Heleen Blommers

Heleen Blommers, MA


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Personal profile

Personal information

Heleen Blommers is a PhD Candidate in Social and Economic History. For her PhD project Deconstructing the War on Poverty: the rise of a policy failure narrative, 1964-1985, she received a NWO “PhD in the Humanities Grant”.

The War on Poverty was a large-scale domestic anti-poverty program launched in the United States in 1964. Criticisms on it arose as soon as the program was implemented. By the mid-1980s this had developed into the dominant idea that the War on Poverty had failed. This has had a profound impact on U.S. welfare politics since. But why and how did this notion become so prevalent? This PhD project aims to answer this question by analyzing (1) why the program was criticized nationally and in Baltimore, Eastern Kentucky, and Georgia and (2) how this developed into the widespread idea of failure.

During her research master and for her PhD project she conducted research in various archives in the United States and she received numerous grants, including a Fulbright.



  • The United States South, ca. 1800-Present (BA3)
  • Social History of the United States, ca. 1780-Present (BA3)


  • University Teaching Qualification (BKO)

Ancillary activities

  • Netherlands American Studies Association | Middelburg | Bestuurslid | 2019-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Academic qualification

History, Master

Sep 2015Jul 2017

History, Bachelor

Sep 2011Jun 2015

History, PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Sep 2018 → …