Spring course researchmasters RSPH: ‘What is political History?’

What is political history? Research Master Course, 5 ects (6 ects for UvA RMA-students).

Dates and time: April 3, 10, 17, 24 and May 1, 15, 22 2018 (15.00 – 17.00 hrs)
Place: Amsterdam, t.b.a.
Course supervisors: dr. Peter van Dam and dr. Jeroen van Zanten

In this course, students explore theories and concepts relevant to the history of politics, on the basis of an analysis of a number of major texts. Attention will be devoted to the conceptualization of key concepts, e.g. politics and the political, power, institutions, political action, political culture, political organization, state and the regime. Furthermore, the national, inter- and transnational nature of political history will be studied. The use of concepts and theories will be investigated by applying them to specific episodes in history. The course will be taught in Dutch or English (depending on the language skills of the participants).

Participants in this course will learn:
– 1. How to define and analyze key political concepts;
– 2. How to understand and apply major theories within the history of politics;
– 3. How to evaluate historical studies from a conceptual and theoretical perspective;
– 4. How to use key concepts and major theories in the analysis of sources for the study of the political history.

In each of the meetings, students will first discuss major themes and problems of the readings. In the second part of the meeting, students will discuss sources for the study of the theme at hand. In the final part of the meeting, students will present and discuss a historical study relevant to the topic at hand.