Political Debate

A democratic society is inconceivable without discussion and debate, in parliaments and newspapers, on television, in meetings and on street corners. In this sub-track we investigate the nature of this debate

Programme information

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At first glance debates, in particular parliamentary, are puzzling. Members of Parliament discuss, but they rarely seem to want to convince each other in stead they direct their contributions to the electors outside parliament. In order to understand what is happening in such debates, we study the history of parliaments: the uneasy start of a modern parliament during the French Revolution; the dramatic ending of a parliament during the Weimar Republic; but most of all we concentrate on the history and actual practice of debating in the Netherlands.

In this interdisciplinary sub-track we also use linguistic methods to study rhetoric and debate, we discuss ‘deliberative democracy’, we invite (ex)politicians and journalists in order to discuss the way they work, and we visit the Dutch Parliament and meet active Members of Parliament. The combination of historical analysis with the study of theory ànd of the actual practice of debating in contemporary Netherlands in this master is unique, helps to understand the nature of politics and provides an introduction to contemporary political debate from a historical perspective.


Timetables and calendar

Prospectus: programme overview and course descriptions

The Prospectus contains overviews and course details for all programmes in the Faculty of Humanities (and other faculties). The information in the Prospectus is updated annually, in June. Please consult the Political Debate section of the Prospectus for more information.

Application, enrollment and examinations

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  • This website is intended for students who are already enrolled in the programme. Prospective students looking for application information should consult unileidenmasters.nl.

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Every department (or degree programme) has a Co-ordinator of Studies (studiecoördinator). The Co-ordinator of Studies knows all the ins and outs of the programme and can help with any problems. Typical subjects to discuss with the Co-ordinator of Studies are: student progress (and delay) and exam regulations.

Graduation procedures

MA students who are ready to apply for their graduation should follow the graduation procedure. See the graduation website for more information about this procedure, the MA thesis, and how to deregister from Leiden University after graduation.

Teaching and Examination Regulations and Faculty Regulations

All the rights and obligations of students in the Humanities faculty are set out in regulations. The most important of these are indicated below. (The list is not exhaustive; more documentation on regulations may appear here in the future.)

  • Teaching and Examination Regulations state the contents of your programme and the specialisations within the programme.
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  • The Student Charter informs students about what they can expect from the University and what the University expects from them.
  • Regulations on plagiarism are in place, to counter any instances of malpractice. These regulations provide advice on how to use sources and citations.

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Students within the Faculty of Humanities, are represented in the following boards and committees:

  • the Departmental Teaching Committee
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  • the Faculty Council
  • the Faculty Board

Another committee that is relevant to your studies, but in which students are not represented, is the Board of Examiners.

Contact and staff History

Last Modified: 01-12-2016