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Thesis Seminar International Organisation - Fall 2020


General information meeting on the Thesis Seminar Fall 2020:

Wednesday 6/5/2020, 13.00h, online.


01: International Institutions and Security Governance - van 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.

This seminar offers space to a maximum of 12 students

02: Legitimacy, Legality and Politics of Global Governance of the Protection of Human Rights - Kinacioglu
Abstract. This thesis seminar is designed to support projects that involve key conceptual foundations, arguments, debates and contestations related to the legitimacy, legality and politics nexus of the protection of human rights by international institutions. The conception of international institutions of this thesis seminar includes multilateral global governance organisations -supranational, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental- involved in the protection of human rights. The seminar is designed to help students plan their research, raise theoretically informed questions, and analyse issues related to the role and politics of legitimacy in the functioning of such organisations in the global human rights regime. Examples include analysing legality and legitimacy of the use of force for humanitarian purposes by international organisations; issues and debates related to the responsibility to protect and human security; effectiveness and practice of international criminal tribunals in the protection of human rights. This seminar is open to qualitative explanatory and normative research designs with a critical perspective.

This seminar offers space for a maximum of 12 students

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 will be taken care of by the OSC/SSC in the last week of August 2020.
Registration is open for students that started their Master in one of the Political Science specialisations, in February 2020. 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.