Meindert Fennema

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Meindert Fennema (born Leeuwarden, 21 May 1946) is a Dutch political scientist and Emeritus Professor of political science, who was attached to the Department of Political Science and the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies of the University of Amsterdam, where he held the chair on Political Theory of Ethnic Relations.


Fennema grew up in Zeist in a Frisian family, where they spoke Frisian. His father was inspector of the public slaughterhouse in Zeist.

After graduating high school he worked for the Holland America Line at the SS Rotterdam. He studied Sociology at the Utrecht University, and became member of the Utrechtsch Studenten Corps. He further studied Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (1969-1973). In 1970 he was assistant at the Europa-instituut in Amsterdam.

He participated in the student movement and was involved in the 'affair Daudt' - Professor Hans Daudt had to resign after sustained criticism from students (who wanted more 'socially critical' colleges). In his place, a number of other teachers were assigned, including Fennema. In 1971 he joined the Communist Party of the Netherlands, where he remained until the abolition of the party in 1989. He later became critic of the "leftist elite", especially the leaders of the Labour Party, as Roel in 't Veld and Bram Peper. He only kept supporting GreenLeft.

Since 1975 he was a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. In 1981 he obtained his doctorate with the thesis entitled "International Networks of Banks and Industry" under supervision of Rob Mokken.[1] In 2002 he became a professor. He has published many scientific publications in the field of anti-immigration parties, ethnic organizations and the economic and political elites. Fennema also intervened frequently in the public debate with contributions on the opinion pages of national newspapers. With John Rhijnsburger he wrote a biography of Hans Max Hirschfeld (Man van het grote geld, 2007). In 2010 he published a biography of Geert Wilders entitled Geert Wilders, tovenaarsleerling.

On May 11, 2012 he held his farewell lecture, titled: Help! De elite verdwijnt!. (Help! The elite disappears!). From August 2012 he writes a weekly column on The On August 27, 2013 he presented his first novel Het slachthuis (The Slaughterhouse) in De Balie in Amsterdam. At that meeting the Blue Diamond Belt enters the Wolff, one of the characters in the book.

Fennema manages the archives of Hans Janmaat. For years he was one of the few who openly supported Janmaat's right to freedom of expression. He is councilor for GreenLeft in Bloemendaal.


Meindert has authored and co-authored numerous publications in his field of expertise[2][3]

  • De Multinationale Onderneming en de Nationale Staat. SUA, Amsterdam, 1975.
  • International Networks of Banks and Industry. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague/Boston, 1982.
  • Communist Parties in Western Europe. Decline or adaptation?. With Michael Waller (eds.) Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1988.
  • Politiek Racisme. Oorzaken, denkbeelden en bestrijding. With Frank Elbers and Leo Balai. AFS/ LBR/SBK. Leiden, 1994.
  • De Moderne Democratie. Geschiedenis van een Politieke Theorie, revised edition, Amsterdam, Het Spinhuis, 2001
  • Onrecht. Oorlog en rechtvaardigheid in de twintigste eeuw. With Madelon de Keizer; Mariska Heijmans-van Bruggen; Erik Somers & Cees Maris] (ed.) Walburg Pers, Zutphen, 2001.
  • Over de kwaliteit van politieke elites. Vossiuspers, Amsterdam, 2003.
  • Nederlandse Elites in de twintigste eeuw. Continuïteit en verandering. With Huibert Schijf (eds.) Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2004.
  • Geldt de vrijheid van meningsuiting ook voor racisten? Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2009.
  • Dr. Hans Max Hirschfeld. Man van het Grote Geld, With John Rhijnsburger, Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2007
  • Nieuwe Netwerken. De ondergang van NV Nederland, With Eelke Heemskerk Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2008
  • Geert Wilders. Tovenaarsleerling, Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2010
  • Van Thomas Jefferson tot Pim Fortuyn. Balans van de Democratie, Apeldoorn, Spinhuis, 2012
  • Help, de elite verdwijnt!, Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2012
  • Het slachthuis - een roman. Prometheus, August 2013
  • De succesvolle mislukking van Europa, co-edited with Frits Bolkestein and Paul Cliteur, 2015, Houtekiet
  • Dorpspolitiek. Waar is het lokale gezag? With Martijn Bolkestein, Amsterdam, Prometheus, 2018

About Fennema[edit]

  • Sofie CERUTTI, De oude elite, die was zo slecht nog niet, in: Trouw, 12 mei 2012
  • Tierry BAUDET & Geerten WALIN, Jarenlang was Fennema de enige die het openlijk opnam voor het recht van Janmaat om vrijuit te spreken, in: De Volkskrant, 14 mei 2012


  1. ^ Eelme M. Heemskerk "Fennema's netwerk benadering: over anekdotes, zwakke verbindingen en negatief netwerken." (2012). p. 20
  2. ^ Fennema, M. (Meindert ; 1946-) List of Publications at National Library of the Netherlands.
  3. ^ M.Fennema Google Scholar profile.

External links[edit]