Students choose (one of) the thesis seminar(s) offered within their specialisation. It is strongly recommended that students start thinking about the topic of their thesis before the start of the classes. Attendance is compulsory for all classes. Detailed information about the study material and the writing process can be found on Brightspace.
Objective 1. To deepen the understanding of theories and methods related to research on the theme of the Master Specialisation.
Objective 2. Applying them to a specific topic as part of the student’s Master thesis project.
General Introduction Meeting
See 'Information and Deadlines' for the time and date of the introduction meeting.
Thesis Seminar Themes:
Theme 101: Armed Conflict (dr. G. Macaj)
The MA Thesis Seminar is designed to aid students in the timely and successful design and completion of their MA thesis. While the course will be mainly on the core components of research design in political science, the substantive focus will be on armed conflict and peace. This focus is meant to be broad to accommodate a wide variety of research topics and questions. Topics that fall within this theme include: inter-and intra-state conflict, political and criminal violence; peace-building and peacekeeping; post-conflict reconstruction; policy approaches to combat crime; the protection of civilians; and the role of international actors and unarmed civilians in conflict processes and dynamics.
The seminar aims to be open to different epistemological and methodological approaches. Participants are welcome to work on research projects using qualitative and/or quantitative methods, observational and/or experimental data, as well as employing a wide range of research designs, from intensive case studies to quasi-experimental and experimental designs. The only essential condition is that projects involve empirical research - i.e., purely conceptual or theoretical projects are discouraged.
Theme 102: International Governance (dr. C. Toenshoff)
This seminar will support students in writing a master’s thesis related to the broad theme of international governance. International governance encompasses the international management of various issues, such as trade, finance, the environment, human rights, health, peace and security, and new technology. It includes the actions of formal international organizations at the global and regional levels and less formalized interactions between national, supra- and sub-national actors. Appropriate research topics might include, for example, the determinants of countries’ participation in regional trade and investment agreements, the emergence and effects of rules governing environmental pollutants, the development policies of international institutions, and the role of self-regulation by non-government actors. This seminar will provide substantive and methodological instructions to help you produce a thesis proposal and thesis. Although the seminar is open to different epistemological and methodological approaches, students will be expected to test their theoretical arguments with quantitative or qualitative empirical evidence. Solely conceptual or theoretical work is discouraged. A full syllabus with a reading list and practical details will be provided at the beginning of the semester.
See 'Information and Deadlines'
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 MSc thesis needs to comply with high standards of academic research. The thesis must be between 8.000 and 10.000 words, including tables, footnotes and bibliography. 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.