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 Prof. dr. Bert van den Brink

Bert van den Brink is the Dean of University College Roosevelt and Professor of Political and Social Philosophy at Utrecht University. His main responsibility is as chair of UCR’s Management Team, with a specific responsibility for academic affairs, that is: teaching and research. Prof. Van den Brink has started as Dean of UCR in August 2016, coming in from the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University. At Utrecht University, he was the vice-dean of the faculty of Humanities (2012-2016). 

His reason for coming to UCR is the College’s full dedication to undergraduate teaching in the Liberal Arts and Sciences tradition. He considers this the best educational philosophy for most undergraduate students. The multidisciplinary, small-scale and intensive Liberal Arts and Sciences approach provides answers to challenges of contemporary academic learning and teaching that more narrowly focused, discipline-based programs often lack. UCR is all about a wholehearted dedication to the development of the future alumnus understood as a well-formed and educated person, rather than a receptacle of specialized skills and knowledge. UCR’s residential approach with its inner city campus in one of the Netherlands’ most beautiful cities is an integral part of this. It provides all involved with the kind of vibrant and focused micro-cosmos in which human beings tend to meet formidable challenges best (good families, research labs, artist studios, orchestras, and sports teams are other examples). In short, Van den Brink likes to work hard with both students and colleagues on complex multidisciplinary questions. University College Roosevelt is an ideal place for this. 

Van den Brink’s teaching and research focus on the political legitimacy of democratic decisions, on moral aspects of social relations and institutions, and on the status of liberal values in intercultural relations. He is currently involved in research projects on the status of liberal values in China and European conceptions of political and social justice. Van den Brink is and has been supervisor of Ph.D. students in the fields of political and social theory, writing on subjects such as political legitimacy, the concept of politics, civil conflict and democracy, watchdog journalism and mediatization, human development, and individualism and communitarianism in democratic thought.

During his first semester as Dean (Fall 2016), Prof. Van den Brink will not be teaching any courses. He will take up teaching at UCR as of Spring Semester 2016-17, in the fields of political and social philosophy.

Selected publications:


  • ​Thomas Fossen and Bert van den Brink, “Electoral Dioramas: On the Problem of Representation in Voting Advice Applications,” Representation, 51:3 (2015), 341-358.
  • Bert van den Brink, “Pictures of Politics: Deliberative and Other Aspects of Democracy,” ARSP: Archive für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophy 98 (2012/3), 396-410.
  • Bert van den Brink, “Imagining Civic Relations in the Moment of their Breakdown: Reflections on a Civic Crisis in the Netherlands,” in: Multiculturalism and Political Theory, Anthony Laden and David Owen, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.


  • ​Bert van den Brink and David Owen (eds.), Recognition and Power: Axel Honneth and the Tradition of Critical Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Bert van den Brink, The Tragedy of Liberalism: And Alternative Defense of a Political Tradition, Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2000.

 Inaugural lecture

  • Bert van den Brink, Beeld van Politiek. Oratie. Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, 2010.

For a more complete overview, see HERE.  

Professor of Political and Social Philosophy

P.O. Box 94
NL-4330 AB Middelburg
Tel. 0118-655500 / fax 0118-655508

For appointments contact 
0118-655507 or