Master's Programme in Conflict Resolution and Governance
Conflicts and questions about governance are rarely far apart these days. Street fires in cities in Western Europe, inter-ethnic atrocities, the trials of post-conflict development, the persistent spectre of religious war, and the depth of local conflicts over trade and environment all challenge our imaginations and strain our intellectual resources. The global and the local can almost not be kept apart and risks like climate change reframe the context for relating belief and action. The dynamics of these 'glocal' conflicts, their connection to broader patterns of social change, and the complexities of intervention in these settings increasingly set the focus and context for democratic governance. Conflicts provide the moments of opportunity in which the relationships, knowledge, and practical strategies necessary to sustain governance either develop or erode. The master's programme in Conflict Resolution and Governance provides students with the conceptual and methodological foundation to develop a theoretically informed language of practice that will help them grasp shifts in the character and significance of conflicts, reason about action in local settings, and turn conflict into a resource for democratic governance. This foundation draws on traditions of conflict resolution rooted in international relations and the study of negotiation. It combines this conflict-oriented perspective with current theorizing about governance that emphasizes comparable features like uncertainty, difference, and the negotiated character of knowledge and action. The programme builds on the interdisciplinary tradition of the social sciences at the University of Amsterdam to provide students with the mix of resources needed to respond to the challenges presented by global, regional, and local conflicts and to situate contemporary events in a historical and comparative perspective.
Conflict Resolution and Governance is part of the master’s in Political Science ('Politicologie'). The quality of this master's programme has been positively assessed by the Accreditation Organisation of The Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme students will receive a legally accredited master's degree and the title Master of Science (MSc).