Aanpak coronacrisis

Our scientists share their knowledge about the coronacrisis and its consequences

Published: 31st March 2020 Last updated: 17th August 2020

Our scientists analyze the developments of the corona crisis and interpret the consequences. On this page we bring together their contributions to the public debate; for example about the danger of loneliness, the positive effects of boredom, the increased connectedness due to digital traffic and social media and advice for people in the (spiritual and pastoral) care sector.

For our research on the impact of the corona crisis, see the Social distancing society dossier.

The contributions to the public debate below are divided over 3 areas:

Influence on behavior

  • Marjolijn Antheunis, Professor of Communication and Technology:
    Social platforms have varying effects on feelings of loneliness that may occur during lockdown, says Marjolijn Antheunis in the Dutch newspaper NRC. "Of social media platforms that are about images such as Instagram we know from research that they can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem. Social media for one-on-one contact with friends such as WhatsApp reduce loneliness more than the channels to send en follow news, like Twitter and increasingly Facebook.” - 7 August 2020
  • Dr. Leonieke van Boekel, Academic Collaborative Center for elderly care, Tranzo: 
    Several months ago nursing homes closed overnight with enormous consequences for residents, their families and nursing staff. If it happens again, we have to do things differently, says Tranzo researcher Leonieke van Boekel visiting  Stax&Toine at NPO Radio 1 (in Dutch). We have to listen more to the elderly themselves. - 5 August 2020
  • Professor of Church History Paul van Geest:
    The church, pastors and other clergymen have ignored  vulnerable people without too much protest. The ban on visiting for instance elderly and dying people in nursing homes was accepted far too readily, he says in Nederlands Dagblad: "Nobody should die alone. The churches really should have put their foot down." -  1 August 2020
  • Erik Borgman, Professor of Public Theology (in Dutch):

    After the summer there will be a national corona commemoration day. According to Erik Borgman it is too early "I don't think we know yet what actually happened to us.  [...] We first have to actively search for stories that do not come up by themselves." Trouw 17 July 2020

  • Dr. Martin Hoondert, assistant professor 'Music, Religion and Ritual in the journal Laetare (in Dutch):

    A funeral with only thirty people present, one and a half meters apart. How do you do that and what is the impact of the absence of the dead person's social network and the forced absence of physical contact when condolences are offered? Funerals in the corona period are characterized by the absence of ritual traditions as well as new initiatives and ritual creativity.  - 3 June 2020

  • Professor of Environmental Economics Reyer Gerlagh:
    In a series of mini-lectures Reyer Gerlagh explains the ins and outs of COVID-19: basic concepts, why the lockdown, repression or group immunity, protection of at-risk groups etcetera.  - 11 May 2020

  • Ph.D. in Culture Studies Lucie Chateau:
    Memeing under Covid-19: On the phatic internet and collectivity, in Diggit Magazine. Life under Covid-19 has migrated to digital.  We see an increase in the production and consumption of online content. Tweets, memes, viral challenges and forwarded message chains are taking over the internet like never before. 'Quarantineers' share their work and gratefully consume it as a distraction from the triviality of our daily lives in social isolation.  The production and consumption of content has become an act of public service. - 7 May 2010
  • Organization expert Dr Pieterjan van Delden (TIAS):
    Sociaal offensief tussen lockdowns door (Social offensive between lockdowns), on Sociale Vraagstukken  (4 May). There is a good chance that it will not stick to a one-time lockdown. This calls for a 'corona dance': to launch a social offensive to make contacts when things become more relaxed, and to continue it virtually when public social life comes to a standstill. – 11 May 2020
  • Professor of cognitive neuropsychology Margriet Sitskoorn:
    Ons brein wordt op de proef gesteld. Podcast van Brainwave (Our brain is being put to the test).
    In this episode of the Brainwave Podcast, neuropsychologist Margriet Sitskoorn tells us more about the cognitive consequences of the coronavirus by telephone. In this podcast, for example, we discuss the various groups suffering from social distancing and the importance of staying in motion in order to keep the brain fit. – 30 April 2020
  • Sociologists: Corona crisis increases inequalities in society
    Virologists, microbiologists and epidemiologists have been at the forefront on tv for weeks now. However, it is becoming clear that the coronavirus crisis is not only a health issue but also a major social issue. Even within the Outbreak Management Team, louder voices are rising towards the cabinet to also include advice from social scientists. The Sociologists' Panel foresees how corona will deepen fault lines in society, although the panel is hopeful about our ability to improvise socially. The awareness of a shared threat actually strengthens ties. The panel includes the Tilburg sociologists prof. Peter Achterberg, dr. Caroline Dewilde, PhD  Bram Peper and dr. Tim Reeskens. - 29 April 2020
  • Organizational scientist Dr. Jörg Raab and Professor of Public Governance Patrick Kenis:
    In a forthcoming publication, Dr. Jörg Raab (TSB) and Patrick Kenis (TiSEM), among others, will investigate how the response to an infection outbreak can be further improved through network and governance analysis. Advice avant la lettre for RIVM and OMT. They developed two outbreak scenarios, one of which relates to a new Asian Coronavirus. The publication now appears to be a hit. In the Corona Special of Tilburg University Magazine an interview with Jörg Raab entitled Corona decision makers: include new expertise as the situation changes.  - 30 April 20
  • Sociologist Dr. Tim Reeskens:
    Everything's gonna be different? That remains to be seen, on Sociale Vraagstukken online (April 24, in Dutch). Is everything going to be different after the corona era, like glass globes want us to believe? Tim reflects on possible shifts in the social mood. Tim: "In a number of crucial policy proposals that the government will be faced with, grafted on to the choices outlined by Harari, it is not unlikely that the government will want to gain more control over the private sphere.  - 24 April 2020
  • Associate professor Dr. Ico Maly:
    The coronavirus has devastating consequences for social life in all corners of the world. In Diggit Magazine online. People are dying and country after country is forced to take drastic measures in the hope of flattening the curve. For others, this pandemic is an opportunity to reach a wide audience, to make money or to further a political agenda. Not surprisingly, the coronavirus crisis is heavily politicized by far-right YouTubers.  - 24 April 2020
  • Tranzo researchers Dr. Leonie van Boekel, MSc Annerieke Stoop and Prof. Katrien Luijkx:
    Outbreak COVID-19 in nursing care, in Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie (April 23). Elderly care has been hit hard by COVID-19 infections. The aim of the publication is to understand what can be learned from other disasters or crises worldwide, in order to keep the care for the elderly in nursing homes during the outbreak of COVID-19 as optimal as possible. - 23 April 2020
  • Professor of Information Management Anne Rutkowski:
    Teaching in the virtual world of Second Life. It sounds fantastic, but not for the creative Anne Rutkowski. The corona crisis stimulated her to develop  a virtual teaching world. And her lecture hall is full! Together with the Faculty of Economics and Management (TiSEM) an island in Second Life was bought, where she set up a large lecture hall, smaller seminar rooms and an office for her self. How are things going? Read this 'fantastic' story in Univers  - 23 April 2020
  • Professor Theology of Religion Erik Borgman: 
    Can the Christian community also exist online?, in Trouw (April 23rd). Because of the corona crisis, churches were forced to broadcast celebrations online. Where people first met on Sunday morning for  worship, they are now sitting behind their laptops. Physical gatherings have suddenly become virtual meetings. Borgman: "The Eucharist is the heart, but there's more blood circulation than the heart." - 23 April 2020
  • Professor of Transformation in Care Dike van de Mheen: 
    Drinking and quarantine kilos during corona crisis, in AD and BD, April 22. Dike: "During the depression in Finland in the early 90s, the average Finn did not drink more alcohol. Only middle-aged people opened more bottles. I expect a similar trend now. The younger generation mainly drinks in a social context, at parties or barbecues, but these occasions are over for the time being." - 22 April 2020
  • Professor of Sociology Peter Achterberg:
    Why many people want the corona rules to be relaxed. There are many hopeful stories going around about relaxing the lock-down. 'Sacrifice must be rewarded'. Cultural sociologist Peter Achterberg gives an answer to the question where these stories come from, at Omroep Brabant - 21 April 2020(in Dutch).
  • Developmental psychologist Dr. Gerine Lodder:
    Loneliness and dating in the age of corona among young people and singles in EenVandaag (NPO1 TV, April 18). If you could just meet up with someone a few months ago, during the corona crisis it is different. Yet there are still enough singles in our country looking for love. Lisa Mosmans makes the podcast Datevermaak and tells how she dates in corona time. Gerine Lodder explains loneliness (in singles) in this broadcast after 22 minutes (in Dutch). – 18 April 2020
  • Marketing researcher Dr. ing. Niels van de Ven:
    Social distancing has taken away many of our reference points, shifting our experiences on a fundamental level. But psychology can help us regain some control. Listen to the podcast 'What day is it? Why the pandemic warps your sense of time' on The Cristian Science Monitor on April 17, 2020.  
  • Ten scientists from Tilburg University receive NWO grants for research into the corona crisis:
    No fewer than 9 applications by Tilburg scientists have been honoured by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research in the 'fast-track' call for the collection of data that can only be collected during the COVID-19 crisis and for social issues that arise during the corona crisis.  – 17 April 2020
  • Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology Margriet Sitskoorn:
    About the one and a half meter economy and social distancing in NPO Op1 (start after 3 min in clip)
    People want to stay in touch cognitively and emotionally. They will have to ask themselves three questions: what do I have to do, what do I want and what can I do. Brains are plastic, circumstances have changed and brains are going to adapt to that, but that is long term work. No more shaking hands, for example, that automatism will gradually be adapted in our system. – 7 April 2020
  • Philosopher Ruud Welten:
    Coronaspecial: De Pest van Albert Camus (Podcast Filosofie - Centre Erasme)
    (Corona Special: The Plague of Albert Camus)
    Philosopher Ruud Welten shows that the Plague of Camus used to be read as a metaphor for Nazism and now as pandemic literature. – 7 April 2020
  • Dutch Young Consumers Network, a network of researchers from Tilburg University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Radboud University, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and the University of Amsterdam.
    10 tips: zo bereik je tieners met je corona-campagne (Radboud Recharge)
    (10 tips: how to reach teenagers with your corona campaign). – 2 April 2020
  • dr. Anton ten Klooster:
    Handreiking voor geestelijken in de fronlinie (Tilburg University)
    (Guidance for clergy in the front line)
    Church workers, pastors and priests, like doctors and nurses, are on the frontline of the coronary crisis. They provide spiritual assistance to the sick and dying and want to be close to them. At the same time, they have to deal responsibly with life-threatening risks. Where are the boundaries of compassion and pastoral care in these circumstances? – 30 March 2020
  • Researcher Developmental Psychology Gerine Lodder:
    Piekeren, wakker liggen en bang zijn: hoe om te gaan met corona-angst? (NOS)
    (Worrying, lying awake and being scared: how to deal with corona anxiety? )
    "Fear now, to a greater or lesser extent, occurs in a lot of people," says researcher Gerine Lodder of Tilburg University. "That's not necessarily wrong. Fear has an evolutionary function to protect you from something that is potentially lethal or damaging. But if you get caught up in it, it's no longer functional." – 28 March 2020
  • Professor Communication and Technology Marjolijn Antheunis:
    Hoe sociale media ons verbinden in tijden van social distancing (Trouw)
    (How social media connect us in times of social distancing)
    Usually social media are criticized because they can get in the way of physical contact. But in times of social distancing they bridge a gap. "Because we now have less face-to-face contact, we literally see less of the disadvantages of social media." – 27 March 2020
  • Dr. Gaëtan Mertens of the departement Medical and Clinical Psychology:
    Angst voor corona: hoe beïnvloedt de crisis ons welzijn? (Scientias)
    (Fear of corona: how does the crisis affect our well-being?)
    "It seems that people are quite worried," says researcher Gaëtan Mertens, expert in the field of (clinical) psychology, to Scientias.nl. "And those persistent concerns can have quite a negative impact. Think for example of stress, insomnia and a feeling of anxiety. I don't think there is a general panic at the moment, but there is clearly a continuous anxiety". – 26 March 2020
  • Researcher Developmental Psychology Gerine Lodder:
    Als je alleen woont, ligt eenzaamheid nu op de loer (NRC) 
    (If you live alone, loneliness lurks now)
    Months of social isolation, what does that do to a human being?  Researcher Gerine Lodder in NCR about loneliness among people living alone.  "People living alone need to be even more creative." – 26 March 2020
  • Alumnus Wijnand van Tilburg:
    Waarom we verveling moeten koesteren, juist in coronatijd (Univers)
    (Why we should cherish boredom, especially in coronation time)
    "The negative image we have of boredom is not entirely justified. Because boredom has its advantages." – 20 March 2020
  • Cognitive Neuropsychologist Margriet Sitskoorn:
    Sitskoorn duidt ons gedrag in crisistijden en geeft tips om om te gaan met coronastress. (MAX Meldpunt)
    (Sitskoorn indicates our behaviour in times of crisis and gives tips on how to deal with corona-related stress.)
    Elderly people become isolated as a result of the measures taken against the coronavirus, increasing feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Professor Margriet Sitskoorn gives tips and indicates behaviour in times of crisis in Meldpunt. – 19 March 2020

Consequences for the economy

  • Professor of Labor Market Ton Wilthagen:
    "Besides the corona virus we have to deal with an unemployment virus which also demands difficult choices. That debate is just as difficult," says Ton Wilthagen at BNR Nieuwsradio (in Dutch) after the announcement that the Dutch GDP has shrunk by 8.5% . Many flex workers lost their jobs. - 14 August
  • Dr. Irmgard Borghouts, Assistant Professor of Labor Market and Social Security: 
    At the end of August the Dutch government will decide what the continued support for companies will look like. The government could demand stricter criteria, writes Financieele Dagblad on August 5th, and it should, says Irmgard Borghouts: 'The government should stop supporting businesses that were already struggling before . It is better to focus on those that are future proof.'  On August 1st Borghouts explained in the Volkskrant that retraining workers is not that easy: Not everybody wants or can do that. If you have to provide for a family and pay a mortgage, you will think twice before you retrain as a nurse or a teacher.  You have to be extremely motivated, even passionate, to make such a move a success.'
  • Professor of Labor Market Ton Wilthagen:
    A large majority of people working at home experience more control over their working day and can work more efficiently, research from Tilburg University (Marc van Veldhoven) under 5000 home workers shows, as Trouw reports on August 3rd. These advantages outweigh the disadvantages. In an essay in Financieele Dagblad Ton Wilthagen claims that the trend to work (more) from home will have far-reaching  consequences:  “We will never be 'out of office' anymore forever.” – 1 August 2020
  • Professor Banking and Finance Harald Benink:

    Can we still afford the economic consequences of the corona crisis? Yes, says Harald Benink at nu.nl (in Dutch), but "some sectors will be hit hard, such as the hotel and catering industry. You cannot expect the government to keep those sectors afloat and force a recovery whereas such a recovery might never happen. It will be survival of the fittest." - 31 juli 2020

  • Professor of Banking and Finance Harald Benink:
    After months of tug-of-war and four days and nights of negotiating, there is a European corona recovery fund of 750 billion. That recovery fund will cost the Netherlands 330 million euros a year,  Harald Benink calculated at the request of the NOS. That amounts to 19 euros per year per Dutchman. What is the structure of the recovery fund? And who are the winners and losers? - July 22. In the BNR Economenpanel he explains (in Dutch) that it is a good deal because it stimulates economic reforms in the EU. - July 27
  • Dr. Sonja Bekker,  holder of the Jean Monnet chair on European Social Policy and Employment Relations:
    The corona crisis will lead to youth unemployment, with vulnerable young people in particular being the victims. That makes the role of social workers all the more important, according to Sonja Bekker. Give them the time and the means to find and help these young people.  Interview in Zorg+Welzijn - July 6 2020
  • Assistant Professor of Labor Market Irmgard Borghouts:
    Retraining does make sense for people who lose their job in the corona crisis, says Irmgard Borghouts in the Dutch tv program EenVandaag. "After the crisis of 2008 we saw that people who attended training and courses found a new job quicker than people who did not. 70 percent of those who were made redundant in the financial sector switched to a different sector." - 27 June 2020
  • Professor of Banking and Finance Harald Benink:
    British banks have a problem: the way they assess risks when granting loans no longer works. The models they use for that purpose do not work well in the case of abnormal shocks on the market. And that is precisely the situation we are in at the moment. They mainly look at averages,' says Harald Benink on the BNR website (22 June 2020).
  • Professor of Labor Market Ton Wilthagen:
    Pessimistic news from the Central Plan Bureau (Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis): as a result of the corona crisis, unemployment will rise to 7 percent in 2021. And should there be a second corona wave, next year 1 in 10 people will be out of a job. But what do all these figures mean in concrete terms? Professor Ton Wilthagen and labor psychologist Janske van Eersel discuss it in NPO 1 Radio Stax&Toine. - 16 June (in Dutch). In an interview by Nieuwsuur Wilthagen states that the current government measures to help people who lost their job to get work in a different sector of the labor market are not sufficient (19 June 2020). See also Stax&Toine on 16 July in response to the historically high unemployment figures in June.
  • Dr. Sonja Bekker,  holder of the Jean Monnet chair on European Social Policy and Employment Relations
    In Sociale vraagstukken Sonja Bekker explains how to prevent youth unemployment after summer by lessons learned from past crises - 3 June (in Dutch)
  • Dr, Anouk Vermeij , prof. Margriet Sitskoorn and others:
    A lot of employees like working from home, according to research. But it is very important to guard the borders, argue the initiators of the working group  Jongwerkenden van de Alliantie Digitaal Samenleven  in De Volkskrant (in Dutch). - 1 June.
  • Professor of Labor Market Ton Wilthagen:
    On the Dutch website Nieuwsuur Ton Wilthagen explains in the article "Gaan we in plaats van 'Made in China' vaker 'Made in The Netherlands' zien?"  why it is better to produce closer to home again.   - 29 May (in Dutch)
  • Professor of Banking and Finance Harald Benink:
    In the Dutch newspaper AD Harald Benink explains why it is advantageous for the Netherlands to help Southern Europe.r? - 26 May (in Dutch)
  • Professor of Labor Market Ton Wilthagen:
    We don’t know how disastrous the current economic crisis will be, says Ton Wilthagen in the Dutch radio program Met het oog op morgen. It looks like the support measures for the Dutch labor market cannot be extended in the current form. According to Wilthagen the big question is: do we go for job security or do we choose labor security and help people to train for and find work that is available? - 15 May 2020
  • Professor of Banking and Finance Harald Benink:
    Under the chairmanship of Jort Kelder in JortCall, Harald Benink and Han Dieperink (Capital Investment Advisor and former Rabo CIO) discuss the question: Should the government spend money like water? - 18 May (in Dutch)
  • Professor of Environmental Economics  Reyer Gerlagh:
    In a series of mini-lectures Reyer Gerlagh explains the ins and outs of COVID-19: the basic concepts, the why of lock down, suppression or herd immunity, protection of risk groups, etcetera. – 11 May 2020
  • Professor of Financial Economics Sylvester Eijffinger:
    How do we keep culture, care and educational sectors on their feet in these difficult times? Professor Sylvester Eijffinger, Sigrid Hemels and Theo Schuyt make an appeal in de Volkskrant (May 10) to individuals to donate money to charities – 10 May 2020
  • Professor of Labor Market Ton Wilthagen:
    The Cabinet presented the roadmap for gradually coming out of the corona measures. But there is also an urgent need for a perspective for further labour market policy, now that the elections, scheduled for 17 March 2021, are rapidly approaching. To do so, we do not need to think so much fundamentally, but rather tackle the issues we know only too well. That is what Ton Wilthagen argues in the Financieele Dagblad of 8 May 2020 (register).
  • Professor of banking and finance Harald Benink:
    Following the discussion in Europe about an emergency aid programme for Italy, Harald Benink argues in EenVandaag (23 April, starting at 8.15 min) that "the Netherlands will have to move along. Not only in the context of European integrity, but also out of self-interest to maintain the stability of the European market and the euro". - 23 April 2020
  • Professor of Corporate Governance Mijntje Lückerath-Rovers:
    Long-term value creation in times of corona, at Me Judice (April 22, in Dutch).
    The current Corona crisis will be a litmus test. Has long-term value creation actually made its way into the boardroom of companies, or have the fine words actually turned out to be a meaningless promise? – 22 April 2020
  • Labor Market professor Ton Wilthagen:
    How the corona crisis affects people over the age of sixty, in: Met het Oog op Morgen (podcast NPO Radio1, in Dutch). What are the consequences of the coronacrisis for a certain age group, in this case people in their sixties and older. Ton Wilthagen (just turned 60 himself) and Ben van de Berg (retired but decided to go back to work) share their views with Rob Trip. – 22 April 2020
  • Professor of Financial Economics Sylvester Eijffinger:
    'Opinie: corona leid tot proces van creatieve destructie' (Opinion: corona leads to process of creative destruction). The corona crisis affects all aspects of our society very deeply. If Europe succeeds in making positive use of the disruptive power of the coronacrisis, this crisis can be a 'blessing in disguise', according to Sylvester Eijffinger and Mary Pieterse Bloem (in: Fondsnieuws, April 21). Read also Brabants Dagblad online, April 23rd 2020
  • Labor Market Professor  Ton Wilthagen:
    'Think now what the economy of the future could look like', according tot labor economists at EenVandaag (NPO1 TV, April 21, in Dutch). It is now high time that attention is paid to the economic consequences of the corona crisis. Ton Wilthagen and Anne Gielen : "The economy has to reinvent itself. We are not gonna make it with a meter and a half alone." – 21 April 2020
  • Econometrist Dr. Bettina Siflinger:
    Low incomes suffer most from the corona crisis (Tilburg University, April 21). Bettina Siflinger plus economists from the University of Bonn and IZA analyzed data, collected between March 20-31 among 5,500 employees as part of a study of changes in work patterns during the pandemic.  The results show that high-skilled workers spend more time in the home office, while less-skilled workers are more likely to work reduced hours or lose their jobs. – 21 April 2020
  • Dr. Charissa Freese and Dr. Irmgard Borghouts:

    The position of vulnerable workers has become even more fragile since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, say Charissa Freese and Irmgard Borhouts in an opinion article (in Dutch) in Brabants Dagblad. They suggest that this crisis should be used to strengthen the foundation of the Dutch labor market. The social safety net that has been created to protect employers, freelancers and vulnerable employees will disappear when the pandemic has come to an end.  The authors propose the development of structural measures in order to make the labor market and the system of social security more solid, secure and fair in the long run.

  • Assistant professor Accountancy Lucas Mahieux:
    What will help the banks to weather the storm caused by the corona crisis is improved coordination between the regulatory authorities and the agencies that set the accounting standards, and this in turn will benefit the global economy. So Mahieux observes in his blog 'Bank loss provisioning rules: a convenient scapegoat in the Covid-19 crisis? See also the article in Bloomberg Tax. – 16 April 2020

  • Labor market professor Ton Wilthagen:
    "Stel de Tweede Kamerverkiezingen uit in verband met coronacrisis", De Nieuws BV (NPO Radio 1) (Postpone the elections to the Lower House of Parliament in connection with the corona crisis). – 7 April 2020

  • Professor of Work, Health & Wellbeing Marc van Veldhoven:
    Work-related tips for corona times by Marc van Veldhoven (Tilburg University Magazine)
    Where tips for working from home are concerned, Van Veldhoven does not believe in ‘one size fits all’: in this crisis, people work in complete different situations. Nevertheless, he can instantly name five sound pieces of advice. – 7 April 2020
  • Professor banking and finance Harald Benink:
    Italië: wél, hand ophouden, geen belasting betalen (NPO Radio 1)
    (Italy: yes, hold hands, don't pay taxes).
    Professor Harald Benink explains in NPO Radio 1 Dr. Kelder & Co. why we have to help Italy. "If we don't do it and a crisis of confidence develops over the Italian national debt, which also includes the Italian banks, we'll have a major political and financial crisis in Europe. At a later stage, Europe will have to convince the governments of the support countries to implement reforms". – 4 April 2020
  • Professor of Financial Economics Sylvester Eijffinger:
    No Eurobonds, because we don't have a European minister of finance and a European budget with joint responsibility. (Nieuwsuur fragment) – 2 April 2020
  • Professor labor market Ton Wilthagen:
    Welke positieve bijwerkingen houden we over aan coronacrisis? (Metro nieuws)
    (What positive side effects do we have from the coronacrisis?)
    The current boost of digitization and attention to the local can be beneficial for society and the climate. – 25 March 2020
  • Professor of Language, Culture and Globlization Jan Blommaert: 
    The Coronavirus and online culture: Lessons we're learning. On Diggit Magazine online (March 20). For scholars in online-offline culture and society, the Corona crisis that has been shocking the world will later be seen as a turning point. We are rapidly learning a magnificently detailed set of features of the new online-offline nexus in which we live, now highlighted by the Corona crisis. One major lesson is (a) how deeply integrated our online social resources are in the totality of our social conduct, but (b) how poorly integrated this fact remains in our common vocabulary and worldview. – 14 March 2020

Role of governance, law and privacy

  • Organization Studies PhD candidate Marino van Zelst:
    A sort of weather app for corona would be the ideal corona dashboard, says Marino van Zelst in the Volkskrant (in Dutch). But that is not what the Dutch government's website looks like at the moment. The system that Van Zelst envisages shows the risks you run when you go somewhere and what measures have been taken locally on top of the national measures. - 13 August 2020
  • Governance experts Philip Eijlander and Rosanne Franken:
    It is hard to see why some sectors are temporarily completely out of business and people have to adjust their behavior to a large degree in the public interest, while at the same time there are companies that losely interpret the rules. This changes the importance of supervision, argue professor of  governance Philip Eijlander and PhD candidate Rosanne Franken in Brabants Dagblad (in Dutch). This calls for powerful measures from a united government. - 23 juli 2020.
  • Professor of Regional Law and Governance:
    Martijn Groenleer argues at Platform O that the COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the process of localization.  - 17 July 2020
  • Professor IT Auditing  Rob Fijneman:
    The use of algorithms during the corona crisis has increased the confidence of the Dutch in this kind of automated systems. This was reflected in the annual barometer 'Confidence in algorithms' of accountants and consultancy firm KPMG.  According to Rob Fijneman, the Dutch see the benefits of algorithms mainly in the public domain. They think it's a good thing that the government has chosen to use data and computer systems to predict the course of COVID-19.   - Customer Talk, 3 July 2020
  • Professor of Public Governance  Frank Hendriks:
    The differences in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis in Western European countries can be explained by a combination of national culture, state tradition and style of public leadership, Frank Hendriks explains in a video lecture (in Dutch).  In countries which have a stronger culture of accepting uncertainty and hedonism, such as the Netherlands and Sweden, governments tend to take less strict measures. In the Netherlands, which combines a Rhinelandic state tradition with some Napoleontic elements, cooperation and searching for public support is key. See also the paper (in Dutch) De coronacrisis en het institutionele filter - 30 June 2020
  • Jörg Raab, Department of Organization studies:
    Together with the Tilburg professor Patrick Kenis, Jörg Raab (dept. Organization Studies) has conducted research into (inter)organizational networks responding to contagious diseases. In this video he explains that many actors come into play, which creates the need for powerful ‘network responses’. The national coordination authority, or the RIVM in the corona crisis in the Netherlands, has to have the authority and a mandate, but also needs time and resources in order to recognize, monitor and evaluate networks. A focus on the virus in question is too narrow. - 4 June 2020
  • Sonja Bekker, Department of Labour Law and Social Policy:

    Public authorities are increasingly using new technologies to perform public services. The latest ideas concern healthcare apps to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. What are the options, and what rights should they respect? Universal guidelines are needed to underpin the development and functioning of any new technology used in digital welfare states, says Sonja Bekker. The recent judgment by the district court of the Hague shows that international human rights form a proper basis to create such guidelines. Read Sonja Bekker's contribution at www.socialeurope.eu: Digital welfare states: boundaries and opportunities. - 21 May 2020

  • Professor of Public Law and Governance Anne Meuwese:
    The Dutch mitigation strategy to handle the corona crisis crucially hinges on the government being able to convince the majority of Dutch people to take both hard and soft rules and recommendations seriously. This is where the approach encounters its fatal flaw, says Prof. Anne Meuwese in The Regulatory Review. “Hopefully Dutch authorities will take the time to integrate behavioral insights into their regulatory approach to address the pandemic.” 18 May 2020 

  • Researcher in crisis and disaster information management Kenny Meesters:
    From lecture hall to crisis team: corona turns Kenny Meesters' life upside down, on Omroep Brabant (May 9, in Dutch). Kenny has been involved in combating the corona crisis for the past few weeks. He specialises in providing information during disasters and conducts research into this. Because of the virus outbreak, he was asked to join the rapidly rigged Corona National Operational Team (LOT-C). "If you can help with a real crisis, you should just do it." – 9 May 2020
  • Professor of Innovation of Judiciary Maurits Barendrecht:
    Distribute the damage better, do not let the corona crisis create a forgotten generation, in de Volkskrant (8 May). Why is there no RIVM for redistribution? After years of austerity, the Dutch are astonished to hear that a budget deficit of EUR 90 billion is emerging and that EUR 300 billion is available to extinguish the economic fire. Where Covid-19 is meticulously managed by RIVM, there is no comparable concept for the fair sharing of suffered  damage that keeps society together and strengthens it. – 8 May 2020
  • Joan Baaijens, senior research fellow Dept. of Organization Studies:
    Only with people-friendliness and high standards will the corona app succeed, says Joan Baaijens with fellow directors of the Royal Dutch Association of Information Professionals in Trouw (May 6). A corona app must meet high ethical and technical standards. Privacy is of paramount importance. – 6 May 2020
  • Professor of Public Administration Wim van de Donk:
    As the political character of the corona crisis increases, we will also see that the crisis will lead many parties to bring existing preferences or objectives into play, f.e.  were market forces in healthcare such a good idea? "A crisis offers opportunities, also for issues that have little to do with the crisis", he says in a mini-lecture at the Vereniging voor Bestuurskunde  - 7 May 2020
  • Government be transparent in the fight against Corona:
    For public health and the economy it is necessary that policy is based on reliable insights. Make codes and data public, argue Dutch scientists, including Tilburg methodologists Marcel van Assen, Michèle Nuijten, Jelte Wicherts and cultural theologian Frank Bosman, in NRC on April 27 (in Dutch). There have been clear signals that our government and its research institutes lack the capacity to make the research and calculation models, on which policy is based transparent. This is a missed opportunity. – 27 April 2020
  • Professor of Economics Harry van Dalen:
    The Covid-19 crisis: "This time is really different" or not? On Me Judice online (25 April, in Dutch). Economists and journalists tumble over each other with claims that the current crisis is the heaviest ever. Van Dalen anayses the data or the U.S. How Trump and policymakers deal with the fundamental uncertainty will be of great importance for the outcome of the Corona crisis. – 25 April 2020
  • Associate professor Data Ethics Linnet Taylor: 
    Online proctoring: how the corona crisis makes some students more equal than others, op Diggit Magazine (April 23rd).
    Universities are supposed to be the place where doubt can be weighed and knowledge learned, but they are suffering just as much uncertainty as the rest of us. Tilburg University has been under fire for adopting online proctoring software, though it is not the only university to do so (f.e. TU Eindhoven also).  Students must be able to progress and graduate; they cannot be asked to come to campus ; teaching staff are also stuck at home. The solution: existing exams can be provided online, with online proctoring as a check on behaviour. Many students, however, are unhappy. If we wish to be fair, we must accept that this situation is full of doubt. – 23 April 2020
  • Guest researcher at Tilburg Law School Oswald Jansen:
    In the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, the WHO needs to bolster its legitimacy by refining its own internal “administrative law” to promote transparency, accountability, participation, respect for human rights, and principles of global justice, proportionality, and subsidiarity, argues Oswald Jansen in The Regulatory Review.  In important respects, the WHO has taken on an active role in decision-making, a role that would otherwise be filled by leaders of individual nations. In doing so, the WHO relied mainly on experts rather than state leaders—drawing into question the legitimacy of the WHO’s decisions. - 22 April 2020
  • Professor of Public Administration Paul Frissen:
    In the article 'Wetenschap, politiek en de rol van de staat' ('Science, politics and the role of the state'), Paul Frissen reflects on the corona crisis and writes about the delicate balance between science and politics. Published in Platform O on 20 April 2020  
  • Professor of Global ICT Law Lokke Moerel:
    The tech professor - self recovering from the virus - is very critical of corona apps in De Volkskrant on April 17 (in Dutch), and not so much for privacy. "What I am very concerned about is that such an app will give a lot of false alarms, or not an alarm when it should. And how such an app will control the behavior of people, companies and institutions. If you unlock a lockdown with the idea that an app can control the infections, you create false security." – 17 April 2020
  • Professor of European Studies Paul Scheffer:
    Why do we beg for mouth masks? The situation in Europe is too different to align. Less interference within the borders, more protection outside the borders is the motto, according to Paul Scheffer in the NRC of April 18 2020 (in Dutch).
  • Associate professor Data Ethics Linnet Taylor:
    A coronavirus tracking app sounds creepy – and it is, Linnet Taylor tells in an interview with Univers. But the creepy thing isn’t what it will do to our privacy. Privacy concerns can be overcome with technical skill. What’s really scary about coronavirus apps is that they may create a sense of safety, when in reality they could very easily make us less safe.  – 16 April 2020
  • Researcher in crisis and disaster information management Kenny Meesters:
    Het nieuwe normaal: "De vanzelfsprekendheid van onze omgangsvormen verdwijnt" (NH Nieuws)
    (The new normal: "The naturalness of our manners disappears".)
    Kenny Meesters is concerned with the question of how the new 'one and a half meter society' should be maintained in the long term. – 16 April 2020
  • Professor of Law and Information Technology Corien Prins:
    Voorbereiden op digitale ontwrichting vraagt om coördinatie overheid (Security Management)
    (Preparing for digital disruption requires coordination of government) 
    Now that the digital world is becoming increasingly intertwined with physical infrastructures and the social fabric of our society is no longer sufficient on its own, says Tilburg professor Corien Prins, who is also chairman of the WRR. – 15 April 2020
  • Tilburg scientists warn Dutch government against privacy threats of corona apps
    In a letter addressed to the Dutch government, 60 scientists, including the researchers from the Tilburg Law School Ronald Leenes, Merel Noorman, Aviva de Groot and Linnet Taylor, warn about the dangers of corona apps. "The use of tracking and tracing apps and health apps is very far-reaching. It is therefore important that a critical look is taken at usefulness, necessity and effectiveness." Precisely in times of crisis, very careful social and legal considerations must be made to determine whether one wants to take such a very invasive measure." The letter is also linked in this article on Omroep Brabant website (letter and article in Dutch). – 13 April 2020
  • Professor of Financial Economics Sylvester Eijffinger:
    What are the consequences of the crisis for the economy? Eijffinger sees it less black and sees opportunities for the economy. At the talk show Kraak of Omroep Brabant – 13 April 2020
  • Professor of International and European Environmental Law Jonathan Verschuuren:
    Corona and environmental law (Vereniging voor milieurecht)
    The rapid global spread of the infectious disease Covid-19 by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is shaking the world to its foundations. Many call it the greatest health crisis since the Spanish flu of 1918. Besides a health crisis, this is also an environmental crisis. After all, environmental problems underlie the rapid rise of infectious diseases in recent decades. – 9 April 2020
  • EU lawyer and legal philosopher Chiara Raucea:
    Waarom is de EU zo stil tijdens de coronacrisis? (Univers)
    (Why is the EU so quiet during the corona crisis?) 
    "When difficult times come, Member States give national interests priority over European cooperation." – 8 April 2020
  • Professor of Public Administration Paul Frissen:
    "De staat is terug door coronacrisis" (mini lecture Binnenlandsbestuur)
    (The state is back because of the coronacrisis)
    The corona crisis, in all its uniqueness, is commonplace. It is part of the tragedy of existence with which we have to reconcile ourselves, while at the same time having to act, according to Frissen. Nevertheless, we can reflect on the political and administrative repercussions. See also Sociale Vraagstukken. – 7 April 2020