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An Essay on Urban Design – The Problem of the Automobile

This won’t be an article to convince you why we should battle climate change. Its effects are undeniable: there have been thousands of articles, essays and researches, both scientific and popular, and any thinking person knows that steps have to be taken to preserve our planet. Instead, this will be an article to look for how we should battle climate ... Read More »

Rutte’s Benefit of the Failing Left

Less than half a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, and the discussion whether he should be taken seriously, but not literally, can be ended. President Trump, contrary to many expectations, has been carrying out many of his campaign promises that nobody expected to take literally. With the signing of several executive orders on different political aspects, Trump left no doubts ... Read More »

In Conversation with Eric Niehe

Eric Niehe is a former Dutch diplomat whose distinguished career in the foreign service of the Netherlands spanned four decades, and included postings as Ambassador to Ireland, Hungary, and India. Since his retirement in 2007 he has been, amongst other things, Chairman of the Europe India Institute at Nyenrode Business University, and Honorary Member of the Netherlands India Chamber of ... Read More »

Interview with Dr Bob Reinalda Part I

Dr. Bob Reinalda studied Political Science and Social History at the University of Amsterdam. He holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (1981). Now he is a Senior Researcher at the University of Nijmegen. This busy academic is holding positions at IR journals such as Journal of International Organizations Studies JIOS and the Journal of Political ... Read More »

Seaweed Energy: Food or Fuel?

  A recent small-scale study in Norway, Scotland and Ireland revealed that seaweed could start playing a major role in our energy production. Dutch scientists got all excited and even started calling the Netherlands the “new Saudi Arabia of the Seaweed!”. Within only 5 years, seaweed could compete with the total amount of energy that windmills produce, it cleans harmful ... Read More »

A Master’s Memoirs

As the weather is getting from ‘nice’ to ‘brilliant’, the exam periods are coming closer like dark clouds on the horizon and students again face the toughest period of the academic year, where every day confronts them with a devilish dilemma between the Noorderplantsoen and the UB (park vs. university library). Add to this the stress of rounding up the ... Read More »

The Shame of our Time: Human Trafficking (Modern Slavery)

Men, women and children, working extensive days of hard labour in bad conditions without or little pay and no possibility to leave. Impossible as it might be for us to imagine the complete absence of freedom, these practices are not just taking place in distant, shady sweatshops or backstreet brothels in developing countries –human trafficking is very real and happening ... Read More »

Interview: The Life of a Diplomat: a Football Match

The word diplomat always invokes a promise of success and adventure, at least among many IR/IO students. Checks&Balances interviewed Jan Willem Bertens, who was not only a diplomat in Uruguay, Costa Rica and Sudan, but also the party leader of D66 in the European Parliament. Above all, Bertens is a passionate story-teller, with plenty to talk about: he built a ... Read More »

The Mars One Project: A One Way Ticket to Space

In April 2013, application and selection for the ambitious Mars One project finally opened. On the 7th of May, Mars One announced that 78.000 people have applied for a one way ticket to Mars, to establish a human settlement on Mars. Can this privately funded project herald an age of space discovery? The Mars One project, started by two Dutch ... Read More »

Going Dutch: Building Land, Concurring Water

Right now, the port of Rotterdam is realising one of the biggest land reclamation projects in the world in order to expand its capacity. In September 2008 the construction of Maasvlakte 2 was started, increasing the size of the port by 20 percent and realising an expansion of Dutch soil by 2000 hectares. Apart from being a great example of ... Read More »