Prof. dr. Beatrice de Graaf

Distinguished Faculty Professor
History of International Relations

“Teaching and studying history, for example the history of security measures, terrorism and counterterrorism, helps us to put current-day fears and anxieties in perspective.”

Research focus: history of security, (counter)terrorism and international relations

Beatrice de Graaf is a historian and a security & terrorism researcher. Her research focuses on how states and societies try to maintain high levels of security and how these attempts relate to core values and institutions (democracy, freedom, rule of law, constitutional and responsible government). She studies the emergence of and threats to such security arrangements from the 19th century until the present, including in times where both the effectiveness and the legitimacy of these arrangements were at risk. As a strong science communicator, Beatrice appears on (international) television and radio stations, and in newspapers. Beatrice contributes to internationally leading networks in the field of conflict and security, and terrorism and political violence. She is core editor of Terrorism and Political Violence and Journal of Modern European History.

Beatrice de Graaf is currently a member of the core team of Security for Open Societies (SOS). Here researchers work together with social partners to find answers to current social issues about security, democracy and freedom.

Beatrice de Graaf is lead developer of the TerInfo project, an open source platform for primary schools, secondary schools and higher education to prepare material on sensitive issues such as terrorism, conflict and radicalization for use in the classroom. Beatrice is a member of The Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and a member of the Academia Europaea (EA). In 2018, Beatrice de Graaf was awarded with the NWO Stevin Prize, one of the highest honours in Dutch Academia. As of 1 December 2019, Beatrice has been appointed Distinguished Professor.

Areas of interest:

  • Terrorism and radicalisation
  • National and international security
  • History of international relations, specifically war, conflict and orders of peace
  • Intelligence, espionage
  • Modern history of Germany, the Netherlands, Europe

Recent work

Profile picture: (C) David van Dam/De Beeldunie.

History of International Relations & Global Governance