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Thesis Seminar International Organisation Spring 2017



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 Thursday 1December 2016 there will be a general introduction meeting from 11.00-13.00 hrs in 1A01, in which 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 (act.nr 5075)
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.

2Radicalisation and Terrorism – Ragazzi (act.nr 5076)
This thesis seminar builds on the readings of the course “Preventing Terrorism in Multicultural Europe” given in block 1. Students can chose thesis subjects topics related to the following topics: practices of detection of radicalisation, community approaches to radicalisation, foreign fighters, online and offline counter-narratives and propaganda, counter-terrorism administrative and judicial measures, de-radicalisation and rehabilitation of terrorists, as well as the impact of these practices on civil liberties and citizenship. Students are expected to draw from theoretical frameworks about radicalisation, terrorism and political violence reviewed in the course, or studied in other courses (with the approval of the instructor). All students are expected to carry out original empirical research, either by analysing primary documents or doing field research such as direct observations or interviews.

Additional Information

Please note that for some seminars there will be no additional substantive readings than the ones discussed in the courses they build on. For example, for the seminar on Radicalisation and Terrorism, it is assumed that you have followed the course “Preventing Terrorism in Multicultural Europe” or made all the readings relevant to the course. The seminar will focus on research design and methodology.


Registration in uSis for one thesis seminar is possible from Tuesday 6 December 2016 10.00 hrs until 13 December 10.00 hrs. Placement is on a first come first served basis and subject to availability. If more than 12 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, 2016/2017

January Students study literature list (announced on Blackboard) and start working on their research proposal.
Monday 30 January Start of thesis seminar classes and actual supervision.
Monday 13 March, 12pm Deadline Students submit revised and final version of research proposal to the thesis seminar teacher and second reader.
Monday 20 March – Friday 24 March Final version of research proposal approved by thesis seminar teacher and second reader.
Saturday 25 March – Sunday 7 May Time period devoted to individual work on the thesis, including individual and/or small group meetings.
Monday 8 May, 12 pm Deadline Students submit the first complete draft of their Master thesis.
Thursday 18 May and Friday 19 May Feedback and comments on first complete draft thesis by supervisor.
Saturday 20 May – Sunday 4 June Revision of the thesis.
Monday 5 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 21 June Supervisor and second reader decide on the grade for the thesis, sign the evaluation report and inform the student about this outcome.
Thursday 22 June – Friday 23 June Final meeting with supervisor.