We congratulate Prof Mara Yerkes who took up the position in February 2023. She aims to study, among other things, what explains the differences in social policy within and between countries. “I want to study how policy influences social inequalities, and how these inequalities are experienced by various individuals and groups.” You can read more about what her work will entail here.
Yerkes says she will use her chair to focus on strengthening research into four related themes. Firstly, she will look at the relationship between social policy and social inequality, particularly in relation to gender. In addition, she wants to research combinations of inequalities, such as gender in relation to generational differences, socioeconomic differences and geographic differences. She also aims to explore the interplay of policies within and between policy domains. Lastly, she will research the interplay between national and local (municipal) social policies.
The Utrecht University professor says her research is important because social inequality remains persistent. “Even prior to the pandemic, the ‘wicked nature’ of inequalities such as those related to gender or socio-economic differences was apparent, as they are neither easily articulated nor easily solved. The pandemic has exacerbated many of these inequalities and created new ones, underscoring the need for interdisciplinary and multi-method research on these topics, which is the focus of my chair.”
“One of the things I love most about my job is the multiple collaborations I have with people – within our department, within the faculty, and with colleagues in the Netherlands and abroad. I’m really looking forward to strengthening and developing these collaborations along the research lines of my chair.”