Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 194106090
Social Problems
Course infoSchedule
Course module194106090
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. G. Jansen
Contactperson for the course
dr. G. Jansen
dr. G. Jansen
prof.dr. A. Need
Academic year2020
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
The objective of this course is to enable students to link theory and practice, science and governance and policy-making, in the world of social problems that we concretely experience in our everyday lives. After this course, the student is able to identify and to analyze how social problems are constructed and controlled by policy makers and governance actors
Social Problems is an MPA course that teaches students how to identify and to analyze how social problems are constructed and controlled by policy makers and governance actors. Examples of societal problems that may necessitate policy intervention in a given society include, for instance, population growth and ageing, migration and the multicultural society, economic inequality, gender inequalities, crime, corruption, financial bubbles and crashes, global warming and climate change, religious fundamentalisms and religious extremism.

During the lectures of the course, it becomes clear that similar social mechanisms lie behind many of the societal problems we face today. We study the causes of many societal problems during the lectures, to make students aware that many societal problems can be traced back to rational and often well-intended behavior of individuals, that -taken together – lead to unintended consequences at the societal level.
In addition to studying the causes of societal problems, during the lectures we will discuss why some societal problems appear higher on the political agenda than other societal problems, and we discuss the role of government interventions that aim to solve societal problems. Hence this course establishes the link between societal problem definition and the policy practice of societal problem-solving.
Assumed previous knowledge
Participating study
Master Teacher in Society Studies
Participating study
Master Public Administration
Required materials
De Graaf, N.D. & D. Wiertz (2019) Societal problems as Public Bads. NY: Routlegde.
Course material
Articles to be announced on Canvas.
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Self study with assistance
Presence dutyYes

Self study without assistance
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Take Home Exam

Kies de Nederlandse taal