Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Gateway to Global Affairs


Admission requirements

This course is designed for the minor Global Affairs. It is not possible to follow single courses of this minor. You need to be enrolled in Usis for the minor to be accepted to this course. There are 180 places open for registration, on a first come first serve basis, where LDE students are given priority.

This course is also open for inbound exchange students if they wish to take the entire minor Global Affairs; it is not possible to take single courses from this minor. Exchange students must be admitted by the FGGA International Office prior to the start of the minor; priority will be given to direct exchange partners of FGGA. For more information about the application procedure for exchange students, please contact the FGGA International Office at international@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.


This course will pay close attention to the shift to a multipolar world and will analyze positions and policies of a number of major states and other entities. Students will learn about the functioning of international organizations and the answers they are attempting to find to the 21st century challenges they are confronted with.

The course will confront modern day threats to stability: from a pandemic to cyber warfare, from climate change and mass migration to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Students will study interstate and intra-state conflicts as well as post-conflict reconstruction and nation-building. The political/military relationship is analyzed using a number of peacekeeping operations both in and outside a United Nations context as cases.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the functioning of the major nations and institutions of the 21st century globalized world;

  • Discuss the nexus between theory and practice in the field of international relations (IR);

  • Discuss the political, legal, and moral questions which decision-makers in multilateral as well as national contexts are presented with every day;

  • Apply the foundational theories and perspectives of IR to the other courses of the minor in Global Affairs;

  • Construct academic research papers in English, utilizing high quality sources, clear structure, and critical argumentation.


The schedule 2019 will be published asap.

The timetable will be displayed with a link on the website, blackboard and on the front page of this minor programma.

Mode of instruction

Gateway to Global Affairs will consist of 7 regular lectures of 3 hours, and of 2 lectures of 2 hours concerning Academic skills required for successfully completing the minor in Global Affairs, including writing, argumentation, and incorporation of relevant theory into academic analysis.

Participation in lectures, discussions and exercises is required in order to obtain a grade. One lecture may be missed. Being absent more than once may likely lead to expulsion from the course.

Course Load

The total study load for this course is 140 hours, consisting of:

  • 30 hours for attending lectures

  • 110 hours studying the compulsory literature and working on assignments

Assessment method

Two Essays

  • Short essay (25%)

  • Long Essay (75%)

Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.

Late hand in penalty: 0,5 minus per day, and after seven days we do not accept papers any longer.

Compensation rule: Only assessments with the weight of 30% and lower are compensable. This means that one does not have to pass an assessment if it weighs 30% or less in order to pass the course, if the average of all assessments combined is at least a 5.5. In addition, assignments weighing up to and including 30% are not re-sitable, meaning that if one failed an assessment of 30% or less one is not allowed to redo it.

Resit of the long essay will take the same form.

The Course and Examination Regulation Security Studies and the Rules and Regulation of the Board of Examiners of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs apply.


Blackboard will be used.

Reading list

TBA on Blackboard


Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.




All sessions will be in English.
Essays need to be written in English.