Explore complex issues in modern international relations
Are we heading for a new Cold War with Russia? Will the international community solve the new challenges arising as a result of climate change? Have the Asian powers surpassed their former colonial rulers? How does cyberpower influence international politics? Does the current climate of increasing international competition and growing nationalism still allow enough space for ethical norms and values such as human rights?
The international political stage is much like a game of chess between multiple players. During the course of this Master's programme, you will gain a greater understanding of the parties involved and of their political agendas and also prepare yourself for a future as a participant in the game of global politics.
Bridging history and political science
Political theory is an important tool in the analysis of international questions. In order to fully understand those issues, however, we strongly believe in the importance of adopting a broader historical perspective - and while history never repeats itself (or at least not exactly), one can learn a great deal from it. By bridging the fields of history and international relations, the MA in International Relations in Historical Perspective offers an in-depth insight into both worlds.
This emphasis on blending international history and international relations theory makes this Master’s programme unique in the Netherlands and beyond. Through this approach, you will learn to place recent international developments in a broader historical perspective. For it is only through an in depth knowledge of the past that the complexities of our times can be unravelled.
Build a strong foundation for understanding modern politics
The programme revolves around three core research themes that shed light on contemporary international politics, providing the students with analytical tools to engage with a wide range of topics:
- The history of security and conflict, including wars, terrorism, humanitarian interventions, and the role of the intelligence services in international politics.
- The history of European international relations, including the European integration process.
- The history of global processes including colonialism, decolonization, and North-South relations.
These thematic pillars reflect the three research clusters on which lecturers and researchers focus at the history of international relations section within the department of history at the University of Utrecht. Within these clusters, researchers and teachers share the key findings of their ongoing research projects and translate these to the classroom. This notion of ‘research-led teaching’ connects the research done within our department directly to the students of our MA programme, not only guaranteeing a constant flow of new ideas and innovations into the classroom, but also giving students the possibility to actively contribute to these academic clusters with their own ideas.
As part of the MA programme, you can choose to participate in an internship of at least three months (‘Practice track’). With an internship, you will put your knowledge and skills into practice, and this experience will form an important part of your resume. Recent studies show that 80 % of students who took part in an internship found employment within a year of graduating.
Our MA programme offers a special ‘Practice Track’ that helps the students prepare for the world of international relations outside the walls of the university. A special course that emphasis hard skills like speech writing and analysing and writing policy memos will give students interested in doing an internship an edge by giving them the tools needed to translate their academic knowledge into practice by working in a field of their own choice.
Expanding your research skills
The Research Seminar (‘Research track’) offers a deeper exploration of international historical methods and is particularly suitable for an academic career.