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Dr Chris Nierstrasz

Chris Nierstrasz  
Name: Dr Chris Nierstrasz
Office: H015
Office hours: Wednesday, 14h00-16h00


Working with the Europe's Asian Centuries Project


During my PhD, I have focused on the world of the Dutch and English East India Companies in Asia. I wanted to understand how servants and their private initiatives not only to make their fortunes, but also how their energy made their respective Companies work. How was their energy channeled to help the Companies fight out the competition amongst themselves? Now my attention has shifted towards the trade of the Dutch and English East India Companies to Europe. This fits nicely with the goals of the Europe’s Asian centuries project as the commodities from Asia had a enormous impact on consumption and production in Europe. Personally, I am not only interested in the way Asian commodities were received in Europe, but also how they were produced in Asia. Although my interest spans all the Companies, I have a special interest for the Dutch, English and French Companies


Research Interests


European East India Companies, the Dutch Republic of Seven Provinces, the Atlantic and Asia, private trade in Asia, the Decline of the VOC, trade between Europe and Asia, France in the Eighteenth Century, Companies and Empires. My current research focuses on a comparison between the 18th century trades of the Dutch and English East India Companies from Asia to Europe. I am especially interested in how the Dutch and English East India Companies competed for Asian commodities as competition eroded profitability.


Academic Profile

  • Reseach Fellow, Centre for Global History, History Department, Warwick University (2010-2014)
  • PhD, Dept. of History, University of Leiden (2004-2008)
  • M.A. and B.A., University of Leiden, History of European Expansion (1996-2001)
  • M.A. and B.A., University of Leiden, French language and culture (1999-2003)
  • D.E.A. d’histoire contemporaine et moderne, Université Paris IV (2002-2003)

Selected Publications Shadow


  • In the Shadow of the Company: The Dutch East India Company and its Servants in the Period of its Decline,1740-1796 (Leiden: Brill, 2012)

  • Reguleren of Corrumperen? De VOC en hervormingen in de privé-handel” in Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis 25 (2006), 165-176.“La Conception Française: Philippe

  • Haudrère et les Français aux Indes, an interview with Philippe Haudrère” in Itinerario 2 (2005), 6-12.