Eat Your Discipline: Tax Law

Tuesday 22 Mar 2022, 12:00 - 13:00
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Sophia van den Hoek

Is a meat tax the best way to get people to eat less meat? What do tax law specialists know about taxing unsustainable spending and what should students be learning to make a positive change? In this second edition of the ‘Eat Your Discipline’ lunch series, hosted by the Design Impact Transition (DIT) platform, we explore the opportunities and pitfalls of using taxes to encourage sustainable behaviour. 

While taxes can be a way to create a budget to fix shared problems or maintain systems, taxes can also be used to discourage people from unsustainable behaviour by making it more expensive. On the one hand, this could have positive effects such as less and less people eating meat. However, the state also counts on these taxes as an income for the national budgets, so it would be quite a problem if everyone suddenly became vegetarian and this income source was lost. Join this conversation to learn more and discuss: how do we want our government to use this instrument? 


During this lunch session, a disciplinary panel, consisting of mr. dr. Eva Boomsluiter (lecturer Tax Law, ESL) and mr. Ilona van den Eijnde (lecturer Tax Law, ESL) will discuss taxes as a means of motivating citizens towards sustainable behaviour. Think for example about taxes on meat, flights or sugar. What are the complications in a system where unsustainable behaviour contributes to the state budget and how can they be mitigated? Led by Prof. Derk Loorbach (Academic Lead, DIT), the disciplinary panel will address questions from the audience, focusing on how this form of taxes can contribute to tackling complex societal challenges in the future.

Would you like to critically discuss your own discipline? Please reach out to  


At DIT we believe that tackling complex societal challenges is only possible if we, academics at EUR, critically challenge and question our own beliefs and assumptions: what have we contributed to current unsustainability and how are we part of accelerating transitions to just, sustainable futures? In this lunch series we seek to find answers by exploring the future of different academic disciplines.

What have economics, law, business studies, public administration and social sciences in the broadest sense contributed to our wellbeing? What is their role in tackling all the complex societal challenges that we are facing? And where do we have to question certain dogmas, beliefs and arguments that these disciplines have? 

During this monthly lunch series, we assess the current state of different disciplines and question how these have and can contribute to tackling complex societal challenges. With these reflexive dialogues we hope to spur on debate at the EUR on the future and boundaries of social sciences. 

The Design Impact Transition (DIT) platform is a space for transdisciplinary and transformative academic work at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The platform aims to empower radically new ways to do research, education and engagement for a just and sustainable future. The platform brings together academics, students, non-academic staff and external stakeholders around complex and persistent societal challenges. DIT aims to build a strong and engaged community and a collaborative, experimental and design-based culture of transdisciplinarity. DIT is at the heart of the EUR Strategy, living the Erasmian values of global citizenship, social commitment, an open and critical mindset, cooperation and entrepreneurial spirit. 

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