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Dr. Jan Hoogland is Associate Professor in Public Administration and Political Science in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is coordinator of the Mastertrack Governance of Civil Society O)rganisations (Besturen van Maatschappelijke Organisaties) and teacher of one of the courses within this Mastertrack Civil Society Organisations in Transition).


Societal resilience and the role of civil society

My teaching and research is starting from the conviction that the power of civil society is one of the main constituents of societal resilience. Without a powerful civil society citizens bevome more and more the consumers of political solutions with marginal responsibilities for themselves and an easy exit-option by changing votes at the next elections. Agency, responsibility and ownership are at the debit side of this development.

Since the rise of the welfare state, the role of a powerful and state-independent civil society has been reduced. The state has become increasingly important for the solution of societal problems. Civil society has been under increasing pressure.

Only by empowering, innovating and revitalizing civil society the agency, responsibility and ownership of citizens can be restored and societal resilience can be enhanced.

The main goal of my teaching and research is enhancing societal resilience by stengthening civil ownership and initiative and improving professional responsibility and excellence. I do this by paying attention to 1) the intention of civil society organizations (and the internal goods of societal practices); 2) the interconnectedness of citizens in civil society organizations; and 3) the inspiration of professionals working in civil society organizations. 


Professor in Christian Philosophy, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Enschede, Holland.

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  • H Social Sciences


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  • Beweging (Journal)

    G.J. Buijs (Member of editorial board), J. Hoogland (Member of editorial board) & G. Glas (Member of editorial board)


    Activity: Peer review and Editorial workEditorial workAcademic