Tuesday, June 10

Pieter van Os (Ezinge, 1971) is contributing editor of NRC Handelsblad, a leading Dutch newspaper. He has served as a political correspondent in The Hague, reporting on the inner workings of the Dutch government and parliament. The book he wrote about his experiences as a political reporter, “We begrijpen elkaar uitstekend” (We understand each other very well) stirred controversy, especially a chapter on ‘populism du salon’. Van Os claimed that the anti-political sentiment of populism is on the rise in circles of intellectuals, businessmen and columnists, also within the NRC Handelsblad circles. Van Os, who previously worked as a contributing editor for the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer wrote several other books, among them “Johan Cruijff. De Amerikaanse jaren“. The book discusses the time the most famous soccer player of the Netherlands, Johan Cruyff, lived and played soccer in the United States.

Matthijs Rooduijn is a political sociologist at the University of Amsterdam, who obtained a PhD at the Amsterdam Institute of Political Science Research (AISSR). Currently Rooduijn works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) and lectures at the Department of Political Science. Rooduijn has published in several journals on topics like populism, the radical right, electoral behavior, public opinion, political communication and democracy. Rooduijn has appeared in several Dutch newspapers like NRC Handelsblad, nrc.next, Trouw, and de Volkskrant. Rooduijn is part of the editorial board of ‘De Republikein’, a political magazine on democracy, citizenship and governance as well as co-founder of the Dutch political science blog Stuk Rood Vlees.

Spencer Heijnen is a Senior Fellow who interned at the European Parliament after the summer program. In 2011 he set up the solidarity campaign ‘Geert Spreekt Niet Voor Mij’ (Geert Does Not Speak For Me). The campaign was committed to the Dutch who did not feel represented by Geert Wilders, who was considered a very dominant political figure at the time. Having studied at places like Oxford and UC Berkeley, he feels positive psychology (Science of Happiness) is an important concept. Heijnen seeks to tailor this personal interest into a professional career by promoting positive psychology in business environments. He started this project while part of the Dutch National Think Tank working on resilience building. Currently he is becoming a well-being consultant at The Energy Strategy. The Energy Strategy is concerned with creating happier and more meaningful workplaces for companies like Google and McKinsey.

Eduard Nazarski is director of Amnesty International the Netherlands since 2006. After completing his study cultural anthropology at the University of Nijmegen, Nazarski worked for The Dutch Support Point for Volunteer work. Afterwards, he worked for fifteen years for the Dutch Council for Refugees, of which he was the director in the last six years. Until the summer of 2009, Nazarski was also Chair of the European Council on Refugees. 

Gloria Wekker is emerita professor of Women’s Studies in the Arts at the Institute for Media and Representation at the University of Utrecht. Born in Suriname, Wekker migrated to Amsterdam and has worked as a civil servant in the field of Ethnic Minorities’ Affairs and has served on many governmental and social advisory boards, including at the the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Culture. In April 2006, Columbia University Press published her book ‘The Politics of Passion; Women’s Sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora’ for which she received the Ruth Benedict Prize of American Anthropological Association. Her next book project is entitled ‘Innocence Unltd. Race and the Dutch cultural Archive’.

Paul Scheffer is a Dutch author whose articles have been published in numerous European dailies. Currently he is a professor European Studies at the University of Tilburg and has held the position of professor urban studies at the University of Amsterdam from 2003 to 2011. In 2000 Scheffer’s provocative essay ‘The Multicultural Drama’ sparked a societal debate on Dutch immigrant integration and discrimination. He further elaborates on these first contemplations in his book Land van Aankomst (Immigrant Nations) in 2007, a comparative study on immigration in Europe and America. Together with Rene Roelofs he made a documentary film based on the book: Land of Promise (2013). His last book is a biography of his grandfather, the philosopher and literary critic, Herman Wolf: Alles doet mee aan de werkelijkheid (Everything is part of reality), Herman Wolf 1893-1942).

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