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Thesis Seminar International Organisation Spring



Objective: 1. To deepen the understanding of theories and methods related to research on International Organisation.
Objective: 2. Applying them to a specific topic as part of the student’s master thesis project.


Students choose one of the thesis seminars on International Organisation (see short descriptions below). 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 Blackboard.

General Introduction Meeting

On Tuesdag 1 December 2015 between 13.00-14.00 hrs in SB45 the instructors will explain and discuss the general thesis seminar procedures and expectations and students can ask questions about the thesis seminars.

1 Case Studies in Foreign Policy Analysis – Blarel ( 6930)
The thesis seminar of Nicolas Blarel focuses on research questions opening the black box of domestic politics and policymaking in an effort to understand states’ choices in international politics. In the last two decades, issues that were once considered as the exclusive preserve of ‘domestic’ politics have now crossed territorial borders to become precursors of ‘international’ politics. Consequently, a traditional state-centric approach to explain discrete foreign policy decisions is no longer acceptable, if it ever was. Any complete understanding of international politics requires a movement along the traditional levels of analysis to incorporate an assessment of the multi-causal and multi-step dynamics that shape foreign policy-making. In this seminar, students are encouraged to make use of existing conceptual approaches to explain particular foreign policy decisions.

2 Civil War and its Aftermath – Jentzsch ( 6931)
The thesis seminar of Corinna Jentzsch addresses the study of the causes, dynamics and outcomes of civil wars. Research questions may focus on civil war onset, armed group organization and recruitment, intensity and forms of violence against civilians, rebel governance of civilians, rebel group fragmentation and alliances, counterinsurgency, transnational aspects of civil wars, or the aftermath and legacies of civil wars. Students are encouraged to apply existing conceptual and theoretical approaches to explain particular cases.

3 Critical Approaches in International Relations – Ragazzi (act. nr 6932)
The thesis seminar of Francesco Ragazzi is open to students who want to develop empirical research grounded in linguistic, marxist, constructivist, post-structuralist, feminist or post-colonial approaches in International Relations. The range of topics is not pre-determined, as long as the student is interested in developing research within one of the reflexive approaches in IR. Purely theoretical theses will not be accepted. The research needs to be grounded in a clear empirical research question and make use of qualitative or quantitative research methods. Possible themes, among others: securitization of migration and border control, digital mass surveillance, datafication of security, security-development nexus, technology and the transformations of warfare, privatisation of security, terrorism and counter-terrorism


Registration in uSis for one thesis seminar is possible from Wednesday 9 December 10.00 hrs until Wednesday 16 December 10.00 hrs. Placement is on a first come first served basis and subject to availability. If more than 15 students prefer to be in a thesis seminar students will be placed on a waiting list.
Registration is open for students that started their Master in Political Science in September. All other students should contact the exam committee to request permission to take this thesis seminar. Students can take the thesis seminar only once in their academic year.


Research Proposal
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.

Master Thesis
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 Blackboard.

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.


Time Table MSc Thesis Seminar Spring semester 2015/2016

Students study literature list (announced on Blackboard) and start working on their research proposal.
1 February
Start of thesis seminar classes and actual supervision.
Monday 14 March, 12pm
Deadline Students submit revised and final version of research proposal to the thesis seminar teacher and second reader.
Monday 21 March – Friday 25 March
Final version of research proposal approved by thesis seminar teacher and second reader.
Saturday 26 March – Sunday 8 May
Time period devoted to individual work on the thesis, including individual and/or small group meetings.
Monday 9 May, 12 pm
Deadline Students submit the first complete draft of their Master thesis.
Thursday 19 & Friday 20 May
Feedback and comments on first complete draft thesis by supervisor.
Saturday 21 May – Sunday 5 June
Revision of the thesis.
Monday 6 June, 12 pm
Deadline Students submit two copies of the final version of the Master thesis: one to the supervisor and one to the second reader.
Wednesday 22 June
Supervisor and second reader decide on the grade for the thesis, sign the evaluation report and inform the student about this outcome.
Thursday 23 June – Friday 24 June
Final meeting with supervisor.