Paul van Dijk has studied History (BA) and Modern History (RMA) at Utrecht University and has published about Russian and Soviet history, Central Asia and Amsterdam urban history.
His current project concerns the relationship between citizenship and empire. The research historicizes common notions of citizenship which are based on the historical experience of Western Europe by studying two experimental borderlands of imperial Russia, namely the Baltic provinces in the west and Bashkiria in the east. In these two regions, we encounter groups that were unhappy with their specific rights regime conferred on them by the Russian empire between 1861-1917, whether it be universal citizenship based on egalitarian notions or older forms based on the notion of difference. Van Dijk studies how various actors from different religious-ethnic backgrounds in the Baltics and Bashkiria, such as landowners, peasants and intellectuals, negotiated their position between the two rights regimes in order to reflect on our current conception of citizenship as well as our common view of empires.