Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Governance, Economics and Development (BSc Major of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges)

Wrenching poverty, global inequality, violent political and ethnic strife, deadlocked, unresponsive or even collapsing governments, growing dissatisfaction with democracy and missed opportunities for innovation – these are merely some of the challenges of governance and development with which our programme aims to teach students to critically engage.

The Major BSc. Governance, Economics and Development is part of the Bachelor's programme Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges at Leiden University College in The Hague. Students choose a Major at the end of their first year and study the Major-  curriculum in the second and third year.

David Zetland

Major Convener Governance, Economics and Development

David Zetland

''The Governance, Economics and Development Major brings together knowledge from multiple disciplines to train you to begin your own journey to understand the origins, challenges in alleviating, and possible solutions to these problems.''

Kevin de Wit

Alumn Governance, Economics and Development

Kevin de Wit

“I chose this major because I have always been fascinated with macro structures and the differential outcomes of various groups, societies and nations throughout time. This major challenges me to think rigorously about the issues involved in governance, involved in political and economic choices, and how these impact the development of different nations.”

Due to the selected cookie settings, we cannot show this video here.

Watch the video on the original website or

The Governance, Economics and Developement Major

Inequality and difference in the prosperity within and across societies concerns us. However, people seldom consider the fact that most inequality is result of human choices: over time, different societies organize themselves in different ways, these differences may affect the quality of people’s lives. This Major Governance, Economics and Development at Leiden University College The Hague is designed to give students the tools to better understand these processes and identify how tools of governance can be used to enhance or impair development and prosperity by integrating insights from the  following disciplines: Anthropology, Data  Science, Development Studies, Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy.

In this major, we examine questions such as...

  • Why are the commitments of the Paris Climate Accord not being implemented?
  • How can a society transition out of protracted conflict and move towards sustainable peace?
  • Who is liable if a fully autonomous weapon (e.g. a drone) commits a mass atrocity?
Core tracks of the Governance, Economics and Development Major
Core tracks of the Governance, Economics and Development Major

What does the future hold?

Due to the broad nature of the Liberal Arts & Sciences degree and the strong interdisciplinary skills developed in the programme, graduates are in demand on the labor market. Liberal Arts & Sciences students go in many different directions after graduation. Your major is a key stepping stone in your path towards a Master's degree or future career.

It is common for Liberal Arts & Sciences graduates to pursue a master's degree, to further challenge themselves and to specialize. The master's builds on knowledge gained in the major as well as the programme as a whole. Some examples of master's programmes that students with a major in Governance, Economics and Development pursued:

  • MA Public Policy @ University College London, UK
  • MPhil Development Studies @ Oxford University, UK
  • PhD Candidate in Political Science @ University of California, USA

During and after their studies, students pursue many different extracurriculars, engage in internships or follow master's degrees. Due to the wide variety of experiences and goals, each career path is different. Some examples of career paths that students with a major in Governance, Economics and Development pursued:

  • Business Development, World Startup Factory, The Netherlands
  • Data Science
  • Political Science or Public Administration/Policy


Read more about this unique study programme on the programme website, see our upcoming events or read how to apply!

Chat with a student from this Major



This website uses cookies. More information.