Photographer: onbekend

prof. dr. M.S. (Michael) Merry

  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    Programme group: Educational Sciences
  • Visiting address
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 127  
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  15780
    1001 NG  Amsterdam
    T: 0205251551

Equality, Citizenship & Segregation

Professional Bio

Michael S. Merry is professor of philosophy in the department of Child Development and Education. He also is an associate member both of the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities and the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

He received a broad education in the humanities in Chicago, Leuven and New York before earning his doctorate in philosophy and educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Foci of his teaching and writing include: paternalism and the ethics of intervention; the epistemology of education research; school choice and school segregation; citizenship and civic education; religion and religious schools, and minority education in its manifold forms.

Currently he is completing a book manuscript on educational justice.



Books authored

(2019)  Educational Justice (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press: under contract)

(2013)  Equality, Citizenship and Segregation: a defense of separation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan)

(2007)  Culture, Identity and Islamic Schooling: a philosophical approach (New York: Palgrave Macmillan)

Books edited

(2016) Maussen, M., Vermeulen, F., Bader, V., & Merry, M.  Religious Schools in Europe: institutional opportunitities and contemporary challenges (London: Routledge)

(2010) Merry, M. & Milligan, J.  Citizenship, Identity and Education in Muslim Communities: essays on attachment and obligation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan)

Selected Recent Publications

(2018) Should The Homeless Be Forcibly Helped? Public Health Ethics. Online Early.

(2017) Can Patriotism be Critical? in The Handbook on Patriotism. Mitja Sardoc (ed). Springer.

(2016) Community, Virtue and the White British Poor. Dialogues in Human Geography (6) 1: 50-68.

(2015) The Conundrum of Religious Schools in Twenty-first Century Europe. Comparative Education (51) 1: 133-156. 

(2014) Risk, Harm and Intervention: the case of child obesity. Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy (17) 2: 191-200.               

(2013) Educational Challenges Raised by Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children and other Newcomers: the Dutch response, in Migrants and Refugees: Equitable Education for Displaced Populations, Charlotte: Information Age: 29-50.

(2012) Equality, Self Respect and Voluntary Separation. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (15) 1: 79-100.

(2011) The Relevance of Cosmopolitanism for Moral Education. Journal of Moral Education (40): 1: 1-18.

(2010) Restricted Liberty, Parental Choice and Homeschooling. Journal of Philosophy of Education (44) 4: 497-514.

(2009) Complexities of Belonging in Democratic /Democratizing Societies.  Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (29) 3: 313-325.

(2008)  Constructing an Authentic Self: the challenges and promise of African-centred Pedagogy. American Journal of Education (115) 1: 35-64.

(2007) Should the State Fund Religious Schools? Journal of Applied Philosophy (24) 3: 255-270.

(2006) Islamic Schools in the Netherlands: Expansion or Marginalization? Interchange (37) 3: 201-223.

(2005) Social Exclusion of Muslim Youth in Flemish- and French-Speaking Belgian Schools. Comparative Education Review (49) 1: 1-22.

(2004) Libertarian Bioethics and Religion. Bioethics (18) 5: 385-405.




Culture, Identity and Islamic Schooling

Citizenship, Identity, and Education in Muslim Communities


26 januari 2011

Inaugural Lecture

January 26, 2011

Contributors include Tariq Modood, Robert Hefner, Andrew March, Lucas Swaine, Hosni Rasheem, Matthew Nelson, Charlene Tan, Intan Moktar and Yedullah Kazmi

Religious Schools in Europe


  • Oulali, I., Bos, H. M. W., van den Akker, A. L., Fukkink, R. G., Merry, M. S., & Overbeek, G. J. (2017). Development and validation of the Religious Collective Self-Esteem scale for children. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. DOI: 10.1037/rel0000145 
  • Agirdag, O., Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2017). The Catholic school advantage and common school effect examined: A comparison between Muslim immigrant and native pupils in Flanders. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28(1), 123-135. DOI: 10.1080/09243453.2016.1251469  [details] 
  • Blok, H., Merry, M. S., & Karsten, S. (2017). The legal situation of home education in Europe. In M. Gaither (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of home education (pp. 395-421). (Wiley handbooks in education). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118926895.ch16  [details] 
  • Driessen, G., Agirdag, O., & Merry, M. (2017). Denominatie van de school, gezins- en schoolsamenstelling en onderwijsprestaties: Verschillen openbaar en bijzonder onderwijs in hun opbrengsten? . Pedagogiek, 37(1), 47-61. DOI: 10.5117/PED2017.1.DRIE  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S., & Schinkel, A. (2016). Voting rights for older children and civic education. Public Affairs Quarterly, 30(3), 197-214. [details] 
  • Agirdag, O., Merry, M. S., & Van Houtte, M. (2016). Teachers’ understanding of multicultural education and the correlates of multicultural content integration in Flanders. Education and Urban Society, 48(6), 556-582. DOI: 10.1177/0013124514536610  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2016). The conundrum of religious schools in twenty-first century Europe. In M. Maussen, F. Vermeulen, M. S. Merry, & V. Bader (Eds.), Religious schools in Europe: Institutional opportunities and contemporary challenges (pp. 133-156). London: Routledge. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Driessen, G. (2016). On the right track? Islamic schools in the Netherlands after an era of turmoil. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 19(4), 856-879. DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2014.985586  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., Manley, D., & Harris, R. (2016). Community, virtue and the White British poor. Dialogues in Human Geography, 6(1), 50-68. DOI: 10.1177/2043820615624603  [details] 
  • Driessen, G., Agirdag, O., & Merry, M. S. (2016). The gross and net effects of primary school denomination on pupil performance. Educational Review, 68(4), 466-480. DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2015.1135880  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2015). The conundrum of religious schools in twenty-first-century Europe. Comparative Education, 51(1), 133-156. DOI: 10.1080/03050068.2014.935582  [details] 
  • New, W., & Merry, M. S. (2015). ‘Beware of Elites Bearing Theories’: Clarence Thomas on Race and Education. Journal of Education & Social Policy, 2(1), 62-71. [details] 



  • Ingleby, D., Kramer, S., & Merry, M. S. (2013). Educational challenges raised by refugee and asylum-seeking children and other newcomers: the Dutch response. In E. L. Brown, & A. Krasteva (Eds.), Migrants and refugees: equitable education for displaced populations (pp. 29-50). (International advances in education: global initiatives for equity and social justice). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2013). Equality, citizenship and segregation: a defense of separation. New York [etc.]: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137033710  [details] 
  • Collier, K. L., Bos, H. M. W., Merry, M. S., & Sandfort, T. G. M. (2013). Gender, ethnicity, religiosity, and same-sex sexual attraction and the acceptance of same-sex sexuality and gender non-conformity. Sex Roles, 68(11-12), 724-737. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-012-0135-5  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2012). Equality, self‐respect and voluntary separation. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 15(1), 79-100. DOI: 10.1080/13698230.2010.528239  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2012). Paternalism, obesity, and tolerable levels of risk. Democracy & Education, 20(1), 3. [3]. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2012). Plural societies and the possibility of shared citizenship. Educational Theory, 62(4), 371-380. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00451.x  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2012). Segregation and civic virtue. Educational Theory, 62(4), 465-486. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2012.00457.x  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Driessen, G. (2012). Equality on different terms: the case of Dutch Hindu schools. Education and Urban Society, 44(5), 632-648. DOI: 10.1177/0013124511404887  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Driessen, G. (2012). Integration by other means: Hindu schools in the Netherlands. In Z. Bekerman, & T. Geisen (Eds.), International handbook of migration, minorities and education: understanding cultural and social differences in processes of learning (pp. 523-541). Dordrecht [etc.]: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1466-3_34  [details] 
  • Merry, M., Driessen, G., & Oulali, I. (2012). Doet onderwijssegratie ertoe? Pedagogiek, 32(2), 151-164. DOI: URN:NBN:NL:UI:10-1-100808  [details] 
  • New, W., & Merry, M. S. (2012). Learning who they ‘really’ are: from stigmatization to opportunities to learn in Greek Romani education. In Z. Bekerman, & T. Geisen (Eds.), International handbook of migration, minorities and education: understanding cultural and social differences in processes of learning (pp. 623-639). Dordrecht: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1466-3_40  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2011). Civic competence, older children and the right to vote. In D. J. de Ruyter, & S. Miedema (Eds.), Moral education and development: a lifetime commitment (pp. 223-236). Rotterdam [etc.]: Sense Publishers. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-6091-716-5_16  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & de Ruyter, D. J. (2011). The relevance of cosmopolitanism for moral education. Journal of Moral Education, 40(1), 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/03057240.2011.541762  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Karsten, S. (2011). Pluralism and segregation: the Dutch experience. Canadian Issues, (spring/printemps), 83-86. [details] 
  • Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2011). The effects of integration and generation of immigrants on language and numeracy achievement. Educational Studies, 37(5), 581-592. DOI: 10.1080/03055698.2010.539762  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2010). Does segregation matter? In J. Bakker, E. Denessen, D. Peters, & G. Walraven (Eds.), International perspectives on countering school segregation (pp. 249-260). Antwerpen: Garant. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2010). Identity. In P. L. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education 3rd edition (pp. 152-157). Oxford: Elsevier Science. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Milligan, J. A. (2010). Citizenship as attachment and obligation. In M. S. Merry, & J. A. Milligan (Eds.), Citizenship, identity and education in Muslim communities: essays on attachment and obligation (pp. 1-20). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Karsten, S. (2010). Restricted liberty, parental choice and homeschooling. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 44(4), 497-514. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2010.00770.x  [details] 
  • Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2010). Hindoescholen in Nederland: een alternatieve route naar integratie? Migrantenstudies, 26(1), 21-40. [details] 
  • New, W. S., & Merry, M. S. (2010). Solving the ‘gypsy problem’: D.H. and others v. the Czech Republic. Comparative Education Review, 54(3), 393-414. DOI: 10.1086/652857  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2009). Patriotism, history and the legitimate aims of American education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 41(4), 378-398. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2007.00363.x  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Driessen, G. (2009). Islamic schools in North America and the Netherlands: inhibiting or enhancing democratic dispositions? In P. A. Woods, & G. J. Woods (Eds.), Alternative education for the 21st century: philosophies, approaches, visions (pp. 101-122). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Howell, C. (2009). Can intimacy justify home education? Theory and Research in Education, 7(3), 363-381. DOI: 10.1177/1477878509343193  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & Milligan, J. A. (2009). Complexities of belonging in democratic/democratizing societies: Islamic identity, ethnicity and citizenship in the Netherlands and Aceh. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 3(29), 313-325. DOI: 10.1080/13602000903166572  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & de Ruyter, D. J. (2009). Cosmopolitanism and the deeply religious. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 30(1), 49-60. DOI: 10.1080/13617670902784550  [details] 
  • de Ruyter, D. J., & Merry, M. S. (2009). Why education in public schools should include religious ideals. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 28(4), 295-311. DOI: 10.1007/s11217-008-9120-4  [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2008). Educational justice and the gifted. Theory and Research in Education, 6(1), 47-70. DOI: 10.1177/1477878507086730  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S., & New, W. (2008). Constructing an authentic self: The challenges and promise of African-centered pedagogy. American Journal of Education, 115(1), 35-64. DOI: 10.1086/590675  [details] 


  • Maussen, M., Vermeulen, F., Merry, M. S., & Bader, V. (2016). Religious schools in Europe: institutional opportunities and contemporary challenges. London: Routledge. [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2014). Immigrants, education of. In D. C. Phillips (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational theory and philosophy (pp. 402-406). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. DOI: 10.4135/9781483346229  [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2014). Is there a positive case for segregation in a liberal society? In D. Goodhart (Ed.), Mapping integration (pp. 83-91). London: Demos. [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2012). Foreword. In D. Gereluk (Ed.), Education, extremism and terrorism: what should be taught in citizenship education and why (pp. viii-x). London/New York: Continuum. [details] 
  • Merry, M., Oulali, I., Steutel, J., & Levering, B. (2012). Segregatie in onderwijs en samenleving: bijdragen aan de Vijftiende Landelijke Pedagogendag. Amsterdam: SWP. [details] 


  • Merry, M. S., & Milligan, J. A. (2010). Citizenship, identity and education in Muslim communities: essays on attachment and obligation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details] 


  • Merry, M. S. (2016). Ethische dilemma’s bij schoolkeuze in de grote stad. In R. Fukkink, & R. Oostdam (Eds.), Onderwijs en opvoeding in een stedelijke context: Van startbekwaam naar stadsbekwaam (pp. 77-86). Bussum: Coutinho. [details] 



  • Merry, M. S. (2011). De rol van filosofie in pedagogisch en onderwijskundig onderzoek. (Oratiereeks). Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2011). Islam in Nederland en België [Review of: (2008) Islam in Nederland en België]. Insight Turkey, 12(2), 268-271. [details] 
  • Merry, M. S. (2011). [Review of: S.J. McKinney (2008) Faith schools in the twenty-first century]. European Education, 43(2), 98-100. DOI: 10.2753/EUE1056-4934430205  [details] 


  • Driessen, G., Agirdag, O., & Merry, M. S. (2015). Performance differences between religious and non-religious schools. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2015, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Agirdag, O., Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2015). Is there a catholic school effect for muslim pupils?. Paper presented at 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA) 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2015). The Gross and Net Effects of the school’s denomination on student performance. Poster session presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2015, Chicago, United States.

Talk / presentation

  • Merry, M. S. (invited speaker) (2015). Educational options for Muslim pupils in comparative perspective, Lecture at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, Mannheim, Germany.
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