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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. Re-imagining Security Labour

  2. Future of Progressive Politics

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

  4. Climate Change and the Governance of Tropical Marine Conservation

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

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

  7. Refuge and Belonging

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

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

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

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

  12. Legal Mobilization: Analyzing Law-Based Advocacy

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

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

  15. Comparing the Wars of Decolonization

  16. Commodity Frontiers and the Making of Global Capitalism

  17. Reading and Narrating the Migration/Refugee Crisis

  18. Borders and the Transfer of Knowledge

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

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

  21. Knowledge and the Market: Affective Economies

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

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

  24. Gene x Environment Interactions in the Developing Brain

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

  26. Mass Communication in Classical Antiquity

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

  28. The Real and the Imagined in the Contemporary Balkans

  29. European Elections and Public Cynicism

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

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

  32. Texture Analysis Challenge for The Arts

  33. The Construction of Local Identities through Language Practices

  34. Modelling Social Reality: Emergence of the Glass Ceiling

  35. Understanding Information Spreading in Social Networks

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

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

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

  39. Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics

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

  41. Network Analysis

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

  43. The East - West Encounter

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

  45. East Asian and Latin American Developments Compared

  46. Flexibility and Strategy in Resource Allocation

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

  48. Tatian's Diatessaron

  49. Historical Developmental Psychology

  50. Translation Techniques in Armenian and Syriac

  51. An Encyclopaedia of Syntactic Case Studies

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

  53. Pacific Asia and Europe: Developing Interfaces

  54. Bilingualism

  55. Political Parties and the Quality of Democracy

  56. Human Syntactic Processing

  57. Magic and Religion in the Ancient Near East

  58. The History of Dutch Concepts

  59. Understanding Social Dilemmas

  60. Theatre Iconography

  61. Forensic Expertise and the Law of Evidence in Europe

  62. Inventing Europe. A Transnational History of European Integration

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

  64. Flavius Josephus - Author, Editor or Historian?

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

  66. Games, Action and Social Software

  67. Restricted Linguistic Systems as Windows on Language Genesis

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

  69. The Grotian Concept of Rights

  70. A New View on Survey Research

  71. Environmental History of Southeast Asia, 1500 - 2000

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

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

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

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

  76. HUGO - Hague Utilities for Global Organisations -