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Ambition: supporting citizens and practitioners to create sustainable societies

Radboud Political Science seeks to engage, support, and collaborate with, responsible citizens and practitioners in four ways:

Promoting an informed public debate

The Radboud Political Science Department aims at promoting an informed public debate that is based on sound scientific knowledge and a careful weighing of moral arguments. To this aim we make use of the following outlets

  • We publish regularly in online platforms such as www.stukroodvlees.nl, www.socialevraagstukken.nl, Foreign Policy, Knowledge Platform for Security and Rule of Law, and LSE blogs https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/. Some staff members offer their own online platform, for instance : www.willemijnverkoren.com/blog
  • We comment frequently on current affairs in newspapers, such as De Volkskrant, Trouw, Financiële Dagblad, and NRC.
  • Media presence. We engage in debates on radio and television. For instance, Romain Malejacq provided insight to French and American media into Taliban strategies during the US withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, and Carolien van Ham served as key analyst during the Dutch national reporting on the 2021 national elections and the 2022 municipal elections.
  • Radboud Reflects. We often offer reflection on urgent societal problems in lectures and panel discussions in the renowned Radboud Reflects programme. For instance, Bertjan Verbeek provided insights into the Ukraine war as it unfolded, and Chris Nijhuis served as an analyst for the American presidential elections in 2020.
  • Major events. We also contribute to major events that engage the public in debate about politics and society. These includes smaller events at debate venues such as LUX Nijmegen or De Balie Amsterdam and bigger events, such as the 2020 Democracy Festival organized by the Ministry of the Interior, as well as Election Night, an event held every four years on the occasion of the American Presidential elections (co-organised with American Studies, Radboud Reflects and Lux).
  • Lecturing for the general public. We regularly appear in podcasts and public weblectures. Examples include Vossen on dictators, and Jacobs, Verbeek, and Vossen who published weblectures on the Universiteit van Nederland platform.

Training of, and co-creating new knowledge with, reflective stakeholders

Bringing together our focus on generating new knowledge through cutting-edge research, with input from societal stakeholders to identify research problems and questions that are relevant to them, we enter in dialogue and co-create research with such stakeholders in many of our projects. Examples include the projects of Malejacq, Swedlund, and Van Leeuwen on conflicts in Central Africa and Central Asia, the projects of Jacobs and van Ham on civil participation in democratic processes, and the projects of Alons and Joachim that tackle the value tradeoff between agriculture, fishing and the environment.

Offering policy advice

Frequently, our researchers are involved in an advisory capacity.

  • Research by invitation. For instance, Swedlund (with Ferry) published “Overview of the global presence and impact of emerging donors,” commissioned by the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission.
  • Institutionalised advice. For instance, we advise policy makers, such as the Foreign Affairs committee of the Lower House of Parliament (Verkoren) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malejacq, van Ham); we also help steer think tanks, such as the Telders Foundation (Wissenburg) and SOMO (Wigger). Joachim is a committee member engaging in scholarly collaborations with United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).
  • Open advice. For instance, in policy briefs provided by staff members, such as Joachim’s policy brief for SIPRI.

Engaging alumni

The Radboud Political Science Department is proud of its alumni and of their contribution to a sustainable world. Each year the Department aims at organizing several meetings where alumni, staff and students meet and where alumni’s expertise feed into our educational programmes. Twice a year the department organizes alumni meetings on location (e.g. The Hague) to bring alumni up to date with the latest scientific knowledge.