Abram de Swaan is a Dutch emeritus Professor of Social Science at the University of Amsterdam. He was the dean of the Amsterdam School of Social Science from its foundation in 1987 until 1997 and has been its chairman ever since. De Swaan has contributed a weekly column to the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad for several years and was an editor of the general cultural review De Gids till 1991. He has taught at various universities around the world, among which are Columbia University, the Sorbonne and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2008, De Swaan received the Dutch national award for literature, the P.C. Hooft Prize, for his essays.