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Thesis Seminar Political Legitimacy and Justice - Spring 2018



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.


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 Blackboard.

General Introduction Meeting

On Wednesday 6 December 2017 there will be a general introduction meeting from 15.00-17.00h in room SA41, in which the instructors will explain and discuss the general thesis seminar procedures and expectations and students can ask questions about the thesis seminars.

Thesis Seminar Political Legitimacy and Justice - van Apeldoorn (act. code 10497)

This course guides students through the process of designing and carrying out an academic research project. The seminars are focused broadly on justice and political legitimacy, two related but, on many accounts, distinct evaluative standards of political decisions and institutions. In the seminars we will place the course theme mainly in international context. We will ask what justice requires with regard to global wealth and income inequality, the existence of state borders, and the processes of economic and social integration associated with globalisation. We will also ask what are the limits of rightful interference in domestic affairs of sovereign states: when do the political decisions cease to be legitimate and when are foreign interventions permissible or required? These discussions will form a stepping stone for the independent research projects, which may either closely relate to the course readings or, in consultation with the instructor, reach further afield. Research topics will generally engage with the literature in the discipline of analytical contemporary political philosophy and may have an empirical dimension.

Additional Information

Please note that for some seminars there will be no additional substantive readings than the ones discussed in the courses they build on.


Registration in uSis for one thesis seminar is possible from Monday 18 December 2017 10.00 hrs until 28 December 10.00 hrs. Placement is on a first come first served basis and subject to availability. If more than 12 students prefer to be in a thesis seminar students will be placed on a waiting list.
Registration is open for students that started their Master in one of the Political Science specialisations, in September 2017. All other students should contact the exam committee to request permission to take this thesis seminar. Students can take the thesis seminar only once in their academic year.


Research Proposal
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.

Master Thesis

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 Blackboard.

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.

Time Table MSc Thesis Seminar Spring semester 2017/2018