Political Science

Go to: Institute of Political Science

What is Political Science?

The current research programme of the Institute of Political Science is primarily concerned with the analysis of institutions, in the broadest sense of that term. Since the foundation of the institute, and not least as a result of its initial origins within the Faculty of Law, a concern with institutional analysis has always figured prominently on its research agenda.

More recently, this traditional emphasis has been reinvigorated through the major renewal of interest in institutions in the international political science literature, and through the impact of those new modes of thinking which are included under the rather loosely defined heading of “neo-institutionalism”. In this sense, this new wave of international literature has brought back to the fore the issues and concerns that have always played a prominent role in this research profile. In common with this international political science literature, we define institutions in a very broad sense. That is, we recognise that political institutions are more than the simple aggregations of individual political activity, but provide the rules and pay-off structures that constrain individual behaviour, and that also contribute to the formation of political preferences.


Visiting address
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Pieter de la Court building 
Institute of Political Sciences (5th floor)
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
The Netherlands

Postal address
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Institute of Political Sciences
PO Box 9555
2300 RB Leiden
The Netherlands

Telephone and Fax
Phone: +31 (0)71 - 527 3950
Fax: +31 (0)71 - 527 3815

Last Modified: 07-05-2014