Marcel Wissenburg teaches and/or co-ordinates several courses in political theory and philosophy, and is Chair of the department's Exam Committee supervising the quality of teaching.
He is also honorary Socrates professor of Humanist Philosophy at Wageningen University, a member of the Board of the Dutch Political Science Association, Chair of the jury of the Jaarprijs Politicologie (annual award for the best Dutch Ph.D. thesis), co-founder and jury member of the ECPR Dick Richardson Prize, and probably other things as well, if only he could remember.
His research interests cover liberalism, theories of social justice and the interface of political and environmental philosophy. He is currently working on a five-year research plan on 'personal and political autonomy', that is (take a deep breath): research on the normative assessment of the effects that the evolution and re-shaping of political frameworks like the sovereign nation-state (into a confusingly complex interconnected network of institutions from the local to the global) has on the potential for autonomy of individuals and the potential for self-rule of collectives. He hopes, in due course, to attract other researchers to join him so he can supervise yet more innocent people.
Marcel Wissenburg (*Arnhem 1962) started out as a student of political science at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 1980, switching in 1985 to philosophy and (with a brief stopover at Leiden University in 1987-8) political theory. He graduated in 1988 as a political theorist with an MA thesis on Karl Popper's anti-utopianism, and as a philosopher with an MA thesis on William Morris' and Edward Bellamy's utopias. He completed his PhD at the University of Nijmegen in 1994.
From 1990 on, he held various positions in the Faculty of Management Sciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen: junior researcher (1990-1994), postdoctoral research fellow of the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO; 1995-1998), and Lecturer of Political Theory & the Philosophy of the Policy Sciences (1998-2005). In addition, he taught as a guest lecturer in the Department of Political Science of the University of Leiden and as a temporary lecturer in social and political philosophy at the University of Groningen (1999-2000). From 1999 to 2001, he was also part-time staff member of the Faculty's research school, then called Nijmegen Centre (NICE) for Business, Environment and Government.
In 2004, his interest in environmental philosophy and green political theory resulted in a second job. From 1 September 2004 to 1 September 2009, he is the Socrates Professor of Humanist Philosophy (full title: 'in particular with regard to the relation between humanity and nature') at Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, the Netherlands. For more information on this position, see Socrates Professorship.
As of 1 January 2006, he is also Professor of Political Theory ('in particular political and personal autonomy') in the department of political science at Radboud University. This is a so-called 'personal' professorship, with the explicit task to rejuvenate and boost both research and teaching in political theory. For his plans with this chair, see Political Theory Professorship.
To test the hypothesis that time may be both infinite and a scarce good, his third major interest is a hobby: genealogy, a field of research in which he is best described as an experienced amateur. Although he makes his worst mistakes as an academic, the ones he least hides can be found on a separate web site dedicated to his genealogical research and other matters related to the Wissenburg family: www.wissenburg.info
Despite brief but serious attempts at doing something else somewhere else (from related subjects at other universities to genealogical research in Germany), he now admits to being hopelessly addicted to political theory and having fallen deeply in love with Nijmegen - even though the natives speak Dutch with a horrible accent.
For an in-depth introduction to the Wissenburg phenomenon, try Wissenburg for dummies. The information on this website is not a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a qualified, licensed professional.
By the way, my name is Wissenburg, not Wissenberg.
Political pluralism and the state: beyond sovereignty London: Routledge (Routledge Innovators in Political Theory), 2008. ISBN: 9780415467391 (HB)
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Politiek gaat over mensen: autonomie en orde Download inaugural lecture (215 KB)
Full text of my inaugural lecture (in Dutch) Politiek gaat over mensen: autonomie en orde of 26 January 2007 as Political Theory professor at Nijmegen University. ISBN-10: 90-9021497-6 / ISBN-13: 978-90-9021497-9.
Mens, natuur en onderwerping
Een humanistisch perspectief op de intrinsieke waarde van de natuur Download inaugural lecture (308 KB)
Full text of my inaugural lecture (in Dutch) Mens, natuur en onderwerping: Een humanistisch perspectief op de intrinsieke waarde van de natuur of 24 March 2005 as Socrates professor at Wageningen University.
Imperfection and Impartiality
A liberal theory of social justice London: UCL Press, 1999. ISBN 1-85728-850-5 (HB), 1-85728-851-3 (PB), 0-203-50212-4 (e-book).
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The free and the green society London: UCL Press, 1998. ISBN 1-85728-848-3 (HB) 1-85728-849-1 (PB).
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Justice From a Distance
An Outline of a Liberal Theory of Social Justice PhD thesis, University of Nijmegen, 1994. ISBN 90-9007284-5
Reviewed by Gijs van Donselaar, Acta Politica 1995/30, p. 363-5
Civic politics and civil society Proceedings (editor) - University of Nijmegen Press, Nijmegen 1995. ISBN 90-3730287-4. More about this book...
European Discourses on Environmental Policy Marcel Wissenburg, Gökhan Orhan and Ute Collier (eds.), Aldershot: Ashgate 1999. ISBN 1-84014-777-6. More about this book...
Sustaining Liberal Democracy: ecological challenges and opportunities Marcel Wissenburg and John Barry (eds.), London and New York: Palgrave, 2001. ISBN 0-333-91981-5. More about this book...
Liberal Democracy and Environmentalism: the end of environmentalism? ECPR European Political Science Series, Marcel Wissenburg and Yoram Levy (eds), London: Routledge 2004. ISBN 0-415-32195-6, ISBN 978-0-203-29967-8 (e-book). More about this book...
His biography, bibliography and further information can be found at his website www.wissenburg.com.