Modern Political Culture: Ideas and Discourses in Context

The MA in Arts and Culture specialisation Modern Political Culture explores key problems in modern and contemporary politics within their broader cultural and social contexts. We are living through an era that has shattered many of our certainties about the political cultures within which we live: new political movements have emerged; the model of democracy that dominates in ‘the West’ has been challenged by a range of socio-political forces; the environmental question is ever-present; awareness for social inequality has grown; and armed conflict is a brutal reality in many parts of the world, such as in Ukraine and in the Middle East. This programme will provide you with the analytical tools to make sense of this complex present and its contested origins. You will take courses that zoom in on the most pressing political challenges of our time: the tensions within democratic governance; the construction and representation of national identities; the origins and legacies of political violence; the problem of overcoming colonialism; and the ways in which cultural actors seek to address inequality.

This MA specialisation is therefore meant for those who are not satisfied by the easy answers that proliferate around us. It is intended for those who want to know better, who are not afraid of tackling complex subjects by embracing a plurality of perspectives, and who want to acquire the necessary academic toolkit to think critically through the intricacies of our contemporary past and present. As a student in this programme, you will approach politics in an interdisciplinary manner, using the tools and methods of a variety of academic disciplines such as history, political philosophy, cultural studies, and political science. In doing so, you will be trained in the use of advanced research and writing skills that will allow you to become an independent, well-rounded analyst who can operate in different environments. To achieve this, you will be exposed to scholarly methods such as conceptual analysis, discourse analysis, archival and historical research, and ethnographic field work. If you are looking to apply your knowledge in a practical manner and gain work experience, you will get the opportunity to complete an internship in an exciting institution as part of the programme. As the culmination of your studies, your will write your own original thesis on a problem of modern political culture of your own choice, closely supervised by an expert in the field.

Other specialisations in this master's programme:

UM and FASoS Campus Tour

At FASoS, we offer our prospective students the opportunity to join a campus tour on 18 December, 12 March 2025 and 7 May 2025. During this campus tour, one of our student ambassadors will show you our faculty, inner city and all important UM buildings. Are you not able to come one of the aforementioned dates? Don't worry! We also offer campus tours during our Open Days, Experience Days and Introduction Days.


Online Campus Tour

Are you not able to come from abroad for a campus tour? We also offer a virtual campus tour! Check it out through the interactive video on the left.


Kickstart your career at our Master's Open Day

Experience Maastricht University: find out more about one of the most international universities in Europe, immerse yourself in your programme of choice, and explore our beautiful city. The next Master’s Open Day is on 9 November 2024.

Q&A sessions

We regularly offer Instagram Live Q&A sessions for students who are interested in our master's programmes. Our student ambassadors will answer all your questions about the programme of your choice and studying in Maastricht. For more information and registration, take a look at our Master events page.

Pre-master's programme

If you do not satisfy the admission requirements of this Master's programme you may be able to enrol in a Pre-master's course year. Check out the Pre-master information and learn more about the programme, the courses and the requirements.

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