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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 analyze the complexity of (wicked) problems from different scientific fields, including philosophy, psychology, archaeology and political science;
  8. Understand and use techniques and methods such as visualization, stakeholder analysis, integrative negotiation, framing / reframing and their relation to problems;
  9. 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.


For admission criteria and deadlines see: Application & admission

Contact coordinator

Annette Righolt

First year

Year BA1 semester 2: Honours FGGA

In the first semester of Honours FGGA you will have to choose between three or four 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 enrolment on Brightspace and in USIS.

BA1/2 Negotiations LAB by drs. Jaelah van Tol and 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

Schedule BA1 semester 1:
Wednesdays week 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 from 19.15-22.00; week 20 19.30 - 21.00 written exam; week 21 10.15-13.00

BA1/2 A better world is possible: the future of human security and global justice, by professor Joachim Koops (ISGA), 25 places

This course challenges and encourages outstanding honours students to study, analyse and evaluate the most pressing issues and problems of human security and global justice in both theory and practice. Taking the United Nations Development Report of 1994 (which mentioned the term ‘human security’ for the first time) and the Report of the Committee on Global Governance of 1995 (conceptualising the challenges of global governance) as starting points, students will examine and assess lessons from previous failed and (partially) successful attempts of predicting and addressing local and global security problems and will apply these lessons to persisting current and future challenges.

Themes to be covered range from threats to individual freedoms and human rights to war, peace, geopolitical transformations as well as traditional and non-traditional challenges (such as arms proliferation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, poverty and development, climate change and ocean governance, cybersecurity and hybrid threats, global health and pandemic management) to global security and global governance.

Students will closely interact with major experts, diplomats, policy-makers and senior officials from international organisations and NGOs as well as with social entrepreneurs, in order to devise their own actionable, pragmatic but at the same time innovative solutions and scenarios for the future of human and global security governance. Whilst analysing core concepts, theories, risk analysis and scenario planning tools during lectures and blended learning sessions, students will also form and work in their own “think tank” groups of up to 4 students in order to create and advance their policy proposals.

Students with outstanding proposals will receive the opportunity of publishing their work at ISGA’s Security and Global Affairs blog and with cooperating international think tank partners. The organisation of a public student-led “Better World is Possible” Conference with dialogue partners and experts is part of the programme and rounds off the course.

Course objectives
By the end of this course, students will have acquired the following knowledge, insights and skills

  • The ability to explain, analyse and synthesize core concepts and issues related to the themes of ‘human security’, ‘global governance’ and global security from a multi-level perspective (i.e. individual, local, national, regional, global)

  • The ability to analyse the main international organisations, institutions and capacities created at different levels to address major issues of human and global security, to identify and explain their weaknesses and needs for improvement

  • The ability to explain and apply basic methods of risk analysis and scenario planning in order to predict future human security and global affairs threats

  • The capacity to analyse and apply insights from social entrepreneurs, diplomats and policy-makers

  • The ability to synthesize core insights from the literature, scenario analyses and exchanges with guest speakers and external events in order to apply them to devising actionable policy innovations

  • The ability to cooperate effectively in teams

  • The ability to organise a successful public conference

Schedule BA1 semester 2:
Mondays from 17.30-19.30 in week 9, 10, 13, 17, 19 and 21

BA2/1 Governing Science, Society and Expertise by assistant-professor Sarah Giest (25 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.

Schedule BA1 semester 2: Fridays 14.15-16.00 in week 13, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 20.

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Individual project 5
Internship 5
Negotiations LAB 5
Governing Science, Society and Expertise 5
A Better World is Possible: The Future of Human Security and Global Governance 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 TGC you can choose between four TGC courses. In the second between three TGC courses. The Honours coordinator will also take care of your selection of the Honours FGGA courses as well as for enrolment of your these classes in BS and 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 enrolment of your Honours Classes in BS and USIS.

BA2/1 Negotiations LAB (see description BA1) (30 places)
See description BA1/2.

Schedule BA2 semester 1:
Wednesdays week 38, 39, 41, 44, 46, 48 from 19.15-22.00; week 49 from 19.30 - 21.00 written exam; week 50 from 10.15-13.00 final lecture

BA2/1 Global Justice Challenges by dr. Tamara Takacs (20 places)

This course explores contemporary debates and controversies regarding global justice. The focus is on the following question: how to define, understand, and uphold justice in a global and globalizing world?
From a human rights-centric approach, the course will proceed with an analysis of the political theories of justice along with an examination of applied and distributive justice focusing on selected issues that have arisen in contemporary global dynamics: participatory rights and social/labour standards, gender/sexuality, genocide and armed conflicts, environmental concerns. The course will specifically examine the role of global governance and international organisations in the quest for a universal approach to (global) justice.

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

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different theories and positions within the political and philosophical discussion about global justice;

  • demonstrate an ability to, both orally and in written form, present arguments and positions relevant to issues of global justice;

  • understand and critically assess the interplay between various global governance structures and actors therein;

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of select contemporary human rights concerns and of the institutional structure and constraints of global governance structures that address these concerns.

Schedule BA2 semester 1:
Wednesdays 19.15-21.30 in week 40,41,42,44,46,48,49 and 50;
Wednesdays 10-12.30 in week 45,47.

BA2/1 Politics and Policies: struggling to combat social inequalities by Professor Dr. Jet Bussemaker (20 students)

Inequality is an inherent political contested issue. Although inequalities exist everywhere and throughout history, the way inequalities are accepted and legitimized changes from place to place and from time to time. In this course we will investigate the way social inequalities are recognised as such and how they develop from ‘a fact of life’ towards a political issue.
Once formulated as a political issue, the question arises what kind of policies could be developed and implemented to combat undesirable inequalities successfully. This is a highly dynamic process; political and social actors, governing institutions and policy issues interact with each other. Together, they will determine the outcome.

In this course, we will focus on various social inequalities; from class, education, and health to gender, LGBTQI and race/ethnicity. We will study the polity process on a local, national and inter/supranational level. The teacher will use her own experiences as a former Dutch Minister, junior minister and MP to analyse pitfalls and possibilities. Guest-speakers will join the classes to share their experience. Students are expected to investigate experiences of other stakeholders and participants, other countries, historical periods. These comparisons may help to understand the dynamics of ideals of equality, the way people combat inequality and the interrelation of policy and politics.

Course objectives
When students have successfully participated in this module, they:

  • Understand the variability and contested character of the concept of equality;

  • Understand the interrelation between various forms of inequality (e.g. syndemics; intersectionality etc.);

  • Gain advanced knowledge about the interplay between political and societal actors; governing institutions and politics;

  • Apply knowledge about this interplay to societal issues of inequality;

  • Develop the ability to find a common ground among stakeholders with very different societal views;

  • Learn to reflect upon their own position and to understand positions of others (through class discussion, simulation);

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the constraints in developing policies to combat social inequality.

Semester 2:
Tuesdays from 17.30-20.00 in week 37, 38, 40, 41, 43-46 and 50.

BA1/2 Crucial Skills by Jacob Koolstra/School of LIFE (20 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 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

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

  • Examine core values and identify a personal mission statement

  • Recognise the way that communication and presentation are mutually inclusive

  • Apply personal and theoretical reflection in writing

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

  • Connect traditional to new notions of (entrepreneurial) value

Schedule BA1/semester 1:
Fridays from 13.15-16.00 in week 36, 38, 40, 41, 44, 46 and 48.

YEAR BA2 semester 2: Honours FGGA

BA2/2 Data Governance and policymaking by Matthew Young and/or Alex Ingrams (25-30 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.

Schedule BA2 semester 2, block 3: Thursdays from 19.15-21.00 in week 6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12.

BA2/2 International Relations: on diplomacy and negotiations by dr. Paul Meerts (25 students HCGGA and 30 students Honours Class)

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

The course starts with a kick off on Saturday with an opening by the Young Diplomat, introducing the topic of the Young Diplomat Conference. Students will receive a briefing on which state they will represent in which body. In the second half of the afternoon there will be a lecture on a topic in relation to the conference. On the second day there will be another lecture relating to the conference topic and a discussion with a diplomatic panel.

The weekend will be followed by six seminars. Each seminar will high light certain aspects of international negotiation and as students will 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 of the course students will go on field trips within the Hague to the International Criminal Court, the Peace Palace, embassies, will join a networking event with NGOs and during the Young Diplomat Conference attend a formal dinner.

5th of February 13.00 – 17.00: Opening, introduction to the topic of the Young Diplomat Conference and first lecture.
6th of February 13.00 – 17.00: Second lecture and diplomatic panel discussion.
12th, 19th, 26th of February, 5th, 12th, and 19th of March 10.30 – 12.30 (30 minute lunch break) 13.00 – 15.00 lecture by dr. P.W. Meerts and H.B. van den Berg, MSc.
26th and 27th of March 9.30 – 17.30 final simulation of the Young Diplomat.
Please find below a more detailed information about every session.

Week 5:
5th of February 13.00 – 17.00:
Students will be welcomed and be given an introduction on the topic of the Young Diplomat Conference followed by a related lecture.

6th of February 13.00 – 17.00:
Students will follow another lecture on the topic of the conference followed by a discussion with a diplomatic panel.

Week 6:
During the week
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.

12th of February 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00:
Session I of the seminar: introduction to International Negotiation and Bilateral Bargaining. An introductory lecture on the topic of international negotiation will give students an overview of the important elements of the topic. Next students will work together on establishing a definition of international negotiation. Followed by two exercises on distributive (win/lose) and integrative (win/win) bargaining.

Week 7:
19th of February 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00:
Session II of the seminar: Trilateral and Minilateral Bargaining. In this session, the process of negotiation between more than two parties and the impact of internal and external processes will be studied and practiced. Students will get a better understanding of the options for win/win solutions, hampered by elements like trust, entrapment, power and interest imbalances, the differences in character and effectiveness of the actors involved and the (non-)chemistry between them. They will get more insights into the tensions between competition and cooperation. The session will start with a discussion of the Kuechle case in which three parties try to come to a – for them - acceptable agreement, followed by a mixed distributive/integrative exercise. In the afternoon there will be a negotiation between five member states of the European Union concerning a crisis in the Mediterranean.

Week 8:
During the week:
Students are expected to visit or meet up with a representative of the embassy of the actor they represent in the Young Diplomat Conference. This will give them input for their concept and final position statement. It will also offer them the opportunity to meet in a small setting with a diplomat to ask questions about her/his work and the field.

26th of February 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00:
Session III of the seminar: Negotiation behaviour. Several models and exercises will serve to enhance the understanding and management of negotiation behaviour and its effectiveness. After all, bargaining and negotiation are not only about interest, but very much about personalities, their ego, etc. This is true for diplomats, but probably even more for politicians. The module starts with a discussion of chapter IV of ‘Diplomatic Negotiation’ and a discussion on the issue of the skilled negotiator. Followed by a discussion on, and application of, strategy and tactics in negotiation processes. The third hour will be devoted the questions of perception and emotion, which play an important role in negotiation processes. The session will be concluded by a self-assessment exercise on unconscious negotiation behaviour: negotiation styles.

Week 9
5th of March 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00:
Session IV of the seminar: Multilateral Negotiation / Conference Diplomacy. In order to get a better understanding of multilateral complexity, students will negotiate and draft a resolution on the creation of the United Nations Disaster Relief Organization (UNDRO) in the context of the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Geneva. This session is the preparatory phase. It starts with a lecture on the issue and a discussion on the Kent article, followed by time for preparation in delegations, which can be used for lobbying as well. After the break a plenary session with short statements followed by exploration of the draft resolution will be the official starting point of the conference, followed by a first round of formal and informal consultations.

Week 10:
During the week:
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.

12th of March 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00:
Session V of the seminar: Multilateral Negotiation / Conference Diplomacy. In this session the negotiations of session IV will be finalized. An ECOSOC Resolution on the coordination in cases of natural disasters will be drafted and debriefed. In parallel sessions each member of the ten delegations (including the presidency) will be involved in a process of drafting a single text under consensus rule. After the break there will be debriefings with reflections on the performance of the students and as groups. The session will be concluded by a film of the drafting process as it happened in reality, followed by a reflection on the course so far by discussing the article of Lempereur and Colson.

Week 11:
19th of March 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.00 – 15.00:
Session VI of the seminar: Chairing negotiations and conferences. Negotiations and international political conferences can be a hot bed for tensions. Chairing such events requires a particular approach, a chair can have significant influence over the process and outcomes. While on the other hand can find her-/himself excluded from any affairs by a single mistake. In this session students will reflect on characteristics of a chair, the importance of procedure, tips and tricks, and different styles of chairing. Through experience from previous sessions, videos and exercises students will engage and be prepped for a potential chairpersonship during future conferences and negotiations.

Week 12:
During the week:
Students will attend an NGO networking event. Here they will have speed date during a drinks event with several NGO’s. This way students are enabled to build a network and get to know different NGOs in the field. The purpose is to help students find internship or even job and career opportunities.

26th of March 09.30 – 17.30:
The first day of the Young Diplomat Conference. The international bodies in which the students will act are the UN Security Council, NATO or the EU Heads of Government. Some actors will be represented in all bodies, while others will not. In all situations students will have to coordinate their actions and approach across the bodies, and if they have no representation in one or two of the other bodies work with allies to ensure their interests are served. Students will start negotiations on the topic of the conference and will have to coordinate with their fellow delegates and allies across different bodies. The goal is to have a final resolution or statement by the end of the weekend. Each body will have a professional from the Young Diplomat to make observations about the performance of the students serve as input to the reflection.

19.00 – 22.00:
Dinner at hotel VOCO in the Hague. The dinner serves several purposes 1) during dinner, as during real life negotiation and diplomatic conferences lobbying continues and deals are struck; 2) an introductory course on etiquette will be provided; 3) this is the final weekend of the course, a moment for students to bond and build connections among each other.

27th of March 09.30 – 15.00:
After a first day at the conference students are expected to come to a final outcome with either a statement or resolution. Again, each body will have a professional from the Young Diplomat to make observations about the performance of the students serve as input to the reflection.

15.30 – 17.30:
After the conference has concluded a break is taken. During the first part of the reflection each body will reflect, with the Young Diplomat professional, on their performance. After this reflection the group will come together, review the outcome of the conference and in general reflect on the performance across the different bodies.

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

  • Have a better understanding of the relationship and inner workings of supranational and intergovernmental organizations 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.

Schedule BA2 semester 2:
Week 5: Saturday and Sunday from 13-17 ;
Week 6-11: lectures from 10.30-12.30 and 13-15 pm
Week 12: Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 - 17.30, including Saturday 26/2 Dinner Hotel VOCO.
Week 6, 8. 10 and 11: working visits to Peace Palace, International Criminal Court, meeting NGO’s and meeting diplomats.

BA2/2 Transnational organized crime and the future of global security by Dr. Shiraz (20 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.

Schedule BA2 semester 2:
Mondays from 18.15 - 20.30 in week 6,8,10,12,14,17,19

BA2/2 Attacking Global Problems at EU level by drs. Rob Boudewijn (20 places)

The focus of this course will be on the way the EU deals with global problems. In this module the two central policy areas are (1) Asylum and Migration policies and (2) the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. These policy areas will be taught by academic lecturers of Leiden University and experts from ministries and the national rapporteur on trafficking in human beings. The last part of the module will prepare for the “Grande Finale” of the module, a EU simulation game in which all students will represent a minister of a EU member state and were they need to come to a compromise text by that is acceptable for all delegations.

Course objectives
When students have successfully participated in this module, they:

  • Understand the formal and informal rules on the European level

  • Understand the development of vision at EU level

  • Have experienced the way of working in het EU policymaking arena.

  • Are able to independently analyse issues, critically examine books and research reports in scientific journals

Schedule BA2 semester 2:
Week 6: Wednesday 18.15-21.30 ;
Week 7,8,9, 10,12,14 and 16; Wednesdays 19.15-21.00;
Week 19: Wednesday 14.15-20.00

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

Semester 1 - choose 5EC

Crucial Skills 2 5
Negotiations LAB 5
Policy & Politics: Struggling to combat social inequalities 5
Global Justice Challenges 5

Semester 2 - choose 5EC

Attacking Global Problems at EU level 5
International Relations: on diplomacy and negotiations (HC TGC) 5
Transnational organised crime and the future of global security 5
Data Governance and Policymaking 5

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 three 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 The impact of global transformations on violence-related challenges by dr. Valentina Carraro (20 places)

Recent world-scale developments have intensified existing forms of violence, or created new ones. For instance, lockdown measures adopted by governments to manage the Covid-19 pandemic have frequently resulted in increased levels of domestic violence, and have caused violent street protests in some countries. In addition, climate change has given rise to a new category of migrants – the so-called climate migrants – who must flee their homes as their lands become inhospitable or even uninhabitable; these migrants, in turn, are particularly susceptible to violence. However, not only negatively charged global transformations give rise to violence: think for example of the increased use of digital technologies, which has brought many advantages in our daily lives, but has also created new phenomena such as cyberviolence or cyberstalking – which, albeit originating in a virtual environment, often have very serious real-life consequences.

By adopting a seminar format, this course explores which violence-related challenges arise from global transformations, and invites students to reflect on the adequacy of the current governance system in addressing these challenges. It starts with an overview of key concepts such as violence, global transformations, and governance, to then delve into specific case studies. It includes one guest lecture by a practitioner involved in anti-violence governance and a training session in preparation of the final assignments.


  • To gain knowledge on global transformations and the governance of the ensuing violence-related challenges

  • To conduct independent research and engage in critical reflection on relevant case studies

  • To develop students’ skills in academic discussion, policy brief writing, and presentation skills in professional settings

Schedule BA3 semester 2:
Mondays at 14.15-16.00 in weeks 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20.

BA3/2 Public Leadership Consultancy by dr. Ben Kuipers from Public Administration (30 places)

Public Leadership is much more than the collection of leaders in the public sector. It is about empowered individuals who engage creatively with their social context to improve their wellbeing and that of the people they work with. Leadership is an emergent field of study that departs from that of management studies towards the problematisation of effective leadership as a behaviour rather than a trait. Leadership then, as a verb, can be exerted by individuals, groups and organisations to deal with concepts like social impact, engagement, meaning, group dynamics, change management, and purpose.

This course is designed for you to experience a real-life scenario of leadership within an organisation from the lenses of a group of consultants. In four months, you will dive deep into the current leadership challenge of a large public organisation along with four other students, developing your analytical skills to frame the issues at hand, your creative skills to research and draft solutions and your leadership skills within your group and in the final presentation. A team of experts will provide in-depth workshops and coaching sessions in order to support you in creating a harmonious and productive work environment with your teammates and in developing the skills necessary to help your clients move forward.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand the role of leadership in complex organisational and societal issues.

  • Apply theories and insights from Public Leadership literature into a consulting project.

  • Analyse and reflect on the leadership approach within a public institution from a multidisciplinary perspective.

  • Develop and apply leadership skills to contribute to public objectives.

  • Develop a professional consulting report in group.

Schedule BA3 semester 2:
Fridays 13.15-15.00 seminars in week 6,7,11,14
Friday 13.15-17.00 final lecture
Friday meeting clients between 15.15-17.30 in week 6
Friday coaching between 13.15 and 15.00 in week 10,12,16 and 19

BA3/2 Enhancing a rule of law in practical ways by dr. Tamara Takacs (30 places)

Providing access to justice is key tool of empowerment for all in society and constitutes a fundamental tenet to the rule of law.

The UN SDG 16 is set to Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This goal is particularly challenging and pressing with respect to vulnerable groups such as women, children, LGBT community, refugees and migrants. The specific rights and needs of these groups require innovative ideas to ensure that access the justice is not only an end in and of itself but also a functional reality with guarantees for equality. In parallel with efforts and achievements regarding the SDG 16, ongoing technological transformations affect but also offer opportunities for avenues of seeking justice, asserting rights and strengthening equality.

This admittedly ambitious course looks at a fundamental societal need (legal empowerment) through the prism of genuine practical relevance so as to foster innovative ideas and solutions. The practical component of the course will engage the students in crafting innovative solutions to (access to) justice based on comprehensive data collected by the Hague Institute for Innovation for Law (HiiL).

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • From of law in the context of access to justice.

  • Students will obtain advanced knowledge and understanding of essential concepts related to SDG 16, and illustrative examples of challenges, achievements, best practices, pitfalls.

  • Students will be able to identify challenges that are hindering legal and thus societal empowerment of (vulnerable) groups and think of transformative ways to address these.

  • Students will obtain advanced knowledge and understanding of rule of law culture and its relevance to society as a whole.

  • Students will be able to carry out innovative design processes to address important societal challenges to empowerment and bring about change.

  • Student will identify the impact of technological transformations on access to justice.

Schedule BA3/semester 2:
Wednesdays 18.15-20.30 in week 5-8,10,12; Wednesdays 10-12.30 in week 9,11,13

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Individual project 5
Internship 5
The Impact of Global Transformations on Violence-related Challenges 5
Public Leadership Consulting 5
Enhancing a rule of law culture in practical ways 5

Honours Internship or Honours Individual Project

Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar

TGC Individual Track

Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.