Dr. Beatrice de Graaf

Beatrice de Graaf (1976) holds the Chair of History of International Relations & Global Governance at Utrecht University, within the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies (since February 2014). In December 2019 she was rewarded the title of Distinguished Professor at Utrecht University.


She studied Modern History and German language and culture in Utrecht and Bonn (1998, cum laude) and received her PhD from Utrecht University in 2004 (a.o. on the East German Ministry for State Security, Stasi, bestowed with the Max van der Stoel Human rights award). She was co-founder of the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism at Leiden University, Campus The Hague in 2007, where she was appointed professor of Conflict and Security History in 2011. With an NWO VIDI/ASPASIA grant on 'The Making of a National Security State' and as fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS, on the topic of 'Terrorists on Trial') De Graaf contributed to the emerging research field of security history. Her book Evaluating Counterterrorism Performance (2011) was internationally ranked amongst the top 150 terrorism books (Perspectives on Terrorism).

In 2013, De Graaf was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for the project Securing Europe, fighting its enemies. The Making of a security culture in Europe and beyond, 1815-1914. Together with an international team of researchers she investigates the origins and makings of a European security culture, police and intelligence states since the 19th century.

Furthermore, De Graaf participates in international and national (scholarly) debates on terrorism and security, and frequently comments on matters of terrorism and security in the printed and broadcasted media. She testified for the European and Dutch Parliament. She is also member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciencies (KNAW), science columnist for NRC Handelsblad, and sits on the editorial boards of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Perspectives on Terrorism, and Terrorism and Political Violence. Together with Alexander Rinnooy Kan, she was appointed as chair of the Dutch National Research Agenda in 2015.

In 2018, De Graaf was awarded the Stevin Prize (2.5 MEur), the highest distinction in Dutch academia. She is currently conducting a research project on ‚Radical Redemption: What motivates terrorists‘, in which she maps religious, ideological attitudes amongst terrorist convicts and inmates in the Netherlands, Kenya, Kameroon and Indonesia.


de Graaf, B.A. (2019). Foreign fighters on trial: Sentencing risk, 2013-2017. In Nadia Fadil, Martijn de Koning & Francesco Ragazzi (Eds.), Radicalization in Belgium and the Netherlands - Critical Perspectives on Violence and Security (pp. 97-130) (34 p.). London/New York: I.B. Tauris.

van Eerten, Jan-Jaap, Doosje, Bertjan, Konijn, Elly, de Graaf, B.A. & de Goede, Mariëlle (2017). Developing a social media response to radicalization - The role of counter-narratives in prevention of radicalization and de-radicalization. (151 p.). WODC. (To be published as monograph in 2020).

de Graaf, B.A., de Haan, I. & Vick, B. (2019). Securing Europe after Napoleon. 1815 and the New European Security Culture.  (316 p.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

de Graaf, B.A. & Schmid, Alex P. (2016). Terrorists on Trial. A Performative Perspective.  (602 p.). Leiden University Press / University of Chicago Press.

de Graaf, Beatrice, Dimitriu, George & Ringsmose, Jens (2015). Strategic Narratives, Public Opinion and War : Winning domestic support for the Afghan War.  Oxon/New York: Routledge.

de Graaf, Beatrice (2014). The Van Gogh Murder and Beyond. In Bruce Hoffman & Fernando Reinares (Eds.),  The evolution of the global terrorist threat : from 9/11 to Osama bin Laden's death (pp. 144-187) (43 p.). New York: Columbia University Press.

de Graaf, B.A. & de Goede, M. (2013). Sentencing Risk. Temporality and Precaution in Terrorism Trials.  International Political Sociology, 7 (3), (pp. 313-331) (19 p.). 

de Graaf, B.A. (2011). Evaluating Counterterrorism Performance. A Comparative Approach.  Oxon/New York: Routledge.