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Course content

What does this Master entail?

In the Master's programme History of Politics and Society you will learn how to use historical insights into the functioning of democracy, citizenship and the market to solve current-day problems.

Use historical insights to solve present-day issues
Have you wondered how some societies manage to achieve wealth, security, justice, and freedom – and eventual happiness – while others do not? What role do citizenship, democracy, and the organisation of the market play in this process? Why do you think it is so difficult to avoid negative effects such as social polarisation and environmental damage?

History and origins of institutions
These are the core questions addressed in our Master’s programme in History of Politics and Society. The central theme is the concept of ‘institutions’, in the broadest sense of the word: the formal and informal rules, customs, and organisational structures that make up a society, but are themselves the result of a historical development process. As such, this programme is closely related to Institutions, one of Utrecht University’s strategic international research themes.

In this programme, you will study the history and origins of institutions over the past 1,000 years. The emphasis is mainly on Europe in the modern age, but emphatically placed within a broader perspective, as the programme also pays attention to other eras and other parts of the world. You will combine your historical knowledge and academic skills with concepts from the social sciences. You will learn how to use comparative research methods, and methods for long-term analysis. You will develop the tools to contribute, as a historian, to the solution of contemporary problems.

Visit the History of Politics and Society page on the Utrecht University website for more details!

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