Prof. Martin van Hees


Martin van Hees
Staff Information
Stay in Touch


Martin van Hees (1964) is Professor of Ethics and Dean and Programme Director of the John Stuart Mill College since 2016. Before he held positions at the VU Amsterdam (Head of the Department of Philosophy), University of Amsterdam (Professor of Political Theory) and the University of Groningen (Professor of Ethics and Political Theory; Dean of Faculty of Philosophy). He studied philosophy and political science in Rotterdam.

The research interests of Van Hees concern the foundations of (moral and political) liberalism. He has worked on theories of freedom, the analysis of moral responsibility and quality of life assessments. The research has a strong interdisciplinary focus and he has published in leading journals in philosophy (Mind, The Journal of Philosophy), as well as in economics (Journal of Economic Theory, Social Choice and Welfare) and political science (American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science).

Van Hees has obtained many research grants, including a VICI-grant (2004-2009) for the project ‘Modelling Freedom’. He was associate editor of Risk Decision and Policy (CUP, 2002-2004) and editor of Economics and Philosophy (CUP, 2009-2014). His work has been translated into French, Italian and Chinese. Guest appointments include:

  • Adam-Smith-Professor of Philosophy and Economics at the University of Bayreuth (2003-2004);
  • Faculty of Economics, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 2005;
  • IGIDR, Mumbai, India, 2011 and 2012.

Van Hees was one of the two philosophers who were included in the VSNU (Association of Universities, the Netherlands) samples of excellent academic research in the Netherlands (‘Staalkaart’). In 2012, the Dutch weekly Elsevier included Van Hees on its list of philosophers having the largest influence on Dutch politics. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW).

Lecture by prof. Van Hees (2011, in Dutch) on “the government as choice architect”:

Courses Taught