Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Questions for Tom Buitelaar about the Minor Global Affairs

You’re about to start your minor at Leiden University. Make sure you are well prepared and get your studies off to a good start.

We asked Tom Buitelaar, Study Coordinator of the minor Global Affairs, several questions about the minor Global Affairs; 'This minor has the most experienced group of professors you will ever encounter in one programme, and their willingness to share their knowledge and insights on the theory and practice of global affairs makes this programme truly unique.'

What is the minor Global Affairs about?

The minor Global Affairs is about Global Affairs. The programme is mainly built on two pillars of International Relations: International Security and International Political Economy. In the courses, the professors will discuss the most pressing global trends and challenges and explore important geo-political shifts. This programme is unique in that it is taught by a combination of academics and (former) practitioners in the field of international relations.

What kind of student are you looking for?

We welcome students from any background, as long as they have an interest in international relations in the broad sense. If you are interested in combining insights from academics and practitioners, this minor is for you. Students don’t need any specific educational background, but they can only be successful in this minor if they follow the news and know what is going on in the world. You will also require at least some analytical skills.

What kind of interest does a student need to have?

We are looking for students who are interested in international relations in the broadest sense, whether that is in power instruments, the roel of NGOs in world politics, the use of the military in international relations or the financial/economic domain.. Students should have an interest in how power is shifting in the world and the impact of those geo-political shifts on, for instance, institutions such as the EU, UN and NATO, the relationships with and between Russia, China and the US, and  international trade. Current events like the invasion of Ukraine, the West's withdrawal from Afghanistan, or the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, play a central role in this minor.

What skills do you learn during this minor? And how can you use these skills in daily life?

The minor aims to offer students a balanced package in which theory and practice are combined. Students will learn how to write a policy brief and a well-structured, clearly argued essay. This means they will hone their ability to analyse complex phenomena and distill useful insights for the real world. These are fields of knowledge and skills that will come in handy in any discussion and career. Whether you aspire to become an engineer dealing with clients in the Middle East, an economist at a multinational company, or a marketeer, psychologist, lawyer -- or anything else, really – knowledge and understanding of how global affairs are conducted will be useful.

More information

We will organise an online presentation and Q&A during the minor market on 29 March,  15:30 - 16:00 hrs via Teams. Sign up!

You can find more information about this minor on the e-studyguide.
If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to Tom Buitelaar  at 


This website uses cookies.  More information.