Below you will find a selection of the minors and MA programmes associated with Institutions for Open Societies. Some courses are held in Dutch and for these courses the information is currently only available in Dutch. 

Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

The PPE programme at Utrecht University considers political and economic issues from four different perspectives: philosophy, politics, economics and history. The addition of a historical dimension to PPE is something you will only find in Utrecht, where we are convinced that understanding the past will help us make better choices for the future. As well as gaining thorough knowledge of each of these four fields, students will also be trained to combine them to address the world’s most challenging problems.

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Bachelor: minors
Minor 'Politiek tussen Nationale Staat en Mondiale Samenleving' (Humanities)

The Dutch-taught Bachelor minor ‘Politiek tussen Nationale Staat en Mondiale Samenleving’ deals with the changing institutional context of political processes in Europe. What different political institutions has Europe known since the end of the eighteenth century? What are key concepts and theories? How is political authority legitimized? And can the social contract that legitimizes the nation state and protects citizens also work at international level?

Click here for more information in Dutch.

Contact: Ingrid Robeyns (

Minor 'Macht en Onmacht van de Markt' (Humanities)

The Dutch-taught Bachelor minor ‘Macht en Onmacht van de Markt’ deals with the formation, effects and desirability of the market as an economic institution, and of capitalism as an economic system in which the market is central. How dominant was the market in the economic development in Europe and the world? Is the market is a good way to cope with shortages, or are other economic institutions more suitable in some situations? What historical theories have been developed on the market economy, and how convincing are these theories? What does an ethical framework that we can use to evaluate the effects of the market look like?

Click here for more information in Dutch.

Contact: Ingrid Robeyns (

Minor 'Sociaal Ondernemen' (Law, Economics and Governance)

In the "participation society" social entrepreneurship is an increasingly important way to produce public value and solve social problems. On the one hand governments are pulling back and on the other there is an increasing number of entrepreneurs looking to not only profit, but also to produce social benefits. In short, social entrepreneurship is about individuals who see opportunities for social innovation and create a philosophy that does justice to all concerned.

This Dutch-taught minor brings together legal, economic, administrative, and organizational scientific knowledge about social entrepreneurship and gives you a thorough basic knowledge about this new form of entrepreneurship.

Click here for more information in Dutch.

Minor ‘European Governance’ (Law, Economics and Governance)

The English-taught multidisciplinary minor’s programme in European Governance brings together insights from the fields of economics, law, public administration and organizational science in order to introduce students to the multi-faceted nature of contemporary governance issues within the European Union. Whether they have to concern themselves with the labour market, public safety, food safety, public service provision or conflicts between EU states resulting from EU decisions, decision makers at both public and private organizations need to understand in what way this European dimension is relevant to their own functioning and the functioning of the institutions in their environment.

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LLM 'Law & Economics' (Law, Economics and Governance)

In the Master’s programme in Law and Economics, you will focus on the economic and legal aspects of market regulation (in banking, energy, telecom, transport, health care, etc.), private equity, hedge funds, competition and competition policy, corporate governance and mergers. You will learn from an interdisciplinary team of legal experts and economists who enhance the challenging course content with both theory and real-world knowledge. The interdependence of economics and law is the prime focus of the programme. As a graduate of this programme, you will be uniquely prepared to bridge what is a common gap between these disciplines.

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LLM 'European Governance' (Law, Economics and Governance)

The Master’s programme ‘European Governance’ explores pressing concerns facing Europe today. Issues that involve activities at the local, national and European level, requiring insight into the fields of economics, law and public administration. The interdisciplinary Master’s programme in European Governance will equip you with the knowledge and skills to answer important questions and to formulate appropriate responses to the challenges they pose. Our programme prepares you to deal with and work within the framework of European governance – both in Brussels and at home.

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MA 'Politiek en Maatschappij in Historisch Perspectief' (GW)

Why are things like prosperity, security, justice, freedom and happiness ultimately achieved in one society and not in another? What role do citizenship, democracy and the establishment of markets play in this development? Why is it so difficult to avoid negative effects such as social polarization and environmental damage?

These are the main questions adressed in the Dutch-taught Master's programme 'Politiek en Maatschappij in Historisch Perspectief'. Central to this is the concept of 'Institutions for Open Societies', in the broad sense of the word: the informal and formal rules, practices and organizational structures that shape society, but which are the result of historical development.

Click here for more information in Dutch.

Contact: Jessica Dijkman (

Cooperation with honours master's programme Young Innovators League

The Dutch spoken cooperation program with the Young Leaders League (YLL) aims to contribute to tackling social issues, by crossing the boundaries of disciplines, sectors, levels and countries, and by letting students work together with researchers and stakeholders. In this way, academic knowledge and fresh perspectives are combined with practical experience to fit with the issues that need to be addressed in the field. This will be done through working together on three important, yet difficult issues, namely, sustainable health care, sustainable economy, and sustainable cities. These themes will remain our research focus for the coming years.

Each theme is run by an appointed trustee. These trustees have thorough expertise, good cooperative relationships with researchers at the UU, affinity with honors education which is aimed at getting the best out of the students, and relevant contacts with stakeholders in government, business and civil society. These trustees are: Ellen Moors (Geosciences), Stephanie Rosenkrantz (Law, Economics and Governance) and Albert Meijer (Law, Economics and Governance). Within the themes four case studies are selected annually in which researchers, including researchers from the strategic theme ‘Institutions for Open Societies’, twelve multidisciplinary student teams of four or five persons, and several stakeholders, all from various disciplines, are brought together.

The case studies deal with different aspects of the overall theme. Teams work independently, but the cases are closely related in order for different teams to complement and support each other. This not only allows for better connections between students and researchers within the UU, but also with the stakeholders. This provides opportunities to build more lasting relationships and thus potentially better address major social issues.

Contact: Erik Stam ( and/or Albert Meijer (

Interdisciplinary course 'Institutions Think Tank'

The interdisciplinary course 'Institutions Think Tank' (5EC) provides graduate students from several Research Masters programmes (History, Legal Research, Multidisciplinary Economics, Philosophy and Sociology) with an opportunity for interdisciplinary research collaboration in connection with Utrecht University's strategic research theme Institutions for Open Societies. The course aims to equip students with key conceptual and methodological tools for pursuing research related to how institutions serve function (or fail to function) to addressing key societal issues. The course also provides invaluable experience in working collaboratively.  

Click here for more information (Osiris course description)

Contact: Joel Anderson (