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Thesis Lab II


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


This course is the second stage of the thesis lab where students finalise their research proposals by refining their data collection and data analysis methods. Students attend the course with their partially developed project (from Thesis Lab I) ready to develop their project into a full research proposal. Students will have the opportunity to discuss specific issues relating to the design and implementation of their research in class.

Course objectives

On completion of this course, students will have:

· selected the appropriate research strategy to answer their research question; · identified the concepts under investigation using their selected methodology; · a clear understanding of how to collect and analyse the relevant data; · a clear understanding of the strengths and limitations of their research approach; · completed a full-length research proposal which includes methodology, chapter breakdown and research schedule.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

Short seminars; individual consultations; peer review.

Study load: 140 hours

Assessment method

Graded Assignments:

· Methods Section (40%)

  • failed grades must be compensated, resit is not possible

· Final Full Proposal (60%)

  • a resit of final proposal is only possible if the student has failed the assignments and a calculated overall course grade lower than 5.50.

  • the resit date will be announced.

Partial grades will remain valid for one academic year.

Reading list

Each student is responsible for reading up on necessary methods and techniques. To prepare for your research analysis method, you can consult the following textbooks:

Beach, Derek and Rasmus Brun Pedersen. 2013. Process-Tracing Methods: Foundations and Guidelines. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press

Beach, Derek and Rasmus Brun Pederson. 2016. Causal Case Study Methods: Foundations and Guidelines for Comparing, Matching, and Tracing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Bennett, Andrew and Jeffrey T. Checkel. Eds. 2014. Process Tracing: From Metaphor To Analytic Tool. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

George, Alexander L. and Andrew Bennett. 2005. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gerring, John. 2007. Case Study Research: Principles and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Howard, Christopher. 2017. Thinking Like A Political Scientist: A practical guide to research methods. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Klotz, Audie & Deepa Prakash. Eds. 2008. Qualitative Methods in International Relations
A Pluralist Guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rohlfing, Ingo. 2012. Case Studies and Causal Inference: An Integrative Framework. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Toshkov, Dimiter. 2016. Research Design in Political Science. Palgrave: New York, NY..

Yin, Robert K. (2008) Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.


Use Brightspace to register for every course. The programme will register the students in Usis based on the group division.


Dr. J.J. Kantorowicz j.j.kantorowicz@fgga.leidenuniv.nl

Dr. Graig Klein g.r.e.klein@fgga.leidenuniv.nl