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Political Science

Otto Holman

BSc in Political Science

‘One of the key messages which I hope that students take away from my course is that the Dutch political system is not an island of stability in an otherwise turbulent world.’

Otto Holman is an associate professor in International Relations and director of the Master’s programmes Political Science and Conflict Resolution & Governance.

Photographer: Jeroen Doomernik

Which course(s) do you teach?

‘The course that I teach, International Relations, is one of the core elements of the first-year programme. It introduces major historical and current developments that contributed to the formation of theory in the field of international relations. It will acquaint you with early and contemporary thinkers of great importance and zooms in on the rise and fall of Europe (and “the west”) as a powerful centre of the world economy.’

What do you want students to learn?

‘One of the key messages which I hope that students take away from my course is how important it is to realise that the Dutch political system (or any other national political system, for that matter) is not an island of stability in an otherwise turbulent world, but crucially depends on actors and factors in its environment. How could this famous trading nation have developed, had it not been for its central geographical location in Europe and in the transatlantic heartland of capitalist production and finance? Many contemporary issues are crucially shaped by the dynamics of international relations. As global problems have become Dutch and European problems, can nation states solve these problems on their own? What is the significance of national borders in today’s world?’

What is your own research about?

‘Global and transnational politics is also at the heart of my own research. My work is on the intersection of different disciplines, notably international relations, international political economy and European integration studies. My most recent project deals with the multidimensionality of crisis and core-periphery dynamics both within the EU and in its external relations.

During the last couple of years, I have been responsible for the Political Science Master’s programme at the Graduate School of Social Studies at the UvA. If you have questions about your future study plans at the Master’s level, please contact me before or after class or drop by at my office!’