University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Wouter van Erve

Professional Title: 

Ph.D. Candidate
Teaching Associate


Thompson 626


Office Hours: 

Thursday 12-2pm


• LL.M., 2010, University of Minnesota Law School; • LL.M., 2009, Tilburg University, The Netherlands; • LL.B., 2008, Tilburg University, The Netherlands


I am currently in my final year as a Ph.D. student at UMass Amherst (expecting to finish in March of 2018), with my major subfields being American Politics and Public Law. Before enrolling in graduate school, I earned law degrees in both The Netherlands and the United States and worked for the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (District Attorney's Office). 

My main research interests are located on the intersection of law and politics: how do laws and other institutions affect how citizens are able to participate in political life? How can political participation—specifically, on a local level—be encouraged? These are questions that I address in my research, and try to get my students to think about as well.

I very much enjoy working with students in the classes for which I am a Teaching Assistant. Students who are considering applying to law school or graduate school are more than welcome to reach out to me, and I will be more than happy to advise when and where I can and make sure they are well-prepared for the next stage in their professional or academic careers.



My research interests are located in the fields of American politics and Public Law. I am particularly interested in representation and the role of governing institutions in the realm of local politics, and in the influence of legislative changes on representation and voter disenfranchisement on the national stage. Topics I enjoy teaching include, but are not limited to American politics, public law and constitutional law, and legal studies.

• LL.M., 2010, University of Minnesota Law School;
• LL.M., 2009, Tilburg University, The Netherlands; 
• LL.B., 2008, Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

Courses Taught: 
• Law in Film and TV (TO) (Spring 2016)
• Introduction to Constitutional Law (TO) (Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Fall 2017)
• Introduction to Legal Studies (TA)
• Introduction to American Politics (TA)
• American Politics Through Film (TA)


  • Political Science