Portret hoogleraar Ronald Kroeze
Portret hoogleraar Ronald Kroeze

Ronald Kroeze appointed Professor of Parliamentary History

Ronald Kroeze has been appointed Professor of Parliamentary History at the Faculty of Arts with effect from 1 August.

Kroeze is a historian whose expertise covers the history of politics and democracy, parliamentary history, and the history of corruption and anti-corruption. He is also Director of the Radboud University-affiliated Centre for Parliamentary History (CPG), a position to which he was appointed in May 2022.

Kroeze will spend the next few years researching 1980s and 1990s politics. Kroeze: “Historians have so far devoted little attention to this period, while the changes that began during that time are clearly visible today. Think of the acceleration of European integration since the Single European Act (1985) and the Maastricht Treaty (1991). Also, the Cold War came to an end, creating new tensions, the consequences of which we are seeing now.” Kroeze coordinates the research project recently launched by the CPG on Dutch politics during this period. Previously, Kroeze has published research on the rise of management and market thinking in politics, and the bankruptcy of shipbuilding company Rijn-Schelde-Verolme in 1983 that led to the House of Representatives rediscovering the instrument of parliamentary inquiry, and the subsequent shift in state aid policy.

In addition, Kroeze wants to focus on the importance of parliamentary and political history. Together with the CPG team, he will also produce publications on current political issues and offer courses on democracy and rule of law for civil servants and politicians. Kroeze: “Historically, parliamentary democracy is not a given. It is essential to have knowledge of the longer-term development of democratic practices. Take for example the fact that in recent years, public debate has increasingly focused on integrity. What that means is not obvious to everyone. You have to interpret it, and knowledge of the past helps with that.” In the context of knowledge sharing, Kroeze will also deliver lectures in the Radboud University Master's in Politics and Parliament, in collaboration his colleagues from Political History.

Kroeze also wants to further develop his research on the history of corruption and good governance. His research is considered an exponent of an innovative research method that has exposed that perceptions of corruption and the fight against it are far more ‘political’ and changeable than is generally assumed. Kroeze: “If we look at the 1976 Lockheed scandal, for example, it is mainly known in the Netherlands as a juicy bribery affair starring Prince Bernhard. But it was partly the foundation for the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which led to an international ban on bribing foreign office holders. The recent indignation about Qatar bribing European MPs is a recent chapter in this history.”

The national and international dimensions of corruption are also the subject of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) project entitled ‘Colonial Normativity. Corruption in the Netherlands-Indonesian relationship (1870-2010)’ that Kroeze is currently carrying out in collaboration with colleagues at VU Amsterdam and UGM Yogyakarta.

About Ronald Kroeze

Ronald Kroeze (1983) graduated cum laude from the University of Groningen in 2007 in History and International Organisations/ International Relations. Prior to moving to Nijmegen, he worked as Associate Professor of Political History and Director of the study programme in History at VU Amsterdam. In 2013, he obtained his PhD with the thesis entitled Een kwestie van politieke moraliteit. Politieke corruptieschandalen en goed bestuur in Nederland, 1848-1940. (A question of political morality. Political corruption scandals and good governance in the Netherlands, 1848-1940.) He went to on work as a researcher at the University of Amsterdam and spent time as a visiting scholar at the universities of Oxford (Corpus Christi College), Avignon, Warwick, and Berlin (Humboldt). Kroeze is a board member of the Montesquieu Institute and involved in the Political History Research School (OPG). In 2011, he published the book De Leiderschapscarrousel. Waarom iedere tijd zijn eigen leiden vraagt (The Leadership Carousel. Why Every Age Demands Its Own Leader) with Sjoerd Keulen. And in 2021, he published Corruption, Empire and Colonialism in the Modern Era with Pol Dalmau and Frédéric Monier.

About the CPG

The Parliamentary History teaching and research remit has been added to the Centre for Parliamentary History (CPG). The CPG is funded by the Stichting Radboud Universiteit and the Parliamentary History Foundation. The CPG was created in 1971 and it conducts academic research in the field of post-World War II parliamentary history. Recently, the CPG started researching politics at the time of the Lubbers cabinets (1982-1994). The findings of this research study are due to appear as Volume 11 in the Serie Parlementaire Geschiedenis (Parliamentary History Series). In addition to the series, the CPG publishes the Yearbook of Parliamentary History and biographies on politicians. Besides academic research, the CPG offers courses, carries out commissioned research, and frequently speaks to the press on the historical background of current political issues.

Contact information

For further information, please contact one of the researchers involved or team Science communication via +31 24 361 6000 or media [at] ru.nl (media[at]ru[dot]nl).