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How is our governance organised?

Political Science and Public Administration

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is an institute for high quality academic research and education.

The Department’s research covers two different areas: Political Science and Public Administration. Within the area of Public Administration research is conducted into governance and public administration. These issues are highly relevant for society: How is our governance organised, how are decisions being made, on what content is decided, are decisions always executed, which interests are being served and are goals always achieved?

Within the research area of Political Science the three main subdisciplines of this academic field are covered: comparative politics, international relations and political theory. This research area also deals with issues which are relevant for society: How can we reform our political system, under which conditions do states decide to wage war and how do international organisations influence our national societies?

The Department offers three Bachelors of Science (BSc): Public Administration and Organization Science and Political Science and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (in collaboration with the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Business and Economics). After successfully completing one of these bachelor programmes, students may proceed to the different Masters of Science (MSc) that the department has to offer. In cooperation with the Law Faculty we also offer a specialised LLM Law and Politics of International Security. All degree programmes at the department are accredited by NVAO, the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders.


The Department of Political Science and Public Administration offers a range of internationally accredited bachelor's and master's programmes with different emphases on the relationship between politics and governance, and national and international policy. Within these programmes there is special attention for issues such as the welfare state and socio-economic redistribution, policing, sustainability, national and international security, and European integration.

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The Department of Political Science and Public Administration conducts high-quality research that is both relevant for academia and for society. Within the department, the research is organized in three research groups: two groups work from a public administration angle and one from a political science perspective. Both the theoretical and the methodological basis for the public administration and political science research are highly diverse. This diversity of ideas and the confrontation of insights of different origins make it interesting and offer grounds for developing innovative ideas and to contribute to a large variety of bodies of knowledge in the different fields of our research.

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Gender and political coverage

Loes Aaldering is an assistant professor in Comparative Politics. Her research mainly focuses on issues related to gender and politics, political leadership, and electoral behavior. She studies how men and women are discussed differently in the media in terms of their leadership traits. Recently, Loes has been awarded a VENI grant for her research on the impact of gender stereotypes in politicians’ textual and visual media coverage on voters.  

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