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Honours College Governance and Global Affairs

What Makes This Programme an Honours Track?

Current challenges require new thinkers and potential leading experts and (public) leaders to solve crises at global and local level. This honours track has the goal of educating students on how current problems play out among government, science and society and give them the skills to tackle some of these issues theoretically, based on academic literature, and practically, at a local level. The learning experience is thereby based on interactive activities, such as visits to the European Parliament, (public) organisations in Brussels and The Hague as well as different simulation games.

Students are asked to go beyond the boundaries of their own field of study, look at themes, issues and trends in society or the world at large that require a combination of scientific disciplines and analytical lenses. The programme links analysis of existing patterns to a future outlook. While using their own ‘home’ discipline to understand old and new issues, students are also expected to understand and integrate the contributions from other disciplines and think trans-disciplinary. Students are further involved in shaping the programme, in suggesting and preparing topics of analysis and discussion.

Learning aims

Students who have successfully completed this programme are able to:

  1. Understand the relationships among government, science and society and how it affects public problem-solving power;

  2. Apply theoretical knowledge to challenges in the real world;

  3. Demonstrate personal leadership capacities based on theoretical and practical insights;

  4. Combine knowledge from their own field of study with theories from the courses;

  5. Reflect on global challenges from various academic perspectives and arrive at possible solutions;

  6. Use bilateral and multilateral negotiation skills;

  7. Understand and use techniques and methods such as visualization, stakeholder analysis, integrative negotiation, framing / reframing and their relation to problems;

  8. Give policy advice to real-world policy makers on some of the problems they struggle with based on research and literature.

Content of Honours College Track

This honours programme offers a three-year 30 EC package for students entering the programme in the first BA year, and a two-year 30 EC package for those entering in the second BA year. A combination of didactic principles is used to reach the aims of the programme: lectures, workshops, case study sessions, simulations, field trips, guest speakers and assignments, personal and leadership development conversations, Honours internships and individual projects. All activities serve to connect theory and practice in order to tackle personal, local and global challenges.

For whom

The Honours Track is open to all students who meet the Honours College requirements. In addition to excellent performance in the BA we expect a strong motivation to deal with personal and global challenges. Moreover, we want you to finish what you start. You must be willing to develop your personality and personal leadership skills, as well as integrate yourself with our international student body. You must also be comfortable completing this track in English.

This track is especially interesting to those students who would like to explore the relationship between theory and practice, to acquire the tools to connect these and who like to work in a innovative and multidisciplinary setting that prides itself on accountability.

Admission

For admission criteria and deadlines see: Application & admission

Contact coordinator

Annette Righolt

honours@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

First year

Year BA1 semester 2: Honours FGGA

In the first semester of Honours FGGA you will have to choose between three courses all designed to improve your personal skills or scientific insights. Negotiations Lab will be repeated in BA2/1. The Honours coordinator will take care of the selection process and of enrollment on Brightspace and in USIS.

BA1/2 Negotiations LAB by dr. Wolf Steinel (30 places)
Changes in society, the global economy, and ways people work have made negotiating skills more important than ever. The challenges are legion: dealing with history’s most diverse work force, doing business with customers who tell you how to run your business, negotiating with foreign counterparts—and more. These are not just issues of corporate concern; they are also of increasing importance to your personal success.

By participating in this course you will come to recognise the pervasiveness and importance of negotiation. You will acquire a new repertoire of negotiating skills in a variety of different conflict settings. You will develop a systematic and positive approach to negotiating with colleagues, bosses, clients, other stakeholders, and external groups of all kinds—in ways that equip you to deal also with all kinds of conditions and circumstances.

This is an interactive course based on the idea that becoming skilled at negotiation is best achieved through practising it. Therefore this course contains simulation games and negotiation exercises where you can practice your negotiation and leadership skills in a safe environment on your fellow students. The exercises will be combined with reflection, discussion, readings, assignments and presentations to connect theory and practice and enhance the overall learning.

Course objectives
This course aims to help you develop the negotiating skills needed to meet the challenges facing today’s world. The course integrates the experiential and intellectual components of negotiation, and will help you

  • develop the sophistication to analyse bargaining and conflict relationships

  • to learn (through class discussion, peer feedback and self-assessment) about your own individual conflict management style;

  • gain advanced knowledge and insights about negotiation and related organisational behaviour and apply this theoretical knowledge to challenges in the real world;

  • prepare effectively for negotiation;

  • understand when to negotiate, and when not to negotiate, when to reach a deal and when to walk away;

  • negotiate effectively in teams or with multiple opponents;

  • apply multiple approaches to resolving unproductive negotiations;

  • understand how to create value and reach mutually beneficial agreements;

  • and to increase your confidence in your negotiation skills

BA1/2 Governing Science, Society and Expertise by professor Hsini Huang (30 places)

This course introduces students to the sometimes tense relationship between politics, society and experts. The class shows the different ways in which problems and issues in society, business and politics are identified, how they can be addressed, and how students may orient themselves on advising on such problems and issues in their future career. Throughout the course students are made aware of scientific ‘lenses’ on reality to get a sharp analytical view on problems and issues, and what it means when we speak about ‘innovation’ in science and research for addressing problems in the real world. The course will further include a simulation game to experience the interplay of government, research, non-governmental stakeholders and society.

Course objectives
The goal of the course is to get a sense of how politics, science and society are connected regarding today’s global challenges and what role expertise, money and power can play in these dynamics. The course introduces students to a variety of lenses and enhances critical and analytical thinking with tools from different disciplines. These skills will be put to use during the simulation game at the end of the course.

BA1/2 Crucial Skills 2 by Jacob Koolstra/School of LIFE (30 places)

“Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.” - Confucius

In this highly interactive course we will study some of the most relevant skills for professionals in the 21st century. This course presumes that professionals with high emotional intelligence and self-awareness are the bound to become leaders of the next decades. Your Consciousness on social, societal, individual and environmental levels will be enlarged through this course.

Some profound differences between university and professional life that we will tap into:

  • You will have to work intensively together with people you don’t know well.

  • You will have to present yourself and your results all the time.

  • You will have to be ready to negotiate for yourself and your organisation.

  • Nobody is responsible for your own development and well-being but you.

  • You will never have a clear idea how to get a good grade, since nobody is grading you and there are no assessment guidelines.

  • You will always be uncertain about the relevance and impact of your projects and task

Learning in this course is done by a combination of practising and reflection called experiental learning.

The course will be taught by Wicher Schols, you and all your fellow students. Each theme will partly be covered by Wicher and partly by teaching groups existing of students that are guided by Wicher.

After the lecture the teaching groups will get adequate and constructive feedback from their audience.

Course objectives

  • Practice a growth mindset by identifying continuous potential for personal development

  • Examine core values and identify a personal mission statement

  • Recognize the way that communication and presentation are mutually inclusive

  • Apply personal and theoretical reflection in writing

  • Practice how to generate new perspectives on conventional wisdom to discover possibilities, creative thinking

  • Connect traditional to new notions of (entrepreneurial) value

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Individual project 5
Governing Science, Society and Expertise 5
Negotiations LAB 5
Crucial Skills 2 5

Second year

Year BA2 semester 1: Honours FGGA

In this second year of TGC you will continue developing your skills and insights. You will have to gain 10 EC by TGC courses and 5 EC by taking a mandatory Honours Class.
In the first semester you can choose between three courses and in the second semester TGC between five TGC courses, two of them also possible as Honours Class (distributed by the Honours Academy). The Honours coordinator will ask you to select one of the courses and takes care of enrollment on BS and in USIS.

The Honours Classes are distributed by the Honours Academy and you will receive an information and application e-mail halfway August for semester 1 and halfway November for semester 2. The HA will take care of enrollment of your Honours Classes in BS and USIS.

BA2/1 Negotiations LAB Dr. Wolf Steinel (see description BA1) (30 places)

See description BA1/2.

BA2/1 Model EU Simulation: Policies, Negotiations and Transatlantic Experiential Learning by Dr. Silviu Piros (20 places)

This unique course offers highly motivated Honours Class student teams the opportunity to be trained for -and participate in- the international EuroSim Model European Union, taking place each year at a European or American partner university. The EuroSim event challenges students to take on the role of key policy-makers and member states in order to negotiate core policy proposals and outcomes during a four-day intensive simulation with over 200 participants from more than 20 universities. Each EuroSim has a specific theme related to the real-world policy agenda of the EU, helping students to deepen their knowledge of the EU and hone their public speaking, negotiating, leadership and diplomatic skills.

This course provides in-depth training for selected students and the exploration of core EU policy challenges and real-life negotiation skills in order to prepare the Honours Class student teams for their successful participation in the EuroSim simulation.

The course seeks to explore negotiation, diplomatic tactics and techniques and in-depth knowledge of EU policy-making in an active and experiential manner, and place students at the centre of the learning process, by continuously engaging them through practitioner sessions, negotiation workshops, and an immersive four-day Model EU simulation on the legislative process. Students will understand the nature and functioning of major EU institutions, their power and role in the policy making process from a historical and theoretical perspective and will have the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice, by taking on the role of a policy maker and negotiating a legislative proposal with 200 peers from the EU and the US. Students will also delve deeply into the policy challenges related to the EU and major European, transatlantic, and global policy challenges. As a result of this practical experience students will become better problem-solvers and will have the chance to hone not only their negotiation skills, but also their inter-personal and inter-cultural skills and establish stimulating networks among an international and transnational cohort of learners.

Course objectives:

  • Understand core historical, theoretical and practical aspects of the European integration process

  • Understand the role of the EU in tackling major policy issues from a European, transatlantic and global perspective

  • Understand the set-up and functioning of the EU’s major institutions and their role in the policy-making process

  • Have a good knowledge of the mechanisms and procedures that guide the legislative process

  • Identify and support the position of a given persona (alter ego) in the legislative process

  • Further transfer academic insights and research on relevant literature into real-life scenario and for real-life problem solving

  • Develop own negotiation strategies, by identifying and engaging with relevant stakeholders under time constrains

  • Develop collaborative, inter-personal and inter-cultural skills by working with large and diverse groups of students towards a common goal

  • Self-evaluate, reflect, and contribute to group debrief sessions after the Model EU simulation

YEAR BA2 semester 2: Honours FGGA

BA2/2 Data Governance and policymaking by Matthew Young (25 places for 2nd and 3rd years)

This course is designed to teach students about the most important and controversial Big Data applications currently being used in the public sector. The course has a practical and utilitarian component, which is to introduce students to what these applications are. It also has an analytical component, which is to learn and apply critical thinking towards such applications using findings from scholarly literature and public discussion about real cases.

On the first component, it will address questions of how the technologies work and why governments use them. For example, students will be introduced to the basic working principles of predictive policing, fraud detection, and smart public installations such as lighting and traffic systems. These are each different in important ways and there are different technical and social consequences. Students will learn about key technology ‘affordances’ and frameworks that can help know what to highlight and be critical of.

A second component will involve learning about real world cases and the arguments and evidence available from academic research. This component will pose questions such as what ethical issues arise from use of the technologies, whether robots will decide all the important matters that affect our lives, and whether there is anything that governments and citizens can do to use technologies to make government better. For example, we may review and discuss cases of Google’s failed smart city project in Toronto, the Dutch fall-out from the ‘Toeslagenaffaire’, or Rio de Janeiro’s policing of favelas. The global spread of big data technologies will be used as an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of countries and cities.

Students will learn to navigate the complex technical and ethical issues and put forward their own arguments through discussion and debate. Together, these skills and knowledge will help students to critically assess these tools and to become more expert both as critical users of technologies and as systems architects.

Course objectives

  • Describe examples of different kinds of Big Data applications in public services

  • Debate the public values pros and cons of artificial intelligence in the public sector using real world examples and academic literature

  • Carry out a research project that critically evaluates an algorithmic decision-making system from the perspective of protecting and improving public values.

BA2/2 International Relations: on diplomacy and negotiations by dr. Paul Meerts (20 students HCGGA and 45 students Honours Class)

The course is extensive, however the rational is simple. Negotiation is a skill which needs to be practiced. Therefore, students will actively engage with the theoretical material in several ways, through exercises, simulations, case studies and video reviews.

During the first weekend students get a thorough introduction to the topic specific to their year. Each year the simulation and subject of the Young Diplomat Conference changes, ensuring that the subjects discussed are socially relevant issues fitting the context of current developments. The opening weekend will welcome experts and practitioners from the field, while at the same time introducing the students to the simulation, their role and any other specific relevant information.

Each seminar will high light certain aspects of international negotiation and as students progress the exercises during the seminars will become more complex and challenging. As they learn about the theoretical aspects on international negotiation, they apply it directly and train their skills during the exercises.

During the final weekend students will partake in the Young Diplomat Conference. Here students will have to apply the skills and knowledge they have gained throughout the course in a two day simulation. Each body will have a professional from the Young Diplomat to make observations about the performance of the students which will serve as input to the reflection. During the course students will need to do research on the position of their actor (through desk research but also by contacting and meeting with the actual Embassy of their actor in the Hague). They will submit their position statement to the course lecturers who will provide it with feedback. The position statements will also be distributed among all other participants. Students will have to submit a final position statement with a negotiation strategy as part of their final assignment.

During the weeks the students will engage in the following visits. The exact moments depend on the availability of the institutions.

  • A visit will be made to the International Criminal Court in the Hague where students will receive a guided tour and presentation on the workings of the court. The International Criminal Court is the only international tribunal which can rule on international crimes based on the Rome statute. This visit will high light the importance of the court in international relations and politics and what the consequences are in relation to which states are and are not signatory to the Rome statute.

  • A visit will be made to the Peace Palace where the students will receive a guided tour. The Peace Palace is an active court and plays an important role in international relations, law and negotiations.

  • Students will pay a visit to an embassy situated in the Hague which will offer them the opportunity to meet in a small setting with a diplomat to ask questions about her/his work and the field.

Course objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Have a better understanding of the relationship and innerworkings of supranational and intergovernmental organisations as well as among government, science and society.

  • Having gained valuable skills on bilateral and multilateral negotiation skills, as well as on personal leadership and public speaking.

  • Applying skills and theoretical knowledge through different simulations varying in complexity, while also applying knowledge to case studies.

  • Have a better understanding of international political and diplomatic negotiation.

  • Learn how to manage complexity, their own emotions and representing interests, while dealing with those of others.

  • Have a better understanding of their own behavior and that of their fellow students/negotiators.

  • Have gained analysis and research skills in relation to international political and diplomatic negotiation.

  • Have gained a network of NGOs for potential internships and career opportunities.

  • Have gained insights into the reality of working in international politics and diplomacy.

BA2/2 Transnational organized crime and the future of global security by Dr. Shiraz (40 places)

The accelerated pace of globalisation since the 1980s not only increased global trade along with the flow of private capital and investment but also led to the creation of a global shadow economy without borders. Transnational organised crime arguably constitutes a greater threat than terrorism and has certainty resulted in more deaths through the flow of weapons, financing of violent conflict, and increasingly urban warfare. The global operations of arms traders, international criminals, and drug barons combined with the insidious corruption of state institutions and international frameworks have created unprecedented challenges for the modern state and its citizens, particularly in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The shifting security landscape of transnational organised crime has emerged as an issue of critical concern across global and regional organisations and national governments resulting in a wide array of policy prescriptions and treaties. However, the increasing complexity of transnational organised crime and borderless security threats have outpaced the ability of international organisations, national governments and their security forces to curb illicit trades.

In this course, outstanding honours students will theoretically and practically study, analyse and evaluate the impact of transnational organised crime on security in the Global South together with global and local policy responses. Using case study analysis, students will examine drug production and trafficking, proliferation of arms, and human smuggling and how these illicit trades interact with globalisation, regional security dynamics and the changing nature of security in the Global South.

Students are encouraged to engage with policy and academic literature from the observed countries to gain an understanding of competing interests and fault lines in the global efforts to counter transnational organised crime. During the interactive seminars, students will work in teams to deploy this knowledge and generate pragmatic and innovative solutions to the global challenge of transnational organised crime.

Course objectives
By the end of the course, students are able to:

  • Explain and analyse core concepts and issues related to themes of ‘globalisation’ and ‘security’ in a multi-level perspective, i.e.: global, regional and national, with a particular emphasis on the Global South.

  • Explain and critically analyse the principle policy responses to transnational organisation on a global level through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and identify areas of improvement through evidenced argumentation;

  • Deploy basic case study methods to explain how and why transnational organised crime has impacted the observed countries.

  • Combine existing knowledge from the wider programme with theoretical and practical insights in this course.

  • Reflect on global challenges in an interdiscplinary manner using approaches, i.e.: International Security, Political Science, Area Studies and Criminology.

  • Work in teams to produce policy guidance that is grounded in scientific and policy research and literature.

BA2/2 The Battle for Europe by Hans van den Berg and Dr. Rob de Wijk (20 places Honours FGGA and 25 places Honours elective)

Europe once ruled the world, but now the continent is under attack from all sides, including from within. Chinese President Xi Jinping sees the continent as a win-win region. He has been buying influence in the Western Balkans for years and trying to tear the European Union apart. Russia feels threatened and President Putin conducts covert and now also military operations to disrupt NATO. President Trump, meanwhile, made it easy for the Russians and Chinese by turning away from his closest allies and opening the attack on Europe himself. President Biden seems again more involved in Europe, but still pursues an America first strategy and is aware that the future is all about the Asian region. Prime Minister Johnson thought he would be better off outside the European Union and the Hungarian and Polish leaders are undermining the democratic rule of law. They all believe that a strong European Union stands in the way of their ambitions. Political leaders struggle with an answer. The corona crisis, the war in Ukraine and many other issues have further increased the challenge. Can we win this battle for Europe? Can Biden Repair the Damage Trump has brought? What will the relationship between Germany and France bring? Will the EU remain a player in the world, or will the continent become the playground of world powers?

This course will explore current challenges and opportunities to and within the EU. This is done through different perspectives but is always focused on current affairs. With guest lectures from experts in different fields and practical exercises, students will explore the current challenges and opportunities. In a group assignment The Future of Europe, a Message to Europeans students are challenged to debate and write a common perspective on what values, projects and ideals should hold together countries within the EU facing current and future developments. In an individual assignment students tackle a challenge of their own choice and advice the EU on how to approach it. Finally, a short exam of 4 open questions will test the development of the knowledge of students throughout the course. The 4 open questions will relate to the current affairs topics that were discussed in the lectures.

The current affairs topics are not picked yet as these will focus on what is relevant at that point in time.

Programme

Session 1: The history and workings of the EU. Two short lectures provide students with insights into the basics of how the EU works, how decisions are made, policies are developed and what the important departments and organisations are. In the second part, students create a timeline and mood board of the most important historical events, in their perspective, of the European Union and present this to their fellow classmates.

Session 2: Current affairs topic 1. Rob de Wijk provides students with a thought-provoking lecture on a current challenge or opportunity of the European Union in relation to defense, security and foreign relations. In the second part, students work in small groups on providing policy advice on how to deal with this current topic.

Session 3: EU Simulation on decision making within the EU.

Session 4: Current affairs topic 2. Mendeltje van Keulen provides students with a thought-provoking lecture on a current challenge or opportunity of the European Union in relation to its internal functioning and development of relations between local, regional and national governments and influence groups. In the second part, students will map the different levels of government, organizations and interest groups that try to influence EU decision making and provide advice on the best ways for these different groups to do so.

Session 5: Current affairs topic 3. Carolien de Gruyter provides students with a thought-provoking lecture on a current challenge or opportunity of the European Union compared to the Habsburg Empire. Through a debate with challenging statements, students will argue whether the EU awaits the same fate as the Habsburg empire and what the catalysts of this downfall will be.

Session 6: Current affairs topic 4. Hans van den Berg provides students with a thought-provoking lecture on a current challenge or opportunity of the European Union in relation to Russia, Eastern Europe and EU expansion policy. In the second part, students analyse a topic, in relation to the EU, which is currently being reported in the media. In doing so they will have to check the facts and get different perspectives on the topic. After having done so they will have to create a short podcast on the topic to explain it in such a way that anybody can understand it, record it and share it with their fellow students.

Session 7: EU simulation on the accession of candidate states for the European Union.

Session 8: Presentations of the Future of Europe, a Message to Europeans.

Course objectives

  • Formulate a perspective on threats and opportunities for the European Union.

  • Develop a policy advice on a current issue in relation to the developments within or outside the European Union.

  • Analyse the functioning of the European Union.

  • Analyse current affairs and issues within the European Union and external which have an impact on it.

  • Explain the major milestones and developments within the European Union.

  • Create a personal perspective on current and ongoing issues within and about the future of the EU.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Individual project 5
Elective (Honours Class from Honours Academy Pool) 5

Semester 1 - choose 5EC

Negotiations LAB 5
Model European Union Simulation: Policies, Negotiations and Transatlantic Experiential Learning 5
Designing your future 5

Semester 2 - choose 5EC

The Battle for Europe 5
International Relations: on diplomacy and negotiations (HC GGA) 5
Data Governance and Policymaking 5
Transnational organised crime and the future of global security 5
Working at the EU 3

Third year

Year BA3 semester 2: Honours FGGA

In the winter of your final BA year the Honours coordinator will contact you about your study plan in semester 2. You can choose between two TGC courses. The courses offer you the possibility to play a consultancy role for an organization or to become part of a think tank. The courses start in February and the Honours coordinator will give you the possibility to select one of them as well as of enrollment on Brightspace and in uSis.

BA3/2 A taste of leadership by Michel Don Michaloliákos (30 places)

This course is designed to teach students important lessons about leadership. Leadership is an extremely multifaceted phenomenon, that has interested the entirety of humanity throughout history. Complete coverage of leadership is impossible, so a taste of leadership will have to do the job.
Leadership is shaping the (social) world we live in and the well-being of humankind. Understanding the mechanisms of leadership isn't only enjoyable and interesting, but an absolute necessity for greater self-actualization as well as to contribute to an increase of well-being for all of us.
The taste of leadership in this course has been built up by practical, (scientific) theoretical and self-reflective ingredients. Through phases of introspection, influence and incorporation the taste of leadership will be served. Phases refer to a state of internal development rather than time, i.e., all phases happen simultaneously.

Introspection
Social reality is mind-made, according to the constructivists. As far as it is helpful for the students; this course uses constructivist insights into the mechanism of leadership. One important lesson is that the world is getting meaning through you.
Introspection helps to reveal how the process of giving meaning to the world works, for you and for others. The way you give meaning to the world is shaping one's convictions, choices and behavior. By looking at your self-esteem through a poetic lens, zooming in on your fears of rejection, self-assessment and applying empirical and theoretical concepts you will end up having a multi-sourced sketch of how you give meaning to this world.

Influence
This sketch helps students to provide a deeper understanding of how influence works. Being in a permanent state of interaction equals an endless cycle of influencing and being influenced. This implies power and vulnerability. Students will be encouraged to learn how the cycle of influence can be analyzed and used, employing prominent insights, tools and theories offered by the disciplines of group dynamics and leadership literature.

Incorporation
The students ought to incorporate the lessons of introspection and influence by putting them to the test in practice. The opportunity of incorporation is being offered by doing a challenge.

Challenge
The challenge is done in groups of 4 to 5 students. The challenge is focused on mapping out or resolving social problems or challenges, preferably at a local level. Doing a challenge on a local level helps students to enrich the phase of incorporation by having direct contact with the people for whom they are doing the challenge. Students initiate and develop – with guidance of teacher – a clearly defined challenge, for example helping existing stakeholders with loneliness, poverty or the energy transition.
The final result must be presented in a thoughtful, suitable and serious manner, but freedom is being given to the students to choose the form, such as a paper, documentary or art work.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed and demonstrated personal leadership capacities by:

  • Having a clear understanding of how to practically conduct introspection on themselves;

  • Have gained both theoretical and practical insights into the mechanism of influence, i.e., how people are being influenced and how they can influence others;

  • Having a better understanding of how to incorporate the lessons of introspection and influence in different roles of leadership;

  • Applying and incorporating the lessons of the course in the challenge.

BA2/2 Data Governance and policymaking by Matthew Young (10 places)

This course is designed to teach students about the most important and controversial Big Data applications currently being used in the public sector. The course has a practical and utilitarian component, which is to introduce students to what these applications are. It also has an analytical component, which is to learn and apply critical thinking towards such applications using findings from scholarly literature and public discussion about real cases.

On the first component, it will address questions of how the technologies work and why governments use them. For example, students will be introduced to the basic working principles of predictive policing, fraud detection, and smart public installations such as lighting and traffic systems. These are each different in important ways and there are different technical and social consequences. Students will learn about key technology ‘affordances’ and frameworks that can help know what to highlight and be critical of.

A second component will involve learning about real world cases and the arguments and evidence available from academic research. This component will pose questions such as what ethical issues arise from use of the technologies, whether robots will decide all the important matters that affect our lives, and whether there is anything that governments and citizens can do to use technologies to make government better. For example, we may review and discuss cases of Google’s failed smart city project in Toronto, the Dutch fall-out from the ‘Toeslagenaffaire’, or Rio de Janeiro’s policing of favelas. The global spread of big data technologies will be used as an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of countries and cities.

Students will learn to navigate the complex technical and ethical issues and put forward their own arguments through discussion and debate. Together, these skills and knowledge will help students to critically assess these tools and to become more expert both as critical users of technologies and as systems architects.

Course objectives

  • Describe examples of different kinds of Big Data applications in public services

  • Debate the public values pros and cons of artificial intelligence in the public sector using real world examples and academic literature

  • Carry out a research project that critically evaluates an algorithmic decision-making system from the perspective of protecting and improving public values.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Individual project 5
A taste of leadership 5
Data Governance and Policymaking 5

Honours Internship or Honours Individual Project

Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar

GGA Individual Track

Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.