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Timo Korstenbroek is a PhD candidate at the VU’s Department of Sociology. His research focuses on addressing the pernicious effects of societal polarisation within the public debate on refugee reception in the Netherlands, whilst aiming to find novel ways to enable what are deemed democratically constructive effects of polarisation (i.e.: creating space for social struggle and the inclusion of profoundly different views not represented within hegemonic discourses). His research is furthermore affiliated to both the Institute for Societal Resilience’s (ISR) Polarisation Lab and the Refugee Academy. For the latter, he is currently also engaged in a project called Learning Crossroads for Refugee Inclusion that examines the role of (Dutch) civil society initiatives promoting refugees’ inclusion.


Currently, Timo is engaged in teaching activities in the Sociology Masters program courses Influencing Societal Participation and Research Lab where he teaches Qualitative Research Methods (interviewing and coding/analysis).

Prizes and Awards

Winner of the Johannes van der Zouwen Master Thesis Prize (VU FSS, 2017)

Winner of the Dutch Sociological Association (NSV) Master Thesis Award (NSV, 2018)

Honourable mention Internet Thesis Award (Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, 2018)

Winner of the MSc Best Overall Performance Prize (London School of Economics and Political science, department of Media and Communications, 2018)


Timo holds an MSc in Sociology from VU Amsterdam (graduated cum laude in 2017), and an MSc in Politics and Communication obtained from the London School of Economics and Political science (graduated with distinction as best of his year in 2018).

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