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Dr Frank Vandenbroucke has been named Professor by Special Appointment in the Den Uyl chair at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, effective 1 May 2011. The chair was designated on behalf of the Wiardi Beckman Stichting (Wiardi Beckman Foundation).

Dr Frank Vandenbroucke (1955) has been named Professor by Special Appointment in the Den Uyl chair at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, effective 1 May 2011. The chair was designated on behalf of the Wiardi Beckman Stichting (Wiardi Beckman Foundation).

As professor by special appointment in the Den Uyl chair, Vandenbroucke will be investigating social trends in Europe, focusing in particular on questions concerning the European Union’s real versus ideal role in shaping the social policies of Member States, and how that role is informed by notions of social progress. Vandenbroucke’s research will also look at these questions in terms of their relevance to the further development of the modern social democracy, thus as political and social movements.

Vandenbroucke was previously a member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, from 1985 until 1996. He was Socialist Party chair (formerly the Socialistische Partij, now the Socialistische Partij Anders) from 1989 until 1994 and the party’s parliamentary leader from 1995 until 1996. He thereafter held various federal ministerial posts, as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1994-1995), Minister for Social Affairs and Pensions (1999-2003) and Minister for Employment and Pensions (2003-2004). Subsequently moving into Flemish politics, Vandenbroucke held posts as Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish government and Flemish Minister for Work, Education and Training from 2004 until 2009 and Flemish member of parliament from 2009 until 2010. In November 2009 he was appointed Minister of State, and entered the federal senate in 2010.

Vandenbroucke studied Economics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Cambridge University, and earned his PhD from the Faculty of Social Studies at Oxford University with research titled: Social justice and individual ethics in an open society. Equality, responsibility and incentives. Between 2001 and 2009 he was a visiting fellow at Nuffield College Oxford. As a member of the independent think tank ‘Friends of Europe’, he is involved in efforts to promote open discussions about Europe and its future. Vandenbroucke additionally holds guest professorships at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and University of Antwerp, where he teaches subjects in European Social Policy and Economic Analysis of Social Problems, and at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, where he supervises students in the European Integration programme

About the Den Uyl chair

The Dr J.M. den Uyl chair was established at the UvA by the Wiardi Beckman Foundation in 1988. Previous occupants were Jan Pronk, Ad Oele, Ed van Thijn and Ad Geelhoed (d. 2007).