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Human Security: Poverty




Admissions 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, do primary data collection in The Hague, 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 simulation exercises and detailed case studies of different “poor” groups in The Hague, students will be challenged to critically reflect on: 1) the meanings and experiences of poverty and vulnerability, 2) its impacts on various facets of life, 3) debates around the root causes of poverty, and 4) 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, experiential and practical peer-learning, and fieldwork, 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 a “poor” group in The Hague;

  • Conduct interviews with social protection providers

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

  • Use findings to design and implement a simulation exercise

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


Once available, timetables will be published in 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.


Participation: 15%
Academic Essays: 40% (2x20%)
Group Presentations: 15%
Website Postings: 15%
Simulation: 15%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Caroline Archambault,