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Prestigious Vici grant for Nicole Immler for research on transitional justice


20 februari 2020


Historian Nicole Immler from the University of Humanistic Studies receives a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros from the Dutch National Research Organisation NWO for her research proposal on ‘The Dialogics of Justice’, an investigation into (legal)) reparation practices after human rights violations: when do people feel recognized? This will enable her to form a team of four researchers for the coming 5 years, who will follow civil court cases concerning transitional justice in and beyond the Netherlands.


Over the last decade, we have witnessed a rising demand for recognition by victims of colonial violence, failed peace missions, sexual abuse and ecocide worldwide. This recognition of suffering is increasingly looked at in legal terms and then resolved with financial compensation. However, do those procedures provide the recognition and the repair these claimants hope for?

Via empirical research - in the Netherlands, Indonesia, Nigeria and Bosnia - this project studies the social dimension of recognition claims to answer the urgent need for more knowledge on making recognition procedures more effective. Key aim is to reach beyond an individualized victim-approach and to address also the structural aspects of injustices, by examining the dialogue between claimants and accused institutions, such as the state, the military, the church and multinationals.

Nicole Immler: “I am very grateful to NWO for supporting a topic that is so sensitive in our society, and at the same time of highly scholarly relevance. There is an urgent need to make recognition procedures more effective. Empirical research will enable us to assess and improve ongoing practices.” Also, professor Joke van Saane, rector magnificus of the University of Humanistic Studies, feels honored. “This grant gives a great stimulus to further develop our University as a unique research institute in regard to what makes life more meaningful and societies more just.”

VICI grant

The Talent Programme Vici of the Dutch National Research Organisation NWO is a grant for senior researchers. The Vici grant is one of the largest personal research grants in the Netherlands, enabling researchers to build their own research group, destined for high-quality, innovative research with great scientific impact.

Nicole Immler is Associate Professor in History and Cultural Studies at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. Her interdisciplinary research combines approaches from history, memory studies, transitional justice, and oral history to study the interplay between past and presence, and the intersection of memory, law and society.

Historian Nicole Immler from the University of Humanistic Studies receives a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros from the Dutch National Research Organisation NWO for her research proposal on ‘The Dialogics of Justice’, an investigation into (legal)) reparation practices after human rights violations: when do people feel recognized? This will enable her to form a team of four researchers for the coming 5 years, who will follow civil court cases concerning transitional justice in and beyond the Netherlands.