Juliette Schaafsma, Principal Investigator, Political Apologies across Cultures

Juliette Schaafsma (Principal investigator)

Juliette (PhD, 2006) is a  Full Professor at the Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University. Her research interests lie broadly in intercultural interactions, processes of social in- and exclusion, and intergroup hostility and reconciliation. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, and she combines insights and approaches from anthropology, cross-cultural and social psychology, communication sciences, transitional justice, and peace and conflict studies. Juliette has considerable experience using both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection (e.g., in-depth interviews, daily diary studies, surveys, experiments) and data-analysis (including multilevel random coefficient modeling).


Thia Sagherian-Dickey (Postdoc)

Prior to joining this team, Thia worked on “The Diversity Effect” project (ESRC), investigating racial diversity and contact among youth in Bristol. Her doctoral research (Queen’s University Belfast) involved a meta-analysis of intergroup trust, and examined the construct empirically in Northern Ireland and Lebanon. Thia has also collaborated on several projects in Northern Ireland, including exploring the experience of contact in mixed identity housing areas of Belfast (NICRC). She served as an external evaluator of “Khebz w Meleh” a grassroots-level intergroup contact intervention among youth in Lebanon. As a social psychologist, Thia collaborates across disciplines and employs both quantitative and qualitative methods in her research.



Marlies de Groot (PhD candidate)

With master degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Consumer Studies, Marlies previously worked as a research consultant for River Path Associates. During this time, she was Assistant Research Director for the British Council’s Next Generation Pakistan series – including the publication Next Generation: Insecure Lives, Untold Stories, which focused on the impact of violence on young Pakistanis. She was also involved in supporting development of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, and contributed to a portfolio of research on the potential to deliver on Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peaceful, just and inclusive societies.



Marlies de Groot, PhD candidate, Political Apologies across Cultures

Marieke Zoodsma (PhD candidate)

Before starting this PhD project at Tilburg University, Marieke was employed by the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide studies and as seminar lecturer at the University of Utrecht. Marieke has a BA in Cultural Anthropology, a minor in Conflict studies and graduated from the master program Holocaust and Genocide studies in 2014 at the University of Amsterdam. During her studies and further career, she focused on the effects of mass murder and genocide on society and culture, specifically during the aftermath of such events. Marieke has conducted field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina to investigate the role of religious initiatives in the reconciliation process. She is also the co-founder and writer for What Is Happening Now, an online platform that publishes in-depth articles related to current issues.


Marieke Zoodsma, PhD candidate, Political Apologies across Cultures