Identities, Diversity, and Inclusion (IDI)

The major interest of the members of the IDI (Identities, Diversity, and Inclusion) group is to understand the structurally embedded struggles for participation and inclusion of individuals and groups in different social contexts. We understand identities as constructed and contested and investigate in our research how identities become (re)constructed under different constellations of power. We furthermore understand diversity and identity from an intersectional take, assuming that individuals are always multiply positioned through structural differences in gender, religion, class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and so on and that these different ways in which one is positioned interact. Given that many of the members of IDI are concerned with individuals and groups with a background of migration, displacement, or mobility, we approach identity from a transnational perspective, whereby we make an effect to avoid methodological nationalism in our research. Following the lines of critical theories, power and agency are the key notions bringing this group together. In addition to the visible and solid forms of domination or suppression that are at play in this era, we also focus on the normalized structures and discourses of exclusion. These are often taken for granted and therefore difficult to identify, let alone subvert. For example, various participation policies related to emancipation, integration, or belonging, which are assumed to be inclusive, can become sources of exclusion to the very people they profess to include.

The members of the IDI group research these processes and contradictions by considering the levels of policy, interaction, and experiences within the historically informed (discursive) structures in societies. They question the basic assumptions of these (discursive) structures and investigate the interaction between normalized structures and the positions and actions of individuals and groups. They try to discover how individuals participate in various societal fields and negotiate their positions within local, national, and global contexts. Within the IDI group, there are three more specific topics of interest: norms of inclusion, heteronormality, and norms of belonging. Most of IDI members are qualitative researchers (narrative approach and ethnography), some combine this with quantitative methodology. From 2013, dr. Kathy Davis has joined the group as a research fellow.


IDI is coordinated by Sawitri Saharso (

Group members

Crul, prof.dr. Maurice
Davis, prof.dr. Kathy    
El Hadiou, Iliass, Msc
Ghorashi, prof.dr. Halleh
Halaceli, drs. Meltem  
Keuzenkamp, prof.dr. Saskia  bijzonder hoogleraar
Nencel, dr. Lorraine
Ponzoni, dr. Elena
Rast, Maria
Saharso, prof.dr. Sawitri   Programme leader IDI
Slootman, Marieke
Schuster, dr. John
Smets, dr. Peer
Waldring, drs. Ismintha
Younes, Younes, Msc

PhD Students
Alphen, Carlijn van
Bakboord, Carla
Boersma, Henriette
Ghaeminia, Safoura
Hendriks, Sally
Kim, Kyohee
Kovács, Zsuzsa
Lee, Haebin
Lehman, Julie Marthe
Mohammedhoesein, Nasser
Lisdonk, Jantine van
Omarjee, Nadira
Pozzo, Moos
Smuts, Letitia
Uslu, Gungor