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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)
Humanities-based International Relations (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 opportunity to replace one elective with an internship or to pursue an internship as an extracurricular activity. Both options usually imply a study extension because you would delay graduation by one semester. Yet this possibility is valued and used by many of our students.

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
Humanities-Based International Relations 5
Thesis and Methods in International Relations and Research (GOHP) 5
Regionalism in World Politics 5
MA Thesis Global Order in Historical Perspective 15
Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective 10
Humanities-Based International Relations 5
Thesis and Methods in International Relations and Research (GOHP) 5
Course EC
Human Rights and Global Governance: History, Theory, and Politics 10
A History of the United Nations 10
Decentering International Relations: Views from the Global South 10
Democratizing Histories (10 EC) 10
Brazil in the Portuguese Speaking World: Political and Cultural Dynamics 10
The Making of the Modern Middle East (1870-1940) 10
The MENA Region in the Settler Colonial World 10
Post-Soviet Wars and the Violent Collapse of the USSR 10
Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia 10
Histories of Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
Rethinking Secularism in International Relations 10
International Intervention 10
Internship MA International Relations 10
Ukrainian Politics and International Relations 10
Nuclear Asia 10
`Ulamâ’ in the Modern Muslim World 10
China and Global Cyberspace 10
China-Africa Relations in a Changing Global Order 10
Issues in Latin American Foreign Policies 10
Gender and Race in Historical International Relations 10
International Relations of the Middle East: Everyday Matters 10
“Insurgencies” Against Western Hegemony in Global Politics After the Cold War 10
Political Economy of Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
Contemporary Indian Politics 10
Politics of Culture in Southeast Asia (10 EC) 10
Non-state Actors in International Peace and Conflict 10
Global Social Policy: The Political Economy of Social Reproduction 10
Contemporary Brazil 10
Internship MA International Relations 10
Culture and Conquest: the Impact of the Mongols and their Descendants 10
Leiden Elective Academic Periodical 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."

Admission and Application

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for this Master's Programme?

Check the entry requirements

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