BZK Ministry establishes two new professor chairs for the Kingdom


The Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK) is establishing two new professor
chairs for the Kingdom. There will be a political sciences/public administration professor
chair and an anthropology/sociology professor chair.

Leiden University and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the
Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), in
cooperation with the University of Amsterdam (UvA), are selected as residency for the
professor chairs. Leiden University will hold the professor chair political sciences/public
administration and the University of Amsterdam the professor chair anthropology/sociology.

Professor chair holders
The Executive Boards of the UvA and Leiden University have approved the proposal for
appointment of their candidate. Social and cultural anthropologist Dr. Francio Guadeloupe
will hold the professor chair Public Anthropology of Kingdom Relations for the
KNAW/KITLV/UvA. Dr. Wouter Veenendaal, Associate Professor Comparative Politics at the
Institute of Political Science of Leiden University, will hold the professor chair Democratic
Representation in the Kingdom for Leiden University. He will be working from the KITLV in

Broad knowledge development
The two professor chairs by special appointment are an initiative of the Directorate-General
Kingdom Relations (DGKR) of the Ministry of BZK in the context of a broad knowledge
development. The professorships contribute to the strengthening of the knowledge function
within DGKR. There is a need for more in-depth and broader attention in the scientific niche
of Kingdom relations which generates more research, collaboration, synergy and a greater
spin-off in this area.

Caribbean universities
The intention is to closely involve the universities in the three Caribbean countries of the
Kingdom in the professor chairs. The aim is to work together with the Caribbean universities
whereby, for example, lecturers and researchers can be exchanged. The assignment will be
further worked out in consultation and close collaboration with the Caribbean universities.

Priceless value
State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations: “I am elated that we were able
to accomplish this collaboration with the universities. Dependable scientific knowledge is of
priceless value and can contribute to the further improvement of the cooperation in the
Kingdom. A great milestone, especially in the year that we celebrate being connected in the
Kingdom for already 70 years through the Charter”.
Professor chair holder Francio Guadeloupe: “Almost half of the people with a Caribbean
background reside in the Netherlands. At the same time, the islands are home to thousands
of people whose great-grandparents were born in the Netherlands. This reality is bigger than

the tensions between the politicians in The Hague and the politicians on the islands. We need
to recognize that Kingdom relations in practice work out on a lower frequency than many
policy makers are attuned to. I want to focus on what is being done in the community and in
the political realm to make the Kingdom of the Netherlands more equitable, fair and inclusive
for all. That is what I plan to study, in cooperation with knowledge institutions on all six
islands and in the Netherlands”.

Professor chair holder Wouter Veenendaal: “The Kingdom of the Netherlands has a unique
structure. It consists of four autonomous and equivalent countries, but one of those countries
– the European Netherlands – is politically and institutionally superior to the others. This
raises questions about democratic representation within the Kingdom, which I want to
investigate in the context of this chair. Together with institutions and experts on the six
islands and in the Netherlands, I hope to give an impetus to the development of knowledge
and education in the field of politics and democracy in our Kingdom. I very much look
forward to collaborating with researchers and institutions on both sides of the ocean.”

Open process
The professor chairs came about through an innovative, open process. Universities were
asked to submit a proposal with their own explanation and research focus. The proposals of
Leiden University and KITLV/KNAW/UvA were assessed as being the best ones.
DGKR already works together with The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Haagse
Hogeschool) in regard to the Minor Kingdom Relations.

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