About the Chair

A tribute 

The Professor Dr J.A.A. van Doorn Chair is a tribute to Jacques van Doorn, founder of the department of Sociology at the former Nederlandse Economische Hogeschool (Dutch Economic University of Applied Sciences) which later became the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Sociology is embedded in the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences since September 1st, 2017.

On the 14th of May 2008 Mr van Doorn passed away. He is considered as one of the leading Dutch sociologists after the Second World War. Jacques van Doorn has had a major influence on Dutch sociology in general and on the education of sociology in Rotterdam in particular. With the so-called Rotterdam Formula he was one of the fundamental people who devised the education of Sociology at the Erasmus University.

The dean has decided, upon the recommendation of the departments of Sociology and Public Administration, to honour Professor Van Doorn by implementing the Professor Dr. J.A.A. van Doorn Chair. The alternating Chair has been realised in collaboration with NIAS-KNAW which offers the Van Doorn Fellowship.

  • Bea Cantillon

    Bea Cantillon appointed to Van Doorn Chair

    The sociologist Prof. Bea Cantillon was appointed to Erasmus University’s Prof. J.A.A. van Doorn Chair. At the same time, she was appointed a Van Doorn Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS-KNAW). The chair is an homage to the founder of the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). In June 2020, Cantillon will present the fourth edition of the Van Doorn Lecture.

About Prof. Dr J.A.A. van Doorn

Jacobus Adrianus Antonius (Jacques) van Doorn obtained his HBS degree in Maastricht. He went on to study social geography at the University of Amsterdam. Between 1947 and 1950 he fulfilled his military service in Indonesia. In 1951 he finished his studies. He completed his PhD in the sociology of organisation. His doctoral thesis consisted of a historical analysis of the development of a military organisation and its influence on the sociology of organisation.

In 1958 Mr van Doorn became an endowed professor at the University of Leiden. He also worked as the director of the Instituut voor Sociaal Onderzoek van het Nederlandse Volk, a social research institute. In 1959 he published the book ‘Modern Sociology’, together with Cor Lammers. This influential textbook was used until the end of the eighties (15th print). Within the discipline it was perceived as an essential book for those studying sociology as a science. In 1960 van Doorn started working at the Erasmus University. He took the helm of the construction of the new social sciences faculty and its sociology study. Once firmly established, he started the magazine Beleid en Maatschappij (Policy and Society) of which he became the editor in chief, a position he held for over 15 years. 

Next to his position at the Erasmus University he served as an associate professor at the Royal Military Academy in Breda. In addition, he was a member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, the Dutch Royal Academy of Science. For 25 years, Dr. Van Doorn was connected to the Erasmus University Rotterdam as a professor in Sociology. In 1987 he left the Erasmus University. In the ensuing years, he continued his work as a columnist for various newspapers. Furthermore, he published many books in those years among which the De laatste eeuw van Indië, 1994 (The last century of India, 1994); Indische lessen, 1995 (Indonesian lessons, 1995), Duits Socialisme, 2007 (German Socialism, 2007) and posthumous Nederlandse Democratie, 2009 (Dutch Democracy, 2009). Professor Van Doorn passed away on the 14th of May 2008 at the age of 83, after a short period of illness. 

In Memoriam by Professor Han Entzinger, chairman Sociology EUR, May 2008.