Dr A Gerrits (b. 1958) has been appointed professor in the External Relations of the European Union at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam (UvA).
André Gerrits will be devoting himself to the external relations and global significance of the European Union. His primary interest lies in the relationship between the self-perception of the EU as a ‘normative' power, and the manner in which others interpret the Union's role and its meaning. The discrepancy between external image and self-image can significantly affect the political effectiveness of EU policy, both in relations with major world powers as well as in specific crisis situations.
Gerrits has been a senior lecturer of Eastern European Studies at the University of Amsterdam since 1993. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael'. Gerrits completed his PhD in 1990 on reforms, opposition and geo-political relations in 1980s Poland. Previously he has worked for VU University Amsterdam and Groningen University, where he conducted a long-term research project for the ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs into nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union. Gerrits heads various research and other collaborative projects in the Russian Federation (as part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the MATRA programme run by the ministry of Foreign Affairs).