Prof dr Henk van Houtum is Professor Political Geography and Geopolitics at Radboud University Nijmegen is and co-founder and coordinator of the Nijmegen Centre for Border Research . In addition, he is a visiting Professor Border Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. Before, he also was a research Professor Geopolitics of Borders at the University of Bergamo, Italy

Henk van Houtum graduated in Economics at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands (cum laude). He wrote a dissertation on the relationship between political borders and economics at the same university. In 1998, at the University of Nijmegen, he co-founded the Nijmegen Centre for Border Research.

He is co-director of the master specialisation on Europe: Borders, Identities and Governance and the master specialisation on Conflicts, Territories and Identities.

He published 19 books and more than 200 academic articles and book chapters.

Research themes

These publications deal with the following issues:

  • The philosophy of borders: epistemology and (im)morality of borders, processes of b/ordering and othering
  • Global justice: Wealth differences and equality of access (to resources),
  • National and regional identity (including the geopolitics, internationalisation of and territorial ‘battle’ in soccer and other sports),
  • Borders in and of the EU: Geopolitics of the European integration, The external border regime of the EU, migrant deaths at the border (see our Dutch book: Beyond Fortress Europe (”Voorbij Fort Europa”),
  • Designing Borderlands and Borderscapes: The development of cross-border governance and planning of borderlands (see for this, the book: Borderland, 2013),
  • C/Artography: Mapping territories, borders and migration. Freeing the Map: from Atlas to Hermes (see the co-authored blog CompasstoCartopolitics, and see the TEDxLecture: Free the Map
  • Urban geopolitics and planning: glocal borders, urban politics and identity, and geopolitics of capitalism

In addition, he published more than 200 opinion articles and columns (see for an overview here) in national and international newspapers and magazines. He has been a columnist for the Dutch national newspaper and the Dutch regional newspaper De Gelderlander. Earlier, he was a columnist with the title ‘Ach, Europa’ for De Groene Amsterdammer (see for his ‘De Groene’ columns here) and also for the Radboud University magazine (VOXweb). He is a regular commentator (see for an overview here) for various Dutch media, such as the TV programmes Nieuwsuur, EenVandaag and Filosofisch Kwintet, the Radio stations Radio 1 and 5 and the national newspapers Volkskrant, Trouw, NRC, De Groene Amsterdammer, De Gelderlander. In addition, he is a commentator for various international media.

Current Research Projects

  • LIMES: researching and writing on the translation and impact of the Roman LIMES in current day bordering policies and populism
  • Editing an international book on C/Artography: From Atlas to Hermes (see our blog CompasstoCartopolitics, and see my TEDxLecture: Free the Map)
  • Writing on the cartography of migration and borders, as a follow-up of our prize-winning article on the Migration Map Trap
  • Writing on Paper Borders (the global inequality of the visa-policies) as a follow-up on our article the birth of the paper prison
  • Writing on the auto-immunity of the external border policy and immigration politics (2012-2016 FP 7 Project: Website ‘EUBORDERSCAPES’ and on Facebook)
  • Writing on Redesigning Cross-Border Cooperation (disseminations of our book Borderland)
  • Writing on the Glocal Border Conflict of Cyprus (2012-2016 FP 7 Project Website ‘EUBORDERSCAPES’ and on Facebook)
  • For more research projects and interests, see here