Theme: The Parliamentary Arena
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.
Please note that for some seminars there will be no additional substantive readings than the ones discussed in the courses they build on.
Registration will be taken care of by the OSC/SSC in the last week of August.
Registration is open for students that started their Master in one of the Political Science specialisations, in February 2019. 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.
The thesis seminar is composed of a research proposal (first 8 weeks) and a thesis (remaining of the course). The research proposal ensures that the student is on the right track to carry out the research and write the thesis. It must be approved by both readers (see below), but is not awarded a grade. The grade of the thesis corresponds to 100% of the grade of the thesis seminar.
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. The research proposal is not graded, it receives only a pass/revise/fail evaluation.
The MSc thesis needs to comply with high standards of academic research. The formal requirements of the Master thesis are stated on the page ‘Thesis seminar information and deadlines’. The thesis evaluation form with the evaluation criteria will be published on Blackboard.
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.