General information meetings on the Thesis Seminar Fall:see tab Information and Deadlines
Theme 101: Armed Conflict (R. v.d. Haer)
The purpose of the thesis seminar is to help you write your master thesis. It will provide substantive and methodological instructions so that you can produce a structured and coherent thesis proposal and master thesis. The seminar focuses on issues broadly related to armed conflict and political violence. Specific issues might include: the role of the UN in protecting civilians during conflict, the effectiveness of the ICC in reducing violence, how fragmented rebel groups influence battle intensity, the recruitment of foreign fighters, the role of private military security companies in civil wars, the establishment of DDR programs in order to stabilize peace, the influence of the sanctions in reducing violence, and the role of child soldiers in African wars. The focus of this thesis seminar is very broadly defined to allow students who are interested in conflict and political violence (broadly defined) to benefit from working together on their proposals and theses. The emphasis here will be on quantitative research. However, qualitative research is – of course - also welcome.
Theme 102: Interdependence and Cooperation in International Relationsm (S. Hofstede)
The purpose of the thesis seminar is to help you write your master thesis. It will provide substantive and methodological instructions so that you can produce a structured and coherent thesis proposal and master thesis.
The seminar focusses on issues of power transition and cooperation and interdependence in international relations. Specific issues might include: international cooperation in the absence of a hegemon, great power transition, weaponised interdependence and the US-China conflict as a backdrop.
The focus of this thesis seminar is defined broadly to allow students who are interested in these topics to benefit from working together on their proposals and theses. The emphasis here will be on qualitative research. However, quantitative research is also welcome.
Please note that for some seminars there will be no additional substantive readings than the ones discussed in the courses they build on.
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.