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International Relations and Diplomacy Master Thesis


MAIRD thesis

The Master program in International Relations and Diplomacy requires, besides the completion of the courses, the writing of a thesis. In the thesis, the student demonstrates his or her ability to apply the acquired knowledge and skills to a topic in the field of international relations and diplomacy. It is advised to select a topic related to the coursework followed, and particular attention should be paid to a conceptual or theoretical framework as acquired in the various courses in the program.

The thesis should be between 40 pages (16.000 words) and 60 pages (24.000 words, absolute maximum) in length, including tables and footnotes. A proposal for the thesis is prepared in the context of the Thesis Lab during bloc 2. In the Thesis Lab, the methodological and technical aspects of the proposal are emphasized; the precise conceptual and theoretical design may be adjusted in the process of supervision.
The writing of the thesis will be supervised by a staff member of the Department of Political Science or of the Institute Clingendael. The final result will be evaluated by the supervisor and a second reader (one of which among he staff of the Department of Political Science, one of which of Clingendael). The thesis evaluation is based on specific criteria, among others clarity of research goals and questions, quality of theoretical and conceptual framework, academic and social relevance originality, legibility and presentation.

1. In the course ‘Thesis Laboratory’ offered during bloc 2 (semester 1) a thesis proposal is developed.
2. During bloc 2, the department provides a list of staff members available for the supervision of Master’s theses in the IRD program. In the month of November, the student will indicate his or her preference for a thesis topic as well as a supervisor to the coordinator for thesis supervision, Dr F. Meijerink. The Director of Studies assigns the supervisor.
3. The thesis supervisor may require adjustments in the proposal and approves the thesis proposal by January 27, 2012.
4. The Director of Studies assigns a second reader, who must also approve the proposal by February 20. The supervisor ensures that a copy of the proposal signed by the supervisor and the second reader is submitted to the Political Science secretariat.
5. The student works on the thesis with the supervisor during the second semester. The supervisor, besides giving guidance on individual chapters, gives comments and suggestions on a complete draft version before the final version is submitted.
6. The deadline for the final version of the thesis is June 11, 2012. The student hands in the final version to the supervisor and the second reader and a third copy to the secretariat. The thesis should also be submitted electronically through Ephorus.
7. The supervisor and second reader evaluate the thesis during a period up to three weeks (15 working days). A thesis evaluation form is filled out and a meeting is scheduled to discuss the comments of both the supervisor and the second reader. If a meeting in person is not possible, the evaluation and comments will be communicated by email.
8. At this last meeting the back hand side of the evaluation form with the non plagiarism and publication statements is also filled out.
9. After the last meeting the student uploads his thesis in pdf format in the Leiden Master IRD Student Repository.

In the Thesis Lab, given in bloc 2 (instructor: Francesco Ragazzi), students will be guided as regards the choice of themes and the availability of expertise for thesis supervision. The Director of Studies will assign the thesis supervisor based on student preferences and a reasonable distribution of supervision tasks among faculty members. In principle, the following persons are available for thesis supervision:

Van Willigen
Van der Putten
Van Ham