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Politics and the People. Parties, public space and parliamentary democracy, 1848-1918


NB. This is not a weekly recurring course. The sessions on 7/2, 28/2, 6/3 and 13/3 will be held in Lipsius/001. On 17/4, 24/4 and 12/6 you will convene in Lipsius/203.

Admission requirements

Ability to read and study texts in Dutch.


What should politics be about? Who should take part in it? And where should it take place? During the second half of the nineteenth century the answers to these questions changed considerably. In this seminar students are supervised by PhD students at the Institute for History and get the opportunity to join them in their current research. The student can choose from several supervisors, each exploring a different aspect of late nineteenth century political culture in the Netherlands. The main theme of these projects is the shifting relation between citizens and politics. Related subjects such as democratization, community building, the rise of party politics and the political use of public space will be discussed. The students will work on a subject within the limits of one of the following research projects:

1) Political Legitimacy under Debate: Democracy and Authority in the Netherlands in the 1880s
2) The nation in the city: Urban experience and the rise of national consciousness, Amsterdam 1850-1900
3) ‘The Binnenhof’: A Contested Court. History, Housing and Politics in The Hague, 1848-1918
4) Towards a cultural history of the SDAP

Course objectives

The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students to the practice of academic research and the involvement in a larger project. Students acquire insights into historiographical controversies in this field, gain research practice in analysing primary sources and develop the skills required to present the results of their research.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar/individual coaching


Via uSis. Due to the set-up of this seminar, the number of participants is limited to a maximum of 10.

Assessment method

Essay, oral presentation.



Reading list


Contact information

E-mail: Dr. D. Bos