David de Boer is a postdoctoral researcher. He investigates European refugee advocacy and the emergence of humanitarian politics within the NWO VICI project ‘The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe'. His main academic interests include refugees, diplomacy, humanitarianism, lobbying, and news media between ca. 1550-1850.
After obtaining his BA and MA in history at Utrecht University, David pursued his PhD at the University of Konstanz and Leiden University (joint doctoral program). He was a visiting scholar at the European University Institute, the Leibniz Institute of European History, Harvard University, and UCLA. Before joining the UvA he lectured at Leiden University and Utrecht University.
As a political historian, David de Boer's work concerns the role of compassion in transnational politics. He is especially interested in how refugees and other minority groups helped create a humanitarian culture by assuming transnational political agency. He also explores how Dutch diplomatic actors operated as humanitarian brokers in (early) modern Europe and its empires. Taking a long-term approach to humanitarianism, diplomacy, and lobbying he aims to better understand the ruptures and continuities between early modern and modern transnational politics.
He has also worked on early modern news, public opinion, iconoclasm, civic identity, and cultural memory.