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Core group

Summary of research

Rafael Wittek is a theoretical sociologist and the PI of the SCOOP program. His research interests are in the fields of cooperation science, organization studies, economic sociology and social network research. His research spans the three levels at the core of the SCOOP program: individual decision making, group structures and dynamics, and institutional arrangements at the level of society.

Summary of research

Bas van Bavel is distinguished faculty Professor of Transitions of Economy and Society at Utrecht University (UU). He examines how societies develop in the long run. His aim is to uncover why some societal arrangements are successful and others are not. He examines this by comparing societies in different regions (in Europe and the Middle East) and time frames (from pre-industrial to modern times) from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining economic variables (such as GDP per capita or wealth) with social (equity and welfare) and ecological (sustainable use of resources) variables.

Summary of research

Naomi Ellemers is a social/organizational psychologist who was appointed Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University, in recognition of her scientific excellence (2015). She also is an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia (since 2019), and member of the supervisory board of PwC in the Netherlands (since 2015). Ellemers is an expert on group processes and intergroup relations, which she applies to examine cooperation in organizations, addressing when and how social identities lead people to transcend their individual interests and invest in collective outcomes.

Summary of research

Martin van Hees is a professor of ethics at VU University in Amsterdam. He has developed a strong interdisciplinary orientation to examine issues relating to moral responsibility, rights and freedom. At the VU University, where he was appointed as Department Head in 2014, he took the initiative to launch the John Stuart Mill College (2016) for an international undergraduate BSc-program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), the first ever in the Netherlands and one of the first on the European continent.

Summary of research

Tanja van der Lippe is a professor of sociology  at Utrecht University. She is Research Director and Head of the Department of Sociology at Utrecht University. She is an expert on work-family issues in present-day societies. In her work on the competing time claims of organizations and families, she combines sociological, economic, and psychological perspectives. 

Summary of research

Russell Spears is a social psychologist, specializing in social identity. In 2011 he was appointed Faculty Professor of Psychology (Endowed Chair) at the University of Groningen. Key themes in this research are cooperative vs. conflictual relations between groups, and the role of group emotions in regulating these relations. A central premise in this work is that group memberships and group characteristics form an important part of people’s self-views.

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