Political change and opposition
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-SOB2040
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryB2 (Second year bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Sociology;
PreviousNext 1
dr. P.G. Geurts
Other course modules lecturer
T.M.G. Jeroense, MSc
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. C.H.B.M. Spierings
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. C.H.B.M. Spierings
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. C.H.B.M. Spierings
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
PER4  (11/04/2022 to 15/07/2022)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
The precise course goals will be communicated at a later moment. In general, however, the goal of this course will be to understand contemporary debates about democratic politics in the Netherlands in a comparative perspective and particularly in light of economic, structural and technological developments in society at large.
In this course we will provide a political sociological perspective on contemporary politics, with a focus on Dutch politics, albeit in comparative perspective as such comparisons help to shed light on how to understand Dutch politics. The sociological perspective will draw particular attention to how economic, structural and technological developments in society shape how citizens think about, participation in, and influenced by political actors and the system. Just to give one example, the rise of the opposite green parties and populist parties have roots in one and the same development: the educational emancipation of the people and the de-pillarization of Dutch politics. It is such a broader perspective that this course offers to understand and reflect upon the issues that are hotly debated regarding the state of our democratic political practices and the opposition against today's politics or the changes therein.

​Just to name a few, the exact democratic debates focused on can include topics like
  • the rise of populism
  • representation gaps of women and ethnic minorities
  • social media and echo chambers
  • voter volatility and party fragmentation
  • declining participation and diploma democracy
  • the role of election polls
  • new forms of democracy like referendums and citizen juries
  • political trust  just to name a few.
On these topics, we will take a step back to look at the issues at hand and try to understand their causes and consequence.Therefor this course will start be getting familiar with mastering the broader perspective, before we turn to some of these topical issues. On one these you are encouraged to and supported in writing academic-level blog, which also allows you to deepen your knowledge in one of the particular issues.
This course is taught at a general bachelor's level. It is designed to be challenging, but of course putting in the expected 168 hours (for a 6 credit course) should on average be sufficient for learning a lot (and passing the course).
Presumed foreknowledge

Test information


Required materials
The exact literature will be announced at a later moment. It will be a combination of scientific article available via the university library and (parts of) the mentioned book. Of the latter, we are working on having a e-book version of it in our library's collection.
Title:Modernization and postmodernization: Cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies.
Author:Ronald Inglehart
Publisher:Princeton university press.

Instructional modes
Type of instructional modeLecture

Sustainability certificate
Attendance MandatoryYes

Test weight1
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock PER4, Block PER4

Bonus Assignments
Test weight1
Test typeFor awarding bonus points
OpportunitiesBlock PER4