Why this Study programme

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 anti-establishment parties as well.

Master Politics & Society - Erasmus University Rotterdam

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.

Our unique approach

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. 

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.
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.
Because of this master programme, I gained a good, analytical and critical understanding of the interplay between politics and society.
This complexity in combination with small-scaled education and an excellent, approachable, staff makes me think that this master fits a lot of critical minded students.

Politics & Society online presentation

Why study at Erasmus University Rotterdam?

Welcome to the highly-ranked Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), a research university located in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. EUR offers 13 selective bachelor programmes, and more than 50 top master programmes, taught in English.

Erasmus University traces its origins back to 1913. The university has become internationally recognised for its distinct social orientation in education and research. Our 30,000+ students come from more than 100 countries all around the world.

Erasmus University Rotterdam. Make it happen.

Rotterdam: Make It Happen

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