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Theme Groups

Theme Groups bring together scholars of different backgrounds with specific expertise to work together on a daily basis, to advance knowledge on a particular theme.

Each year, one to three research theme groups come to NIAS to carry out research that requires a longer period of daily cooperation. Theme groups are composed of maximum five scholars, and researchers work both individually and as a team on a clearly defined research topic.


  1. Early Dutch Commerce and Indigenous Landscapes

  2. Re-imagining Security Labour

  3. Future of Progressive Politics

  4. The Spatial Segregation of Neighborhood Organizations and Entrepreneurs: Connecting Urban Inequality to the Built Environment

  5. Climate Change and the Governance of Tropical Marine Conservation

  6. Political Theories of Involuntary Servitude within Europe (1600-1850)

  7. Social Media for Digital Democracy: Theory, Applications, Algorithms

  8. Refuge and Belonging

  9. Accessible Tool for Language Assessment in Schools (ATLAS)

  10. The Politics of (De)familiarization: The Common and the Strange in Contemporary Europe

  11. Building a Research Agenda in the Studies of War, Mass Violence and Genocide

  12. Accountability in Medical Autonomous Expert Systems: Ethical and Epistemological Challenges for Explainable AI

  13. Legal Mobilization: Analyzing Law-Based Advocacy

  14. Understanding Knowledge in the Low Countries, 1500-1900

  15. What is Translation? Articulating the Missing Link between Psychiatry and Neuroscience

  16. Comparing the Wars of Decolonization

  17. Commodity Frontiers and the Making of Global Capitalism

  18. Reading and Narrating the Migration/Refugee Crisis

  19. Borders and the Transfer of Knowledge

  20. Diaspora, Migration and the Sciences: A New Integrated Perspective

  21. The Comparative Biology of Language Learning: Towards the Next Level

  22. Knowledge and the Market: Affective Economies

  23. My Optimism Wears Heavy Boots: So much research, so few implications, towards ‘patient-proof’ empirical models and more effective interventions in mental health

  24. From Multidisciplinary Perspectives to Interdisciplinary Pathways: An Agenda for Future Retirement Research and Policy

  25. Gene x Environment Interactions in the Developing Brain

  26. Knowledge and the City, ca. 1450 – ca. 1800

  27. Mass Communication in Classical Antiquity

  28. The Evolution of Financial Markets in Pre-Industrial Europe: The Case of the Low Countries, 1500-1800

  29. The Real and the Imagined in the Contemporary Balkans

  30. European Elections and Public Cynicism

  31. Terrorscapes. Transnational Memory of Totalitarian Terror and Genocide in Postwar Europe

  32. Dutch Atlantic Connections: The Circulation of People, Goods and Ideas in the Atlantic world, 1600-1800

  33. Texture Analysis Challenge for The Arts

  34. The Construction of Local Identities through Language Practices

  35. Modelling Social Reality: Emergence of the Glass Ceiling

  36. Understanding Information Spreading in Social Networks

  37. Explaining European Union Decision-Making: Insights from the Natural and the Social Sciences

  38. Biographies of Buildings: Virtual Futures for our Cultural Past

  39. Social Support: Channels, Contexts, Health Consequences, and Technological Applications

  40. Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics

  41. The Danger of Community Failure: Conditions for Solidary Behaviour in Modern Market Societies

  42. Network Analysis

  43. Rethinking the History of Medicine: 'Rationality' and 'Magic' in Babylonia and the Graeco-Roman World

  44. The East - West Encounter

  45. A Comparative History of the Literatures of East Central Europe

  46. East Asian and Latin American Developments Compared

  47. Flexibility and Strategy in Resource Allocation

  48. National Systems of Innovation and the Idea - Innovation Chain

  49. Tatian's Diatessaron

  50. Historical Developmental Psychology

  51. Translation Techniques in Armenian and Syriac

  52. An Encyclopaedia of Syntactic Case Studies

  53. Stratification in Eastern and Western Europe in the 1990s

  54. Pacific Asia and Europe: Developing Interfaces

  55. Bilingualism

  56. Political Parties and the Quality of Democracy

  57. Human Syntactic Processing

  58. Magic and Religion in the Ancient Near East

  59. The History of Dutch Concepts

  60. Understanding Social Dilemmas

  61. Theatre Iconography

  62. Forensic Expertise and the Law of Evidence in Europe

  63. Inventing Europe. A Transnational History of European Integration

  64. Terrorists on Trial. The Court Room as a Stage in the Struggle for Publicity, Public Support and Legitimacy

  65. Flavius Josephus - Author, Editor or Historian?

  66. Coming to Terms with a Shattered World: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Violence in Africa

  67. Games, Action and Social Software

  68. Restricted Linguistic Systems as Windows on Language Genesis

  69. Rulers, History and Exegesis in the Early Middle Ages: The Formation of Carolingian Political Identity

  70. The Grotian Concept of Rights

  71. A New View on Survey Research

  72. Environmental History of Southeast Asia, 1500 - 2000

  73. Older adults' life strategies in preparing for the future

  74. The Reception of Netherlandish Art in the Indian Ocean Region and East Asia, and its Impact on Asian Cultures

  75. The Modern and Postmodern Augustine. Aspects of His Reception from 1600 to 2000

  76. Discourses of meditation and self-reflection in art and literature, 1300-1600

  77. HUGO - Hague Utilities for Global Organisations -