I am both a lawyer and political scientist by training. From early on I have been fascinated by crossing (sub)disciplinary boundaries. Thus, while I was still teaching at the Department of Political Science, I collaborated with constitutional lawyers in the field of Dutch government and politics. I also spent a sabbatical at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, USA. After my transfer to the Law Faculty, I developed a course in Comparative Constitutional Law, thereby once again attempting to bridge the gap with constitutional politics. I also co-directed book projects on political parties and public law (2014) and the separation of powers (2015) respectively.
Recently, I have been able to capitalize on the fact that I thrive in interdisciplinary and international settings even further. In 2013 a research proposal I co-authored,with historian James Kennedy, entitled ‘Religion Renegotiated: Faith-Based Organizations and the State in the Netherlands since the 1960s', was granted a major subsidy by the Dutch Association for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2014 I was awarded a Research Fellowship in Legal Studies at the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) at Princeton University, USA, which enabled me to be in full-time residence at CTI for the academic year 2014-2015. Since 2015, I am a member of the editorial board of the Tijdschrift voor Religie, Recht en Beleid (Journal for Religion, Law and Policy).
Throughout my professional career my passion has been the question of how constitutional democracies can be designed in order to meet the demands of religiously and otherwise divided societies. My PhD thesis already dealt with the origins of the Dutch Christian Democratic party, whose predecessors were major architects of the pluriform democracy which has characterized the Netherlands during most of the 20th century. A new book, entitled 'Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human' is now published.