Welcome! I am political scientist working on issues related to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. My research focuses on the history of and decision-making around state-run weapons programs and the construction of knowledge about unconventional weapons. I am also an active member (and past board member) of the Dutch chapter of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.
My doctoral research project, which I expect to defend early 2021 at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, explores whether the popular view of chemical and biological weapons (CBWs) as ‘poor man’s atomic bombs’ makes any sense. In short, I find that not only do states rarely, if ever, treat CBWs as replacements for nuclear weapons, but the alleged proliferation of these weapons among ‘Third World’ states has been wildly exaggerated by politicians as well as experts.
I have a decade of teaching and management experience in higher education. I have taught hundreds of students in various Political Science and International Relations courses. I have also managed the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Political Science and the Master’s in Law and Politics of International Security at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
My academic and professional background is rather diverse. I received my Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration. During my undergraduate studies I worked as a management consultant in the steel industry. During that time I also co-founded a non-profit organization that provided legal support and advice to Afghan 1F asylum seekers in the Netherlands and did a full-time board year at United Netherlands (a student-led foundation at Radboud University), where I taught my first university course (on the United Nations and multilateral diplomacy). After completing my bachelor, I followed a yearlong Pre-Master program in Political Science (cum laude) and went on to obtain an LLM in Law and Politics of International Security (cum laude).