For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Political Theory

The minor political theory is offered by the department of political science. Politicians and other political actors try to justify and increase their power and support by proclaiming to be fighting for ‘freedom’, ‘equality’, ‘human rights’, and ‘democracy’. But what do these noble words mean, really? The minor Political Theory provides students with conceptual and theoretical toolkits needed to think critically about both ideological claims and complex normative issues, such as those concerning diversity, migration, and inequality. Political theorists focus on principles, rather than interests, and use the former to provide guidance to policy makers.

For whom?

Students who are interested in topics such as:

  • Political ideas and thinkers
  • Critical thinking and normative analysis
  • International political theory
  • Reasoned debates over political values

More information about the specialisation Political Theory can be found in the Course Catalogue

Entry requirements:

Completed first year of a bachelor’s programme. A completed first year of applied sciences (HBO) does not grant access to the minor.


International exchange students are contacted by their programme coordinator regarding enrolment.

Students from Dutch universities can enroll the following way:
1) Studenten van andere universiteiten moeten zich bij de UvA inschrijven
als bijvakstudent, zie
2) Meld je aan voor de minor via het aanmeldformulier in de studiegids.
3) Schrijf je daarna in voor de vakken via SIS.


Dr. Johan Olsthoorn, e-mail:

Minor Political Theory

Johan Olsthoorn introduces the minor Political Theory

Facts & Figures
Credits 30 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission
Starts in September