Wiardi Beckman Stichting

The Wiardi Beckman Stichting (WBS), the research agency of the Dutch social democratic party Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA), functions as the linking pin between the scientific community and the Dutch social democracy. Through research and analyses WBS contributes to the renewal of the programmes and the policies of the PvdA, as well as serving as a platform for debates on the course of social democracy. Calling attention to social questions, analysing those from a long-term, social democratic perspective and providing advice – that, in short, is the mission of the Wiardi Beckman Stichting. In this way the WBS contributes to the programmes and policies of the PvdA.

Organisation and activities

The WBS consists of a small staff of salaried employees: researchers, editors and secretarial staff. In addititon the agency largely relies on a broad network of academics, politicians etc. There is ample cooperation with academic organisations and persons, social organisations and the world of public administration. The WBS carries out its mission in various ways. By organising seminars and conferences; supporting a number of  regular working groups and discussion groups and publishing books, reports etc. Two regular in-house publications are the monthly magazine Socialisme & Democratie (Socialism & Democracy) and the WBS Jaarboek (WBS Yearbook). The WBS has also established a chair at the University of Amsterdam (the Dr J.M. den Uyl chair).


Independent position

The Wiardi Beckman Stichting is an independent agency, and as such does not rely on existing (party) policies and policymakers. At the same time, this does not prevent us from supporting work for the PvdA – such as writing discussion memorandums and advising the members of the parliamentary faction and the party board. The WBS receives government subsidies, which are linked to the number of seats the PvdA holds in parliament, plus financial support from the PvdA itself. Besides that, a fair proportion of income comes from private donations from PvdA members who wish to support the WBS.

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