Born in 1959. Master Contemporary History and in Political Science Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 1976-1985. 1986-1989 researcher European University Institute Florence. From 1989 onwards Lecturer history of International Relations Utrecht University. From January until June 2019 seminar Geopolitics and diplomacy in the 21th century at UCU. His research focuses on history of the European state system in the 19th, 20th and 21th century, history of European Integration, Development Aid Policies, and Geopolitics. In 2010 he published a book on Development Aid, 'De Prijs van een Slecht Geweten' (Aspekt), which contributed to a reorganization of Dutch Aid Policy in 2011. In 2011 he published his essays on Foreign Policy, 'Mijmeren Overzee', (Eburon).

From 2010 until 2018 he wrote foreign policy columns for Elsevier. From 2018 onwards this column is published on the website of NPO Radio 1. From 2012 onwards he is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Hogeschool Leiden. Since 2016 he is a member of the Committee Peace and Security of the Advisory Council International Affairs. Since 2018 member of the LVOP group of the Verantwoordingsorgaan of the Dutch pension fund ABP.

In 2017 he presented together with Rob de Wijk a TV programme with 5 episodes on major geopolitical shifts in the world ('Weg van de Wereld', NPO2). From 2016 onwards he presents also with Rob de Wijk a weekly BNR Radio programme on Geopolitics. From 2014 onwards he is political commentator by DIDD NPO Radio 1. From 2020 onwards he presents with Tim de Wit the podcast Europa Draait Door (VPRO).