Mies Westerveld has been working at the UvA since 1999 as associate professor of Labour Law and as a senior researcher in Social Law at the Hugo Sinzheimer Institute (HSI). She is a fellow at the Amsterdam Institute for Labour Studies (AIAS). Her research focuses on topics such as the role of civil rights in social security, the contract approach (transaction state) in social security and, more generally the transformation of a protective state into a more active welfare state. She opts for an interdisciplinary approach, where the law is always the start and end point. As a professor, she wants to propagate the academic and social importance of this approach, in publications and education to prospective lawyers.
In November 2007, Westerveld was appointed professor of Social Legal Aid at the UvA. In this capacity she works closely with the professor of Advocacy. She has found a useful bridge for students interested in legal and social problems of people at the bottom of society in the various law centres at the University of Amsterdam, VU University Amsterdam and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences (HvA). Both chairs are intrinsically connected, in the sense that solidarity and affordability are central themes.
Westerveld has been member of the Upper House of Dutch Parliament since 2003. In that capacity she has talked on many recent legislative changes in social security. The resulting knowledge and experience have fed her with ideas, which she hopes, as professor, to convert into research questions which transcend policy.