All ECLAS researchers are also EUC academic staff members. To read their extensive researcher profiles, please visit our Staff Pages.
“Us know who is to blame”: Understanding Popular Political Discontents in the Netherlands
In recent years, there has been quite some discussion about rising support for populist parties, and political distrust. While research has mostly focused on populist party leadership and discerning the antecedents of political distrust and populist voting, the perspectives and meanings of ordinary politically discontented citizens have largely been neglected. In my research project, I study the political discontents as they are formulated by ordinary people. This research project has resulted in a differentiation of political discontents (paper 1), an analysis of how people have come tot turn their backs on established politics (paper 2, video1), and an assessment of the claim that ‘populism channels discontent’, which takes the form of a comparison between populist party voters’ and non-voters’ political efficacy (paper 3, video 2). These findings demonstrate the importance of taking ordinary people’s meanings and formulations seriously in our analysis of contested societal phenomena.
Roy Kemmers is a Lecturer in Sociology at Erasmus University College. After dropping out of college, he worked as a forklift driver for five years before getting the idea of starting a Bachelor’s in Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Having finished that, he was part of the first cohort of students in the Research Master’s degree in Sociology of Culture, Media, and the Arts (ESHCC, EUR).
Roy worked on his dissertation on popular political discontents before joining EUC in 2015. At EUC, he coordinates the Sociology Major, several Sociology courses, a skills course on qualitative research, and supervises Capstones. Since 2014, he is an editor for the Dutch popular-scientific Sociologie Magazine and became chief editor in 2018. Roy considers himself a cultural sociologist, broadly interested in ordinary people’s meaning making in the domains of politics, identity, religion, and consumption.
Born and raised in the small town of Naaldwijk, Roy still enjoys living there with his family, while commuting to the beautiful city of Rotterdam every other day. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing both football and loud rock music.
Kemmers, R., S. Aupers, D. Houtman and J. van der Waal (2015) ‘State of Disgrace: Popular Political Discontents about the Dutch State in the 2000s,’ Parliamentary Affairs 68(3) pp 476-493 https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gst036 . Dutch summary, published in Res Publica: link
Kemmers, R., S. Aupers and J. van der Waal (2016) ‘Becoming Politically Discontented: Anti-establishment careers of Dutch Nonvoters and PVV-voters,’ Current Sociology, 64(5) pp. 757-74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392115609651
Video 1: animated abstract of ‘Becoming Politically Discontented’ on YouTube
Kemmers, R. (2017) Channelling discontent? Non-voters, populist party voters, and their meaningful political agency, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 4(4) pp 381-406, https://doi.org/10.1080/23254823.2017.1339203 (Open Access). Translated, in Dutch: ‘Gekanaliseerd onbehagen? PVV-stemmers, niet-stemmers en hun betekenisvolle politieke agency,’ Sociologie, 2018 (2/3), p. 177-198.
Video 2: Video abstract of ‘Channelling Discontent?’ on YouTube
Open EUC to the city of Rotterdam: education sustainability and ‘learning by doing’ approach
During the last years, Dr. Sergio Mugnai has developed a solid curriculum aiming at opening the EUC community to the city of Rotterdam in the field of sustainability as an essential practical part of his educational activities, more specifically in the field of educational sustainability. These scholarship activities can be recognized as an opportunity for strengthening the connection between EUC and the city, thus emphasizing the importance of making EUC an institution that works ‘for’ the city and not only ‘inside’ the city. On the other hand, these activities allow Dr. Sergio Mugnai to be constantly updated on the dynamics occurring in his fields of expertise from a practical perspective, as well as allowing his students to experience the ‘theory from practice’ and the ‘learning by doing’ paradigms.
The scholarship activities for which Dr. Sergio Mugnai is aiming at develop in the field of educational sustainability are:
- Circular Economy at BlueCity Rotterdam
- Sustainable Food at Erasmus Food Lab
Circular Economy at BlueCity Rotterdam
Content and details. Here, the collaboration with BlueCity (a well-known incubator for circular economy activities in the heart of Rotterdam) involves activities in the field of educational sustainability. Once per year, a series of workshops for students on different aspects of circular economy will be organized in order to let the students getting familiar with the basics of this concept. The workshops aim at showing the students how the transition from linear to circular economy could be made possible by simple targeted experiments, such the use of fungal mycelium as an input, or by utilizing innovative concepts such as biomimicry in order to redirect wastestreams into value and replace a chemical solution with a natural one.
Output. Event at BlueCity.
Sustainable Food at Erasmus Food Lab
Content and details. The Erasmus Food Lab focuses on the improvement of eating habits and sustainable consumption for shaping new global lifestyles. EFL operates to set an example of sustainable food culture, bringing consumers, researchers, cooks and food entrepreneurs, and professionals together. The collaboration of Dr. Sergio Mugnai with the EFL will focus on raising awareness in the students about their food choices from a sustainable perspectives, such as impact on health, GHG emissions, biodiversity, local markets and economies. Together with the EFL, Dr. Sergio Mugnai is looking at starting a fruitful collaboration with the Erasmus Sustainable Garden, where he aims at making the students more connected with sustainable food production, and sustainable agriculture in broader sense.
Timeline. Throughout the year, mainly in Quad 3 & 4 timeframe.
Output. Organisation of sustainable food activities, such as cooking workshops and dedicated lectures
Dr. Sergio Mugnai is an Italian and passionate EUC senior lecturer. He grew up in Pistoia, a beautiful medieval town in the heart of Tuscany, and then moved to Pisa where he obtained his Master degree cum laude in Agricultural Sciences and received his PhD in Horticulture. He then joined the University of Florence as Senior Researcher in Plant Physiology until 2011. During his stay, he conducted several researches in the field of plant stress physiology and plant-environment interaction. Then he decided to steer his professional life towards a new challenging adventure by moving to the Netherlands with his family.
Here he became Biology Project Scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA-ESTEC) in Noordwijk. His principal role was leading scientific manager for all the experiments related to Biology on the International Space Station (ISS).
After the end of this experience, he eventually joined EUC in 2015 as Senior Lecturer, where he initially developed courses in Plant Biology and Plant Physiology. Having a solid interest in food and in a sustainable environment, he also created a new course in Food and Nutrition and he created the Minor ‘Think Green’.
Defending Fundamental Rights in our Globalized World
My field of research encompasses fundamental rights in a global context. Anti-discrimination and rights of migrants are two important sub-fields. Both of these fields can best be approached from a transdisciplinary approach, due to their highly complex nature. While my research is mainly focused on the legal aspects of these phenomena, I heavily utilize insights from other disciplines in my application of law.
Dr. Türkan Ertuna Lagrand obtained her law degree from the Law Faculty of Ankara University and her LL.M. degree from the Erasmus University Rotterdam on International Business and Trade Law. She worked at the White & Case LLP in Ankara until her registration in the Ankara Bar as an attorney. In September 2004 she moved to the Netherlands to write her Ph.D. thesis on European Immigration Law at the European Law Department of the Erasmus University School of Law where she also taught EU Law courses. Upon defending her Ph.D. thesis in 2010, she worked for a year at The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration. The following year she moved to Brussels and from 2011 to 2017 she worked at the European Parliament as a foreign policy advisor. Since February 2017 she works at the Erasmus University College as Senior Lecturer on EU Law.
- ‘Protection of Transgender Employees from Discrimination: Is There Convergence Between the Approaches of the US Supreme Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union?’, Rivista di studi giuridici sull’orientamento sessuale e l’identità di genere, ISSN 2384-9495, 2020-01, access: http://www.geniusreview.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Lagrand_Protection.pdf
- ‘“Because of … sex”: Inspirations from the European Court of Justice for the United States Supreme Court in the First Transgender Rights Case Before It’, Rivista di studi giuridici sull’orientamento sessuale e l’identità di genere, 20 May 2020, access: http://www.geniusreview.eu/2020/because-of-sex-inspirations-from-the-european-court-of-justice-for-the-united-states-supreme-court-in-the-first-transgender-rights-case-before-it/
- ‘Immigration Law and Policy: the EU acquis and its impact on the Turkish legal order’, 2010, Wolf Legal Publishers, ISBN: 978-90-5850-482-1
- ‘European Union's Readmission Policy in the Post-Stockholm Programme Era’. In ‘Democracy and Rule of Law in the European Union’, 2016, Asser Press/Springer, ISBN: 978-94-6265-065-7
- ‘Mutual Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages from an EU Immigration Law Perspective’. In ‘Equality and Justice: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the XXI Century’, 2011, FORUM, ISBN: 978-88-8420-702-9
- ‘An analysis of the changes to the Quebec migration law regarding highly skilled workers’, 12 August 2020, access: https://www.ein.org.uk/blog/analysis-changes-quebec-migration-law-regarding-highly-skilled-workers
- ‘It’s not about Bathroom Policies, it’s about Constitutional Principles’, 24 April 2020, access: https://verfassungsblog.de/its-not-about-bathroom-policies-its-about-constitutional-principles/
Developing innovative, transdisciplinary, sustainable educational strategies for a shifting world
My research focuses on qualitative understandings of the impact of global crises such as environmental collapse, socio-economic inequality and the coronavirus pandemic on students’ concepts of identity and selfhood. I am working to develop participatory and transdisciplinary education action research methods that build a direct connection between education research and innovative educational practice. In particular, I bring together ontological insights from existential phenomenology and emancipatory practices from critical pedagogy to generate knowledge about the experience of learning in times of radical uncertainty. My research approach borrows from interpretive phenomenological analysis, phenomenography, grounded theory and critical ethnography, building up to what I have called “structured education action research”.
Dr. Ginie Servant Miklos is a Senior Lecturer in the Humanities Department of Erasmus University College, and currently hold a visiting professorship in experimental pedagogics at Tyumen University, Russia. She has recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Aalborg University’s Centre for Problem-based Learning in Engineering Education and Sustainability under the auspices of UNESCO. She obtained her PhD cum laude at Erasmus University in 2016 on the intellectual history of problem-based learning. Prior to that, she was based in Singapore where she ran an education consultancy organization focused on problem-based learning in Asia.
She has published numerous papers and book chapters on the historical, philosophical and psychological underpinnings of innovative pedagogies, in particular problem-based learning and problem-oriented project work, and has keynoted education conferences around the world to share her research findings. Praxis is key to Ginie’s education research projects, and she has been involved developing teacher and student training programmes to incorporate her research findings into practice for nearly a decade, delivering teacher training classes in person or virtually in dozens of countries ranging from Vietnam to Columbia, via Denmark and Singapore. She has also written opinion pieces for various university magazines, pedagogical magazines, on radio shows like the CBC Radio’s Spark programme, the debate platform Pakhuis de Zwijger, the NRC Onderwijs dagen and TEDx conferences.
Ginie is also the founder and Chair of the women’s empowerment charity the FairFight Foundation since 2015.
Selected journal articles
- Servant-Miklos, V. F., & Noordzij, G. (2020). Investigating the Impact of Problem-oriented Sustainability Education on Students’ Identity: a comparative study of planning and liberal arts students. Journal of Cleaner Production, 124846.
- Servant-Miklos, V. (2020). Problem-oriented Project Work and Problem-based Learning. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 14(1).
- Servant-Miklos, V. F., Dewar, E. F., & Bøgelund, P. (2020). ‘I started this, and I will end this': a phenomenological investigation of blue collar men undertaking engineering education as mature students. European Journal of Engineering Education, 1-15.
- Servant-Miklos, V., & Noordegraaf-Eelens, L. (2019). Toward social-transformative education: an ontological critique of self-directed learning. Critical Studies in Education, 1-17.
- Wijnia, L., & Servant-Miklos, V. F. (2019). Behind the times: a brief history of motivation discourse in problem-based learning. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 24(5), 915-929.
- Servant-Miklos, V. F. (2019). Fifty years on: A retrospective on the world's first problem-based learning programme at McMaster University Medical School. Health Professions Education, 5(1), 3-12.
- Servant-Miklos, V. F., Woods, N. N., & Dolmans, D. H. (2019). Celebrating 50 years of problem-based learning: progress, pitfalls and possibilities. Advances in Health Sciences Education.
- Servant-Miklos, V. F. (2019). A Revolution in its own right: How maastricht university reinvented problem-based learning. Health Professions Education, 5(4), 283-293.
- Servant-Miklos, V. F. (2019). Problem solving skills versus knowledge acquisition: The historical dispute that split problem-based learning into two camps. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 24(3), 619-635.
- Servant-Miklos, V. F. (2019). The Harvard connection: How the case method spawned problem-based learning at McMaster University. Health Professions Education, 5(3), 163-171.
- Servant, V. F., & Schmidt, H. G. (2016). Revisiting ‘Foundations of problem‐based learning: some explanatory notes’. Medical education, 50(7), 698-701.
- Servant, V. F., & Dewar, E. F. (2015). Investigating problem-based learning tutorship in medical and engineering programs in Malaysia. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 9(2).
- Servant, V. F., Noordzij, G., Spierenburg, E. J., & Frens, M. A. (2015). Thinking in Possibilities: Unleashing Cognitive Creativity Through Assessment in a Problem-Based Learning Environment. Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, 3(1).
- Servant, V. F. (2018). From Flexner to Rogers: An Inquiry into the Intellectual Origins of Problem-Based Learning at McMaster University Medical School. Health Professions Education.
- Servant, V. F., Kwan, C. Y., & Prihatiningsih, T. S. (2013). A Case-Study of" Comprehensive" Undergraduate PBL Programs in Two Asian Medical Schools. 醫學教育, 17(2), 64-79.
- Servant‐Miklos, V. F., Norman, G. R., & Schmidt, H. G. (2019). A Short Intellectual History of Problem‐Based Learning. The Wiley Handbook of Problem‐Based Learning, 3-24.
- Servant, V. (2013). The many roads to problem-based learning: A cross-disciplinary overview of PBL in Asian Institutions. PBL across cultures, 395
‘Working with Nature’ in the Anthropocene: Environmental Management beyond Man the Controller
In the context of far-reaching and unpredictable climate change, environmental management and environmental policy discourse has witnessed the emergence of a novel environmental management paradigm: that of ‘fostering resilience’. Fostering the resilience of ecosystems is positioned not only as a way to maximize ecosystem’s abilities to respond to and bounce back from environmental stressors (e.g. pollution, floods, fires), but also as way to reconcile diverse social, economic, and ecological interests.
Conceptually, the rise of resilience disrupts anthropocentric understandings of the relationships between natural environments and environmental management. ‘Working with rather than against nature’ is a recurring slogan in environmental policy discourse. Drawing on Puig de la Bellacasa’s work on human-nonhuman constellations of care, this project seeks to conceptualize what novel relationships between humans and nonhumans are crafted and negotiated as a result of this rise of resilience. Moving beyond celebratory or critical accounts, it aims in particular to tease out possibilities to dissent-within resilience, articulating a novel ethics of environmental management.
My research concentrates on concrete practices of knowing, valuing, and decision-making. Drawing on pragmatist philosophy and material-semiotics, I am especially interested in the intimate connections between knowledge and (e)valuation, or: the ways by which implicit or explicit normativities inform our grasp on the world – and the ways knowledges in turn shape our normative commitments to our possibilities within it. Trained as an ethnographer, I see social inquiry as an art of staying with the trouble.
I defended my dissertation called Ways of Case-Making in 2018 (cum laude) at the sociology department of the EUR. Cambridge University Press recently published my monograph The Law Multiple: Judgment and Knowledge in Practice (see here for more!). In this book, I seek to trace how knowledge is made in and about legal practices. Ethnographically attending to the irreducibly material and temporal character of knowing and judging work, this book takes issue with overtly abstracted understandings of both ‘the Law’ and ‘Science’ and develops a conception of knowing and judging as concrete and material practices.
Working as a postdoctoral researcher at the anthropology department of the University of Amsterdam (Program Group Health, Care, and the Body), I have focused on forensic and genetic knowledge production in the context of Prof. Amade M’charek’s RaceFaceID project, zooming in on the role of biological race in forensic and legal settings.
Currently, I am developing an approach to environmental management that draws on my expertise in knowing and valuing practices and finds inspiration in feminist science and technology studies.
A selection of my most recent work:
Van Oorschot, Irene. (2020) The Law Multiple: Judgment and Knowledge in Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
M’charek, A., Irene van Oorschot, R. Benschop, J. Harambam, eds. (2014/2015) Monsters in de Sociologie. Special Issue Sociologie on Actor Network Theory 10(3/4). (In Dutch)
Wissink, Lieke and Irene van Oorschot (preprint, accepted for publication) Affective Bureaucratic Worlds: File Practices in a European deportation Unit and Criminal Court. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space.
Van Oorschot, Irene. (2020) Culture, Milieu, Phenotype: Articulating Race in Judicial Practice. Social & legal Studies
Van Oorschot, Irene, P. Mascini & D. Weenink (2017). Remorse in Context(s): A Qualitative Exploration of Remorse and its Consequences. Social & Legal Studies, 26 (3), 359-377.
P. Mascini, Irene. van Oorschot, D. Weenink & G. Schippers (2016). Understanding Judges’ Choice of Sentence Type as Interpretative Work: An Explorative Study in a Dutch Police Court. Recht der Werkelijkheid – Cahiers d’Anthropologie du Droit, 37 (1), 32-49.
Van Oorschot, Irene & W. Schinkel (2015). The Legal Case File as Border Object: On Self-reference and Other-reference in Criminal Law. Journal of Law & Society, 42 (4), 499-527.
Van Oorschot, Irene. A. M’charek, J. Harambam & R. Benschop (2014) Monsters in de Sociologie: De Wondere Wereld van ANT [Monsters in Sociology: The Wondrous World of ANT]. Sociologie, 10 (3/4), 226-241.
Van Oorschot, Irene (2014). Het Dossier-in-Actie: Vouw- en Ontvouwpraktijken in Juridische Waarheidsvinding. [Case Files in Action: Folds and Folding Practice in Judicial Truth-Telling] Sociologie, 10 (3/4), 301-318.
Van Oorschot, Irene (2014). Seeing the Case Clearly: File-Work, Material Mediation and Visualizing Practice in a Dutch Criminal Court. Symbolic Interaction, 37 (4), 439-457.
Van Oorschot, Irene (2014). Negotiating Knowledges Abroad: Non-Western Students and the Global Mobility of Knowledge. Compare: a Journal of Comparative and International Education, 44 (6), 895-915.
Hopman, R., Irene van Oorschot, and A. M’charek. (forthcoming) From Promise to Practice: Anticipatory Work and the Adoption of Massive Parallel Sequencing in Forensics. Techno-Legal Worlds, eds. V. Toom, M. Wienroth, and A. M’charek. London: Routledge.
Van Oorschot, Irene and Amade M’charek (preprint, accepted for publication) Un/Doing Race: On Technology, Individuals, and Collectives in Forensic Practice. Handbook for the Anthropology of Technology, eds. M H Bruun and C Hasse, Palgrave MacMillan.
Servant-Miklos, G. and Irene van Oorschot. (2020) Collaboration, Reflection, and Imagination: Rethinking Assessment in PBL Education for Sustainability. Educate for the Future: PBL, Sustainability, and Digitization. Aalborg: Aalborg University Press.
M’charek, A. and Irene van Oorschot. (2019) What About Race? ANT Companion Reader, eds. A. Blok, C. Roberts, I. Farias. London: Routledge.
Van Oorschot, Irene (2018) Doing Times, Doing Truths: The Legal Case File as a Folded Object. Regulating Time, E. Grabham and S. Beynon-Jones (eds.) Social Justice Series, Routledge.
Van Oorschot, Irene, P. Mascini. (2018) Cases under Construction. Empirical Legal Research in Action: Reflections on Methods and their Applications. W. van Boom, P. Desmet, and P. Mascini. (eds). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Van Oorschot, Irene, J. Harambam, L. Buijs & M. Siebel (2014) Een Interview met Latour: Modes of Existence, Diplomatie, en de Sociologie. [An Interview with Latour: Modes of Existence, Diplomacy, and Sociology] Sociologie, 10 (3/4), 370-374.
All my publications and blogs can also be found on www.irenevanoorschot.com.
Future Matters: Enacting utopia in innovative transdisciplinary education
In my PhD research, I adopt a material semiotic sensibility to trace enactments of the utopian in the transdisciplinary minor “Re-Imagining Tomorrow through Arts and Sciences”. The utopian is here not defined as a blueprint or representation of a perfect world or future, but as a process, a mode of striving towards something that is better, and which is embedded in everyday practices (Cooper, 2014, Levitas, 2013). Mapping how the utopian is performed in the relations between (digital) learning spaces, tutors, students, learning materials and institutions, provides insight into how innovative educational practices move between existing structures and systems and alternative spaces. By focusing specifically on the spatial and temporal dimensions of both transdisciplinary education and utopian everyday practices, I explore how the material and the social are entangled in the performance of new forms of teaching and learning that aim to create more socially and ecologically just futures. The PhD research goes hand in hand with action research as part of which a new pedagogical approach to transdisciplinary education across arts and sciences is being developed.
Tamara de Groot has a Liberal Arts degree from University College Utrecht and obtained her research masters in Art History from Leiden University. She is a lecturer in the Humanities at Erasmus University College, member of the lectorate Transdisciplinary Education Innovation at Codarts University of the Arts, and she is involved in the development of transdisciplinary (teacher) education in the context of RASL (Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab) across three higher education institutions: Codarts, Willem De Kooning Academy and Erasmus University. She coordinates and teaches in the transdisciplinary RASL minor ‘Re-Imagining Tomorrow through Arts & Sciences’, as well as created and coordinated the accompanying transdisciplinary teacher training programme. She is also part of an Erasmus+ project on transdisciplinary education that combines arts and sciences, for which she is collaborating with Zürcher Hochschule der Künste to create an archive for innovative transdisciplinary educational frameworks and tools.
At Erasmus University College Tamara is coordinator of the Humanities major Cultural Analysis. She created, coordinated and taught several academic skills courses, among which Academic Writing and Presenting, Project Development, Argumentation, as well as coordinated several Humanities courses, among which Global Art Markets and Representation: Critical Methodologies for Visual Cultures. She also created and is responsible for the EUC Arts & Culture Programme – an extracurricular programme in which students explore the relationship between arts & sciences through several innovative pedagogical tools.
She is currently writing her PhD dissertation on innovative educational practices that combine artistic, scientific and societal knowledges, and takes a new materialist approach to rethinking collaboration, transdisciplinarity and educational research. In her educational practice, she works with SF and alternative futurisms to encourage students to question how we construct the narratives of the future, past and present.
- Submitted: Van Baalen, W. & de Groot, T. (2021). Higher Education, the arts, and transdisciplinarity: A systematic review of the literature.
- De Groot, T. & van Oorschot, I. (2020). Provisional Pedagogies in Zones of Tension. Published on: publications.rasl.nu
- Noordegraaf-Eelens, L., Teeuwen, R., de Groot, T. (2018). RASL Compositions: Collaboration, Commitment and Creativity in Education. In: RASL Compositions. Imagining Alternative Futures.
Fostering transformative change through urban ecology and education for sustainability
We are currently facing an unprecedent ecological crisis that is characterised by persistent wicked problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Societal challenges such as social inequality, power imbalance and injustice are intrinsically connected to this crisis and either contibute to or result from it. Such complex and intricated challenges require new approaches to promote positive change towards social transformation for a sustainable society. The science of Ecology, with its inherently interdisciplinary focus, can play an important role in this transition.
Drawing from the interactions between organisms and their environment, resilience and systems theory my research aims to develop and evaluate actions of transformative change towards a more sustainable future through urban ecology and education for sustainability.
Dr. Ana Vasques was born in Portugal and spent her childhood in Angola and Brazil. She completed her BSc in Biology and her MSc in Ecology at the University of Aveiro (Portugal). In the meanwhile, she worked for a private research institute in Portugal, where she developed applied research in plant-insect interactions and pest management. Later on, she completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Aveiro and at the Mediterranean Center for Environmental Studies (Spain) and developed a postdoctoral research in Ecosystem Modelling at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Ana is currently a Senior Lecturer at EUR and currently coordinates the major Sustainability, the course Principles of Ecology, the module Environmental Science of the Think Green minor and the minor Science and Practice for Transformative Change at EUC and co-coordinates the honours course Communicating Sustainability in an Intercultureal Context at EUR. Ana currently develops research in Urban Ecology, Environmental Modelling and Education for Sustainability.
Project manager of the following Community for Learning and Innovation projects:
Toolbox Education for Sustainable Development (EUC & ESHCC). Project number 2020.25
Minor Science and Practice for Transformative Change. Project number 2020.20
Competition law in the data economy
Many firms that are operating in the digital economy have experienced substantial growth over the past few years. One of the important elements for several of these firms is the collection of (user) data, which provide important insights in habits of the customer and the usage of the product or service. This research will look at the relation between competition law and other relevant fields of law on markets where data plays an important role. These situations often take place at the intersection of competition law, privacy law, consumer protection law and intellectual property rights. The increasing attention to privacy and protection of consumers in today’s society, in combination with the observation that consumers seem to relatively carelessly provide their data to firms, provides an important challenge for competition law in the coming years. A deeper understanding of the role of competition law and the consequences of this role on competitive outcomes (innovation, consumer welfare) is therefore essential.
Critical world citizenship: from theory to praxis
My research activities at EUC can be divided into two pillars. On one hand, I focus on educational innovation. This consists of designing a course experience to practice critical world citizenship in real-life setting through an exchange with students from the Middle East. More info can be found in this news item and on this webpage of the Community of Learning and Innovation (CLI). On the other hand, I pursue classic research activities (fieldwork, conferencing, publishing) from a transdisciplinary perspective, combining political sociology and Middle Eastern studies.
Both of these pillars are connected to ECLAS’ and EUR’s ambition to produce knowledge that has societal impact and shows engagement with real-life issues. The way I contribute to this is by sharing with students and colleagues my conviction that we need to constantly broaden our horizon and foster genuine understanding of communities that are often marginalized in mainstream academic or media discourse. This attitude also informs my own curriculum, my research and my teaching portfolio. A concrete illustration can be found in my work on the interaction of architecture, politics and religion in Arab and Muslim societies.
I am affiliated with Erasmus University College Rotterdam as a Senior Lecturer in political science. My expertise lies in the contemporary Middle East, a region I continue to engage with as both a student and a teacher. I am a political scientist with special interest in the contemporary Middle East but started the other way round: as a student of Arab and Islamic studies, I ventured into social sciences. This blend of disciplines characterizes my scholarlship: I believe that blending International Relations with social sciences and humanities is a stimulating starting point for any learning journey. Thematically, my research explores power visualization in symbolic and material forms, mostly in Arab settings.
At EUC, I developed a course in which students use buildings and architecture to teach each other about the political history of Islam. Besides, I launched a course on comparative politics and co-created another one that revolves around maps to analyse Middle East Politics, a first of its kind in Dutch liberal arts education. Currently, I am coordinating the Political Science and International Relations (POLIR) major with a growing team of colleagues dedicated to educating EUC students as critical world citizens.
W.P. Vloeberghs (2021). Is there moderation in ostentation? Architectural sectarianism and Lebanese Islamisms (2008-2018). In: Batuman, B. (Ed.). (2020). Cities and Islamisms: On the Politics and Production of the Built Environment. Routledge.
W.P. Vloeberghs, N. Farhat, P. Bourbeau & P. Poirier (2020). Transforming Unitary States into Federations: Path-Dependent Construction of Political Identities in Belgium and Lebanon.Publius: The Journal of Federalism. doi: 10.1093/publius/pjaa007
W.P. Vloeberghs (2016). Dynamiques dynastiques au Liban : transmettre le pouvoir politique en famille.Opens externalCritique Internationale, 73 (2016/4), 71-93. doi: 10.3917/crii.073.0071
W.P. Vloeberghs (2015). Architecture, Power and Religion in Lebanon Rafiq Hariri and the Politics of Sacred Space in Beirut.Opens external(Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia (SEPS), 114). Leiden: Brill doi: 10.1163/9789004307056
Technological change and firms’ involvement in international trade
My research activity within the project “Trade, technology, and employment dynamics” (COTDYEM) investigates the impact of technological change and international trade on labour at the micro level, using extensive firm- and worker-level administrative data (social security forms, balance sheets, customs data, and patent data) on the whole population of French firms. In particular, I am currently researching the impact of investment in automation-related technologies on firms’ employment flows and wage distribution. Other research topics include: differences in the effects of automation on labour related to the position in global value chains and/or geography; the nexus between productivity and worker flows; the nexus between the complexity level of exporting firms’ product mixes and their growth performance.
In another line of research, I investigate topics related to technological change and international trade in a historical perspective. Notably, I use data from the catalogues of international exhibitions as an indicator of economic activity (production, innovation, trade) in the second half of the 19th century and in the early 20th century.
I obtained my PhD in 2017 from a joint programme by the Universities of Florence, Pisa, and Siena (Italy), with a thesis on the economics of innovation in a historical perspective. After my PhD, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa (Italy), with which I still collaborates as an Affiliate Researcher. Since 2018 I have been a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Erasmus University College, teaching a wide range of topics within economics.
The project develops a philosophy of education with central involvement of the work of Hannah Arendt in both educational-theoretical and political engagement. The project thus aims to bridge philosophy of education (e.g. what is the responsibility of educators?) with political theory (e.g. what are the requirements of a public sphere to which education can meaningfully contribute?).
Among the key positions of the published work are the following:
- Arendtian philosophy of education can help to understand the value and importance of Problem-Based Learning;
- The primary commitment of education should be the continuation and renewal of the world;
- Current scholarship on Arendt’s educational philosophy addresses many important avenues for further reflection, but also has lacunas: notably when it comes to the climate crisis and a critical reflection on populism;
- Educational authority has a role to play in education today: namely when it is reformulated as ambiguous authority. This type of authority is temporally rooted in the present, spatially in both the world of culture and the natural world, and relationally in what we call, with Giorgio Agamben, the ambiguous zone in between private and public spheres;
- The responsibility of educators is twofold: personal and political. This calls for a specific and mutually engaging relationship between education and society, which in turn connects to existing literature on what a ‘school’ (and related to that, a university) should be.
Moving forward, we aim to write on natality (a central concept in Arendt), the notion of Bildung and its relevance today. We also aim to develop a critique of Arendt’s blind spots (climate, political economy: in short, materiality) and what this entails for her central notion of vita activa.
Dr. Julien Kloeg is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Erasmus University College and fellow at the Erasmus School of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is managing editor of the Yearbook on Philosophical Anthropology with De Gruyter and works on practical philosophy and the philosophy of education. Julien is currently preparing a book manuscript on depoliticization and political theory, with an especial interest in European politics. He is also working on a series of articles on education and the public sphere inspired by the work of Hannah Arendt in the context of the Erasmus Center for Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- J.P. Kloeg (2020). Wayne Veck, Helen M. Gunter (Eds.): Hannah Arendt on Educational Thinking and Practice in Dark Times [Review]. Phenomenological Reviews.
- Akker, R. van den & Kloeg, J.P. (2020). The Metamodern Condition, Populism, and the New Universal. In J Sowa (Ed.), The missing denominator: universalism and progressive cultural politics (pp. 59-85). Warsaw: Biennale Warszawa
- Akker, R. van den & Kloeg, J.P. (2020). Kondycja metanowoczesna, populizm i nowa uniwersalność, czyli jak gdyby an sich i jak gdyby für sich. In J Sowa (Ed.), W poszukiwaniu wspólnego mianownika – uniwersalizm i progresywna polityka kulturalna (pp. 63-91). Warsaw: Biennale Warszawa
- Noordegraaf – Eelens, L.H.J. & Kloeg, J.P. (2020). Insisting on Action in Education: Students are Unique but not Irreplaceable. Studies in Philosophy and Education. doi: 10.1007/s11217-020-09716-x
- Noordegraaf – Eelens, L.H.J. & Kloeg, J.P. (2020). Maatschappelijk relevant onderwijs: wel dringend, niet dwingend. Idee, 45-48.
- L.H.J. Noordegraaf – Eelens, J.P. Kloeg & G. Noordzij (2019). PBL and sustainable education: addressing the problem of isolation. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s10459-019-09927-z
- Ambiguous Authority: Reflections on Hannah Arendt’s Concept of Authority in Education
From Big Natural History to Urban Ecology
As of November 2020, Prof. Vink is holder of the Network Chair 'From Big Natural History to Urban Ecology'. This Network professorship links the educational and research activities of EUC (ECLAS and Erasmus University) with those of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam ('Het Natuurhistorisch' or NMR). As part of the Network Chair and ECLAS, the following research lines will be pursued.
- Studies on the existing collection of the NMR. In the first half of 2021, we will determine which parts of the NMR collection (of around 373.200 specimens) warrant further studies (potentially leading to publications).
- Studies on novel fossils from North Sea and Westerschelde. The first project will be initiated in January 2021, and will focus on the classification of Equus (horse) fossils (114 in total) from the Late Pleistocene North Sea,.
- In collaboration with the urban ecology unit of the NMR, bureau Stadsnatuur (bSR), we will monitor selected parts of urban nature. These studies will not only focus on animals, such as bats, rats, rabbits, seagulls and pigeons, but also on lichens. Lichens are symbiotic life forms consisting of fungi and either algae or cyanobacteria.They form an integral part of the microbiological biodiversity of both rural and urban environments. As the presence of some types of lichens is indicative of nitrogen-rich (but ecologically 'poor') environments, the spatial and temporal monitoring of lichens in the city will provide information on the ecological quality of specific urban areas.
- Together with the NMR, we have teamed up with other biopartners in Rotterdam to focus on studying -as well as raising awareness on the importance of- urban biodiversity. These biopartners include Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum, Diergaarde Blijdorp en de Botanische Tuin Afrikaanderplein. The main aim of this collaboration is to increase awareness among the citizens of Rotterdam, as well as municipality administrators and officials, of the need for conservation and promotion of urban biodiversity. This initiative is in line with the recently published Uitvoeringsagenda Biodiversiteit by the municipality of Rotterdam (https://www.rotterdam.nl/nieuws/biodiversiteit/).
Prof. dr. C. Vink and the Network Chair in the news:
- 'Vers Beton' article on the Network Chair 'From Big History to Urban Ecology' (23 December 2020):
- Studio Erasmus mini-lecture ('Wat moet Rotterdam met een stadsbioloog?'; 18 December 2020)):
- Radio interview with Chris Wemer of Radio Rijnmond (21 november 2020):
- NRC article by Marco de Haan on the Network Chair position, 'Harmonisch samenleven in de stad - Kees Vink hoogleraar stadsecologie' (29 October 2020):
- AD Rotterdams Dagblad article by Angelique Mulders on the Network Chair position, 'Natuurhistorisch krijgt hulp' (30 October 2020).
- Press release by Erasmus University on the Network Chair position (28 October 2020):
- Press release by the Natural History Museum Rotterdam on the Network Chair position (28 October 2020):