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Thesis Seminar Nederlandse Politiek - Spring 2022



Students choose (one of) the thesis seminar(s) offered within their specialisation. It is strongly recommended that students start thinking about the topic of their thesis before the start of the classes. Attendance is compulsory for all classes. Detailed information about the study material and the writing process can be found on Brightspace.

Course Objectives

Objective 1. To deepen the understanding of theories and methods related to research on the theme of the Master Specialisation.
Objective 2. Applying them to a specific topic as part of the student’s Master thesis project.

General Introduction Meeting

On Wednesday 1 December 2021, 15.15h there will be a general introduction meeting online, in which the instructors will explain and discuss the general thesis seminar procedures and expectations and students can ask questions about the thesis seminars.

Thesis Seminar Themes:

Theme 01: Dutch Political Institutions: Origin, Functioning and Legitimacy (dr. P. Castenmiller) - activity nr 12390
This thesis seminar focusses on various aspects of the Dutch democracy and parliamentary system. The purpose of the thesis seminar is to provide you with support and advice in writing a structured and coherent thesis proposal and master thesis. History has provided the Dutch political system with its own institutions, various political parties and thereby with its own parliamentary system. As is the case in many other countries, nowadays some of these institutions are in transition and their legitimacy is sometimes questioned. The thesis seminar offers students the possibility to explore the various institutions and their changing positions. The students are expected to conduct their own independent research. By writing a thesis on these subjects students will gain a better understanding of the Dutch political system.

Theme 02: The Parliamentary Arena (dr. S. Otjes) - activity nr 20988
Parliament is the primary arena for political conflict and cooperation. Here, every day MPs cooperate on making policy or use the tools available to them to highlight the mistakes of the government. The Dutch parliament is unique in the world in many respects: through its purely proportional electoral system, its consensual political culture and the power it grants opposition parties.

Students are invited to study parliamentary behaviour or the parliamentary culture. The focus will be on the Tweede Kamer and the tools that are available to MPs there such as tabling motions, amendments, private member bills and parliamentary questions and participating in parliamentary debates. Students can also examine the Eerste Kamer or municipal or provincial parliaments. Students are invited to connect the parliamentary arena to other arenas, such as the electoral or governmental arena, or to consider the interplay between MPs, journalists or representatives of interest groups.

Students can use both quantitative or qualitative methods. During the thesis seminar special attention will be spent to the Dutch Parliamentary Behaviour Data Base.
As this is the only thesis seminar for the specialisation Dutch Politics, the seminar is open to all students within the specialisation and students are free to choose a different focus in their thesis, as long as it focuses on empirical question related to Dutch politics.


Registration in uSis for one thesis seminar is possible from Thursday 16 December 2021, 13.00h until Wednesday 22 December 2021, 23.59h. Placement is on a first come first served basis and subject to availability.

Registration is open for students that started their Master in one of the Political Science specialisations, in September 2021. All other students should contact the exam committee to request permission to take this thesis seminar. Students can take the thesis seminar only once in their academic year.


Research Proposal
The research proposal includes a problem statement, theoretical foundation, conceptualization as well as a sound explanation of the methods and techniques for data collection and analysis.The proposal must be approved by the supervisor and a second reader. The second reader will be designated by the Director of Studies. Please note that teachers are not obliged to provide thesis supervision if the proposal is not approved.

Master Thesis

The MSc thesis needs to comply with high standards of academic research. The thesis must be between 8.000 and 10.000 words, including tables, footnotes and bibliography. The thesis evaluation form with the evaluation criteria will be published on Brightspace.
Students that drop or fail the course have to retake the complete thesis seminar (in the 2nd semester of the next academic year). Students should contact the Exam Committee if they are unable to complete the master thesis by the deadline due to circumstances beyond their control.