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The B&P Academy is a platform for events and activities that take place within the department of Political Science and Public Administration (Bestuurswetenschap & Politicologie).

On this page, you will find all our upcoming events and ways to register. If you want to stay posted on news from our department, please follow us on Twitter: @VU_PSPA. Are you interested in organizing an event for our community of students and staff? Please send an email to You can find past B&P Academy events in our archive. 

Return to the Political Science and Public Administration homepage

Upcoming events

  • April 29 | SKILLS WORKSHOP – How to do surveys studying public opinion attitudes towards China (CHERN)

    The second Workshop in CHERN's Online Series will build on the experience from the Sinophone Borderlands project, which ran public opinion surveys of the attitudes towards China (and other issues) in 13 European countries in 2020 and is continuing in 15 Asian countries in 2021. Key researcher leading the team, Richard Q. Turcsányi (Palacky University Olomouc), will aim to present an overall outlook of how the survey has been organized in order to give participants enough information to potentially replicate it in other countries or with other research goals. The workshop will look into organizational aspects as well as into the research design and the questionnaire. It will be interactive, with any questions and feedback welcome, and potentially leading to research collaboration. For more information and registration, visit the event page.

  • APRIL 29 | Representation, legitimacy and the 'citizen standpoint' - an online seminar with Michael Saward (Warwick)

    Michael Saward is professor of Politics and International Studies at The University of Warwick. Through his innovative work, he has upended the debates on political representation and democratic legitimacy. Rather than understanding representation as a unidirectional relationship between constituency and representative, Saward presents representation as a performative act through which both the representative and the represented are created. Democratic legitimacy is not dependent on meeting a particular external standard, but is rather perceived - temporarily and provisionally - by an audience. A theorist can come to an understanding, however incomplete, of how representative claims are made and assessed by becoming part of the institutional and cultural context wherein it takes place. These and related insights by Saward, have far reaching ramifications for research into the workings of democracies.

    Zoom link:
    Meeting ID: 929 4691 8057
    Passcode: 266024

     The seminar is organised by Thijs Bogers for the Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought and the B&P Academy. 

  • MAY 6 | Sociotechnical Imaginaries of EU Defense in ‘Times of Crisis" (VICES)

    On May 6th 2021, Dr. Jocelyn Mawdsley (Newcastle University) will give the online lecture ‘Sociotechnical Imaginaries of EU Defense in ‘Times of Crisis’’. This lecture is part of a lecture series on European Security, Technology and Geopolitics in Pandemic Times, organized by by Bastiaan van Apeldoorn & Marijn Hoijtink for the B&P Academy and the VU Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies (VICES). You can register here

    On 10 September 2019, incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented, along with her team of nominees for Commissioners, her ambitions for the next five years. In her Mission Letter to High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy Josep Borrell, von der Leyen stated that she wanted her team to become “a geopolitical Commission” that would be “more strategic” and “more assertive” in its foreign policy approach. More than a year later, the Commission, and the whole of the EU, is above all struggling with managing and seeking to exit from the ongoing covid-19 crisis – both the health and the economic crisis – with the geopolitical discourse receding again somewhat into the background. At the same time, the pandemic – and the vulnerabilities of global supply chains it has revealed – has also led to reinforced calls for ‘strategic autonomy’ for the EU. This has taken place in the context of the accelerating rise of new technologies - such as AI, 5G, biometrics and robotics – with a potential revolutionary impact upon both our economies and on security and military affairs – as well as in the context of an increasing geopolitical competition (with China now identified as a ‘systemic rival’), in part expressed as a “tech race”. Furthermore, the new Biden administration has also been hailed as an opportunity to restore transatlantic relations and global multilateralism. So, one year later how (un)successful has the EU been in realising its new geopolitical ambitions, and what explains its relative success and failure? How has the covid-19 crisis impacted upon this, and how the changing global geopolitical context? And what is driving this ‘geopolitication of Europe’ in the first place, and how can we make sense of this new discourse and policy practice? What kind of ideas does it reflect and whose interests does it arguably serve? What kind of political agenda is revealed here and what kind of political and normative issues does it raise? How is it affecting the EU’s identity as a foreign policy and security actor? And how is it changing the EU’s relations with other powers, in particular the US and China? In this VICES lecture series we will explore these and related questions with scholars, who are experts in the field, presenting their view – informed by their research – on aspects of these developments. 

    Each lecture will last about 30 minutes, with another 30 to 45 minutes for discussion. Other upcoming lectures: 

    • EU/US relations under President Biden (June 2021, tbc)
    • Health, EU, “strategic autonomy” and vaccine geopolitics (September 2021, tbc)
  • MAY 20 | Book presentation "The Frontlines of Peace" (PACS)

    On May 20th (16:00-17:30) the B&P Academy together with PACS and the Dutch Foundation for Peace Studies (Stichting Vredeswetenschappen) will host a book presentation on The Frontlines of Peace by Severine Autesserre. 

    The word “peacebuilding” evokes a story we’ve all heard over and over: Violence breaks out, foreign nations are scandalized, peacekeepers and million-dollar donors come rushing in, warring parties sign a peace agreement and, sadly, within months the situation is back to where it started—sometimes worse. But what strategies have worked to build lasting peace in conflict zones, particularly for ordinary citizens on the ground? And why should other ordinary citizens, thousands of miles away, care?

    In The Frontlines of Peace, Séverine Autesserre, award-winning researcher and peacebuilder, examines the well-intentioned but inherently flawed peace industry. With examples drawn from across the globe, she reveals that peace can grow in the most unlikely circumstances. Contrary to what most politicians preach, building peace doesn’t require billions in aid or massive international interventions. Real, lasting peace requires giving power to local citizens. The Frontlines of Peace tells the stories of the ordinary yet extraordinary individuals and organizations that are confronting violence in their communities effectively. One thing is clear: Successful examples of peacebuilding around the world, in countries at war or at peace, have involved innovative grassroots initiatives led by local people, at times supported by foreigners, often employing methods shunned by the international elite. By narrating success stories of this kind, Autesserre shows the radical changes we must take in our approach if we hope to build lasting peace around us—whether we live in Congo, the United States, or elsewhere.

    More information and the registration link will be shared on this page soon. 


  • APRIL 13 2021 | VU Real World Politics Expert Lectures - Post-election event

    What happened to the left? And other questions following the Dutch 2021 elections were discussed with students and an expert panel consisting of: Reinier van Lanschot (co-president Volt Europe), Esmé Bosma (board member Vrij Links), and political scientists Lisanne de Blok, André Krouwel and Patrick Overeem.

    The expert lecture was organised by Thijs Bogers for the B&P Academy.

  • APRIL 8 2021 | Foreign Investments and Security: A Nordic perspective on China’s rise (CHERN)

    During the second Research Highlights event in Chern's Online Series, Ulf Sverdrup and Morten S. Andersen from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) gave a presentation on the Nordic perspective on China’s rise. More information can be found on the CHERN website.

  • APRIL 8 2021 | Agenda voor het nieuwe kabinet: Wat past in het regeerakkoord over goed en integer besturen? (Netwerk Goed Besturen)

    "Netwerk Goed Besturen" kwam op 8 april samen rondom de vraag "Agenda voor het nieuwe kabinet: Wat past in het regeerakkoord over goed en integer besturen?" 

    Het programma was samengesteld door Leo Huberts en zag er als volgt uit: 

    1. Gjalt de Graaf, voorzitter| Introductie thema: Integriteit en goed besturen anno 2021 en introductie inleiders en programma.
    2. Lousewies van der Laan, directeur Transparency International Nederland | Agenda vanuit aandacht voor anti-corruptie en integriteit in politiek en bestuur in Nederland (mede op basis TI analyse verkiezingsprogramma's).
    3. Wilbert Tomesen, voorzitter Huis voor Klokkenluiders | Agenda vanuit aandacht voor integriteit openbaar bestuur (organisatie..) en stand van zaken huidige (landelijke) 'integriteitssysteem'.
    4. Monica den Boer, hoogleraar Militaire Politie Operaties, Nederlandse Defensie Academie, voormalig Kamerlid D66 | Bijdrage vanuit Monica's ervaring en kennis vanuit de landelijke politiek m.b.t. de aandacht voor en invulling van het thema 'integriteit'.
    5. Leo Huberts, emeritus hoogleraar bestuurskunde VU | Agenda vanuit publieke aandacht voor integriteit en politieke integriteitsaffaires (PI-Index).
    6. Open discussie met deelnemers over de inleidingen, maar ook over aanvullende ideeën en suggesties m.b.t. de agenda voor integer en goed besturen (in het regeerakkoord).
    7. Slotwoord Zeger van der Wal, met indrukken/conclusies op basis voorgaande en info over vervolgen NGB.
  • APRIL 6 2021 | Goed Geschoold. Over waarden in het onderwijs en andere praktijken. (QuGo)

    Five times a year, the Quality of Governance (QuGO) comes together to discuss a publication. This time, the book "Goed Geschoold. Over waarden in het onderwijs en andere praktijken" by Bram Verhulst was discussed.

  • MARCH 30 2021 | Webinar Leidinggeven vanuit vertrouwen in Coronatijd (VU School of Governance)

    What does it take to lead based on trust? What are the risks and advantages? Especially in current times where we work mainly from home and we hardly meet each other face-to-face, planned or spontaneously by the coffee machine, many leaders are struggling with these questions. On March 30 (12.30-13.30 hr) the VU School of Governance organizes a webinar trust-based leadership in which Frédérique Six, associate professor Public Governance and Public Administration alumna Helma van der Hoorn talk about the challenges and opportunities in leading based on trust. Helma is initiator and cofounder of Leve het Onderwijs!, until March 31 President of SaKS (primary education) and from April 1 President of ROC Kop van Noord-Holland. Sign up via this form.

  • MARCH 25 2021 | Prototype Warfare: New Regimes of Computation, Experimentation and War

    On 25 and 26 March 2021, Marijn Hoijtink organized a workshop on Prototype Warfare which discusses the implementation of new data technologies in warfare and how these technologies transform. What can be known in and about war and armed conflict, and with what effects for civilian populations in armed conflict? For more information, please contact Marijn Hoijtink.

  • MARCH 18 2021 | Non-traditional security in China-Europe relations (CHERN)

    The CHERN COST Action is proud to announce the 2nd Distinguished Lecture on Global China in its online series: Non-traditional security in China-Europe relations with Prof. Zha Daojiong (School of International Studies and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Peking University). Visit the CHERN website for updates previous events in the series.

  • MARCH 15 2021 | De Nabeschouwing

    HP/De Tijd (together with Stemwijzer and Prodemos) organized 'De Nabeschouwing', a live in-depth discussion of the 6 largest radio & TV debates between party leaders in the run-up to the Dutch elections in March. The panel consisted of 4 journalists and 1 rotating political scientist. Loes Aaldering took on the expert role on March 15th, after the EenVandaag debate. You can rewatch the analysis here.

  • MARCH 15 2021 | Democracy, Populism and Changes in Foreign Policy (VICES)

    On March 15, 16-18h, Angelos Chryssogelos (LMU/ EUI) will gave a talk on Democracy, populism and changes in foreign policy. Commentary was provided by Sandra Destradi (University of Freiburg). The event was chaired by Wolfgang Wagner and co-organized by Lisanne Blok.

  • 11 FEB 2021 | Global views on China (CHERN)

    The second event CHERN's Online series took place on February 11th 2021. China-Europe research highlights – Global Views of China, a presentation of the Sinophone Borderlands project’s public opinion surveys conducted in 13 European countries. A series of large-scale representative surveys of public opinion investigating global views of China were conducted in the fall of 2020 in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Latvia, Serbia, and Russia. The head of the Palacky University Olomouc team that was in charge of the surveys, Richard Q. Turcsányi, presented the research and main findings, while team partners and CHERN members Tim Rühlig, Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova, and Jelena Gledić introduced some interesting country-specific results. The presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session with the audience, covering a number of topics related to China-Europe relations. The recording of the event can be found here.

  • 28 JAN 2021 | US-China Rivalry in Historical, Comparative and European Contexts (CHERN)

    On January 28th, CHERN (the China in Europe Research Network) kicked off their online series with a lecture by Prof. Ho-fung Hung, the Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University. The lecture "US-China Rivalry in Historical, Comparative and European Contexts" was followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated by Dr. Nana de Graaff.  

    In his lecture entitled US-China Rivalry in Historical, Comparative and European Contexts, Prof. Hung argued that in spite of ideological rifts and geopolitical mistrust, US corporations have been largely responsible for integrating Chinese firms into the global economy. China’s consequent boom has now faltered and the Chinese state has become ever more aggressive in squeezing US and other foreign companies in order to facilitate Chinese capital exports. This has unleashed inter-capitalist competition and fuelled a US-China geopolitical rivalry that is unlikely to diminish even with the new Biden administration in Washington. Prof. Hung assessed the prospects for the further playing-out of this rivalry by comparing it with UK-Germany rivalry at the beginning of the 20 th century and Europe-China relations at the present time.

    Couldn't make it to this event? Rewatch the lecture.


    On January 19th, Alvaro Oleart presented his book 'Framing TTIP in the European Public Spheres: Towards an Empowering Dissensus for EU Integration'. Chaired by Prof. Ben Crum (VU), with commentary provided by Louisa Parks (University of Trento) & Luis Bouza Garcia (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). This event was organized by The VU Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies (VICES).


    After having witnessed the siege of Capitol Hill, a few tense hours before the inauguration of Joe Biden’s new presidency, on January 18th, three outstanding academic discussed the Future of American Power.  

    Dr. Amit Gupta (International Security Studies at the USAF Air War College, Alabama) stressed the demographic transition that is changing the USA rapidly in combination with the rising inequality. He was somewhat optimistic on the role of large cooperations that would turn against potential growing political violence. Prof. Catherine de Vries (Department of Social and Political Science, at Bocconi University and VU) pointed to the perils of presidentialism and two party systems in which both parties benefit from polarization. Also in the European context, it is important that smaller parties could voice minority interests.  “If you don’t have conflict [over ideology] within the system, people are going to turn against the system.”Dr. André Krouwel (Comparative Political Science VU Amsterdam) analysed the position of the so-called squeezed middle. A growing section of society are in a precarious position. The ceiling is no longer reachable and the chance their children will is almost zero. This leads to frustration. The elite no longer represent them and they see the lower classes as criminals.

    The experts elaborated on questions of the student-panel and reacted to the lively conversation in the chat.


    On Wednesday December 16th, Wolfgang Wagner presented his new book 'The Democratic Politics of Military Interventions: Political Parties, Contestation, and Decision to Use Force Abroad'. With an introduction by Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, and commentary by Tapio Raunio (Tampere University) and Julie Kaarbo (Edinburgh University).


    The interactive masterclass "China's Global Impact on Human Rights" in collaboration with Amnesty International provided students withan up-to-date perspective on the Chinese human rights situation, both domestically and overseas. China plays an increasingly prominent role on the world stage. It openly promotes a new system of international relations that prioritizes bilateral relations to multilateral bonds. On top of that, China actively tries to reshape global governance systems. This directly impacts the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms. The Netherlands and Belgium are also increasingly confronted with the strictly authoritarian aspects of Chinese politics and diplomacy, bringing the human rights violations encompassed in the policy and international activities of this economic giant to our doorstep.

  • 29 OCT 2020 | VU Real World Politics Expert Lectures: PRE-ELECTION EVENT

    Leading up to the US Election, a political science expert lecture took place to discuss the consequences of the different presidential election outcomes with students. The expert panel consisted of full professor in International Relations Bastiaan van Apeldoorn (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), associate professor in Political Science André Krouwel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), assistant professor in American Studies George Blaustein (University of Amsterdam), assistant professor in Modern European History Alessandra Bitumi (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdan), and government policy advisor Mark Zonnenberg (alumnus of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). The seminar is moderated by associate professor in International Relations Naná de Graaff (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). 

    University newspaper AdValvas covered this event (read the article here).

    The expert lecture was organised by Thijs Bogers for the B&P Academy. 

  • 23 JAN 2020 | Living Through IR

    On January 23rd 2020, the event "Living Through IR: how students are affected by events from the sphere of IR" took place at VU Amsterdam. Political Science students Lalash Tahir and Wahhab Hassoo reflected on how they have been personally affected by events from the sphere of IR. By doing so, they made the connection between text book insights and their own experiences. 

    Living Through IR was organised by Thijs Bogers for the B&P Academy.

  • 16 JAN 2020 | VU Real World Politics Expert Lectures: Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

    Former Secretary General of NATO (2004-2009) and former minister of Foreign Affairs (2002-2003) Jaap de Hoop Scheffer reflected on the current state of international affairs, focussing on the state of the liberal world order since Trump assumed office and the impact of the rise of China. 

    This expert lecture was organised by Thijs Bogers for the B&P Academy.