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FGGA in 2023: This was the year of our faculty

2023 was another year full of highlights and special moments for the faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. Find out what the year was like in this year overview: we take you through the most important moments and news items of each month.


The year starts off well for Bram Klievink, Olaf van Vliet and Gerard Breeman: four research programmes in which they are involved receive major grants. Klievink receives a grant for an AI project to accelerate MRI scans and for the AI programme ROBUST, Van Vliet for a study on the future of the labour market and Breeman for research on the influence of the soil on which crops are grown on the health of our gut.  


Inaugural lecture Tahir Abbas

Tahir Abbas delivers his inaugural lecture. He wants to make people aware that radicalisation stems from how we live together in a society.  

Two ISGA research projects receive an NWO Open Competition grant. Silvia D’Amato receives a grant for her project on cross-border cooperation between European actors on counterterrorism. Jaroslaw Kantorowicz researches how the meaning of the rule of law has changed over time, using artificial intelligence.  


Celebration 20th anniversary MIRD

On 25 March, the Advanced Master International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) celebrated its 20th anniversary. The anniversary was celebrated with students, staff and alumni.  

Secret services are engaging in increasingly extreme forms of cyber espionage, but nobody talks about this. In his inaugural lecture, Dennis Broeders tells us why and tries to have an open conversation about these new forms of espionage.  

Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, spoke to students in The Hague. Her message: ‘If you are elected, you are accountable for all those people who voted for you. You need to take that responsibility.’ 


At the Thesis Workshop The Hague South-west, students conduct research based on issues that are currently happening in The Hague South-west. In this interview, we look back the past 1.5 years and look ahead to the future with Mandy Koenraads, coordinator of the Thesis Workshop.  

Eduard Schmidt (right)

What makes care professionals resilient, and what shape does leadership take in an operating theatre? Eduard Schmidt, as part of an interdisciplinary research team, receives a grant for a research project on leadership, resilience and self-regulation in operating theatres.  

Society's resilience appears to be unprecedented, but how exactly do you contain a crisis? Sanneke Kuipers talks about it in her inaugural lecture. Deliberately in Dutch and without jargon: accessible to family and friends but challenging for colleagues. 


Ayo Adedokun launches the Future-Ready Coaching Academy, aimed at improving student wellbeing and preparing students for the job market. The launch is a result of the LUS Teaching Prize, which Adedokun won in 2021.  

Jolien van Breen and Honorata Mazepus receive an NWO Open Competition grant. Van Breen researches how society thinks about interpersonal violence. Mazepus seeks to explain democratic decline by focusing on political intuitions.  

The end of the academic year is approaching, so we look back and look to the future with some FGGA students: ‘I really enjoyed coming back to the nice atmosphere at Wijnhaven.’ 


In the rooftop garden of Wijnhaven, an ‘1K Z1E J3’ (I see you) bench is placed, acting as a symbol to create room for the discussion about suicide, depression and despair. Marieke Liem: ‘By placing the bench, we want to remove the stigma surrounding this topic.’ 

1K Z1E J3-bench at Wijnhaven

Rutger Leukfeldt is installed as Professor by Special Appointment of Governing Cybercrime, financed by the Netherlands Study Centre for Crime and Law Enforcement (NCSR).  

The Faculty Board of FGGA awards €4.8 million in starter grants to young assistant professors for their research proposal. At the Institute of Public Administrations, seven proposals receive a grant, at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs six proposals and at Leiden University College three proposals.  

Ben Kuipers is appointed Professor of Public Leadership. The chair is financed by the VPL (Furthering Leadership) and is embedded in the Leiden Leadership Centre.  

Inaugural lecture Joachim Koops

The future of the discipline of Security and Global Affairs lies in research, the role of universities in security challenges and how the security analysts of the future are taught. In his inaugural lecture, Joachim Koops argues for a more integrated vision on research, teaching and academic governance.  

Gregory Townsend receives an NWO Doctoral Grant for Teachers to research witness protection at the international courts.  


The Academy for the Rule of Law (Academie voor de Rechtsstaat) is launched: a new course from the Centre for Professional Learning that provides in-depth knowledge and insights into the fundamentals of the democratic rule of law.  

Wopke Hoekstra in The Hague

Frans Osinga's appointment as Professor of War Studies at Leiden University is extended. An interview with the ‘war horse’: ‘Work is my hobby, although that's a strange thing to say since it's all about war.’ 

Wopke Hoekstra speaks to students in The Hague about the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius: ‘In a dangerous world, we are always on the road to peace,’ according to the outgoing minister.  

Damien Van Puyvelde receives 47,000 euros funding for a research project on open-source intelligence activists in Russia's war against Ukraine.  


Nikki Ikani and Bernardo Ribeiro de Almeida receive a Veni grant. Ikani researches how the EU and NATO can better anticipate international crises. Ribeiro de Almeida researches responses to climate change in weak rule-of-law environments.  

Sarah Giest is appointed professor of Public Policy with a focus on innovation and sustainability.  

Students from all over the world get to know The Hague during the HOPweek. The mentors show almost a thousand students around the city, the university and student life.  

Students during the HOPweek


The Netherlands Court of Audit finances a new special chair at the Institute of Public Administration: Sjoerd Keulen is installed as professor by special appointment Public Audit, Policy Evaluation and Accountability.  

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky via livestream in the Netherlands

A special event on 12 September: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addresses students in the Netherlands for the first time via livestream. His message: ‘Look outside your bubble to see what is happening in the world.’ 


Graig Klein receives a €1.5 million European Research Council (ERC) Starter Grant for his project TERGAP. This grant allows Klein and his research team to conduct research on terrorist group decision-making and strategic violence.  

Hanne Cuyckens and Daan Weggemans are appointed Teaching Fellow and member of the Leiden Teachers Academy. They both receive a €25.000 grant to carry out innovative teaching projects.  

On the third Tuesday of September, we traditionally open the faculty year with the talk show FGGA NEXT. A full programme with guests from teaching, research and the Faculty Board.  


The police is the dominant theme in Saniye Çelik's career: she is installed as professor by special appointment Diversity, Inclusion and Policing. The chair is embedded in the Policing Studies, part of the Intelligence and Security research group at ISGA.  

Sanneke Kuipers is the new chair of the Faculty Council of FGGA. She takes over from Pauline Hutten, who has been char for five years. A joint interview on the importance of co-participation.

Frits van der Meer gives his last lecture after 35 years. Surprised with flowers, cards and personal gifts from students, he says farewell to teaching in the lecture hall.  

Last lecture Frits van der Meer


In November, the accreditation of the bachelor Security Studies and the master Crisis and Security Management takes place: a crucial moment for both programmes. The panel was impressed by the innovative nature of both programmes and praised the commitment and enthusiasm of ISGA's teaching team.  

The Europe Hub, an interdisciplinary platform for research and teaching that focuses on the social governance challenges that Europe faces, is officially launched with a visit by Federica Mogherini, rector of the College of Europe, in Wijnhaven.  

The faculty intensifies the cooperation with Siggie: an online coaching platform for students. In this interview, Siggie-psychologist Dominique and a student talk about how Siggie can help if you encounter mental problems as a student.  

Climate Casino

Introducing secondary vocational education students to topics such as climate and sustainability in a playful and stimulating way: that is the aim of the Climate Casino, a research project for which Joeri Reinders receives an NWO-grant in November.  

The bachelor programmes Security Studies and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LUC) both received a bronze medal in EW Best Studies 2023. This means that students of these programmes are above-average satisfied with the quality of the programme.  

Earlier this year, Lucie Zicha received a €50.000 Comenius grant to improve statistical literacy among students. We spoke with her about this research project and look ahead to the future.  


The year ends well for Leiden University College: LUC receives the quality seal ‘Top Rated Programme’ for the eleventh consecutive year. Giles Scott-Smith, dean of LUC: ‘This is a testament to the passion and quality that our team invests in our unique programme, year in, year out.’ 

December marks the 15th anniversary of the Dual PhD Centre. In this interview with director Johannes Tromp and associate professor Mark Dechesne, we look back and ahead: ‘The programme is solid as rock.’ 

Compilation and translation Nadine Louissen and Julia van der Elsen 

This overview is a compilation of the year of FGGA. We certainly do not pretend that it is complete. Are you missing something, or do you know someone who has also done something special? Let us know via communicatie@fgga.leidenuniv.nl with the reference: jaaroverzicht.

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