Why this programme

Politics and Society

What does this study entail?

The relationship between politics and society has changed dramatically. In this master programme we aim to understand the causes and consequences of this change. If you think this is an interesting theme, this master track is the right choice for you.

Western societies are characterised by a new political culture. Voters and parties increasingly focus on hotly contested issues such as national identities, ethnic diversity or immigration. This focus reflects broader societal transformations like globalisation and individualisation.

These days, the political landscape is scattered, with many ‘floating’ and discontented voters. Their electoral preferences frequently change, which leads them to vote for new anti-establishment parties as well.

Is this the right programme for you?

In this programme, we combine classical and state-of-the-art sociological theories and research with insights from political science in order to obtain in-depth understanding of contemporary politics. Due to this unique approach you will learn to answer topical questions such as:

  • What are the causes of political fragmentation and how does this fragmentation affect the way modern societies are governed?
  • How does new information, for instance on the effects of immigration, sentencing or vaccine programmes, influence citizens’ political attitudes?
  • How is the political discontent and protests among specific groups of citizens linked to the outlook of contemporary political institutions?
  • Why are asylum seekers in some places welcomed by local residents, whereas in other places these newcomers are fiercely opposed?
  • How does public opinion affect governments' policies?
  • What is the influence of interest groups in the political decision-making process?

Highly ranked department

The Department of Public Administration and Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam was ranked #4 in the Shanghai Ranking in 2022. 

Master Politics & Society - Erasmus University Rotterdam

Why some voters remain frustrated after voting for a populist party

Politics & Society online presentation

Testimonials

Kjell Noordzij

Kjell Noordzij - Programme coordinator

If you are interested in understanding today’s politics, it does not suffice to simply look at the political field itself. Instead, you should analyse the complex interplay between political and societal developments. And that is what the exciting specialisation Politics & Society is all about.
If you are interested in understanding today’s politics, it does not suffice to simply look at the political field itself. Instead, you should analyse the complex interplay between political and societal developments. And that is what the exciting specialisation Politics & Society is all about.

If you are interested in understanding today’s politics, it does not suffice to simply look at the political field itself. Instead, you should analyse the complex interplay between political and societal developments. And that is what the exciting specialisation Politics & Society is all about.

Miron van Wijngeerden

Miron van Wijngeerden - Student Politics & Society

Because of this master programme, I gained a good, analytical and critical understanding of the interplay between politics and society.
Because of this master programme, I gained a good, analytical and critical understanding of the interplay between politics and society.

After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, I took a gap year to think about the Master’s programme I wanted to pursue. That year I did an internship at a political party, which I really enjoyed. Moreover, it made me aware of my curiosity about politics. A lot of political sciences Masters focus mainly on the political domain, whereas my primary interest is in the interaction between politics and society.  Why do people vote for certain parties? Why do some groups have a lot of political trust and some not? And how does this affect politicians and governments? When I read about the Master’s programme Politics & Society, I knew this was the one for me! 

I really enjoyed the Master’s programme, because we discussed interesting topics. Furthermore, I gained a good, analytical and critical understanding of the interplay between politics and society. The courses are well-structured, and help you to gain more in-depth knowledge. The nice staff of the programme was really helpful and motivated to learn our small group of students a lot. In addition, they were open to our feedback on the programme, which contributed to valuable interaction between staff and students.

Jessie Renne, student Politics & Society

Jessie Renne - student Politics & Society

Questions puzzling us about the link between politics and society can’t be answered by looking only at the political systems within a country. A broader perspective is needed, and political sociology offers exactly that by looking at the political system, as well as the society. After graduation I want to contribute to social equality, and I couldn’t have chosen a better program to prepare me for it; insights into social dynamics behind politics and political participation provide valuable understandings that are of great importance for my future career.
Questions puzzling us about the link between politics and society can’t be answered by looking only at the political systems within a country. A broader perspective is needed, and political sociology offers exactly that by looking at the political system, as well as the society. After graduation I want to contribute to social equality, and I couldn’t have chosen a better program to prepare me for it; insights into social dynamics behind politics and political participation provide valuable understandings that are of great importance for my future career.

Populist parties might not offer any sensible solutions for societal problems, but they do seem to function as a relief valve for discontented citizens. At least that is what traditional political theory tells us. But how effective are populist parties at channelling discontent? PhD candidate Roy Kemmers of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) interviewed disgruntled citizens and made a crucial discovery.

Choosing a study is quite a challenge! Still in doubt about this study and want to have a good overview? Receive a clear digital brochure for this study.

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