Hey everyone, I’m Tammo Bakker, currently enrolled in the Sustainable Development Diplomacy track (2016-2018) within the masters International Development Studies. I did my bachelors in Liberal Arts and Sciences in Utrecht, majoring in ‘Sustainable Development’. From a young age I have been interested in Africa, and in recent years that has expanded to the Middle East. During my bachelors I followed courses in psychology, philosophy, economics and environmental science, and when approaching a problem I’m trying to integrate knowledge from all of these fields. After my bachelors I did my pre-masters in Middle Eastern Studies at Leiden University, but decided to opt for a masters with a more broad focus in the end.
Over the past few years I spent some months in Egypt, Morocco, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Tanzania, where I visited and reviewed volunteering spots for students. These trips have taught me a lot about development considerations in the field, and gave me some insights into the way different cultures approach life and development. I think when looking at development and interventions one should not lose track of the different views, and not trying to impose a specific worldview on other people, while at the same time trying to come to practical solutions together.
From a scholarly perspective I am mainly interested in international politics, and in the ways in which political considerations and power relations shape development. Through this program I’m hoping to contribute to the understanding of the politics of development, and if possible to become engaged in the international arena. I am very excited to be able to work with a group of talented students in an interdisciplinary environment, and hope we can make good progress in the field of Sustainable Development Diplomacy the coming years.