I am a professor in Interdisciplinary Social Science at Utrecht University and the former academic director of the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER: www.ercomer.eu). By training I am a social psychologist and an anthropologist. I did my PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam (1988) and worked as an assistant professor at the Law Faculty. In 1993 I moved to Utrecht University to become an associate and later full professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
My main research interest is in ethnic identity and interethnic relations. I focus on the nature of ethnic, religious and national identities, and their interrelationships. I am interested in the conditions under which these identities become less or more important and strong, as well as the conditions under which they are experienced as compatible or rather contradictory. In addition, I examine various consequences of these identities, including well-being, group evaluations, and collective behavior. Furthermore, my focus is on interethnic ideologies (e.g., multiculturalism, interculturalism and assimilationism) and the content of social identities in relation to intergroup relations. My most recent research project is on Intergroup Toleration for which I received an ERC advanced grant in 2017. This project resulted in many academic papers and the monograph “The Social Psychology of Tolerance” published by Routledge (2023).
I am the Series Editor of the Ashgate “Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations Book Series”