Master's specialisation in Comparative Politics
Analysing the challenges facing 21st Century (non-)democracies
Is immigration a threat to democracy? Is Europe witnessing a surge in populist sentiment? How can governments reform their welfare states to deal with the growing costs of an ageing population? Contemporary governments face these and other political challenges in an increasingly globalised world. In the Master's specialisation in Comparative Politics, you’ll examine the configuration of political power within countries as well as analyse how and why political responses to contemporary challenges vary across countries.
The specialisation provides students with strong theoretical foundations and substantive empirical knowledge in subjects such as representative and deliberative democracy, political parties, democratic reform, the welfare state, gender and immigration policy. Our emphasis on both theory and empirical knowledge provides the tools to critically analyse contemporary problems facing democracies, both within and outside of Europe. It will also train you to assess the effects of proposed policy solutions. You will be prepared for a career in leading positions in both the public and private sector.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cp
Why study Comparative Politics at Radboud University
- Our international CP staff has a wide range of expertise, including, political parties, electoral politics, gender, inequality, welfare states, immigration and populism. Staff members integrate their latest research and those of their colleagues into their seminars.
- Our programme is consistently ranked number one by the most influential Dutch higher education rating organisations. The key to this success is our emphasis on small and interactive classes and the quality of our instructors.
- Radboud University boasts a strong international community.
- Staff members are actively involved in advising governments, societal and political organisations, incorporating practical experience and insights into their teaching.
The Comparative Politics Master’s will provide new insights into configurations of political power around the world. Politics is much more than elections; it’s also about grass roots mobilisation, mediatisation, and conflicts over values.
Admission requirements for international students
1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Political Science or a related discipline from a recognised, academic university.
A substantial part of the courses in your Bachelor’s degree should be in your preferred specialisation: International Relations, Political Theory, Comparative Politics or Public Administration (COMPASS).
2. Competency in Social Science Research Methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
Due to the strong academic nature of this programme, it is essential that students have the necessary basic research skills. Applicants with little or no Social Science Research Methodology in their previous education may get admission, provided they first complete an (oral) examination in research methodology. The oral exam can be held in person in Nijmegen or via Skype.
3. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers* of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- a. TOEFL (iBT) Certificate: minimum overall score of 90, with subscores not lower than 18, or
- An IELTS score of >6.5 with subscores not lower than 6.0, or
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) ): minimum score of C, or
- Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): minimum score of C.
Our graduates have the skills that employers want: sound research and analytical skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; and experience in working in teams and independently.
These skills and knowledge will prepare you for positions in policymaking, administration, and project management in the public and private sector, as well as in research settings. Our alumni have positions as policymakers in international organisations, political parties, government ministries, market authorities, the European Parliament and the European Commission. Our alumni also work as consultants for profit and non-profit organisations and as researchers at think-tanks and universities. They are also employed by banks and other financial institutions and by the media.
Our approach to this field
Comparative Politics at Radboud University focuses on the following aspects:
- Political conflict in the age of globalisation
Opening up the newspaper or turning on the television it would be hard to miss recent developments such as Catalan and Scottish demands for independence, challenges to authoritarian regimes (i.e. the Arab Spring), the persistence of populist parties (in Europe and elsewhere), debates on immigration, and demands by young people for employment and a better future (e.g. the indignados movement). We are interested in uncovering the social, economic, and political causes of such developments, while also questioning whether events such as these are destabilising or whether they will be accommodated into existing institutional structures.
- Alternative forms of representation
Democracies face unprecedented challenges in areas like migration, environmental degradation, and demographic change. However, democracies must also cope with electorates that are increasingly dissatisfied with government performance and legitimacy. Some citizens withdraw from political participation, some turn to populist and anti-establishment parties, while others become even more politically active. In comparative politics we utilise a variety of theoretical perspectives to analyse these trends, while we also seek to propose possible solutions to these problems.
- Political challenges to political reform
We study the politics of reform across a wide range of social policies, targeting inequalities while seeking to learn from the best comparative work available on the welfare state, gender equality, migration and integration and sexual equality.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/cp