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Dutch History

Dutch History explores the history of the Netherlands and her people from a global perspective.

Nieuwste Geschiedenis
Teenagers and an elderly woman during a high school student rally against cruise missiles, The Hague 1985.

How are Dutch affairs tied up with the rest of the world? What makes the Netherlands special? In which ways did the country’s people make a contribution? What were and are their thoughts and viewpoints on the Netherlands, and what needed to change according to them? Who mattered and who decided what? And with which conflicts did and does this all go together? Practitioners of Dutch History explore these questions in various ways. The answers differ with each period studied. The historians also manage the education for the study programme History and take part in public debates about the Netherlands past and present.


The research devoted to Dutch History primarily focuses on the themes ‘power’ and ‘public discontent’. Researchers hereby explore the conflicts and irritations that have characterised the past 250 years.

  • How were the stakeholders in these conflicts proved right or wrong?
  • Which public emotions and manifestations formed part of these conflicts?
  • What are the consequences of anger, resentment and distrust in the Netherlands?

Other themes include international entanglement, public administration, corruption, gender, public opinion, a culture of tolerance, public history, the monarchy, religious history, scientific history, ‘the nation state’ and ‘the compartmentalisation’. Dutch History regularly collaborates with institutes such as the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Royal Netherlands Historical Society. Permanent staff members supervise both internal and external PhD researchers.


The first year of the Bachelor’s programme deals with Dutch History in diverse thematic study groups. As of the second year, the curriculum is comprised of a lecture series dedicated to the development of the Netherlands since the late middle ages, with a particular focus on nationbuilding and the position of the Netherlands within an international context (colonization, decolonization and migration). BA students with a particular interest in Dutch history can subscribe to the lecture series 'Myth-busting the Netherlands'. The Master’s programme General History and the Research Master’s also devote attention to Dutch History. The lecturers regularly act as thesis supervisors for Bachelor’s and Master’s students.