, Steph Davis and many more.

‘Fear! breaks down what it takes to become successful under highly stressful circumstances:
mental and physical practice, balancing risk versus outcomes and push way beyond your
limits.’– Tommy Caldwell, legendary rock climber and author of The Push

Available in English, Dutch (Alles onder Controle, Brandt) and French (Vaincre ses Peurs, Editions du Mont Blanc)


Different people handle risk and unknown futures, in different ways. The current lack of understanding about this heterogeneity in uncertainty behaviour makes it difficult to intervene effectively in risk-prone communities.

Natural Hazards, Risk and Vulnerability offers a unique insight in the everyday life of a group of riverbank settlers in Jakarta – one of the most vulnerable areas worldwide in terms of exposure to natural hazards. Based on long-term fieldwork, the book portrays the often creative and innovative ways in which slum dwellers cope with recurrent
floods. The book shows that behaviour that is often described as irrational or ineffective by outside experts can be highly pragmatic and often effective. This book argues that human risk behaviour cannot be explained by the risk itself, but instead by seemingly unrelated factors such as trust in authorities and aid-institutions and unequal power structures. By considering a risk as a lens that exposes these factors, a completely new type of analysis is proposed that offers useful insights for everyone concerned about how people cope with the currently increasing amount of natural hazard.

This is a valuable resource for academics, researchers and policy makers in the areas of risk studies, disaster and natural hazard, urban studies, anthropology, development, Southeast Asian studies and Indonesia studies.

Available in English (Routledge)


A non-fiction work about the unsustainability and inequality of modern cities, based on Roanne van Voorsts’ long term fieldwork in one of the most poor and dangerous slums of Jakarta, Indonesia. She narrates the inventive, creative and often hilarious strategies that slumdwellers use to cope with recurrent risk. Above all, she asks the question what we really need to live a good life? (hint: lots of mango’s, a reasonable amount of pubic hair, and a Jacuzzi)

‘Roanne van Voorst has the courage to step into the raw life of the poorest people in Jakarta, and through her eyes we experience their sometimes painfully, funny struggle to exist’–Al Jazeera

Available in Dutch (De Beste Plek ter Wereld, Brandt) and Bahasa Indonesia (Marjin Kiri)


To impress his superiors from the Ministry of Housing, an ambitious social worker organizes an event for top officials and neighbours in a deprived neighbourhood. He tries to make the area in which he works clean, modern and safe, but gradually he finds out that he has been missing something crucial… A psychological novel that takes place in a modernist setting, criticizing the idea that cities can be completely planned, inspired by Le Corbusier and one of his greatest critics: sociologist James C. Scott.

‘A book begging to be turned into a movie.’– Hebba

‘A razor-sharp psychological portrait about human relationships in work and private relationships. (…) There is a subtle tension that rises towards the end of the book. The finale can be called unexpected and almost disconcerting. Well written debut novel by anthropologist Roanne van Voorst.’ – Carol Tummers, NBD Biblion

‘Van Voorst unmistakably wrote this black-humorous novel from a great insight into vulnerable groups and into the human psyche.’– Opzij Magazine

‘Van Voorst has shown that she can combine her scientific knowledge with a fluent writing style.’– Cultuurbewust

Available in Dutch (Original Title: De Verhuizing, Atlas Contact)


A non-fiction work exploring the increasing migration of people with different ethnic backgrounds, to the Netherlands. Van Voorst shows that unlike the populist idea that integration has been a failure; migrant youth are actually mingling in into society very well – while also maintaining traditional, or developing complete new, mixed cultures.

‘A book that can be read as a journalistic longread, but van Voorst also provides a competent overview of research and theory. She does this in lively prose, level-headed and without prejudices, but also not afflicted with political correctness: ****’– De Volkskrant

‘Significant anecdotes. Despite all the problems and misunderstandings, most immigrant youth feel more Dutch than is suspected.’– Elsevier

‘Anthropologist Roanne van Voorst gives nuanced insights into the various youth cultures and describes the characteristics and integration problems of the most important groups of immigrant youth.’ – Elle

‘Young people from ethnic minorities often do not get to speak for themselves in the integration debate. Until Van Voorst opened up the conversation.’– Glamour

Available in Dutch (Original Title: Jullie zijn Anders als Ons, De Bezige Bij)

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