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Human Security: Poverty


Admission requirements

This is an intensive course in which LUC students engage in a larger teaching/research project on poverty and vulnerability in The Hague. Students should be motivated to work in groups and engage with potential project partners. The course will try to foster creativity and initiative.


In Human Security: Poverty: Strengthening Citizenship in our Own Backyard students explore the multi-dimensional nature and experience of poverty and vulnerability and the complex ways the poor try to navigate various socio-cultural, political, and economic landscapes in search of social protection, poverty alleviation, and upward mobility. Through group research of different struggles in the city of The Hague and through the design and development of an educational game promoting recognition, empathy, and out-reach for this struggle, students will be challenged to critically reflect on:

  • the meanings and experiences of poverty and vulnerability,

  • its impacts on various facets of life,

  • debates around the root causes of poverty, and

  • the various formal and informal systems of multi-sectoral social protection offered through state welfare systems, non-profit organizations, the private sector, and community and family arrangements.

Combining theory and experiential and practical peer-learning students will be given the tools to contemplate the contours for promising approaches toward alleviating global poverty.

Course Objectives


  • Identify, compare, and reflect on various dimensions of poverty and social protection;

  • Describe and critically evaluate predominant theories explaining poverty and inequality;

  • Describe, discuss and assess different methods used to understand and explore poverty and social protection, including simulations;


  • Work effectively in teams on case studies of struggles in the city of The Hague;

  • Conduct interviews with social protection providers

  • Compile research to enhance understanding of poverty and social protection;

  • Use findings to design an educational game

  • Reflect, analyze and present case study findings in the form of class discussions, class presentations, game development, website postings, and academic essay writing.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course requires students to work intensively in groups for several weeks. Moreover, students will be expected to find and interview social protection providers in The Hague.

Assessment Method

Participation: 15%
Academic essay (1): 15%
Group presentation: 10%
Webposts (3): 30% (3X10%)
Simulation/Game: 30%

Reading list



Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Caroline Archambault,