Professor of Early Modern History
The comparative study of rulers and elites forms the core of my research interest. The connections between rulers and elites were formed partly at the dynastic court; hence this institution plays a key role in my work. Initially concentrating on early modern France and the Austrian Habsburg lands in the European dynastic context, I have been moving towards a global perspective including the Ottoman empire and Late Imperial China as well as Africa.
Between 2011 and 2016, I led the NWO-Horizon programme Eurasian Empires, including nine researchers based at three Dutch universities. A new NWO-financed project, 'Monarchy in Turmoil Rulers, Courts and Politics in the Netherlands And Germany, C.1780 – C.1820' started in September 2017.
In 2016 Cambridge University Press published my Dynasties. A global history of power 1300-1800.
Studying history (major) and anthropology (minor) at Utrecht University, I was struck by the different approaches to kingship and ritual in these disciplines. This contrast led me to write a critical dissertation on Norbert Elias’ theory of court life, Macht en Mythe (1992), published in an expanded and translated edition as Myths of Power in 1995. In the years before my dissertation, I combined various teaching positions with a job as bassoonist. From 1991 to 2008, I held a sequence of assistant- and associate professorships at the Utrecht History Department, in cultural history, history of international relations, and political history. In these years I also actively participated in the restructuring of the department’s curriculum. A 1999-2000 NWO-research leave allowed me to write my archival comparative study on the courts of Vienna and Versailles, published by Cambridge University Press in 2003 (translated into Italian and Spanish).
In 2008 I was appointed to the chair for early modern history at Groningen, followed by an appointment to the chair for modern history at Leiden University in September 2010.
Dynasties. A global history of power 1300-1800 (Cambridge 2016)
Royal Courts in Dynastic States and Empires. A Global Perspective (Leiden 2011).
Edited by Jeroen Duindam, Tülay Artan and Metin Kunt.
Vienna and Versailles. The Courts of Europe's Dynastic Rivals, 1550-1780 (Cambridge 2003); paperback edition Cambridge 2007;
Myths of Power. Norbert Elias and the Early Modern European Court (Amsterdam 1995).