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MA Thesis Global Political Economy


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA International Relations, track Global Political Economy, and completion of the course Thesis Seminar and Methods in International Relations Research.


A thesis is an academic essay, written by the student in consultation with a supervisor. The thesis must show that the student is capable of analyzing existing literature in a critical manner, and of conducting independent research. Moreover, this process must be recorded in an academically sound report.

Generally speaking, students are encouraged to select the topic of their thesis themselves, based on a Master’s course that they followed. In most cases, the first supervisor of the thesis will be the lecturer responsible for the Master’s course which inspired the thesis. In case of doubt, students can always consult other supervisors within the Humanities Faculty.

During the first semester, students will complete the 5 EC course Thesis Seminar and Methods in International Relations Research in which they will choose a topic for their thesis, formulate a research question, and submit a research proposal and literature review. Students who have not fulfilled the requirements of this course or have not received the approval of the Examinations Committee will not have their MA thesis supervised.

Course objectives

The thesis for the MA International Relations is a maximum of 15.000 words. The word count is including notes, bibliography and appendices (corresponding to OER art.2). The thesis is supervised by a lecturer in the Humanities Faculty, who possesses expertise in the relevant field. The thesis is judged by two lecturers involved in the program.

Thesis supervision

The following list provides an indication of some of the available thesis supervisors in the MAIR programme. The decision regarding the supervisor is determined within each specialization and subject to the approval of the Board of Examiners. Students may not be able to work with their preferred supervisor and may be assigned a supervisor who is not currently listed here.

Dr. Stefano Bellucci supervises students who wish to work on: global labour studies; labour and industrial relations; welfare and social security; trade unions, including international unions’ organisations; International Labour Organization; businesses, financial corporations and multinationals (in relation to value creation and wealth accumulation). At a regional level: African economic and social issues; African politics; aid and cooperation industry in Africa; African history

Dr. L. Black is ready to supervise students who wish to work on China-Japan economic relations, Human Security and Development in East Asia, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in East Asia, East Asian regionalism, and Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy.

Dr V. Chang is open to supervising students who wish to work on China’s engagement with the global political economy, China’s evolving geopolitical and geo-economic strategies, and implications for East Asian regionalism and EU-China relations. He is also interested in the role and impact of emerging city clusters and economic hubs in Western China.

Dr. Duzgun is willing to supervise students interested in issues related to state-formation, late industrialization, developmental state and neoliberal authoritarianism. Students working on Middle Eastern politics and International Relations, especially those using critical political economy and historical sociology approaches are especially welcome".

Dr. Crystal A. Ennis supervises students working on the political economy of the Middle East, the Middle East in Global Political Economy, and the Middle East in International Relations. Dr. Ennis welcomes topics dealing with labour markets, youth and the economy, gender and work, migration governance, transnational labour activist networks, resource dependence, local content policies, knowledge economy and innovation policy, central bank history, south-south cooperation, development finance, investment, and trade. Students interested in focusing on the Arabian Peninsula (and GCC in particular), and the flow(s) of capital or labour within and across the Gulf, the Indian Ocean, and wider Asia are especially encouraged to approach her.

Dr. Forough is open to supervising theses that address one of the following research areas: 1. The geopolitical and geo-economic consequences of the rise of China, such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its connectivity with the Middle East, the US-China relations, and EU-China relations. and 2. The Geopolitics and geoeconomics of the Middle East, and 3. Iranian foreign policy.

Dr. R. Gonzalez VicenteI am willing to supervise MA students on projects concerning South-South relations and development cooperation (with a particular interest in China); the politics of international development; natural resources and development; neoliberalism and state transformation; and the contemporary rise of nationalism and populism in a context of neoliberal globalization

Christian Henderson is interested in supervising theses that relate to political economy and the environment, development and agrarian change. He is open to projects that examine these themes globally but he has particular expertise in the Middle East and North Africa.

Dr. London is open to supervising students on theses addressing themes in global political economy, comparative political economy, class analysis, institutional analysis, inequality, and social policy (e.g. education, health, and social protection), particularly in in middle and low-income countries, and especially in Asia. Dr. London is a leading scholar of contemporary Vietnam.

Dr. Oude-Nijhuis is willing to supervise MA students on projects concerning labor market development, welfare state formation, monetary integration, neoliberalism, and the development of macro-economic policies at the EU level

Dr. Regilme is ready to supervise students who wish to work on research projects dealing with any or several of the following topics: global political economy and its impacts on human rights; theories of global justice; foreign aid and its political consequences; migration and human rights; theories of global economic governance; and topics that link transnational economic factors to domestic political change in the Global South.

Dr. Shidiq is happy to supervise MA students’ theses that use economics, political economy, or micro-econometrics methodology; and/or on topics of Southeast Asian economies, Indonesia, corruption and firms’ productivity, long-run economic growth, market liberalization, and, recently, urbanization and social media and collective action in developing countries.

Dr. Skalamera can supervise any theses that discuss the Political Economy of Eurasia, or Energy (Energy Geopolitics, Energy Security, Environmental Sustainability), theses on state-market relations from the IPE perspective, power shifts in the international order, Russian domestic and foreign policy, Sino-Russian relations, personal networks and elite identity in Eurasia, Political Identity and linkages between domestic and foreign policy in Eurasia.

Dr. Jue Wang supervises students working on: the Political economy of China, China’s external economic relationship, China’s role in the global political economy, China’s role in regional and global economic governance, International economic organisations.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Not applicable.

Assessment method

The thesis for the MA International Relations is a maximum of 15.000 words. The word count is including notes, bibliography and appendices (corresponding to OER art.2). The thesis is supervised by a lecturer in the Humanities Faculty, who possesses expertise in the relevant field. The thesis is judged by two lecturers involved in the program.

In assessing the quality of the thesis, the following aspects play an important role:

  • Formulating and analyzing the research question;

  • Structure of the thesis;

  • Integration of primary and secondary literature into the argument;

  • Argumentation skills;

  • Style, use of language and lay-out;

  • Independent and original research

Also see the regulations concerning the procedure surrounding the master’s thesis.

Reading list

Students who need help finding suitable literature for starting the thesis can make a one-on-one appointment with the subject librarian. Students can also consult the subject guides, created by the subject librarians, which give an overview of resources on each specific field of study.


Via uSis.


The co-ordinator of studies or your thesis supervisor.