Academic Profile

People Feature

Nan Dirk de Graaf

Official Fellow in Sociology
Professor of Sociology

Research Interests: Social stratification, especially educational attainment and consequences of social mobility, cultural sociology, sociology of religion, pro-social behaviour, and political sociology.

Nan Dirk de Graaf is an Official Fellow at Nuffield College and a Professor in Sociology. He joined Nuffield College in 2007. He obtained his PhD at Utrecht University (1988) and was a post-doc researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Education and Human Development in Berlin (1988-1989). He was a research fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy (1990-1995) and a full Professor in Sociology (also the chair of the Department) at Nijmegen University (2001-2007) and the chair of the Inter-university Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS: 2003-2007).

 Together with Dingeman Wiertz (UCL) he published a book ( Routledge, 2019) that addresses a number of the most pressing problems facing contemporary societies, including corruption, economic inequality, crime, religious extremism, financial crises, global warming, population ageing, gender inequalities, and large-scale migration. By adducing many recent and historical examples, they  show that similar kinds of social processes can be found behind seemingly disparate societal problems, and therefore that similar kinds of explanations can be posited for these problems (see research pages).

He published in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Annual Review of Sociology, European Sociological Review, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Science and West European Politics.

Nan Dirk de Graaf



(with Dingeman Wiertz), Societal Problems as Public Bads, London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

(with Anthony Heath and Lindsay Richards), 'Explaining Corruption in the Developed World: The Potential of Sociological Approaches', Annual Review of Sociology, 42: 51-79, 2016.

(with Geoffrey Evans), Political Choice Matters: Explaining the strength of class and religious cleavages in cross-national perspective, Oxford University Press, 2013.

(with Stijn Ruiter), 'National Context, Religiosity and Volunteering: Results From 53 Countries', American Sociological Review, 71: 191-210, 2006.

(with Jonathan Kelley), 'National Context, Parental Socialization, and Religious Belief: Results from 15 Countries', American Sociological Review, 62: 639-659, 1997.

(with Paul Nieuwbeerta and Anthony Heath), 'Class Mobility and Political Preferences: Individual and Contextual Effects', American Journal of Sociology, 100: 997-1027, 1995.