On Abraham Kuyper’s Political Liberalism

My article “Abraham Kuyper and Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer as Anti-Rationalist Liberals” has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Church & State and will hopefully be in print in 2021.

In this article, I explore F. A. Hayek’s division of pre-1848 liberalism into two contrasting worldviews — rationalist and anti-rationalist. I argue that both Groen van Prinsterer and Kuyper, two important Dutch Anti-Revolutionary writers, were anti-rationalist liberals.

Both of them are on the record denouncing “liberalism”, but both refer mostly to French liberalism of the rationalist kind. And both admired Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville, cited by Hayek as great exponents of anti-rationalist liberalism.

I hope this article will lead to an interesting conversation as to why the contemporary Kuyperian movement seems to be much more left-wing than the original anti-revolutionaries.

A pre-print version of the article can be viewed on the Oxford Academic website.


Winner of the H.G. Stoker Prize 2017

My article applying Herman Dooyeweerd’s philosophy to Security Studies has won the H.G. Stoker Prize of 2017, awarded by the Pro Reformando Trust, based in South Africa. The prize is a recognition of the importance of applying philosophy to non-philosophical fields of study in a way that promotes a Christian reflection on worldview and scholarship in line with the mission of the Trust.

Brill, the academic publisher that runs Philosophia Reformata, the journal where my article was published, is making the text available for free download for the next 6 months.

The article can be viewed here on this link.


Teaching Awards 2015

Teaching Awards 2015

A big “thank you” to my 2014/15 undergrad students at the University of Exeter who nominated me in the “Best Lecturer” category for the Students’ Guild Teaching Awards 2015!

I am moved by the gesture and encouraged to work harder on my professional development so I can serve my students better.

Congratulations to the winners in each category and many thanks to those sponsoring and promoting this important initiative.

Paper: 56th ISA Annual Convention

I’ve just uploaded my paper on suzerains and vassals in the diplomacy of the ancient Near East (2nd millennium BC). I will be presenting this paper in New Orleans at the International Studies Association Annual Convention. Here’s the abstract:

This paper looks at institutional patterns of hierarchical arrangements between suzerain kings and vassal kings in the diplomacy of the ancient Near East (ANE). The focus falls on the 2nd and (to a lesser extent) the 1st millennia BC, with important structural differences between the earlier and later periods. Five recurring features are analysed, based on primary and secondary sources: Asymmetrical covenant treaties shaping suzerain-vassal relationships; Enforcement mechanisms for defection in in the periphery; Diplomatic communication; Diplomatic gift exchange; and royal marriages as part of the alliance policy. All five points not only helped stabilise hierarchical dyads in the ANE, but also reinforced domestic legitimacy on both sides. Regardless of the structural distinctions between the earlier and later periods, the portrait is that of a long lasting two-tier system in which core states actively pursued the construction of networks of vassal states. These five institutional patterns of hierarchical arrangements highlight the relevance not only of military power, but also of religion, trade and gender as important arenas of shared norms and values. Not all historical approaches in the discipline of International Relations regard those as important, yet their relevance in centuries of diplomacy in the ANE should not be ignored.