The Governance and Politics of Social Problems

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Governance and Politics of Social Problems

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Students learn how to analyse current societal, economic and cultural developments and how these influence politics and policy-making, such as the role of (new social) media, capital, the rise of the commons, identity questions and technological innovations. Students will also acquire knowledge on the epistemic aspects of these topics, such as the differences between historical and philosophical ‘understanding’ of current developments and methods of scientific ‘explanation’, induction and deduction, holism and individualism. For this purpose, students study classical texts, historical analysis and up-to-date empirical research. In addition to that, students learn to use and reflect on scientific tools to analyse, among others, voting behaviour, populist mobilisation and opinion structures. As a part of the knowledge theoretical aspects of this course, we also address normative questions. Students learn to recognize and analyse the implicit and explicit moral aspects of state formation, voting or abstention in elections, market forces, political mobilisation and so on.

    In this course, students acquire knowledge about the core concepts of political science and policy studies in relation to contemporary societal developments. We depart from two central themes: (1) the relation between the state and the market and (2) the relation between society and individuals, and how these two relations – and the tensions they create - are constitutive for the political realm.



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