Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Masterclass 2012: Crisis in Europe

The student who writes the best paper will win a conference trip to Madrid.

Deadline for application is January 16th 2012.


Problem Definitions, Solutions, Alternatives

The perception of living in a deep crisis has conquered Europe today. The risk that Greece goes bankrupt brought about diverse proposals and intense debate. Banks were nationalised, IMF bailout package was set up and European governments are continuing their search for solutions.

While economic bad news hits the headlines, the crisis in Europe may be much broader and deeper. The economic problems spill over to other topics in the EU and the member states. Many people feel betrayed by the manoeuvring of politicians and take their grievance  to the streets. The legitimacy of governments and their priorities are at stake and the identity of the European Union is more unclear than ever before. If the crisis in Europe has so many faces, then who knows which solutions will work?

The 2012 Montesquieu Institute Masterclass deals with the nature of the crisis in Europe and unravels the complexities we are facing and to which politicians present such rivalling views. The Masterclass provides students an opportunity to get a better understanding of the current state of the European Union via different theoretical lenses and approaches in policy practice. This trans-disciplinary approach to the crisis in Europe, its causes and possible solutions in the future involves political, economic, historical and cultural perspectives.


Montesquieu Institute Masterclass

Every year the Montesquieu Institute organises a Masterclass for excellent students. For a period of five months, a variety of speakers share their knowledge and insights on a European subject. The students take part in interactive classes, expanding their knowledge on the topic and contributing with their own ideas and experiences.

The 2012 Masterclass will study the current crisis in Europe. Policy practitioners as well as academics will express their views on the crisis, discussing problem definitions, existing policy solutions and alternatives. The focus is on the following core lines:

•  Conceptions and nature of the current crisis

•  Crisis in a historical perspective

•  Role of institutions and their intersection with interests in the current crisis.

•  Role of differences in cultures for the perceptions of the crisis and the answers to it

•  Crisis spill-over or how problems in differing policy fields influence each other

•  Crisis and windows of opportunity for policy changes



Master students, third-year Bachelor students or fourth-year students at Higher Vocational Schools in the Netherlands are eligible for the Masterclass. Students from the following disciplines can apply:, Political Science, Public Administration, International/ European Studies, Economics, Law (preferably Public Law/ State and Administrative Law/ European Law), (Modern) History and Media and Communication Science. All classes are held in English.


Prize for the Student Who Writes the Best Masterclass Paper

The participants in the Masterclass of 2012 have the opportunity to win a remarkable prize.  The student who writes the best paper, will be able to present it at the interdisciplinary workshop “Getting out of the Crisis: Time for New Initiatives”, which will take place on 4th and 5th June 2011. The conference will be held at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, and will provide a forum for young and experienced researchers to share their work, ideas and findings with colleagues interested in the same research fields in a friendly environment.

The prize will cover the costs of travel, accommodation and conference fee. Further information will be provided on the introductory meeting of the Masterclass.



Application deadline:

16th January 2012

Introductory meeting:

27th January 2012 at the Montesquieu Institute, Lange Voorhout 86, Unit 32, The Hague

Classes schedule:

On Fridays: from 10.00 a.m. till 1.00 p.m.

Classes location:

Academy for Legislation, Lange Voorhout 62, The Hague

Diploma ceremony:

21st June 2012 at the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer)


Participation fee Masterclass € 150 + Studytrip € 200




Lecture dates

January 27, Introduction

Lectures are on Friday mornings and start at 10.00 a.m.

June 15, Graduation Ceremony


Practical Issues

During classes

During each session a lecture is given by an academic or a practitioner. The lecture is followed by a discussion for which two students prepare questions and also act as discussion chairs. All students are required to have read the assigned literature before each class. Before and during the classes, coffee and tea will be served.

Study trip

At the end of March 2012, a study trip will probably be organised. Part of the costs for this trip are to be paid by the students themselves (max. € 200).


During the final two classes every student will give a presentation about their final paper proposal.

Final Paper

Each participant writes a final paper. The paper must be written in accordance with the guidelines given by the Montesquieu Institute. The length of the paper must be between 5000 and 6000 words, excluding title page, footnotes, and bibliography. The student with most interesting paper will give a short speech about the paper topic during the closing diploma ceremony in the Dutch Senate.


Students who meet with the course requirements receive a diploma issued by the four universities in the Montesquieu Institute (Groningen, Leiden, Maastricht and Nijmegen).

The diploma ceremony will take place on 21 June 2012 in the Dutch Senate.



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