Universiteit Leiden

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Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges (BA/BSc)

Global Challenges

LUC's Liberal Arts and Sciences programme focuses on the four Global Challenges: Peace & Justice, Sustainability, Prosperity, and Diversity

Global Challenges are major issues facing humanity and the planet. They cannot be solved by one nation, institution or organisation on its own. Interdisciplinary cooperation between academics, governments, organisations and individuals is required to understand these issues. Knowledge and skills need to be combined and shared so that the Global Challenges can be addressed collectively. In LUC’s programme you will learn about these global challenges:

Overview of Global Challenges

Each Global Challenge will be taught in the first year, in order to help you understand interdisciplinary thinking as well as provide a window into each Major (study specialisation). One Global Challenge will be the focus of each block. Specialists from different fields will introduce you to a new topic every week through small scale seminars. You will learn to apply the knowledge from these lectures to real world cases.

You examine the complexity of the interconnectedness of peace and justice in a globalised world. The causes of conflict are examined in depth, as well as the changing nature of contemporary conflicts and international responses. You examine how such conflicts have changed in terms of their goals, actors, methods of warfare, and financing.

You are introduced to environmental issues that relate to both the functioning of the (once) natural environment and the current societal demands (food sustainability, ecosystem functioning and energy usage, deforestation and land use change, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity and contaminants). By using examples from around the planet, key problems and their underlying causes are highlighted, along with the human actions that made them an issue, and our related struggle for solutions. 

You are introduced to the ways in which institutions shape human welfare and to how the ‘right’ institutions can be designed, created, and reinforced. As such, it provides you with the social scientific tools to understand and address the global challenges of governance, international development and health policy. 

You are introduced to a range of conventional markers of diversity: gender and sexuality, race, class, ethnicity and nationalism, and religion. These themes are used as lenses to examine the ways in which we define what is “normal” and what is “different” in personal, cultural, historical and socio-political terms. 

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