Navigate Up
Sign In
home |  mail |  workspaces |  moodle |  intranet |  contact 


 Prof. Dr. Barbara Oomen



Barbara Oomen is a professor in the Sociology of Human Rights and the former Dean of UCR. Next to her work as a UCR instructor, she is the project leader of the Cities of Refuge research project, funded by the Vici program of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

At UCR, prof. Oomen teaches courses like SSC 171 (Law, Society and Justice), SSC 371 (International Human Rights) but also ACC 120 (Rhetoric and Argumentation). She was the project leader of the Going Glocal program. She works with students on IRPs and set up a number of Undergraduate Research courses. She has a large interest in human rights education and education for global citizenship, on which she has developed courses and published frequently.

As a researcher, Barbara Oomen has published extensively on the interrelationship between law, culture and society in general. Her research profile is available via Utrecht University, where she is a full professor in the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. She is the international expert in the Belspo program on Human Rights Integration, and leads part of the Horizon2020 ETHOS research. Prof. Oomen previously held an endowed chair in Legal Pluralism at the University of Amsterdam, and was the recipient of grants and prizes like the Fulbright New Century Scholarship, an NWO Veni grant, various other scholarships and the Law & Society Association dissertation award. In 2016-2017, she was a Fernand Braudel Scholar at the European University Institute in Florence. Her most recent work concerns human rights cities. Her work is available via SSRN, Researchgate and Academia.

Prof. Oomen also holds a variety of academic and societal functions, like member of the editorial board of the Journal of Legal Pluralism and of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, chair of the Advisory Board of the Foundation Freedom Lectures, member of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and chair of the Commission to internally certify Utrecht University’s honors programs. She previously was part of the Advisory Board of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, the Constitutional Review Commission and the UNESCO Science Commission, the Advisory Council on International Affairs, and chair of the Netherlands Platform on Human Rights Education. She is also active in discussions on the future of Dutch higher education and research, for instance as a member of Science in Transition.

Undergraduate Research

As many UCR instructors, Barbara Oomen often conducts research together with students. Some of the outcomes of this research are:  

  • Van Aarsen, J., Bártolo, F. R., Bentata, M., Berends, C., Danielsson, Y., Driece, N., ... & van Herk, F. (2013). Human Rights Cities: Motivation, Mechanisms, Implications.

  • Oomen, B., Guijt, J., Meijvogel, I., Ploeg, M., & Rijke, N. (2009). Recht op verschil? Percepties en effecten van de implementatie van gelijkebehandelingswetgeving onder orthodox-protestanten in Nederland. Link

  • Baumgartel, M., Bezuijen, J., Jongsma, H., Krabbendam, H., Krikhaar, M., Lankrijer, R., Likoka-Fanande, G., Oomen, B., Rrustemi, A., Snegovics, A., & Verhoeks, N. (2008). Voices heard, voices silent: critial reflections on the process and the product of the formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Link


Sample Publications

Barbara Oomen publishes on different topics, like human rights cities, the sociology of human rights, human rights education and higher education in general. This is a sample of these publications, for a full overview see the Utrecht site and consult the research sites above.

Human right cities

  •  Oomen, B, M. Davis & M. Grigolo (2016). Global urban justice: the rise of human rights cities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Draft intro on SSRN)
  • Oomen, B. & Baumgartel, M. (2014). Human Rights Cities. In A. Mihr & M. (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Human Rights (pp.709-730). Sage: London
  • Policy report in Dutch: Oomen, B. & van den Berg, E (2014). Mensenrechten en lokaal beleid: handreiking voor beleidsmakers. Den Haag: Platform 31. 
  • Result of UCR undergraduate project: Van Aarsen, J. a.o. (2013), Human Rights Cities: Motivations, Mechanisms, Implications, Middelburg: UCR.
  • Presentation on local human rights in Dutch: Youtube UU Studium Generale

Sociology of human rights

Human rights education and Liberal Arts and Sciences


Professor of Law

P.O. Box 94
NL-4330 AB Middelburg
Office hours: by appointment
Tel. 0118-655528 / fax 0118-655508