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Political Science

Sarah de Lange

‘It’s incredibly pleasing to see that our graduate students have developed into keen and critical analysts.’

Sarah de Lange is an associate professor (senior university lecturer) in the Political Science programme at the University of Amsterdam. 

Sarah de Lange
Photographer: Jeroen Doomernik

Which course(s) do you teach?

‘With great pleasure, I give lectures in the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Research Master’s programmes. One of the courses that I teach to first-year students is on political structures and processes, which is a general introduction to political science. In addition to being a lecturer, I am chair of the Examinations Board and as such I am responsible for matters including exemptions, admission to selective programmes, plagiarism and fraud, and the awarding of degree certificates.’

What do you love about your job?

‘Most students in this discipline are highly motivated and socially engaged. They are interested in social developments at home and abroad. While one student is fascinated by the reign of Putin in Russia, another wants to know everything about the emergence of the political parties Podemos and Syriza. Consequently, I’m still learning about topics that go beyond my own field of expertise (radicalism, populism and extremism).

It’s incredibly pleasing to see that our graduate students have developed into keen and critical analysts, who are able to view every social and political issue from at least five different perspectives. Furthermore, they are capable of using both normative and factual empirical argumentation, enabling them to compete with not only other social scientists (sociologists and anthropologists) but also lawyers and philosophers.’

Where do students of Political Science end up?

‘At their graduation ceremony, I usually ask my students what their future plans are, and it is nice to discover that most of them by this time have already found a job. It turns out that one has become a diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while another is starting work for an international NGO such as Oxfam or Amnesty. Our graduates also find jobs as a consultant, journalist, lobbyist or spokesperson. In the end, everyone finds a place that perfectly matches his or her interests, abilities and ambitions!’