Political Culture and National Identities

Join a master’s programme that is at the forefront of a new international approach to understanding how national politics and identities in Europe are conceived. Leiden University’s MA in History specialisation in Political Culture and National Identities takes a broad, comparative approach to the study of the political and national identities of a number of European countries spanning the period 1800 to 2010.

Choose Political Culture and National Identities at Leiden University:

  • Use a comparative approach to study the history of political culture and national identities of various European countries.
  • Take an international perspective by looking at the relations between different European countries instead of the more usual nationalistic historiography.
  • Examine the evolution of the political culture and national identities of countries such as the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany or Russia – and how these countries influenced each other through ‘cultural transfer’: the adoption of examples from other countries and the inspiration they engender.
  • Explore how ‘cultural transfer’ can be applied to the political domain, for instance with regard to social movements, parties, parliaments and the use of symbols and material objects, and how European, international and supra-national organisations, such as those involved in post-War European unification, operate as platforms of cultural and political transfer.
  • Choose an academic field that is an entirely new research area, putting you at the forefront of a new way of thinking about European history and giving you the room to make a valuable research contribution.

Your understanding of how national identities and political views have evolved will enable you to make a valuable contribution to the debates that continue to dominate both public and academic forums, including discussions about the EU, democracy and populism.

You can choose to delve further into the debating culture in the Netherlands, and the linguistic, argumentation and rhetorical analysis of the political debate by opting for Political Debate.

Political Debate: history and rhetoric

Since the recent electoral success of such politicians as Fortuyn, Wilders and Marijnissen, the political debate in the Netherlands has been in the spotlight. The debating style of politicians and members of the House of Representatives is under discussion in television programmes and the print media. What makes a person good in debates? What may you say and what may you not say? And how important is the way a politician presents himself?

You will learn about the different forms of political discussion and the issues surrounding the rules of debate. You will attend lectures on the historical development of the debating culture in the Netherlands, the linguistic, argumentation and rhetorical analysis of the political debate. You will also be trained in debating by the Netherlands Debating Institute. The programme is unique in the Netherlands.

Note that this option is only available to students starting in September, and that the language of instruction is Dutch.

Check out the programme in Political Culture and National Identities

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: History
  • Degree Master of Arts in History
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • Duration 1 year
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 66034

Prof.dr. Judith Pollmann

Prof.dr. Judith Pollmann

“For me, one of the most fascinating questions in history is how people have contended with change. I believe our own fast-changing societies can learn from that.”

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