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Leah wins FGGA thesis award: ‘I was able to be creative in my research’

Every year during the Dies Natalis, the Leiden University Thesis Prizes are awarded. Each faculty selects its best thesis for this purpose. FGGA's best thesis was written by Leah Beekhuizen with the title: ‘The joys or burdens of radical fellow advocates’.

What is your thesis about?

Leah: ‘For my master's thesis in Management of the Public Sector, I researched the influence of radical climate groups on the support for moderate interest groups. In the Netherlands, several interest groups are concerned with climate, but the way in which they do so differs from group to group.    

Some groups carry out radical actions, while others opt for moderate actions. During my research, I was particularly curious about how radical groups relate to moderate groups. Do these two groups influence each other positively or negatively?’

What appealed to you about this topic that made your start writing your thesis on it?

‘I myself worked for an advocacy group dealing with climate before I started my master's degree. This sparked my interest in what it is like for different groups with the same goal to interact with each other, but with different approaches. Then I came across a study from the United States and wanted to see what this is like in the Dutch context.’

Leah received the award on 30 January

What did you enjoy most about your writing your thesis?

‘I liked that you have complete freedom in what topic you want to write about and how you do your research. That freedom allowed me to be creative with my research methods. I ended up choosing a research method that was not covered in the master's.’

Do you have any tips for other students starting to write their thesis?

‘Once you have a topic that you like and which is feasible to research, you shouldn't change the topic too much. It costs you a lot of time if you keep changing subjects. If you end up sticking to something, it will work itself out.’ 

 Text: Annemieke van Es 

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