Society now and in the future

How do we sustain a resilient and open society?

The corona outbreak has drastically changed our daily lives. Hard work is being done to stop the virus from spreading. Moreover, it is important to look ahead. Measures to keep the virus contained also affect our behavior, our rights, and freedoms. What impact does the pandemic have on our work, social relationships, the economy, our privacy, safety, and inequality in society? Researchers from Utrecht University help to answer these questions about our (future) society.

How to ensure that people follow the ‘corona rules’?

Kees van den Bos, professor of Social Psychology

Hoogleraar Kees van den Bos

“We humans are not that great at handling uncertainty. That is why the government should provide a concrete timetable we can work towards”

Expertise: cooperative behavior | social conflict
Media: How people deal with threatening circumstances

Denise de Ridder, professor of Psychology

Hoogleraar Denis de Ridder

“Most people are willing to cooperate, but vague rules may influence their behavior. It is important to involve behavioral experts for advice on how to get people on board". Denise the Ridder is an advisor to the Corona behavioral unit of the National Health Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Expertise: health behavior | self-control 

Could this crisis be 'the great equalizer' for our society?

Rutger Claassen, professor of Political Philosophy and Economical Ethics

Prof. dr. Rutger Claassen. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk

‘We cannot separate the settlement of the corona crisis from the discussion about the increased wealth inequalities in Western economies. The crisis hits the weakest in society harder than others’

Expertise: economic change | justice | freedom | and democracy
In the media: When the economy crashes, who pays the bill?
Contact: | (Twitter) @RutgerClaassen

Ingrid Robeyns, professor of Ethics of institutions

Prof. dr. Ingrid Robeyns. Foto: Roland Pierik

‘The Covid-virus reinforces differences. In the Netherlands, as well as in other countries, pore people are hit extra hard. You can see the inequality surface in the field of education, amongst other things’

Expertise: inequality | quality of life | ethics
Contact: | (Twitter) @IngridRobeyns

Bas van Bavel, professor of Social and Economic History

Prof. dr. Bas van Bavel. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk

"A disaster or crisis offers an opportunity to change things. But the question is: who uses that opportunity to adjust the societal rules? It’s time to think about how you can perpetuate positive effects."

Expertise: economical transitions | societal development
In the media: Podcast: How will society look like after COVID-19? | 'The measures taken afterwards are crucial' 
Contact: 030 253 7869 |

How is the crisis affecting our work and the job market?

Tanja van der Lippe, professor of Sociology

Tanja van der Lippe

‘To remain effective at home, it is important that you keep in touch with others. Social connection also keeps you healthy’

Expertise: working from home | work-life balance | implications of quarantine and social distancing or via: 

Joop Schippers, professor of Labor Economics

Portret hoogleraar Joop Schippers

‘Maybe this is the right time to ask ourselves: is our job market actually that well-constructed?’

Expertise: unemployment | governmental measures | solidarity or via | (Twitter) @JoopSchippers

How does this crisis impact values such as equality, freedom, and security?

Beatrice de Graaf, professor History of security

Beatrice de Graaff

"History teaches us that it is knowledge and skills that get us far. That pandemics can be tamed, and international cooperation can limit the damage. It also offers a chance to combat inequality at home, in Europe and globally."

Expertise: security | international relations | history of pandemics
In the media: Corona riots shock the NetherlandsPandemics in international relations

Mara Yerkes, assistant professor of Social Sciences

Mara Yerkes

‘The Covid-19 pandemic and government measures could have far-reaching consequences for equality between men and women’

Expertise: gender inequality | job market | social policy
In the media: Influence of Covid-19 pandemic on gender equality | (Twitter) @mara_yerkes

Ilse van Liempt, assistant professor in Urban Geography

Ilse van Liempt

‘The coronavirus pandemic has led to a crisis among asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands.’

Expertise: migration | inclusion & exclusion | human geography
In the media: Misinformation is leading to ‘fake news’ anxieties in Dutch refugee communities | (Twitter) @ilsevanliempt

What is the importance of good leadership and crisis management under current circumstances?

Paul 't Hart, professor Public governance & management

Paul 't Hart

“In the Netherlands, we live in an open society. It is important for policymakers to keep that in mind. The government must find a strategy that works with the Dutch 'matter of fact'-nature”

Expertise: crisis management | leadership in times of crisis
In the media: Facing the Conundrums of the Corona Crisis: Challenges to Political Leadership
Contact: 030 253 6359 | | (Twitter) @paulthart88