Today, minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven presented Utrecht University Economic historian professor Bas van Bavel with the Spinoza Prize. The Spinoza Prize is the highest scientific distinction in the Netherlands. The Faculty Professor Transitions of Economy and Society is one of the world’s greatest experts in the area of socioeconomic history. He developed an entirely new vision about the role of the market economy in our society.
The Spinoza Prize is the highest scientific distinction in the Netherlands
Bas van Bavel presented with the highest distinction in Dutch science
According to the Spinoza Prize selection committee, Van Bavel has a broad interest and a powerful research agenda, for which he keeps on finding surprising and original perspectives. He enjoys a considerable international reputation, writes in renowned international journals and has won a considerable number of prizes.
Van Bavel developed an entirely new vision about the role of the market economy in our society. In the much-discussed book The Invisible Hand? How market economies have emerged and declined since AD 500, Van Bavel refutes the idea that our market economy is an indispensable condition for prosperity and the rule of law. His research is driven by the question as to how societies develop in the long term and how differences in their development can be explained. What makes some societies more successful and resilient than others?
INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION PROVIDES A FULLER PICTURE
Van Bavel looks beyond the boundaries of his own discipline and collaborates with economists, sociologists, political scientists and ethicists: "Combining expertise from different disciplines, is incredibly important because it allows me to analyse an issue from different perspectives, which gives rise to a far fuller picture."