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Global Order in Historical Perspective (MA)

About the programme

During the Global Order in Historical Perspective specialisation of International Relations you will review 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 such as BRICS and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Programme structure

All specialisations (except European Union Studies) follow the same format:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Core course for your specialisation (10 EC) Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)
Preparatory course for your thesis (5 EC) Elective (10 EC)
Ideas in World Politics (5 EC) Thesis (15 EC)
Elective (10 EC)  

MA Thesis

When it comes to picking a topic for your thesis, you have great freedom in what you want to write about. We have many thesis supervisors who have different expertise. These are just a few examples of thesis subjects in past years:

  • Assertive BRICS & Iran’s Nuclear Issue
  • Sixty Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Securitization of Migration in Hungary
  • The Muslim Brotherhood’s Place in International Relations
  • Rivals and Cooperation in Outer Space
  • The United Nations and the Last Remnants of Colonialism

MA Thesis preparatory course

The preparatory course introduces you to core conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues you meet when you initiate, research, and write your MA thesis. In addition, a series of seminars will enable you to discuss specific issues related to International Relations. 


You may choose electives (20 EC total) from a wide range of specialist courses. Examples include:


You have the option of replacing one of your electives with an internship or you can choose to do this as an extracurricular activity, so for example as an extra semester or during the summer. You can do an internship at an organisation or institution in the field of international or foreign relations, in or outside of the Netherlands.

This experience is highly valued within international organisations. In the past years International Relations students have done internships at a huge variety of organisations, including:

  • Security Policy Department (DVB) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dutch Ministry of Defense
  • NGOs, for example Gender Concerns International or NGO’s focused on humanitarian aid
  • Think tanks, such as the Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, the International Centre for Counterterrorism and the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies around the world
  • European institutions - examples include Estonian presidency of the European Union, internships for members of the European Parliament
  • Media outlets such as Een Vandaag in Hilversum
  • Netherlands Permanent Mission to the United Nations

Detailed programme

Course EC
Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective 10
Ideas in World Politics 5
Thesis and Methods in International Relations and Research (GOHP) 5
Regionalism in World Politics 5
MA Thesis Global Order in Historical Perspective 15
Ideas in World Politics 5
Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective 10
Thesis and Methods in International Relations and Research (GOHP) 5
Course EC
A History of the United Nations 10
Decentering International Relations: Views from the Global South 10
Human Rights and Global Governance: History, Theory, and Politics 10
International Relations of the Middle East 10
The Making of the Modern Middle East (1870-1940) 10
Brazil in the Portuguese Speaking World: Political and Cultural Dynamics 10
Corruption in Russia and Eurasia 10
Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia 10
Histories of Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
International Intervention 10
International Relations in the Slavic Triangle: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus 10
Rethinking Secularism in International Relations 10
Internship MA International Relations 10
China-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order 10
China and Global Cyberspace 10
Democratizing Histories (10 EC) 10
Gender and Race in Historical International Relations 10
International Relations of the Middle East: Everyday Matters 10
Issues in Latin American Foreign Policies 10
Political History of the Middle East in the 20th Century 10
Contemporary Brazil 10
Contemporary Indian Politics 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
Global Social Policy: The Political Economy of Social Reproduction 10
Political Economy of Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
`Ulamâ’ in the Modern Muslim World 10
U.S. Culture and Identity in an Age of Globalization 10
Internship MA International Relations 10

For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Dr. Vineet Thakur

University Lecturer

Dr. Vineet Thakur

"What makes the social world hang together? In other words, how do we make sense of an infinite web of human interactions across time and space that has brought us to where we are? In the Global Order specialisation, we discuss how ideas, institutions and identities play a role in shaping the world, and we situate these in the context of history, culture and power. Our course offerings – both core and electives – closely interrogate the ways in which the global order has transformed over time and operates in the present."

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