General information meeting on the Thesis Seminar Fall 2022:
Online, 18 May 2022
01: International Institutions and Security Governance (dr. M. Kinacioglú) - activity nr = 9343
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: The Politics of Human Rights (dr. G. Macaj) - activity nr = 9344
The aim of this thesis seminar is to help students develop research projects in the field of human rights, with a focus on the use and abuse of human rights norms (eg freedom of speech) and institutions (eg. Human Rights Council) in time (eg during the Cold War) and space (eg Latin America, Eastern Europe). We aim to identify and assess the various ways in which state and non-state actors deploy human rights to justify, often contradictory and sometimes antithetical, objectives, and what that means for the role of human rights at the national, regional, and global levels. The question animating this endeavour is, whether and to what extent human rights practices have contributed towards the emancipation of disempowered groups or the justification of domination over them.
Prior knowledge about human rights or research methods is not required for this seminar. The seminar will be built around the ideas and interests of students, and it will rely on examples to identify and apply core elements of research design (eg puzzle, theory, method) to produce research that is both theoretically interesting and empirically strong. Supervision will include group discussion and individual meetings.
1. Hunt, Lyn .2007. Inventing Human Rights. A history. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.
2. Bobbio, Norberto .2005. The age of Rights. Cambridge: Polity Press.
3. Hirschman, Albert .1991. The Rhetoric of Reaction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
See 'Information and Deadlines'
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.
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.
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.