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Thesis Seminar International Organisation - Spring 2019 CdH



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.

Course Objectives

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

On December 5, 2018 from 13.00-15.00 there will be a general introduction meeting in room 3.60 at Wijnhaven, in which the instructors will explain and discuss the general thesis seminar procedures and expectations and students can ask questions about the thesis seminars.


Theme 01: International Institutions and Security Governance - van Meegdenburg (act. code: 4667)

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-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.

Theme 02: European Foreign and Security Policy - Pomorska (act. code: 4668)

The thesis seminar is aimed at supporting the students in preparation and writing their MSc thesis with a focus on the European Foreign and Security Policy. As part of the seminar, students will develop a thesis proposal in Block 3 and, after conducting their independent research, will write their Master thesis in Block 4. Students are invited to propose theoretically informed research projects, which study the politics, policies and decision-making processes of the European Union and/or its member states in the area of foreign and security policies. Broader projects dealing with the external policies of the EU and/or its member states may also be considered, after consulting with the seminar leader. Possible examples of projects include: explaining the policies of the EU (or/and its member states) towards certain country or region; explaining the relationship between NATO and the EU; studying different aspects of the transatlantic relationship; explaining the decision-making or inter-institutional relations in the making of EU’s external relations, including moments of crisis; analyzing the development of the European defence policy and PESCO; analyzing various EU’s engagements in the world, e.g. CSDP missions; explaining EU’s impact in its neighbourhood. The seminar is open to a variety of methods, but there will be a focus on qualitative research methods and designs.

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 17 December 10.00 a.m. until 26 December 10.00 a.m. Placement is on a first come first served basis and subject to availability.

Registration is open for students that started their Master in one of the Political Science specialisations, in September 2018. 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.


The thesis seminar is composed of a research proposal (first 8 weeks) and a thesis (remaining of the course). The research proposal ensures that the student is on the right track to carry out the research and write the thesis. It must be approved by both readers (see below), but is not awarded a grade. The grade of the thesis corresponds to 100% of the grade of the thesis seminar.

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. The research proposal is not graded, it receives only a pass/revise/fail evaluation.

Master Thesis

The MSc thesis needs to comply with high standards of academic research. The formal requirements of the Master thesis are stated on the page ‘Thesis seminar information and deadlines’. 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.