Short academic biography
After having worked as a lecturer, post-doctoral researcher, and visiting fellow at the universities of Utrecht, Amsterdam, and Ghent, I was appointed as senior researcher at Utrecht University in 2001. I directed various projects there and was the principal investigator and research leader of a project on the organisation of markets, and a project on pre-industrial growth and stagnation. Furthermore, I teach at the Departments of History and Economics and at University College Utrecht. In 2007, I was appointed professor of Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages at Utrecht University. As well as various editorships and memberships of international committees, I acted as the head of the section Economic and Social History between 2011 and 2014. In 2007, Utrecht University asked me to become the coordinator of the newly established university focus area “Origins and Impacts of Institutions”. Bringing together the best researchers of the departments of history, sociology, economics, law and public administration, and together with my colleagues we have developed this research area into a thriving, interdisciplinary research community, which aims to combine academic quality with societal relevance. The results were endorsed by Utrecht University in 2012 and 2013, as shown by the nomination of this interdisciplinary program as one of its four strategic themes and the associated funding for the coming four years.
In 2014, I was appointed Faculty Professor, in the Faculty of Humanities at Utrecht University. My chair is titled “Transitions of Economy and Society”. This title reflects more closely the work within the interdisciplinary research theme “Institutions for Open Societies” and also the start of a new, ERC-funded project, called “Coordinating for life”, on the resilience of societies and its determinants.
1993 PhD Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University
Degree: cum laude (only distinction granted for a PhD in the Netherlands, top c. 10 %)
1991 Post-graduate course Statistics, Utrecht University
1990 Post-graduate course Medieval Latin, Utrecht University
1988 MA History, Utrecht University (medieval history)
2013 Faculty professor Transitions of Economy and Society, faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University
Director of the research team “Coordinating for life” (2 PhD’s, 4 postdocs, own application, funded by ERC - Advanced Grant)
2011-2014 Head of the section Economic and Social History, Department of History, Utrecht University
2007- Professor of Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages, Department of History, Utrecht University
2006-2012 Research leader, NWO, based at the Department of History, Utrecht University
Director of the research team “Economic growth and stagnation” (2 PhD’s, 3 postdocs, own application, funded by NWO)
2001-2006 Research leader, fixed-term, NWO, based at the Department of History, Utrecht University
Director of the research team “The rise, organization and institutional framework of markets” (2 PhD’s, 1 postdoc, own application, funded by NWO)
1999-2001 Postdoctoral researcher, fixed-term, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), based at the Department of Medieval History, University of Amsterdam
1998-1999 Visiting postdoctoral fellow, Research Foundation Flanders FWO (Fellowship), fixed-term, based at the Department of Medieval History, Ghent University, Belgium
1995-1998 Research fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), fixed-term, based at the Department of Medieval History, University of Amsterdam
1994-1995 University Lecturer, fixed-term, Department of Medieval History, University of Amsterdam
1993-1995 University Lecturer, fixed-term, Department of History, Utrecht University
1989-1993 Ph.D. student, fixed-term, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), based at the Department of Medieval History, Utrecht University
Funding ID: current research grants
Over the past years, by way of several grants acquired within competitive application programmes, I have aimed to build a dynamic research group, mainly working on pre-industrial economic and social history. The main grants included:
- Innovational Scheme grant (NWO) of € 650,000 for the period 2001-2006, for my project “The organisation of markets in late medieval Holland”);
- VICI grant (largest personal grant in the Dutch innovational research incentives scheme, NWO) of € 850,000 from NWO and € 400,000 from UU for the period 2007-2012, for my project “Economic Growth and Stagnation in the Pre-Industrial Era: Iraq, Italy and the Low Countries, 600-1700”;
- Grant by Utrecht University for the university focus area “Origins and Impacts of Institutions”, of which I am the main applicant and academic coordinator. This grant of € 1,226,000 for the period 2008-2012 is for the promotion of interdisciplinary research within the faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law.
- Grant by FWO-Flanders for the research network “Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area” (CORN), of which I am the co-applicant / member of the board (for the theme “Rural Resilience”). Funds: € 62,500 for the period 2011-2014.
My current research grants are:
- Grant by the University Board, Utrecht University for the knowledge centre Institutions of the Open Society, of which I am the main academic coordinator. These funds are allocated by the coordinator in order to develop new research projects with non-academic partners. Funds: € 400,000 for the period 2012-2013.
- Grant by the ERC (Advanced Grant), for the project “Coordinating for life”, aimed at better understanding why some societies cope well with hazards and disasters, while others prove vulnerable. Funds: € 2,250,000 for the period 2013-2018.
Present editorial positions and memberships of boards
At present I hold the following editorial positions and memberships of boards:
2017- Member of the Social Sciences Council (Sociaal-Wetenschappelijke Raad)
2016- Member of the council of the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR)
2016- Member of the Academia Europaea
2013- Fellow of the Netherlands Agricultural Historical Institute (NAHI)
2013- Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW)
2012- Chair of the search committee of the Prins Claus Chair
2012- Member of the committee of research directors, faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University
2012- Programme director of the Utrecht University strategic theme “Institutions for Open Societies”
2011- Co-director of the CORN axis “Rural Resilience to Disaster” (FWO-network)
2010- Member of the organization committee of the Center for Global Economic History at Utrecht University
2008- Member of the Scientific Committee of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F.Datini”, Prato
2007- Editor of the series “Rural History in Europe” (COST, Publisher: Brepols, Turnhout)
2006- Editor of the series “Studies Stadsgeschiedenis” (Universiteit Antwerpen, Publisher: Aksant, Amsterdam)
2003- Member of the board of the international research network CORN (Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area, FWO-network)