PhD Candidates

The PhD programme 'Institutions of Politics: Design, Workings, and Implications' is concerned with the analysis of institutions in the broadest sense of the term.

Brief outline of the programme

Institutions are analysed both as dependent variables (in terms of their formation and design) and as independent variables (in terms of their impact on the attitudes, behaviour and values of political actors). We also pay particular attention to the normative and theoretical aspects of institutions and therefore we devote a substantial part of the programme to the question of how institutions can be designed, and to the implications of their functioning.

Since the founding of the institute, and not least as a result of its origins within the Faculty of Law, institutional analysis has figured prominently on the institutional research agenda. A renewed interest in institutions, as evidenced by the internati­onal political science literature since the early nineties, has served to reinforce this traditional emphasis.

Additional research

Research is the principal part of the PhD programme. Students conduct original research leading to a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor. Almost all PhD candidates are engaged in additional research projects, either individually or with other PhD students or members of the institute's staff, and they routinely attend scientific conferences where they present their work.

Admission requirements

A prospective PhD candidate in this field should have:

  1. considerable methodological knowledge and skills;
  2. some experience in setting up and carrying out small-scale research projects;
  3. knowledge of the contemporary social science literature relating to political science;
  4. good writing skills;
  5. a strong interest in doing original research at the highest level.


All full professors at the Institute have the ius promovendi (the right to act as a PhD supervisor). The Institute's associate and assistant professors may co-supervise a PhD project.

Rudy Andeweg:
  • cabinet government
  • legislative behaviour
  • political representation
  • political psychology
  • political leadership
Jelke Bethlehem:
  • surveys / polls
  • nonresponse in surveys
  • methodology of web surveys
Ingrid van Biezen:
  • political parties
  • democracy & democratisation
  • political finance
  • party regulation
  • European party systems
Henk Dekker:
  • political socialisation
  • integration
Isabelle Duijvesteijn:
  • strategic studies
  • war and peace
  • humanitarian intervention
  • terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • irregular war
  • insurgency and counter-insurgency
  • military theory
  • security studies
  • cyber war
Joop van Holsteijn:
  • elections
  • electoral behaviour
  • public opinion
  • opinion polls
  • Dutch politics
Ruud Koole:
  • Dutch politics
  • political parties
  • political finance
  • political history
  • multi-level governance
Petr Kopecký:
  • political parties and party systems
  • patronage and clientelism
  • legislative behaviour
  • democratisation
  • non-governmental organisations
  • Czech politics
  • (East) European politics 
Jan van der Meulen:
  • military missions
  • public opinion
  • army
  • defence policy
  • internationalisation
Daniel Thomas:
  • international relations / world politics
  • international cooperation & global governance
  • politics of international institutions & organisations
  • politics of international law
  • politics of human rights
  • humanitarian intervention
  • social movements, advocacy networks and non-state actors in world politics
  • European integration
  • EU foreign policy, EU in the international system
  • EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy

Last Modified: 23-03-2015