Keynote: It’s all about belonging: trying to find a useful balance between ‘activism’ and ‘science’

Saturday, November 2, 2013
First author:
Prof.dr. Geert Van Hove

Ghent University, Belgium – Disability Studies in the Netherlands

All authors:

Prof.dr. Geert Van Hove


In the Netherlands Disability Studies has a strong connection with the ngo DSiN. This tight link opens a window of opportunities to combine the quest for:

- A strong theoretical-conceptual framework


- The wealth of personal experiences and perspectives


- A solid program for scientific research.

The ultimate goals of DSiN are clear and in accordance with the general principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (respect, non-discrimination, full and effective participation, persons with disabilities as part of human diversity, equality of opportunities, accessibility, equality between men and women, respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities)

While building a scientific DS project in the Netherlands DSiN and the Free University of Amsterdam will not flee from the confrontation with e.g.:

- Tensions between old and new paradigms of care and support

- The impact of certain general attitudes living in the community towards persons with disabilities

- Neo-liberal tendencies that replace ‘interdependence’  and ‘relational citizenship’ with ‘pure self-reliance’ and the principles of the ‘survival of the fittest’

- The effects of globalization on local situations of care/support and human rights.