Willem de Koster


Willem de Koster, Full Professor of General Sociology, in particular Cultural Sociology, in the Department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, co-founder and director of the Erasmus Institute on Culture and Stratification, and member of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities and Young Erasmus Academy.


As a cultural sociologist, I aim to rigorously scrutinize how social groups give meaning to social issues, how this informs their actions and how it shapes their responses to new information, policies and the (urban) environment they live in.


Scholars and policymakers increasingly recognize that such an eye for culture is crucial for understanding pressing social issues, ranging from societal clashes about democratic institutions and policies to unresponsiveness to information campaigns, and from obesity to resistance to governmental health campaigns.


I aim for interdisciplinary research endeavors addressing contemporary social issues through both quantitative and qualitative methods, ranging from multilevel analyses, survey experiments, Implicit Association Tests and Diagonal Reference Models to qualitative content analyses, focus groups and in-depth interviews. Currently, I collaborate with scholars in arts and culture studies, psychology, public administration, public health, urban geography and sociology.


My research has been supported by grants (Conflict & Security and personal VENI and VIDI grants) awarded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), an EUR Fellowship and various smaller grants.


I am proud that the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities has given me the award for "Best PhD Supervisor".


In addition to my research activities, I serve as chair of the Test Committee of the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. And I teach various courses, among others in Erasmus University's Master specialization Politics & Society (which I co-founded) and the top-rated Research Master in Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts.


I also served as board member of the Netherlands Sociological Association, as reviewer for various journals, on the editorial board of the Dutch-Flemish peer-reviewed journal Tijdschrift Sociologie, on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Social Sciences and Humanities domain of the Dutch Research Council and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Social Survey.


You can view my Google Scholar Profile here.


Research interests: cultural conflict, political attitudes and behaviors, information provision, voting behavior, populism, welfare chauvinism, climate change attitudes, obesity, health behaviors





Prof. dr. Willem de Koster

Department of Public Administration and Sociology

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Erasmus University Rotterdam
P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

email: dekoster@essb.eur.nl