Research group Political Culture and History
Specialisation Political culture, Representation, Identity, Age of Enlightenment & Revolution, Republic & Kingdom


Joris Oddens (1981) studied Dutch, European Studies and History in Amsterdam and Florence. He obtained his PhD in 2012 from the University of Amsterdam, with an award-winning dissertation on the history of the first parliament of the Netherlands (1796-98). He has also worked as a researcher and teacher in Nijmegen, Groningen, Leiden and Padua, and was a fellow at the Dutch Institutes in Rome and Istanbul. Oddens is an all-round specialist on the Dutch revolutionary era, and renowned for his expertise on the Batavian-French era.

Oddens has gradually become more interested in the question of how Dutch political culture developed over the centuries compared to the political culture of other European countries. His own research now covers the period between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Oddens investigates the political significance of culture in a narrow sense (for example, literary texts or paintings), while also trying to understand, in a broader sense, how politics worked and which ideas shaped political attitudes and behaviour. His research covers both the political centre and the periphery, elites and ordinary citizens. For instance, he has written about the elevated Stoic ideals in the alba amicorum of Batavian statesmen, but also about the everyday political practices of Ameland islanders around 1800. He has also published on emotions in politics, religious violence, sister republics, bicameralism, self-fashioning, ghosts, and the Dutch in the Ottoman Empire.

In recent years, Oddens has focused on the history of petitioning in the Netherlands. He continues this line of research in a multi-year research project (2020-23), for which he and Inger Leemans received a grant from the Fonds Staatsman Thorbecke. This project will result in a monograph on petitions and politics in the Netherlands (ca. 1780-1860) and several articles.

Oddens is the head of the research group Political Culture and History. He is also the project leader of the REPUBLIC project (2019-24), which aims to make all resolutions of the Dutch States General (1576-1796) digitally accessible.

Oddens chairs the editorial board of the open access journal Early Modern Low Countries.