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.
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 Blackboard.
General Introduction Meeting
On Friday 25 May 2018 there will be a general introduction meeting from 11.00-13.00h in room 5A42 of the FSW Building in Leiden. During this meeting the instructors will explain and discuss the general thesis seminar procedures and expectations and students can ask questions about the thesis seminars.
Registration in uSis for one thesis seminar will be taken care of by the Student Service Centre. 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 one of the Political Science specialisations, in February 2018. 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.
Theme 01: International Politics
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.
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 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.