Netherlands, Utrecht

Dutch Culture: Society and Current Issues

when 5 August 2019 - 16 August 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 760

This course will explore Dutch culture and identity by focusing on present-day Dutch society and its recent history. You will learn about typically Dutch phenomena such as the poldermodel, mobile flood barriers and windmills, and you will be taught by Utrecht lecturers on subjects such as the Dutch economy, religious diversity, (im)migration and secularization. An excursion is included in which we will take you to The Hague to visit the Binnenhof; the square that forms the very heart of Dutch government.

To offer you a clear cut programme, this course will be devoted to two specific themes:
Theme 1: Society During the course lecturers will discuss the most characteristic institutions and arrangements of Dutch society such as the welfare state and the polder model. Since the Dutch live in a small geographical space, environmental planning and engineering always have been of vital importance to them. Also water management is a crucial feature of Dutch planning. You will learn about the real role of the windmills, but also about other factors that contributed to the economical success and international orientation of the Netherlands.
Theme 2: Contemporary Issues This topic explores public debates in Dutch society at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Topics discussed are religious diversity and secularization, immigration and integration and Dutch traditions of cooperation reflected in the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court. You will experience various lectures and seminar groups during which you are expected to participate in discussions on Dutch society and to work on assignments. This course includes a full day excursion to The Hague, including a visit amongst others to the Dutch Parliamentary building (Binnenhof).

Course leader

Dr. Kenan van de Mieroop

Course aim

This course introduces participants to the history, society and culture of the Netherlands. By studying Dutch society and culture in an international context, you will be offered an incentive to reflect anew on your own culture and society in an international atmosphere.

Fee info

EUR 760: Course fee
EUR 350: Housing fee

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