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prof. dr. M.S. (Michael) Merry

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Educational Sciences
Photographer: onbekend

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 127
Postal address
  • Postbus 15776
    1001 NG Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile
    Educational Justice

    Professional Bio

    Michael S. Merry is professor of philosophy in the department of Child Development and Education. He also is affiliated with the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities and the Departments of both Geography and Sociology in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    He received a broad education in the humanities in Chicago, Leuven and New York before earning his doctorate in philosophy and educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Foci of his teaching and writing include: the institutional features of inequality; paternalism and the ethics of intervention; the epistemology of education research; school choice and school segregation; citizenship and civic education; minoritised school populations; religion and religious schools, and alternative education.

    Books authored

    (2020)  Educational Justice: Liberal ideals, persistent inequality and the constructive uses of critique. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    (2013)  Equality, Citizenship and Segregation: A defense of separation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    (2007)  Culture, Identity and Islamic Schooling: A philosophical approach. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Equality, Citizenship and Segregation
    Culture, Identity, and Islamic Schooling

    Books edited

    (2016) Maussen, M., Vermeulen, F., Bader, V., & Merry, M.  Religious Schools in Europe: institutional opportunitities and contemporary challenges (London: Routledge)

    (2010) Merry, M. & Milligan, J.  Citizenship, Identity and Education in Muslim Communities: essays on attachment and obligation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan)

    Religious Schools in Europe
    Citizenship, Identity, and Education in Muslim Communities

    Selected Recent Publications

    (2020) Can Schools Teach Citizenship? Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education 41 (1): 124-138.

    (2019) Should The Homeless Be Forcibly Helped? Public Health Ethics 12 (1): 30-43 (with Bart van Leeuwen)

    (2018) Islamitische scholen en indoctrinatie. Tijdschrift voor Religie, Recht en Beleid 9 (3): 6-22 (with Marcel Maussen)

    (2017) The Legal Situation of Home Education in Europe, in The Handbook of Home Education, M. Gaither (ed.) London: Wiley-Blackwell: 395-421 (with Henk Blok & Sjoerd Karsten)

    (2016) Community, Virtue and the White British Poor. Dialogues in Human Geography 6 (1): 50-68 (with Richard Harris & David Manley)

    (2015) The Conundrum of Religious Schools in Twenty-first Century Europe. Comparative Education 51 (1): 133-156.

    (2014) Risk, Harm and Intervention: the case of child obesity. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2): 191-200 (with Kristin Voigt)

    (2013) Educational Challenges Raised by Refugee and Asylum Seeker Children, in Migrants and Refugees: equitable education for displaced populations. Vol. 6 in series International Advances in Education: global initiatives for equity and social justice. (pp. 29-50) E. Brown & A. Krasteva (eds) Information Age. (with David Ingleby & Sander Kramer).

    (2012) Equality, Self-Respect and Voluntary Separation. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (1): 79-100.

    Inaugural lecture

  • Publications


    • Merry, M. S. (2020). Educational Justice: Liberal ideals, persistent inequality and the constructive uses of critique. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Merry, M. S. (2020). Can Schools Teach Citizenship? Discourse, 41(1), 124-138.


    • Merry, M. S. (2019). Black charter schools and white liberal ambivalence. In M. Levinson, & J. Fay (Eds.), Democratic discord in schools: Cases and commentaries in educational ethics (pp. 169-172). Harvard University Press.
    • Oulali, I., Bos, H., van den Akker, A. L., Fukkink, R. G., Merry, M. S., & Overbeek, G. J. (2019). Development and validation of the Religious Collective Self-Esteem scale for children. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 11(3), 188-202.
    • van Leeuwen, B., & Merry, M. S. (2019). Should the Homeless Be Forcibly Helped? Public Health Ethics, 12(1), 30-43. [details]



    • Agirdag, O., Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2017). The Catholic school advantage and common school effect examined: A comparison between Muslim immigrant and native pupils in Flanders. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 28(1), 123-135. [details]
    • Blok, H., Merry, M. S., & Karsten, S. (2017). The legal situation of home education in Europe. In M. Gaither (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of home education (pp. 395-421). (Wiley handbooks in education). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. [details]
    • Driessen, G., Agirdag, O., & Merry, M. (2017). Denominatie van de school, gezins- en schoolsamenstelling en onderwijsprestaties: Verschillen openbaar en bijzonder onderwijs in hun opbrengsten? . Pedagogiek, 37(1), 47-61. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2017). Les écoles religieuses en Europe : les raisons d’un succès. Revue Internationale d'education; Sèvres, 76, 73-82.
    • Merry, M. S., & New, W. (2017). Is the Liberal Defence of Public Schools a Fantasy? Critical Studies in Education, 58(3), 373-389.



    • Merry, M. S. (2015). The conundrum of religious schools in twenty-first-century Europe. Comparative Education, 51(1), 133-156. [details]
    • New, W., & Merry, M. S. (2015). ‘Beware of Elites Bearing Theories’: Clarence Thomas on Race and Education. Journal of Education & Social Policy, 2(1), 62-71. [details]



    • Collier, K. L., Bos, H. M. W., Merry, M. S., & Sandfort, T. G. M. (2013). Gender, ethnicity, religiosity, and same-sex sexual attraction and the acceptance of same-sex sexuality and gender non-conformity. Sex Roles, 68(11-12), 724-737. [details]
    • Ingleby, D., Kramer, S., & Merry, M. S. (2013). Educational challenges raised by refugee and asylum-seeking children and other newcomers: the Dutch response. In E. L. Brown, & A. Krasteva (Eds.), Migrants and refugees: equitable education for displaced populations (pp. 29-50). (International advances in education: global initiatives for equity and social justice). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2013). Equality, citizenship and segregation: a defense of separation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]




    • Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2010). Hindoescholen in Nederland: een alternatieve route naar integratie? Migrantenstudies, 26(1), 21-40. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2010). Does segregation matter? In J. Bakker, E. Denessen, D. Peters, & G. Walraven (Eds.), International perspectives on countering school segregation (pp. 249-260). Antwerpen: Garant. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2010). Identity. In P. L. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education 3rd edition (pp. 152-157). Oxford: Elsevier Science. [details]
    • Merry, M. S., & Karsten, S. (2010). Restricted liberty, parental choice and homeschooling. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 44(4), 497-514. [details]
    • Merry, M. S., & Milligan, J. A. (2010). Citizenship as attachment and obligation. In M. S. Merry, & J. A. Milligan (Eds.), Citizenship, identity and education in Muslim communities: essays on attachment and obligation (pp. 1-20). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]
    • New, W. S., & Merry, M. S. (2010). Solving the ‘gypsy problem’: D.H. and others v. the Czech Republic. Comparative Education Review, 54(3), 393-414. [details]




    • Merry, M. S. (2007). Culture, Identity and Islamic Schooling: A philosophical approach. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


    • Merry, M. S. (2018). Citizenship, structural inequality and the political elite. On_Education, 1(1), [1].
    • Merry, M. S., & Maussen, M. (2018). Islamitische scholen en indoctrinatie. Tijdschrift voor Religie, Recht en Beleid, 9(3), 6-22. [details]
    • van Leeuwen, B., & Merry, M. S. (2018). Moeten we de daklozen helpen, zelfs als ze dat niet willen? Res Publica, 60(3), 294-296.


    • Maussen, M., Vermeulen, F., Merry, M. S., & Bader, V. (2016). Religious schools in Europe: institutional opportunities and contemporary challenges. London: Routledge. [details]


    • Merry, M. S. (2014). Immigrants, education of. In D. C. Phillips (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational theory and philosophy (pp. 402-406). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2014). Is there a positive case for segregation in a liberal society? In D. Goodhart (Ed.), Mapping integration (pp. 83-91). London: Demos. [details]


    • Merry, M. S. (2012). Foreword. In D. Gereluk (Ed.), Education, extremism and terrorism: what should be taught in citizenship education and why (pp. viii-x). London/New York: Continuum. [details]
    • Merry, M., Oulali, I., Steutel, J., & Levering, B. (2012). Segregatie in onderwijs en samenleving: bijdragen aan de Vijftiende Landelijke Pedagogendag. Amsterdam: SWP. [details]


    • Merry, M. S., & Milligan, J. A. (2010). Citizenship, identity and education in Muslim communities: essays on attachment and obligation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [details]


    • Merry, M. S. (2019). Kijk eens in de spiegel. Didactief, 49(7), 8-10.
    • Merry, M. S., & Levy, G. (2019). The unspoken challenge of citizenship education: האתגר הלא מדובר של החינוך לאזרחות. Haokets.
    • Merry, M. S., Chetty, D., & van Leeuwen, B. (2019). Kunnen onze scholen goed burgerschapsonderwijs wel aan? Sociale Vraagstukken.


    • Merry, M. S., & Driessen, G. (2018). Waarom de elites houden van burgerschap. Sociale Vraagstukken.
    • van Leeuwen, B., & Merry, M. S. (2018). Daklozen moet je beschermen, desnoods tegen hun zin. Sociale Vraagstukken, (14 maart 2018).


    • Merry, M. S. (2016). Diversiteit: hard werken en engelengeduld. Folia / Parool.
    • Merry, M. S. (2016). Ethische dilemma’s bij schoolkeuze in de grote stad. In R. Fukkink, & R. Oostdam (Eds.), Onderwijs en opvoeding in een stedelijke context: Van startbekwaam naar stadsbekwaam (pp. 77-86). Bussum: Coutinho. [details]



    • Merry, M. S. (2013). Het recht van ouders om zelf een school te kiezen kan ook in het belang van het kind zijn. Schoolbestuur, 33(4), 18-19.


    • Merry, M. S. (2011). De rol van filosofie in pedagogisch en onderwijskundig onderzoek. (Oratiereeks). Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2011). Islam in Nederland en België [Review of: (2008) Islam in Nederland en België]. Insight Turkey, 12(2), 268-271. [details]
    • Merry, M. S. (2011). [Review of: S.J. McKinney (2008) Faith schools in the twenty-first century]. European Education, 43(2), 98-100. [details]


    • Merry, M. S. (2010). Segregatie is soms beter. Didactief, 40(4), 4-7.


    • Agirdag, O., Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2015). Is there a catholic school effect for muslim pupils?. Paper presented at 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA) 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.
    • Driessen, G., & Merry, M. S. (2015). The Gross and Net Effects of the school’s denomination on student performance. Poster session presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2015, Chicago, United States.
    • Driessen, G., Agirdag, O., & Merry, M. S. (2015). Performance differences between religious and non-religious schools. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2015, Budapest, Hungary.


    • Merry, M. (2019). Docent van het jaar.
    • Merry, M. (2018). Docent van het jaar.
    • Merry, M. (2017). Docent van het jaar.

    Talk / presentation

    • Merry, M. S. (invited speaker) (2015). Educational options for Muslim pupils in comparative perspective, Lecture at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, Mannheim, Germany.
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  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities