Specialisation Policy and Society

Central study objects within this specialisation are the dynamics between people, organizations and institutions in processes of policy making and policy innovation (often referred to as ‘governance’), relative to forest and nature conservation issues, in time and space. The specialisation critically addresses the entire policy cycle: formulation, design, implementation and evaluation of policies and plans for the conservation and sustainable management of forest and natural areas, from the local to the global level. In the thesis and in the restricted optional courses you can focus on economic aspects, people or governance.

Specialisation Policy and Society

Courses and Thesis

Special Track: Sustainable Development Diplomacy

Within the specialisation Policy & Society, a special track is offered, called Sustainable Development Diplomacy (SDD). This track is offered in cooperation with:

The purpose of the programme is to provide (future) academics, practitioners and leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors a combination of theory and practice of international diplomacy and negotiations in the field of sustainable development, allowing them to better tackle the world's most challenging problems. Non-state actors are now allowed to play their roles in international diplomacy (for example, environmental non-governmental organisations), whereas private instruments to address sustainability issues are emerging (such as certification schemes for sustainable forest management).

Students who successfully complete this track will receive a special SDD certificate besides their master diploma. In order to guarantee academic excellence, there will be a procedure to select excellent and motivated students. The details of the selection procedure will be announced later.


This SDD track consists, among others, the following elements:

  • You are required to follow the specialization Policy & Society
  • You do a specially developed negotiations simulation
  • You do a special Academic Consultancy Training (ACT)
  • You can do a Minor Thesis or Internship at Fletcher School (USA), or an Internship at the World Bank (USA) or a sister institution in the second year
  • Your major SDD thesis must be written with the group Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group (FNP).