Michael S. Merry is professor 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. He has been visiting fellow at several universities, including Bristol University, New York University and Brown University.
Though he writes on a wide variety of topics, and often through a comparative-international frame, he specializes in any of the following: the various features of educational inequality, both institutional and non-institutional; state paternalism and the ethics of intervention; the politics and epistemology of academic research; the ethics of school choice and school segregation, citizenship and civic education, religion and religious schools, and alternative education in its manifold forms.
In addition to scholarship, he frequently contributes to societal debates in Dutch and international media. Recent examples include:
Internationale vergelijkingen kunnen op verschillende manieren ook problematisch zijn. Knack https://www.knack.be/opinie/internationale-vergelijkingen-kunnen-op-verschillende-manieren-ook-problematisch-zijn/
Zijn structurele investeringen in het onderwijs de oplossing voor ongelijkheid? De Volkskrant https://www.volkskrant.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-nee-20-miljard-euro-heeft-ongelijkheid-in-onderwijs-niet-opgelost-en-meer-geld-zal-dat-ook-niet-doen~b75842a49/
Beeldenstormers hebben gelijk: Beeld Jan Pierterzoon Coen moet weg. Sociale Vraagstukken https://www.socialevraagstukken.nl/waarom-de-beeldenstormers-gewoon-gelijk-hebben/
Is burgerschapsvorming een legitieme taak van de school? Knack https://www.knack.be/nieuws/is-burgerschapsvorming-een-legitieme-taak-van-de-school/
Toetsen kan eerlijker. Didactief https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352785868_Toetsen_kan_eerlijker
(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.
(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)
(2022) Majority-minority Educational Success sans Integration: A comparative-international view. The Review of Black Political Economy (with Orhan Agirdag) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00346446221120825
(2022) The Public Library as Social Infrastructure: A Dutch illustration. Social and Cultural Geography (with Rianne van Melik) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14649365.2021.1965195
(2021) What is an Appropriate Educational Response to Controversial Historical Monuments? Journal of Philosophy of Education 55 (3): 484-497 (with Anders Schinkel) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-9752.12562
(2020) Educational Inequality and State-Sponsored Elite Schools: the case of the Dutch gymnasium. Comparative Education 56 (4): 522-546 (with Willem Boterman) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03050068.2020.1771872
(2019) Should The Homeless Be Forcibly Helped? Public Health Ethics 12 (1): 30-43 (with Bart van Leeuwen) https://academic.oup.com/phe/article/12/1/30/4944889
(2018) Can Schools Fairly Select Their Students? Theory and Research in Education 16 (3): 330-350 (with Richard Arum) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1477878518801752
(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) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313444771_The_Legal_Situation_of_Home_Education_in_Europe
(2016) Community, Virtue and the White British Poor. Dialogues in Human Geography 6 (1): 50-68 (with Richard Harris & David Manley) https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2043820615624603
Access to all of my publications can be found at either of these sites: