Professional activities

In 2002 I had resumed my position at the ISS. The Institute awarded me with an honourable degree on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in that year The laudatio was held by professor Bas de Gaay Fortman. In my address of thanks, I reflected on paradigm changes in development policy making, while in my inaugural address one year later (‘Collateral Damage or Calculated Default’) I highlighted the Millennium Development Goals – halving world poverty in fifteen years – and the politics of globalization. During my term in Sudan, I took leave from the ISS but I returned in 2007. I was granted official retirement in 2012, but continued lecturing for another five years.

Since 2009 I also lectured as visiting professor at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica ( For a couple of years, I also gave courses at Amsterdam University College and Radboud University in Nijmegen and guest lectures at various universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

Jan Pronk at Institute of Social Studies in The Hague

During those years I held a number of positions in national and non-governmental organizations, active in the field of development, peace, human rights and refugee assistance. (See this website: Curriculum Vitae) However, in 2017 I was struck by a severe heart attack. It was a narrow escape. I had to give up lecturing and to restrict other activities. Since then, I focus on writing essays and books. 

Since around 1980 I had written many essays on development and globalization. Selections of these were brought together in four books: De kritische grens (1994), Catalysing Develoment (2004), Willens en wetens (2005) and Het pantser afleggen (2008).  After my return from Sudan, I concentrated writing on conflict and peace, human rights and sustainable development. A number of these texts were collected in two books: Op zoek naar een nieuwe kaart (2015) and The Geography of Human Rights (2017). In other essays I discussed the changing political climate since the turn of the centuries and consequences for social democracy. (see this website:  Books, Essays and Speeches). Thereafter I wrote books on the recent history of some countries and regions. In my book Strijd rond de Grote Meren (2018) I described developments after the genocide in Rwanda. In Suriname. Van wingewest tot natiestaat (2003) I discussed the decolonization of this country and its aftermath. Presently I am writing a book on countries in the Horn of Africa.