Dr M.J. Trappenburg (1962) has been named Professor by Special Appointment of Socio-Political Aspects of the Welfare State in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The chair was established in connection with the Willem Drees Lecture Foundation (Stichting Willem Drees-lezing).
In her research, Margo Trappenburg focuses on ‘people and morality in the changing welfare state'. Her research focuses in particular on how professionals distribute care when operating in a political context that places ever greater stock in market behaviour and entrepreneurship. She examines the attitude of physicians and other care professionals to this changed environment as well as the attitudes of patients. In addition, Trappenburg studies how civil servants tasked with implementing policy (customer managers) react when the rules are changed at the expense of welfare recipients. How do they weigh up the interest of the individual against that of the collective? What effect do cutbacks in the welfare state have on citizens' sense of justice? And is a reduced welfare state or a fully or partially commercialised healthcare system better than the old system of socialised healthcare? Trappenburg aims not only to identify these developments, but also to evaluate them against normative standards. Trappenburg, a political scientist, has written in the past about theories of justice, structural changes in healthcare and issues of medical ethics. She recently published a book on healthcare and democracy, Genoeg is genoeg (2008, Amsterdam University Press), in which she discusses the wisdom and folly of demand management, freedom of choice and patient participation in healthcare.
Trappenburg has been a Senior University Lecturer at the Utrecht School of Governance of Utrecht University since 2000. From 2004 to 2008, she was also Professor by Special Appointment of the Patient Perspective at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. From 1985 to 2000, Trappenburg held a number of posts at Leiden University, including University Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences. She currently holds various management and advisory functions. Trappenburg is also a member of the Advisory Council on Health Research, the Advisory Council for the Netherlands Bar Association and the forum of the Centre for Ethics and Health. From 2001 to 2008 she wrote a biweekly column for NRC Handelsblad newspaper. In 1998 her work (thesis and other publications) was honoured with the J.C. Ruigrok prize of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities.