Politics and Society

Why study Master Politics and Society

What is this master programme about?

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 populist parties as well.

Master Politics & Society - Erasmus University Rotterdam

Roy Kemmers

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 channeling discontent? PhD candidate Roy Kemmers of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB) interviewed disgruntled citizens and made a crucial discovery.

 

The Social Sciences Department of Erasmus University Rotterdam ranked highest of all continental European universities in the Shanghai Ranking in 2017 and 2018. 

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?
  • Why are asylum seekers in some places welcomed by local residents, whereas in other places these newcomers should fear for their lives?
  • How does public opinion affect governments' policies?
  • What is the influence of interest groups in the political decision-making process?

Why some voters remain frustrated after voting for a populist party

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.
Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
Programme coordinator
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.
Jessie Renne
Student Politics & Society
Read Jessie's story about Jessie Renne
Because of this master programme, I gained a good, analytical and critical understanding of the interplay between politics and society.
Miron van Wijngeerden
Student Politics and Society
Read Miron's story about Miron van Wijngeerden