Students choose (one of) the thesis seminar(s) offered within their specialisation. It is strongly recommended that students start thinking about the topic of their thesis before the start of the classes. Attendance is compulsory for all classes. Detailed information about the study material and the writing process can be found on Brightspace.
Objective: 1. To deepen the understanding of theories and methods related to research on the theme of the Master Specialisation.
Objective: 2. Applying them to a specific topic as part of the student’s Master thesis project.
General Introduction Meeting
See 'Information and Deadlines' for the time and date of the introduction meeting.
Theme 01: Global Public Goods and Commons (R. Hagen)
This thesis seminar applies insights from political economy and addresses the difficulties countries, organizations and individuals have in achieving successful collective action. By using and comparing theories from public goods and commons literature, students will use an empirical example of their own choosing in their individual project that delves into how collective action has / is / or can be, achieved and what the difficulties in that specific instance are. (Global) public goods and commons are multidisciplinary subjects combining fields such as political economy, law and philosophy and uses them to explore the workings of international action and decision making. Examples of such issues are found for instance in climate mitigation, defense, refugee protection and the Internet. By writing a thesis on this subject students will gain an understanding on the necessary conditions of achieving successful collective action in these complicated settings
Theme 02: International Institutions and Security Governance (dr. H. Meegdenburg)
Abstract: This thesis seminar will guide students through the process of designing and carrying out an academic research project studying International Institutions and Security Governance. Students are invited to propose theoretically informed research projects that study the politics, policies and decision-making processes of international actors involved with, or influencing, international security. This seminar advances a broad concept of international institutions understood as including both formal institutions such as NATO and the UN and informal institutions and norms. Moreover, students are invited to analyse different actors, aspects or outcomes of security ‘governance’. Examples would be the study of the role of inter-governmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations, the role and consequences of the involvement of for- profit actors such as Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) or the interactions between states and an array of non-state actors. This seminar is open to a variety of research methods but there will be an emphasis on qualitative research designs and more critical perspectives.
Please note that for some seminars there will be no additional substantive readings than the ones discussed in the courses they build on.
See 'Information and Deadlines'
The research proposal includes a problem statement, theoretical foundation, conceptualization as well as a sound explanation of the methods and techniques for data collection and analysis.The proposal must be approved by the supervisor and a second reader. The second reader will be designated by the Director of Studies. Please note that teachers are not obliged to provide thesis supervision if the proposal is not approved.
The MSc thesis needs to comply with high standards of academic research. The thesis must be between 8.000 and 10.000 words, including tables, footnotes and bibliography. The thesis evaluation form with the evaluation criteria will be published on Brightspace.
Students that drop or fail the course have to retake the complete thesis seminar (in the 2nd semester of the next academic year). Students should contact the Exam Committee if they are unable to complete the master thesis by the deadline due to circumstances beyond their control.