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Bachelorproject IBO



Doel 1: Het leren toepassen van concepten, theorieën en methoden in een onderzoek binnen een van te voren door de docenten geformuleerd kader;
Doel 2: Het uitvoeren van en rapporteren over een beperkt empirisch of literatuur onderzoek

Inhoud: In het bachelorproject leren studenten onderzoeksvragen formuleren, onderzoek ter beantwoording van die vragen te ontwerpen, een eigen onderzoek uit te voeren, en over dat onderzoek verantwoord en helder te rapporteren. Er worden verschillende projecten aangeboden die gestructureerd zijn rond een bepaald (redelijk breed) thema, waarbinnen de studenten een individueel onderzoek uitvoeren.
Met de eindrapportage – de Bachelorscriptie – vindt de afronding van de Bacheloropleiding Politicologie: Internationale Betrekkingen en Organisaties plaats. De scriptie is een individueel eindwerkstuk gebaseerd op althans deels eigen, oorspronkelijk onderzoek.

Het bachelorproject is een intensieve studieactiviteit, waarvoor de student tijdens blok 4 voltijds beschikbaar dient te zijn. Om die reden geldt er ook een aanwezigheidsplicht.

Inleidende bijeenkomst

Op woensdag 21 november 2018 vindt van 15.00-17.00 uur in zaal 1A20 een inleidende bijeenkomst plaats voor het bachelorproject. Daarin volgt nadere uitleg over het bachelorproject en introduceren de docenten hun deelprojecten. Ook is er gelegenheid tot vragen stellen.


Zie algemene informatie onder tab 'Jaar 3'.


In januari vinden de vrijwillige bibliotheekinstructies plaats; elke student dient zichzelf in te schrijven via uSis voor één van onderstaande bijeenkomsten:

Donderdag 31 januari 2019, 09.00-11.00 in 1A46 (groep 01, act. code 18301)
Donderdag 31 januari 2019, 12.00-14.00 in 2B04 (groep 02, act. code 18302)
Vrijdag 1 februari 2019, 09.00-11.00 in 1A46 (groep 03, act. code 18303)
Vrijdag 1 februari 2019, 12.00-14.00 in 1A46 (groep 04, act. code 18304)

De inschrijving sluit op 25 januari 23.59uur

Bachelorproject thema’s

Bachelorproject 1: Small States in World Politics -Veenendaal (activiteitcode 7561)
Whereas the number of small states in the world has strongly increased in recent decades, international relations theory remains to a large extent focused on great powers. Due to limitations in population size, territory, natural resources, and military capabilities, classical IR theories primarily highlight the vulnerability and dependency of small states. Yet, more recent empirical studies have demonstrated that the position of small states in global politics is not as miserable as scholars have generally assumed, since many small states make creative use of their sovereignty to compensate for their relative weakness in the international system.
In this BA-project, students will study the foreign policies and international relations of either one or a limited number of small states (with less than 1,5 million inhabitants). Students are free to choose any particular focus of their project, and BA-projects could for example focus on small state foreign policy, small state behavior in international organizations, domestic determinants of small state foreign policy, or economic development strategies and (international) economic policies of small states.

Bachelorproject 2: Foreign Policy in the Trump Era – diGiuseppe (activiteitcode 7562)
The Trump administration’s foreign policy represents a clear divergence with previous U.S. administrations of both political parties. This class will explore if this divergence is the product of an idiosyncratic leader or part of a broader movement. We will also seek to understand, through discussion and research projects, what drives this development and what implications this development holds for the several areas of foreign policy. We will address the implications for US alliances in Europe and Asia, the so called “liberal world order", counter terrorism strategy, international economic relations, migration, and other topics that may prove timely. The seminar will draw on both traditional scholarship and contemporaneous materials in political science blogs and journalism to inform discussion. While it is not required, it is helpful for students to be comfortable with and willing to employ quantitative analysis in their projects.
This project has only room for 10 students

Please note BAP 3 has been changed

Bachelorproject 3: Social Media and Digital Diplomacy - Tromble (activiteit code tba)
In September 2015, a Russian media outlet ran a story claiming that then-U.S. Ambassador John Tefft attended an opposition protest in Moscow, giving credence to accusations that Russian opposition leaders and activists were working for the U.S. government. The only problem? The photo the outlet used to support their claim was photoshopped. In previous eras, the U.S. Embassy might have responded by issuing an official complaint or by circulating a rejoinder to sympathetic media outlets. But in the digital age, the strategy was quite different. Using the power of social media, the U.S. Embassy began circulating a Russian-language tweet proclaiming, ‘Ambassador Teftt was actually at home on his day off. But thanks to Photoshop, he could have been anywhere’. The Embassy then tweeted a series of photos with the Ambassador on the moon, in the middle of a hockey rink, and in the midst of a World War II battle. Ordinary Russians quickly got in on the fun, sending their own tweets with Ambassador Tefft taking part in Russian weddings, having tea with Vladimir Putin, and so on ( Occurring long before Donald Trump became President of the United States and introduced his own brand of ‘Twiplomacy’, the 2015 incident is just one example of the myriad ways in which countries are now using social media as an integral part of their diplomacy efforts. This bachelor project will therefore explore the ways in which social media support international diplomacy and the spread of hard and soft power.

Bachelorproject 4: Political Leaders in International Relations - Bakker (activiteitcode 7886)
What is the role of political leaders in international relations? Studies in IR generally focus on interactions between states on the state and/or systemic level and ignore the possible influence of the individual level of the leaders. The potential influence of leaders is not per se ignored, no one would argue for example that WWII would have been different if it was not for Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, but the systematic study of leaders is often not incorporated into the structure-based theories of IR. There are, however, many intriguing questions that can be investigated when we study the relations between states. Do different leadership styles lead to different foreign policy decision making? What is the impact of the images and beliefs leaders hold about ‘the enemy’? How do individual differences of leaders affect foreign policy decision making? Does it matter that many political leaders are often quite old when they come to power for their decision making?
In this bachelor project, we will focus on the role political leaders play in international relations and use a political psychological approach. There are many theories out there, however, we will limit ourselves to only two of them: 1)The Leadership Trait Analysis (LTA) by Margaret Hermann, which focuses on the leadership style traits of leaders, or 2) the Operational Code, which focuses on the belief systems of leaders. Students are expected, after a short introduction to the primary literature, to develop and pursue their own specific research questions, review relevant literature, and collect and use quantitative or qualitative evidence to answer their research question. Please note that, although it is not obligated, it is helpful for this BAP if you don’t shy away for using quantitative data analysis (statistical analysis).
Students that would like to opt for this BAP are encouraged to take my Bachelor Seminar Political Psychology in International Relations in Blok I to be better prepared for this Bachelorproject. If you do so, and if I find your research paper of the seminar suitable for the Bachelorproject, you will be allowed to use the research paper and its design as the starting point for your BSc thesis.
Please note that following the seminar Political Psychology in IR will not automatically sign you up for my BAP, since that process is on a first come, first serve basis.

Bachelorproject 5: Development and Underdevelopment: Testing Historical-institutionalist Explanation - de Zwart (activiteitcode 7887)
This bachelor project builds on my seminar “Politiek in ontwikkelingslanden” (Politics in developing countries). The aim is to supervise students in designing and executing a comparative case study that puts an influential historical-institutionalist explanation of development (Acemoglu and Robinson 2013) to the test. Students are free to choose for either a regional comparison within a country, or a comparison between countries of their interest.
Students who have not done my seminar but are interested in this project are strongly advised to carefully read Acemoglu and Robinson’s Why Nations Fail (2013) before this course starts.
Acemoglu, Daron and James A. Robinson. 2013. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of
Power, Prosperity and Poverty. London: Profile Books.

Bachelorproject 6: Inequality in Political Perspective - van Coppenolle (activiteitcode 7888)
Why has economic inequality recently increased in some countries but not in others? In this bachelor project students will focus on potential political explanations for variation in economic inequality. What role do particular political institutions, such as regime types or electoral systems, play in explaining differences between countries? Does partisanship matter for the evolution of inequality within countries over time? Potential research questions should concern the relation between one or more political factors and economic inequality, to be chosen and discussed at the start of the project. A critical examination of existing theories and evidence should be complemented by an empirical investigation, either using comparative case studies or a quantitative empirical analysis.
This project has only room for 8 students

Bachelorproject 7: The power of the past: the contemporary relevance of histories - van Reuler (activiteitcode 7889)
How can historical studies be used by political decision makers? What evidence can history contribute to policy making? What role can history play in contemporary societal debates? These are examples of questions that we will explore during this bachelor project through case studies of developments that took place during the twentieth or early twenty-first century.
Each participant is free to select an event or development related to international relations or organisations to work on. However, it is expected that the topic promises to be relevant to a contemporary political, policy or societal debate. Such relevance can be established in different ways, of which the most common are analogical reasoning and the construction of histories that explain how a contemporary situation emerged. Students may use primary sources, such as archival sources, parliamentary debates and newspapers, as well as secondary sources for their research.
After conducting an in-depth study of a single case or a small scale comparative study, we work on formulating explicit conclusions about the contemporary relevance of the studies. This may take the form of recommendations for government, civil society or policy makers.

Bachelorproject 8: Human Rights in the Middle East - Benneker (activiteitcode 7890) In this bachelor project, we will focus on studying human rights violation and protection in the Middle East. We will do this on the basis of the current literature on human rights within the tradition of International Relations. This strand of research on human rights is dynamic and growing quickly. It is increasingly able to explain why some states comply with human rights treaties, while others do not. Students will learn to explore and evaluate the state-of-the-art theories on human rights compliance for cases in the Middle East, as well as critically reflect on the way the Middle East is studied and written about by Western scholars. I support both qualitative and quantitative research designs.

Bachelorproject 9: Military Behaviour in Anti-Authoritarian Mass Uprisings - Koehler (activiteitcode 7891)
In the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring, the question of military behavior in anti-authoritarian mass uprisings has taken center stage. The ensuing debates have re-emphasized the fact—already articulated by scholars of revolution and revolutionaries alike—that a popular uprising against authoritarian rule cannot succeed if it is opposed by the armed forces. What, however, determines the behavior of armed forces in such regime crises? Under what circumstances will the military stand back to allow the overthrow of a dictator? When will the armed forces intervene to take power for themselves? Why do some militaries split or crumble under pressure? Building on the seminar on civil-military relations in the developing world (Block III), this course confronts students with ongoing debates on the determinants of military behavior in authoritarian regime crises. Students are encouraged to develop their own research designs, either based on available large-N data, or on comparative or case study designs.

Bachelorproject 10: International Events and Political Change - van Dooremalen (activiteitcode 7892)
Happenings as diverse as 9/11, the Arab Spring or the election of Donald Trump have one thing in common. They are all cases of international events: occurrences that are considered to be so remarkable, exciting or shocking that they might result in substantial political changes in many locations across the globe. Whereas such changes usually happen in fairly gradual ways, events bring about possibilities for swift transformations.
The phenomenon offers us various intriguing research puzzles. How can it be that changes come about as the result of one individual happening? Which factors – e.g. the location of their occurrence or the authoritative power of politicians – determine the transformative responses to events? To what extent do we attribute changes to them, which are actually the result of long-term political, economic or cultural processes?
In this bachelor project, we will focus on these event-related questions. Students may choose a topic from a variety of event cases: from natural disasters to terrorist attacks, and from revolutions to political murders. And they may also use differing research methods to study them, such as statistical investigations of surveys, quantitative content analysis of newspaper articles or qualitative discourse analysis of political speeches and policy documents.
Suggested literature:
Sewell, W.H. (1996). ‘Historical events as transformations of structures: Inventing revolution at the Bastille’, Theory and Society, 25(6), pp. 841 – 881.
Wagner-Pacifici, R. (2017). ‘Politics as a vacation’, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, 5(3), pp. 307 – 321.

Bachelorproject 11: Deterrence and Compellence in International Politics - Pellikaan (activiteitcode 7893)
De politiek van afschrikking heeft twee componenten: (1) defensieve afschrikking (deterrence) is er op gericht om een tegenstander af te schrikken om aan te vallen. De theorie van defensieve afschrikking wordt vooral gebruikt in gevallen van nucleare conflicten en het handhaven van de status quo; (2) offensieve afschrikking (compellence) is er op gericht om de status quo te wijzigen door dreigen met militair geweld.
Het onderzoek naar afschrikking heeft verschillende componenten die in het bachelor-project aan de orde zullen komen. Het eerste component is de conceptuele analyse van het begrip afschrikking binnen de theorie van internationale betrekkingen. Er wordt een conceptueel onderscheid gemaakt tussen het gebruik van offensieve afschrikking (compellence) en defensieve afschrikking (deterrence). In de theorie van afschrikking speelt de geloofwaardigheid van afschrikking (credibility of a threat) een belangrijke rol. In de analyse van de geloofwaardigheid van afschrikking wordt veelal gebruik gemaakt van speltheoretische modellen waarin staten de keuze hebben tussen verschillende strategieën.
Studenten worden geacht een scriptie te schrijven over afschrikking en men dient een keuze te maken tussen (A) een comparatief onderzoek waarin een klein aantal cases van afschrikking (deterrence) worden bestudeerd en (B) een empirisch onderzoek waarin een groot aantal cases van afschrikking (compellence) worden onderzocht aan de hand van een databestand dat beschikbaar is voor studenten.

Bachelorproject 12: Practicing Democracy in Contemporary Africa - Demarest (activiteitcode 7919)
This bachelor project seminar focuses on the meaning of democracy in contemporary Africa, its feasibility and challenges, as well as popular support for democratic principles and practices. The seminar builds further on the elective seminar ‘The Politics of Africa: Development, Democracy, and Identity’ (Semester 1, Block 2). It engages with the challenges of democratization in Africa and in particular the question of why some states have been able to transition into stable democracies while others remain undermined by centrifugal forces. Different explanations have been offered in the literature, including economic, political-institutional, and cultural explanations. Students will engage with these theories in an independent research project. To assist in their research, students are introduced to the Afrobarometer public opinion surveys and encouraged to use these data for their research project. Other data sources covered include Freedom House, Polity IV, World Development Indicators, the African Elections Database, and the news archives. Students can, however, make use of quantitative as well as qualitative research methods.
Students can participate in the project seminar without having participated in ‘The Politics of Africa: Development, Democracy, and Identity’ but are encouraged to read beforehand N. Cheeseman (2015). Democracy in Africa: successes, failures, and the struggle for political reform.


Werkgroepbijeenkomsten, inloopbijeenkomsten, bibliotheekinstructie, en bovenal zelfstudie.


Deze worden bekend gemaakt via Blackboard.


Het schrijven van een Bachelorscriptie van voldoende wetenschappelijk niveau.
De deadline voor het inleveren van de eerste; de volwaardige en de definitieve versie van de Bachelorscriptie worden bekend gemaakt in de Syllabus welke beschikbaar wordt gesteld via Blackboard, vóór aanvang van blok IV.

Zowel de eerste als tweede versie van de Bachelorscriptie dienen via Turnitin en op papier worden ingeleverd.
De bachelorscriptie wordt beoordeeld op : A. probleemstelling, B. theoretisch kader, C. methodologie, D. conclusie en reflectie; E. bronvermelding; F. leesbaarheid en presentatie en G. werkwijze.

Leids scriptie-repositorium

Goedgekeurde scripties worden bewaard in het Leids bachelor-scriptierepositorium na de afronding van uw Bachelorproject. U dient daarvoor een verklaring te ondertekenen.




Deelname aan het Bachelorproject is slechts toegestaan wanneer de propedeuse is behaald en ten minste 40 EC van het tweede jaar zijn behaald met inbegrip van het studieonderdeel Methoden en Technieken van Politicologisch Onderzoek en het onderdeel (cursus) dat de inhoudelijke grondslag vormt voor het bachelordeelproject.