Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences

Photographer: Pieter Kers

Mr T.N. (Tom) Kayzel MA

  • Faculty of Humanities
    Capaciteitsgroep Philosophical Tradition in Context
  • Visiting address
    Oude Turfmarkt 141  
  • Postal address:
    Oude Turfmarkt  141
    1012 GC  Amsterdam
  • T.N.Kayzel@uva.nl

I am a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). The research project I am currently working on is called How everything became economics: The rise of the CPB and economic thinking in Dutch political debates and is supervised by Huub Dijstelbloem and Federica Russo (see the tab ‘Research’ for more information). My specialization is philosophy of science, with a focus on the sociological and historical approaches within this branch. Topics that I am especially interested in are the relation between the scientist and practitioner in the social and medical sciences, and issues concerning the role of scientific expertise in public affairs. My philosophical side-interest include: anthropological approaches to ontology, continental metaphysics and the nature of scientific knowledge.

How everything became economics: The rise of the CPB and economic thinking in Dutch political debates  

My PhD research is concerned with the role of economic theories within political debates in the last four decades. Political issues can nowadays hardly been dealt with without scientific expertise; our ever more complex global world is in need of science in order to deal with its problems, or is often presented in that fashion. Economic sciences have in particular been successful in establishing its authority in the political arena. Not only does government call upon many economists for advice on its policies, economic sciences also have found their way into the arsenal of arguments used by politicians and policymakers, where its theories usually function like a general framework, an appeal to authority or a means of quantification. This enthusiasm for economic theory establishes a form of economic thinking that is applicable to a wide-range of topics, of which many were formerly not associated with economics (e.g. Education, Healthcare, environmental issues). The aim of my research project is to understand the dominance of this type of economic thinking by looking at it from a historical angle. I plan to conduct my research by developing one detailed case study of the history and development of the Centraal Planbureau (The Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis) and its influence on Dutch parliamentary debates and governmental policy making. More specific, I want to research what developments in economic science can account for its success, i.e. what specific theory becomes influential in politics and for what reason. The theoretic framework I use for this study is developed from the works of Michel Foucault and Bruno Latour. In particular,  I am interested  in the application and development of Foucault’s notions of apparatus and strategic elaboration, and Latour’s notion of Centres of Calculation.

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