Ed Jonker

Biography and/or project

My main interest is in the intersection of politics, scholarship, and culture. The crossovers and interactions between these domains can be described and analyzed by looking at the history of the social sciences and that of the humanities. The role of social scientists and humanities’ scholars in public debate is clearly observable in twentieth-century and in actual, contemporary interventions in politics and culture. For sociology, the legitimation of the welfare or caring state still is highly relevant. For the humanities, the evaluation of our (multi)cultural situation is an urgent task. A special manifestation of the latter is our historical culture with its recent debates on canons, identities and memories. The evaluation and appreciation of current problems around citizenship, loyalty, and enculturation varies enormously. The questions posed to social scientists and humanities’ scholars are politically loaded and often highly ideological, as are many of their answers. The nature and direction of this intellectual process can be clarified by analyses that try to combine historical study of social science and the humanities with more systematic philosophy of science and theory of history.