Prospectus

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International Relations: Global Order in Historical Perspective

The one-year Master of Arts in International Relations, specialisation Global Order in Historical Perspective offered by the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University, focusses on the processes behind the evolution of the global order. Aside from this you will gain insights in the pursuit of global justice and the variety of ethics, ideologies, institutions and norms that underpin the international political system.

The programme (60 EC total – 30 EC per semester) consists of a Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective and two general core courses (Ideas in World Politics and Regionalism in World Politics) as well as a combined thesis seminar and methods course and a thesis. The remaining 20 EC (10 EC per semester) can be acquired by choosing two electives (max.20 students per elective): one elective has to be chosen from the core specialization electives, the other elective can be picked from the complete list of electives that are offered for the specialization (core specialization electives and additional electives).

Please note that there may be additional entry requirements for electives that are offered by other departments, and that the number of places available for Global Order in Historical Perspective students might be limited. Also make sure you read the details under ‘more info’ for more detailed information about the curriculum and your options.

All students have to apply for admission, see mastersinleiden.

All students of the February 2018, September 2018, and February 2019 intakes please refer to the more info tab for a full overview of the curriculum.

Programme

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Mandatory courses (20 EC)

Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective 10
Ideas in World Politics 5
Thesis and Methods in International Relations and Research 5

Electives (choose 10 EC)

During the complete programme, students take 20 EC worth of electives. Of these, students have to choose at least 10 EC within their specialisation. The remaining 10 EC can either be chosen within the specialisation or from the full list.

See: Electives for a complete overview

Semester 2

Mandatory courses and thesis (20 EC)

Regionalism in World Politics 5
MA Thesis Global Order in Historical Perspective 15

Electives (choose 10 EC)

During the complete programme, students take 20 EC worth of electives. Of these, students have to choose at least 10 EC within their specialisation. The remaining 10 EC can either be chosen within the specialisation or from the full list.

See: Electives for a complete overview

Programme details for students starting in February 2019

Mandatory courses (20 EC)

Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective 10
Ideas in World Politics 5
Thesis and Methods in International Relations Research 5

Electives (choose 10 EC)

See: Electives Semester 2 (February 2019)

Courses and Thesis, September 2019 (30 EC))

For mandatory courses and Electives for September, semester 2019, see e-prospectus 2019-2020 (will be available on the first of June 2019)

Electives

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1 (September 2019)

Core specialization electives (choose 10 EC minimum during the complete MA):

A History of the United Nations 10
China-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order 10
Diplomacy: History, theory and practice 10
Human Rights in Global Politics 10
The Making of the Modern Middle East (1870-1940) 10

Additional electives (choose 10 EC maximum during the complete MA):

Brazil in the Portuguese Speaking World: Political and Cultural Dynamics 10
Corruption in Russia and Eurasia 10
Cultures of Crime: Identity, Protection and the Rule of Law in a Global World 10
Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia 10
Ethics of War 10
Histories of Southeast Asia 10
Internationalism, Empire and the Cold War: 20th Century International Relations 10
International Intervention 10
International Relations in the Slavic Triangle: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus 10
Modern United States Foreign Policy 10
Neoliberalism and Illegality: Flows, Commodities, Locations 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 10
Rethinking Secularism in International Relations 10
Internship MA International Relations 10

Semester 2 (February 2020)

Core specialization electives (choose 10 EC minimum during the complete MA):

China and Global Cyberspace 10
Connecting Dreams: Europe in Africa, Africa in Europe 10
Decentering International Relations: Views from the Global South 10
Democratizing Histories 10
Human Rights in Global Politics 10
Issues in Latin American Foreign Policies 10
Political History of the Middle East in the 20th Century 10

Additional electives (choose 10 EC maximum during the complete MA):

Contemporary Brazil 10
Contemporary Indian Politics 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
Culture and Society in the Medieval Muslim World 10
Migration, Race and Identity: the making of ‘Hispanics' in the United States 10
Political Economy of Southeast Asia 10
`Ulamâ’ in the Modern Muslim World 10
Internship MA International Relations 10

More Info

Objectives Structure Master thesis and requirements for graduation Specialisations Contact information

Objectives

The programme has the following objectives:
1.to enable students to acquire academic knowledge, understanding and skills, and train them in the use of scientific methods in the field of International Relations;
2.to enable students to develop the following academic and professional skills:

  • independent academic reasoning and conduct,

  • the ability to analyse complex problems,

  • academic writing;

  1. to prepare students for an academic career and further education;
  2. to prepare students for a career outside academia.

Structure

  • Students wishing to replace one elective (10 EC) with an external course or internship, please contact the Co-ordinator of Studies to discuss your options. Other courses can't be replaced.

  • If you wish to receive an exemption for one or more courses based on similar previously completed courses on Master level, please contact the Co-ordinator of Studies.

September 2018 semester for students who started in February 2018 (with the specialisation International Studies):

  • Choose one of the four Core Course specialisations (10 EC)

  • Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)

  • Thesis (15 EC)

September 2018 semester for students starting in September 2018:

  • Core Course Global Order in the Modern Era (10 EC)

  • Ideas in World Politics (5 EC)

  • Thesis Seminar and Methods in IR Research (5 EC)

  • Elective (10 EC) - students must choose one elective within their specialisation and can choose one elective from the complete list of electives on offer for the MA International Relations.

February 2019 semester for students starting in September 2018:

  • Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)

  • Elective (10 EC) - students must choose one elective within their specialisation and can choose one elective from the complete list of electives on offer for the MA International Relations.

  • Thesis (15 EC)

February 2019 semester for students starting in February 2019:

  • Core Course Global Order in the Modern Era (10 EC)

  • Ideas in World Politics (5 EC)

  • Thesis Seminar and Methods in IR Research (5 EC)

  • Elective (10 EC) - students must choose one elective within their specialisation and can choose one elective from the complete list of electives on offer for the MA International Relations.

September 2019 semester for students starting in February 2019:

  • Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)

  • Elective (10 EC) - students must choose one elective within their specialisation and can choose one elective from the complete list of electives on offer for the MA International Relations.

  • Thesis (15 EC)

Master thesis and requirements for graduation

A thesis is an academic essay, written by the student in consultation with a supervisor. The thesis must show that the student is capable of analyzing existing literature in a critical manner, and of conducting independent research. Moreover, this process must be recorded in an academically sound report.

Generally speaking, students are encouraged to select the topic of their thesis themselves, based on a Master’s course that they followed. In most cases, the first supervisor of the thesis will be the lecturer responsible for the Master’s course which inspired the thesis. In case of doubt, students can always consult other supervisors within the Humanities Faculty.

During the first semester, students will complete the 5 EC course Thesis Seminar and Methods in International Relations Research in which they will choose a topic for their thesis, formulate a research question, and submit a research proposal and literature review. Students who have not fulfilled the requirements of this course or have not received the approval of the Examinations Committee will not have their MA thesis supervised.

The thesis for the MA International Relations is a maximum of 15.000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. The thesis is supervised by a lecturer in the Humanities Faculty, who possesses expertise in the relevant field. The thesis is judged by two lecturers involved in the program.

In assessing the quality of the thesis, the following aspects play an important role:

  • Formulating and analyzing the research question;

  • Structure of the thesis;

  • Integration of primary and secondary literature into the argument;

  • Argumentation skills;

  • Style, use of language and lay-out;

  • Independent and original research

Graduates of the programme have attained the following learning outcomes, listed according to the Dublin descriptors:

1. Knowledge and understanding

a. Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of

  • the contemporary and historical dimension, the evolution and interdependency of bilateral and multilateral relations among states and non-state actors,

  • the importance of government institutions and frameworks for the development of these relations,
    b. and the main areas and issues of current global and regional politics and international relations. knowledge of the main academic terminology, theories and paradigms pertaining to the past, present and future of current global issues and politics, with a special focus on ideas and approaches related to the humanities.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding

a. the ability to locate, analyse and critically assess primary documents emanating from relevant sources and secondary (academic) sources, relating to areas and issues relevant to International Relations, including the process of European integration;
b. the ability to conduct independent multi-disciplinary research and to formulate and conduct substantial pieces of academic research (including a master’s thesis) in the field of International Relations, thereby showing the ability to comprehend and apply relevant theoretical insights and methodological approaches;
c. with regard to major regional and global areas and issues, the ability to successfully transfer and apply research to non-academic settings and environments;
d. the ability to initiate and conduct research into the relevant areas and issues of regional and global politics, economics and culture;
e. the ability to follow and understand the evolution of academic and non-academic discussions on the complex interdependency of national, regional and global politics;
f. the ability to apply and evaluate qualitative and, if applicable, quantitative methods to the relevant contexts.

3. Judgement

a. the ability to independently and critically evaluate evidence and sources relating to the variety and interdependency of areas and issues of regional and global economics, politics and culture;
b. the ability to evaluate the historical, political, economic and cultural factors that shape the interests and behaviour of major state and non-state actors in the contemporary world, including the European Union;
c. the ability to recognise, reflect upon and judge between different academic opinions and arguments on the complexity and interrelationship of contemporary politics, cultures and economics.

4. Communication

a. the ability to clearly and convincingly present academically-supported arguments and analyses with respect to the evolution of relations among states, international organisations and non-state actors before peer-group and professional audiences both orally and in writing;
b. the ability to present research in the relevant areas and issues.

5. Learning skills

a. the learning abilities required to be able to follow post-master’s professional training or a PhD training of a largely self-determined or autonomous nature.
In addition to the above programme-wide achievement levels, graduates will have obtained the following achievement levels per specialisation:

Specialisation in Global Order in Historical Perspective

1. Knowledge and understanding

a. Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the processes behind the evolution of the global order, the pursuit of global justice and the variety of ethics, ideologies, institutions and norms that underpin the international political system;
b. Knowledge and engagement with different trajectories of states, organizations and peoples, examining how they are manifested in power relations and interact at different points across time to order the world;
c. Knowledge of how power relations are structured, from the great power politics of global governance, to diplomatic culture in regional and national perspectives through regional and transnational groupings.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding

a. The ability to critically analyse primary sources relating to institutions, nation-states, transnational organisations and NGOs;
b. The ability to apply a solid historical knowledge to current affairs and international politics.

3. Judgement

a. The ability to critically evaluate evidence on issues relating to global order;
b. The ability to dissect how institutions and systems of power are created modified and evolve over time;
c. The ability to review and assess different opinions and discourses about the system of global governance.

Specialisations

Global Order in Historical Perspective is one of the specialisations of the Master International Relations.

The Master International Relations has five specialisations:

  • Culture and Politics

  • European Union Studies

  • Global Conflict in the Modern Era

  • Global Order in Historical Perspective

  • Global Political Economy

Contact information

For more information, please contact the Co-ordinator of Studies.

Career Preparation

Career Preparation in the MA International Relations

The programme

How can you use the knowledge and the skills that you acquire during the MA International Relations? What skills do you already have, and what further skills do you still want to learn? How do you translate the courses that you choose into something that you’d like to do after graduation?

These questions and more will be discussed at various times during your study programme. You may already have spoken about them with your study coordinator, the Humanities Career Service or other students, or made use of the Leiden University Career Zone. Many different activities are organised to help you reflect on your own wishes and options, and give you the chance to explore the job market. All these activities are focused on the questions: ‘What can I do?’, ‘What do I want?’ and ‘How do I achieve my goals?’.

Activities

You will be notified via the Faculty website, your study programme website and email about further activities in the area of job market preparation. The following activities will help you to thoroughly explore your options, so we advise you to take careful note of them:

Transferable skills

Future employers are interested not only in the subject-related knowledge that you acquired during your study programme, but also in the ‘transferable skills’. These include cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, reasoning and argumentation and innovation; intrapersonal skills, such as flexibility, initiative, appreciating diversity and metacognition; and interpersonal skills, such as communication, accountability and conflict resolution. In short, they are skills that all professionals need in order to perform well.
It is therefore important that during your study programme you not only acquire as much knowledge as possible about your subject, but also are aware of the skills you have gained and the further skills you still want to learn. The course descriptions in the e-Prospectus of the MA International Relations include, in addition to the courses’ learning objectives, a list of the skills that they aim to develop.

The skills you may encounter in the various courses are:

  • Collaboration

  • Persuasion

  • Research

  • Self-directed learning

  • Creative thinking

Courses of the MA International Relations

Courses of the study programme obviously help to prepare you for the job market. As a study programme, we aim to cover this topic either directly or less directly in each semester.

Contact

If you have any questions about career choices, whether in your studies or on the job market, you are welcome to make an appointment with the career adviser of the the Humanities Career Service 071-5272235, or with your coordinator of studies, Janneke Walstra