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International Relations: Global Conflict in the Modern Era

The one-year Master of Arts in International Relations, specialisation Global Conflict in the Modern Era offered by the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University, engages you with the scholarly debates about global conflict today and in the recent past. You will explore the security measures that have been instituted locally, regionally and globally in the modern world.

The programme (60 EC total – 30 EC per semester) consists of a Core Course Global Conflict in the Modern Era 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 field of Global Conflict in the Modern Era, the other elective can be picked from the complete list of electives that are offered for the MA International Relations.

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 Conflict in the Modern Era 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

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Mandatory courses (20 EC)

Core Course Global Conflict in the Modern Era 10
Ideas in World Politics 5
Thesis and Methods in International Relations 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 Conflict in the Modern Era 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 Conflict in the Modern Era 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

Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1 (September 2018)

Electives that can be chosen within the specialisation (choose 10 EC minimum during the complete MA):

Organised by the MA International Relations:

Brazil Visiting Chair 2018: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Nature: Brazilian and Global Contemporary Challenges 10
Cultures of Crime: Identity, Protection and the Rule of Law in a Global World 10
Modern United States Foreign Policy 10
Nation-building and resistance 10
Neoliberalism and Illegality: Flows, Commodities, Locations 10
Security Governance 10
Strategy and Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice 10
War by Contract? The Drivers and Implications of Security Privatization 10

Organised by other programmes:

Contemporary Japan’s Economy in Global Economic Crises 10
War, Peace, and Mass Media: The Arab-Israeli Conflict in the Public Sphere 10

Electives that do not count toward the specialisation (choose 10 EC maximum during the complete MA):

Organised by the MA International Relations:

A History of the United Nations 10
Best Practice: Legislating and Regulating a Better Global Economy 10
Brazil in the Portuguese Speaking World: Political and Cultural Dynamics 10
BRIC: Emerging Powers and Changing Global Relations 10
Diplomacy: History, theory and practice 10
Ethics in Global Politics 10
Global Governance and Human Rights: History, Theory, and Practice 10
History, Race and Empire in the Study of International Relations 10
Rethinking Secularism in International Relations 10
‘Talking to the Levant’. Europeans’ Cultural and Linguistic Policies in the Middle East (1900-1970) 10
Internship MA International Relations 10

Organised by other programmes:

China's International Political Economy 10
Corruption in Russia and Eurasia 10
Cultures of Resistance in the Post-colonial World 10
Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia 10
Histories of Southeast Asia 10
Interculturality 1: Key Concepts 10
International Relations in the Slavic Triangle: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus 10
International Relations of the Middle East and Asia (IRMEA) 10
Literature and Politics in the Persian-speaking World 10
Material Culture, Memory and Commemoration along the Silk Roads in Central Asia 10
Modern Chinese Literature and Exile 10
Narratives that Matter: Literature, Film and Television Drama in Turkey 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia 10
Themes in Arabic Literature: From Letters to Literature 10
The Ottoman Empire and Turkey 10
The State in Modern Chinese History 10

Semester 2 (February 2019)

Electives that can be chosen within the specialisation (choose 10 EC minimum during the complete MA):

Organised by the MA International Relations:

Deadly Borders: Theories, Actors, Cases 10
Decentering International Relations: Views from the Global South 10
Modern United States Foreign Policy 10
Researching Authoritarianism: the Politics of Conflict, Violence, and Genocide 10
Strategy and Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice 10

Organised by other programmes:

China and Global Cyberspace 10
Connecting Dreams: Europe in Africa, Africa in Europe 10
International Relations in the Middle East: Regional Struggle and Great Power Rivalry after the Cold War 10

Electives that do not count toward the specialisation (choose 10 EC maximum during the complete MA):

Organised by the MA International Relations:

Contemporary Brazil 10
Development Contested: Globalization and its Alternatives 10
Global Governance and Human Rights: History, Theory, and Practice 10
Internationalism, Empire and the Cold War: 20th Century International Relations 10
Industrialization, Revolution and Geopolitics: the making of the modern world order 10
Issues in Latin American Foreign Policies 10
Migration, Race and Identity: the making of ‘Hispanics' in the United States 10
Internship MA International Relations 10

Organised by other programmes:

Anthropology of Muslim Societies 10
Contemporary Indian Politics 10
Creativity and Culture in Contemporary China 10
Crime and Criminal Justice: East Asian Perspectives 10
Democratizing Histories 10
Developments in the Modern Middle East 10
Interculturality 2: The Global Imagination 10
Le français des affaires 10
Turkey and the Middle East in the 20th Century 10
Political Economy of Southeast Asia 10
Remapping the City in Modern Literature and Visual Cultures 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 Conflict 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 Conflict 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 Conflict in the Modern Era

1. Knowledge and understanding

d. comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the main terminology, concepts and issues in the debate about conflict, peace and security since the nineteenth century.
e. knowledge of the main academic paradigms and theories pertaining to the past, present and future evolution of conflict, peace and security;
f. Knowledge of the main methods used in the investigation of conflict, peace and security in de modern era.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding

c. the ability to critically analyse primary and secondary documents related to conflict writ large;
d. the ability to follow the evolution of academic and non-academic discussions issues related to conflict, peace and security.
e. the ability to comprehend and apply relevant theoretical insights and methodological approaches in the field of conflict, peace and security.

3. Judgement

d. the ability to evaluate evidence and sources relating to conflict, peace and security;
e. the ability to assess different academic opinions and arguments about conflict, peace and security;
f. the ability to evaluate policies conflict, peace and security.

Specialisations

Global Conflict in the Modern Era 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.