At the end of June, the report ‘Denkend aan Nederland’ [Thinking of the Netherlands] conducted by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) garnered national attention on radio and television. Despite stark contradictions in public debate, the researchers concluded that the Dutch are, in fact, united in what makes the Netherlands actually the Netherlands. FEB professor Sjoerd Beugelsdijk was closely involved as one of the three editors of this much-discussed publication. At the same time, FEB PhD student Juliette de Wit followed a six-month internship at the SCP. Like Beugelsdijk, she also wrote multiple chapters of the report.
‘The most important contribution of this report is that we have been able to lay an empirical foundation under a very complex discussion that often becomes heated,’ says Beugelsdijk. He joined the project in his role as Professor of International Business because of his expertise in behaviour and cultural differences. ‘From an academic perspective, the biggest challenge was to take a discussion that mostly plays out in the humanities and that is based on rich narrative literature, and to transform it into social scientific analyses that are based on thorough survey material. The latter
was therefore built from scratch.’
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