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Thesis Seminar MSc Political Science


Under construction


Purpose: 1. The objective of this master Thesis Seminar is to deepen the understanding of theories and methods related to research on the specific subfield. 2. Applying them to a specific topic as part of the student’s master thesis project.

Content: The Department of Political Science offers a subject of conflict and cooperation on each of four specific subfields of Political Science for writing your Master Thesis. Choose one of the subjects that are described hereafter. Detailed formal requirements, such as deadlines and examination procedures are equal for all Theses Seminars and can be found in the e-Guide page Thesis Info.

Inequality: its nature, measurement, and social significance

The seminar of Nicholas Vrousalis focuses on the nature, measurement, and social significance of inequality. We live in a world of extreme opulence and abject poverty. How is the coexistence of these extremes possible? How can such inequality be measured? Should we try to counteract it? If so, what sorts of institutions do we need? Essays may take a purely theoretical angle (e.g. negotiate the nature of inequality in connection with some theory of (global) justice, or with recent debates on the quantification and measurement of disadvantage), or bring the discussion in political philosophy to bear on relevant debates in social theory (e.g. the burgeoning literature on exploitation, imperialism and neocolonialism).

Ethnicity and Conflict

The seminar of Maria Spirova focuses on issues related to ethnic divisions, ethnic politics, and ethnic conflict from a domestic and international perspective. Issues might include: the impact of ethnic diversity on democracy and democratization, the relationship between various institutions and ethnic conflict; and the role of international actors in resolving conflicts, nation-building, or instituting power-sharing arrangements. The focus of the seminar is broadly defined to allow students who are interested in issues of diversity and political conflict to benefit from working together on their projects.

Actors and Institutions acting at the inter- and transnational level

The seminar of Adam Chalmers focuses on the multitude of institutions and actors operating at the international or transnational level. This includes but is not limited to international organizations (EU, ASEAN, UN, WTO, etc.), their members (or member states), as well as non-governmental actors (corporations, banks, NGOs, transnational activists and social movements, religious organizations, epistemic communities, lobbyists, etc.).

Public Opinion and Political Behavior

The seminar of Michael Meffert focuses on topics related to public opinion and political behavior. This includes but is not limited to different forms of political participation such as electoral behavior as well as media effects on political attitudes and individual behavior. Students are encouraged to answer their research questions by collecting their own data using surveys, experiments, and/or content analyses but might also conduct secondary analyses using existing data sources.

Dutch Politics: Cooperation and conflict in the Netherlands

The seminar of Hans Vollaard focuses on conflict and cooperation in the Netherlands. The Netherlands used to be a typical instance of consensus politics. Practices of power sharing, cooperation seeking, and compromise featured prominently already in the Dutch Republic and before. However, the Netherlands has recently experienced a decline in consensus politics, moving towards a more polarising, competitive, adversarial, and majoritarian mode of politics. What explains this shift away from consensus politics? Has this shift occurred in the electoral arena or also beyond? And only in national politics or also in local politics? These are the key questions of the thesis seminar Cooperation and Conflict in the Netherlands.

Methods of Instruction

Study Material

Literature for each project will be on Blackboard


See Thesis Info on the e-Guide

You can register for the thesis seminars by filling out your first, second and third preference on a list at the secretariat of Political Science. The list will be there from 10 December 12.00 hrs until 18 December 12.00 hrs. You will receive an email from the secretariat to inform you in which thesis seminar you have been placed before 25 December. This email will also contain a list of articles that you are expected to read in January as preparation for the thesis seminar. Each thesis seminar has a maximum of 15 participants, except the thesis seminar by Dr. Vollaard which has a maximum of 8 participants. If more than the max. number of students prefer to be in a certain thesis seminar students will be randomly assigned to the thesis seminars of their second or possibly third preference.


Seminar 1 (Vroussalis)
Monday 3 February until 19 May, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 2A22 (3 March 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2A22, no class on 21 April and 5 May)
Wednesday 5 February 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A33
Wednesday 12 February 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2B22
Wednesday 19 February & 19 March 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5B16
Wednesday 26 February 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2A36
Wednesday 5 & 12 March 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2B36
Wednesday 26 March & 2 April 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A24
Wednesday 9 &16 April 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A45
Wednesday 23 April 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A15
Wednesday 30 April 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5A23
Wednesday 7 May 13.00-15.00 hrs in SA31
Wednesday 14 May 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5B14
Wednesday 21 May 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A12

Seminar 2 (Spirova)
Monday 3 & 10 February, 11.00-13.00 hrs in SA15
Monday 17 February, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 0A28
Monday 24 February & 10 March, 11.00-13.00 hrs in SA21
Monday 24 March until 7 April, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A33
Monday 14 April, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A03
Monday 28 April until 19 May, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A24 (no class on 5 May)
Wednesday 5 February, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A12
Wednesday 12 February until 26 March, 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1B17 (except 19 February in 1A03, no class on 12 & 19 March)
Wednesday 2 April until 21 May, 11.00-13.00 hrs in SA15

Seminar 3 (Chalmers)
Monday 3 February until 19 May, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2B36 (no class on 21 April and 5 May)
Wednesday 5 February until 21 May, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2A22

Seminar 4 (Meffert)
Monday 3 February until 19 May, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2B22 (no class on 21 April and 5 May)
Wednesday 5 February, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 5B14
Wednesday 12 February, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2B36
Wednesday 19 February until 19 March, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 1A24
Wednesday 26 March until 21 May, 13.00-15.00 hrs in 2B36

Seminar 5 (Vollaard)
Friday 7 February 13.00-17.00 hrs in SA07
Friday 28 February, 13.00-17.00 hrs in 5A19
Friday 21 March until 16 May, 13.00-17.00 hrs in 5A19 (no class on 18 April)