dr. R. (René) Koekkoek

  • Faculty of Humanities
    Capaciteitsgroep Europese studies
  • Visiting address
    Kloveniersburgwal 48  Room number: C1.08
  • Postal address:
    Kloveniersburgwal  48
    1012 CX  Amsterdam
  • R.Koekkoek@uva.nl
    T: 0205255965

René Koekkoek is a lecturer in Modern European History in the European Studies programme and a Junior Research Fellow at the Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences. His research interests lie at the interface between history, political thought, and philosophy from the early modern period to the twentieth century. He has written (research) articles and essays about the age of Atlantic revolutions, Carl Schmitt's reading of Spinoza, visions of Dutch empire, toleration, political thought in the Batavian Revolution, the Hebrew Republic as a model in early modern republicanism, the history and practice of reparations for historical injustices, and on 21st-century Chinese views on international relations.


Currently, he is engaged in several projects:

  • A monograph (in English) based on his disseration (manuscript under review): The Citizenship Experiment. Contesting the Limits of Civic Equality and Participation in the Age of Revolutions
  • A Dutch public history book about late eighteenth-century revolutions (American, French, Haitian, Dutch) and why this history still matters (under contract with Ambo/Anthos)
  • A collaborative research project on Visions of Dutch Empire, including an international conference Visions of Empire in Dutch History from the Early Modern Period to the 21st Century, an agenda-setting article in BMGN/Low Countries Historical Review (June 2017), and an edited volume (in preparation) 
  • A new research project on the conceptual and intellectual origins of historical injustice and reparations. A first foray into the field appeared in De Groene Amsterdammer, April 20, 2017.


René Koekkoek holds a PhD from Utrecht University (2016), an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge (2011, distinction: honours) and a Research Master in History from Utrecht University (2010, cum laude). He was a visiting researcher at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, and Princeton University.

Over the last years, he taught courses on the philosophy of science and historical theory, the public sphere in the Age of Enlightenment, world history, early modern history, urban history, national thought, and turning points in modern European history. He organized several symposia and seminars within the field of intellectual history and the history of political thought.

Together with his colleagues Camille Creyghton, Annelien de Dijn & Mathhijs Lok, he organizes the Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History.



‘De Haïtiaanse Revolutie: toetssteen van ons hedendaagse denken? Over universele rechten, een monumentale slavenopstand en de relevantie van een grillige geschiedenis’, Jaarboek De Achttiende Eeuw (2017), 89-98.

‘The Hebrew Republic in Dutch Political Thought, c. 1650-1675’, in: W.R.E. Velema and A. Weststeijn (eds.), Ancient Models in the Early Modern Republican Imagination (Leiden: Brill; 2017), 234-258.

‘Visions of Dutch Empire: Towards a Long-Term Global Perspective’, BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review 132 (2) (June 2017), 79-96 [together with Anne-Isabelle Richard and Arthur Weststeijn].

‘Het verleden is niet voorbij. De politiek van historisch rechtsherstel’, De Groene Amsterdammer (April 20, 2017).

‘Yan Xuetongs boodschap voor de nieuwe supermacht."We zijn van ver gekomen"’, De Groene Amsterdammer (June 14, 2017).

[book review] Oddens, Joris, Rutjes, Mart, Jacobs, Erik, (eds.), The Political Culture of the Sister Republics, 1794-1806. France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015) in: BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review 132 [review 5] (2017).


Conference papers:

‘Liberty, Death, and Slavery in the Age of the Haitian Revolution’, at Freedom: Liberalism, Republicanism and Beyond. A workshop in honour of the 20th anniversary of Quentin Skinner’s ‘Liberty before Liberalism’. 23-24 May 2017, Amsterdam [on invitation].

‘Political Societies, Faction, and the Limits of Democratic Citizenship in American Federalist, French Thermidorian, and Dutch Batavian Political Culture, 1792-1798’, in panel organized together with Kathlyn Carter (Princeton), ‘Atlantic Revolutions: Comparisons and Connections in Political Culture’, at the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 23-26 February, 2017, Charleston, S.C. (USA).

‘The Haitian Revolution and the limits of Civic Equality’, Forschungskolloquium am Lehrstuhl für Europäische Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit, Humboldt Universität Berlin, January 4, 2017 [on invitation].



[book review] Darrin M. McMahon en Samuel Moyn (eds.), Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), in: Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 129/2 (2016).



‘“The True Business of the Historian”, C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins en revolutie’, in: L. Dorsman et al. (eds.) Het nut van geschiedschrijving. Historici in het publieke domein. Opstellen voor Ed Jonker (Amstelveen: Eon Pers, 2015), 137-144.



‘Carl Schmitt and the Challenge of Spinoza’s Pantheism between the World Wars’, Modern Intellectual History 11 (2014), 333-357 [peer reviewed].

[book review] F. Grijzenhout, N. van Sas, W. Velema (eds.), Het Bataafse Experiment. politiek en cultuur rond 1800 (Nijmegen, 2013), in: BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review 129 (2014) [review 49].



‘Revolutie en de beproeving van radicaal burgerschap’, in: www.kennislink.nl, 21 October, 2013.



‘De staat als opperste theoloog’, Trouw (Letter & Geest) (February 4, 2012).



‘“Eene waare en vrije Republiek.” Jan Konijnenburg, De republikein en de uitvinding van de moderne republiek’ [‘“A True and Free Republic.” Jan Konijnenburg, De republikein, and the Invention of the Modern Republic’], in: De Achttiende Eeuw 42, (2010), 236-60 [peer reviewed].



‘De herontdekking van het republikanisme. Denkers van Machiavelli tot Spinoza verhelderen politieke kwesties van nu’ [‘The Rediscovery of Republicanism. Thinkers from Machiavelli to Spinoza elucidate Contemporary Political Affairs’], in: Academische Boekengids 78, (2009), 33-7.

Scientific position

  • Lok, Matthijs, Creyghton, C.M.H.G. & Koekkoek, R. (2018): Director & Coordinator Amsterdam Seminar for Global Intellectual History, Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES).
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool  to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • No ancillary activities

edit contact information edit tabs