Historical approach

An emphasis on the importance to blend international history and international relations makes this Master’s program unique in the Netherlands and beyond. Thanks to this approach you will learn to place recent international developments in a broader historical perspective. In 2011, for instance, all eyes were on the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East, where democracy attempted to replace dictatorships. However, anyone with knowledge of recent history in both regions understood that a spring does not necessarily make for a summer. The programme’s historical approach offers possibilities for such reflections, overcoming the fancies of the day.

Faculty research as the foundation of programme content

The Master of International Relations in Historical Perspective at Utrecht University is judged best out of all comparable programmes at other universities by the Keuzegids Masters Selection Guide 2018. Our teachers are an important factor in this success. Your education is provided by recognised experts in the field. Core lecturers of our programme include:

Prof. Beatrice de Graaf
Professor Beatrice de Graaf

Beatrice de Graaf is Chair of History of International Relations & Global Governance. Her interests include the history of national security in the West (19th-21st century) and the development of security thinking, counterterrorism and political violence, securitisation and international relations. She frequently appears in the media as a commenter and expert on terrorism. See for instance her lecture at DWDD University.

Dr Laurien Crump

Laurien Crump is Associate Professor in Contemporary European History and Co-Coordinator of the MA in International Relations in Historical Perspective. She is specialised in multilateral diplomacy and European security during the Cold War from both a Western and an Eastern European perspective. Her recent monograph, published by Routledge: The Warsaw Pact Reconsidered. International Relations in Eastern Europe, 1955-1969 was awarded with the international 'George Blazyca Prize' for 'the best book on Eastern Europe'. Laurien Crump’s research also contributes to the public debate on crucial topical questions, e.g. through newspaper articles and radio interviews on European security, relations with Russia and the 'New Cold War'.

Dr Peter Malcontent
Dr Peter Malcontent

Peter Malcontent is Assistant Professor in the History of International Relations and coordinator of the MA programme International Relations in Historical Perspective. He is specialized in Dutch foreign policy; human rights, development cooperation, the Arab-Israeli conflict and transitional justice. On the latter he recently published the first comprehensive handbook analysing all available instruments to deal with historical injustices - ranging from international criminal tribunals to truth commissions - from a comparative perspective (Facing the Past, Intersentia, 2016)

Prof. Jacco Pekelder
Prof Dr Jacco Pekelder

Jacco Pekelder is Associate Professor in the History of International Relations and Honorary Professor at Saarland University, Saarbrücken (Germany). He is specialised in terrorism and political violence and the history of contemporary Europe and Germany. In 2016 he started the winning student social media campaign 'Dare to be Grey'. This campaign received the first prize in a worldwide contest organized by Facebook and the US State Department challenging students to develop a social media strategy to counteract extremism and radicalisation. See: http://dtbg.nl/

Dr Lorena de Vita

Lorena De Vita is an Assistant Professor in the History of International Relations at Utrecht University and Co-Coordinator of the MA in International Relations in Historical Perspective. An award-winning teacher and researcher, her research focuses on the international history of the Cold War, on the international politics of the Arab/Israeli conflict, and on post-1945 European history and her findings were published in both academic outlets, e.g. Cold War History, and popular media, such as The Washington Post. 

Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges

The Master of International Relations in Historical Perspective is part of the interdisciplinary Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe). UGlobe aims to support and encourage study and research on international issues across the humanities and law at Utrecht University. This approach to international studies connects the multidisciplinary knowledge of the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Governance with that of the Humanities and promotes synergy between these subject areas.

Extensive social network and internship possibilities

An internship strengthens your position on the career market as it offers you possibilities for self-development and to gain valuable workplace experience. Our years-long experience with internships, extensive social network, and good name – among others, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – can help you find the internship best matched to your career goals.

World-class University

Choosing Utrecht University means choosing one of the best universities in the country. Several renowned international rankings place Utrecht University among the 100 best universities in the world. The teaching environment at Utrecht University is international: half of the Utrecht Master's programmes are taught in English. The existing and former academic staff of Utrecht University include twelve Nobel Prize laureates. Read more about Utrecht University.