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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. Climate Change and the Governance of Tropical Marine Conservation

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

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

  4. Refuge and Belonging

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

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

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

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

  9. Legal Mobilization: Analyzing Law-Based Advocacy

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

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

  12. Comparing the Wars of Decolonization

  13. Commodity Frontiers and the Making of Global Capitalism

  14. Reading and Narrating the Migration/Refugee Crisis

  15. Borders and the Transfer of Knowledge

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

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

  18. Knowledge and the Market: Affective Economies

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

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

  21. Gene x Environment Interactions in the Developing Brain

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

  23. Mass Communication in Classical Antiquity

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

  25. The Real and the Imagined in the Contemporary Balkans

  26. European Elections and Public Cynicism

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

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

  29. Texture Analysis Challenge for The Arts

  30. The Construction of Local Identities through Language Practices

  31. Modelling Social Reality: Emergence of the Glass Ceiling

  32. Understanding Information Spreading in Social Networks

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

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

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

  36. Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics

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

  38. Network Analysis

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

  40. The East - West Encounter

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

  42. East Asian and Latin American Developments Compared

  43. Flexibility and Strategy in Resource Allocation

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

  45. Tatian's Diatessaron

  46. Historical Developmental Psychology

  47. Translation Techniques in Armenian and Syriac

  48. An Encyclopaedia of Syntactic Case Studies

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

  50. Pacific Asia and Europe: Developing Interfaces

  51. Bilingualism

  52. Political Parties and the Quality of Democracy

  53. Human Syntactic Processing

  54. Magic and Religion in the Ancient Near East

  55. The History of Dutch Concepts

  56. Understanding Social Dilemmas

  57. Theatre Iconography

  58. Forensic Expertise and the Law of Evidence in Europe

  59. Inventing Europe. A Transnational History of European Integration

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

  61. Flavius Josephus - Author, Editor or Historian?

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

  63. Games, Action and Social Software

  64. Restricted Linguistic Systems as Windows on Language Genesis

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

  66. The Grotian Concept of Rights

  67. A New View on Survey Research

  68. Environmental History of Southeast Asia, 1500 - 2000

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

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

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

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

  73. HUGO - Hague Utilities for Global Organisations -