European Academy of Sociology - Fellows

Prof. Dr. Arnout van de Rijt

Department of Sociology/ICS
Utrecht University
The Netherlands


Prof. Dr. Arnout van de Rijt

Fellow of the European Academy of Sociology

2017 Raymond Boudon Award winner of the EAS and 2009 Distinguished Publication Prize winner of the EAS.

Arnout van de Rijt is Professor of Sociology and Designated Chair for the UU strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies. He leads the research line Computational Sociology at the Department of Sociology. Van de Rijt received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University in 2007 and worked until 2016 as Assistant and Associate Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University in the USA, where he co-founded and -led the Center for Computational Social Science. Van de Rijt serves on the editorial boards of Social Networks and Journal of Mathematical Sociology, and is consulting editor for American Journal of Sociology and Sociological Science.

Van de Rijt's research interests are in the fields of social networks, social stratification, collective action, computational social science and analytical sociology. His research focuses on the emergence of social structure. His work on cumulative advantage investigates how small, random differences in early success between entities can with time, through positive feedback, grow into large status gaps between the successful and unsuccessful; and how a person or thing can remain highly popular when a less popular alternative is of higher quality. Van de Rijt’s work on social networks shows how large, complex network structures emerge as the by-product of many individuals’ decisions on whom to interact with and whom to avoid.

In addition to the 2017 Raymond Boudon Award for early career achievement from the EAS, Van de Rijt received the 2010 Freeman Award from the International Network of Social Network Analysis for distinguished scholarship in the field of social networks. He has received awards from the American Sociological Association for contributions to Mathematical Sociology, Cultural Sociology, and Communication, Information Technology and Media Sociology. His papers have been published in such journals as PNAS, American Sociological Review, and American Journal of Sociology. Popular accounts of his work have appeared in various media, among which the Economist and Nature News.