Master History of Society - Specialisation Global History and International Relations

In the master specialisation Global History and International Relations in Rotterdam you will be looking for answers to cutting-edge questions on historical processes of globalisation, international relations and cultural encounters.

How did the United States influence Dutch popular culture and technology in the 20th century?

What do diplomatic papers and human rights reports tell us about World War II and the Soviet Union stimulating nationalistic passions in Yugoslavia?

How can we trace the roots of the Arab spring back to social, economic and geopolitical developments during the Cold War?

Why do rising economies like China and India currently challenge military, political and economic power in the world?

This master is a top educational programme which has been voted the best history master in the Netherlands by students (as published in the Dutch magazine Elsevier and also by the Keuzegids 2015).

International relations: a historical, cultural, and political concern

Nation-states generate various perspectives on the course of history, influencing the way they enter the world’s political stage. In the master specialisation Global History and International Relations at Erasmus University Rotterdam you will investigate how and why people, regions, nations, or empires behave like they do. Contemporary international issues such as migration, trade, cultural heritage and colonialism are therefore examined from global historical, cultural, and political perspectives. After your master you will be able to explain how Dutch maritime posters between 1870 and 1950 influenced the image of the colonies and their inhabitants. And you can analyse popular media texts and historical news reports and tell how the Vietnam War fuelled European anti-Americanism.

Historical Cultures

By studying the development of different global histories you learn to understand how history is often a cultural, religious, social or political narrative created to legitimize nation states, conflicts, cultural identities or world domination. You will study the political mobilisation of history and remembrance and its cultural and social implications for both nation states and its inhabitants. You could write a thesis on the role of oral history and remembrance in Dutch and English commemorations of the abolishment of slavery. Or you could analyse missionaries’ memoires and travel diaries to study how their activities influenced our understanding of religion and society.

Global History and International Relations in Rotterdam. Right up your alley?

In the master specialisation Global History and International Relations in Rotterdam you will look at international relations in a historical context using approaches from the social sciences, political theory and cultural analysis. You will learn how to recognise and analyse global histories and their local consequences. After your master you will be a historian who can explain why nation states act like they do on the international and local stage. Historians who wish to study the interrelation between national and global developments, will find an excellent programme in Rotterdam.


Open day

During an Erasmus Master Open Day, you can follow information sessions about the master specializations you are interested in.

Best master programme

For several years in a row, the master History of Society has been chosen best history master of the Netherlands by both the magazine Elsevier and the Keuzegids - a guide which independently assesses education programmes in the Netherlands.

Quotes from Keuzegids 2014:

"Erasmus University takes the lead with regard to given compliments for content and organization. Students and experts are equally laudatory."

"Our advice:
For those who did have not yet made a decision based on content and specialization: we recommend Rotterdam for a master in History."

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