The worldwide protests following the police violence in the United States show how deep-rooted and wide-spread racism is across the world. As an academic institution doing research on law & society, the Van Vollenhoven Institute is very much aware of systemic racism and speaks out in support of these protests.
As part of a Dutch University, we are particularly concerned about the institutionalized racism present in Dutch law and society. Our research shows how law and governance are implied in discriminatory structures and how hard it is to replace these. At the same time we see that law and governance may also support resistance and change. These insights are the core of what we, as an academic institute, attempt to examine in our research and to convey to our students.
At the same time we must be self-critical. The colonial roots which are part of the Van Vollenhoven Institute reflect how much academia has been involved in the colonial enterprise and its legacy. They also indicate how our scholarship has been formed in the same tradition that has produced the racism we are speaking out against. We need to continuously ask ourselves what this means for us, for our teaching, our research, the concepts and theories we use, our relation with colleagues in the countries we study, and the diversity of our staff. The fight against racism and discrimination is an effort that requires constant attention.
The Van Vollenhoven Institute