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Thesis Seminar International Organisation - Fall 2021


General information meeting on the Thesis Seminar Fall 2021:

Online, 6 May 2021.


01: International Institutions and Security Governance (dr. M. Kinacioglú) - activity nr = 3464
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.

02: Global Governance and Sustainable Development (D. deRock) - activity nr = 3465
This thesis seminar will support students in writing a master’s thesis related to the broad themes of global governance and sustainable development. These two interrelated subjects have become buzzwords in policy and research, but they are both widely debated. Moreover, at least rhetorically, sustainable development has been incorporated into nearly all aspects of global development and economic policy in recent years. This opens up a wide range of possible thesis topics. Specific topics might include, for example: the development policies of international organizations; the Sustainable Development Goals; the Paris Climate Agreement; ‘green finance’; debates over ‘green growth’ versus ‘degrowth’; or poverty reduction strategies. The seminar will focus on the fundamentals of qualitative research design. This includes forming a strong research question, selecting a case (or cases), considering the role of theory, and collecting and analysing data. Mixed methods approaches may be acceptable, but be aware that the instruction will focus solely on qualitative methods such as process tracing and historical analysis.

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 for the Thesis Seminar in the Fall semester is possible from Friday 16 July 2021 - Sunday 22 July 2021. Registration is open for students that started their Master in one of the Political Science specialisations, in February 2021. 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 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.