Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Prof.Dr. P.J. (Paul) Scheffer

foto Prof.Dr. P.J. (Paul) Scheffervergrootglas

Paul Scheffer (1954) is professor European Studies in Tilburg, having previously occupied the Wibaut-chair on metropolitan issues at the University of Amsterdam. Starting out as a journalist, Scheffer is best known as a publicist. His article 'The Multicultural Drama' in 2000 cemented his place in the public debate in the Netherlands and has since been published as a book titled 'Immigrant Nations' and adapted into a documentary for Dutch television. Scheffer is also an active member of the Dutch Labour Party.


Personal data

Name and surname

Paul Jan Scheffer

Date and place of birth

Nijmegen, 3 September 1954


Membership political party

  • CPN (Communist Party of the Netherlands) (as a student)
  • PvdA (Dutch Labour Party)



  • correspondent in Paris and Warsaw, from 1978 until 1981
  • scientific research employee WBS (Wiardi Beckman Stichting), scientific research bureau of the PvdA, from 1986 until 1992
  • columnist and employee of NRC Handelsblad, since 1990
  • program developer VPRO and VARA television, since 1994
  • teacher of contemporary history
  • professor metropolitan issues (Wibautleerstoel), University of Amsterdam, from 2003 until 2011
  • professor European Studies, University of Tilburg, since 1 September 2011


Other positions


  • board member, Atlantic commission The Hague
  • board member, Theater frascatie Amsterdam
  • board member, Forum Den Haag
  • regular contributor for Buitenhof, a television programme on politics and wider societal developments


  • guest professor at Hebrew University Jerusalem, 2009



Secondary education

  • h.b.s.-a, Kees Boekeschool in Bilthoven, until 1972

Academic major

  • psychology, Catholic University Nijmegen
  • philosophy, Catholic University Nijmegen
  • political science, University of Amsterdam, until 1986


  • administrative sciences, University of Tilburg, 17 December 2010


Selected publications

Written publications

  • "Een tevreden natie: Nederland en het wederkerend geloof in de Europese status quo" (book, 1988)
  • "Machtsverschil en rechtsgelijkheid in de Europese Unie: drie amendementen op de Europese politiek van Nederland" (publication, 1995)
  • "Het nut van Nederland: opstellen over soevereiniteit en identiteit" (co-editor book, 1996)
  • "De achteloosheid voorbij: een Europees engagement" (co-author publication, 1999)
  • "Het multiculturele drama" (daily NRC Handelsblad, January 29th 2000)
  • "Het land van aankomst" (2007) (appeared as a dissertation in 2010 with the title "The Open Society and its Immigrants. A story of Avoidance, Conflict and Accommodation" and in 2011 translated into English titled "Immigrant Nations")
  • "De vertrouwensvraag: een open samenleving in tijden van globalisering" (editor book, 2009)
  • "Martin Luther King en wij: een emancipatie zonder einde" (author essay in the book, 2009)
  • "Alles doet mee aan de werkelijkheid. Herman Wolff (1893-1942)" (book, 2013)
  • "De gewelddadige randen van het continent: Europa tussen macht en moraal" (contribution boek, 2015)
  • "Europe's hidden vitality" (contribution book, 2015)
  • "De vrijheid van de grens" (essay, 2016)

Audiovisual media

  • "Wachten op de buren" (contributor)
  • "Leven en werken" (co-host)
  • "Land van aankomst" (co-written and presented)

This biography has been updated until September 15, 2017.