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International Relations and International Organization

Research International Relations and International Organization

Research conducted within the Department of International Relations and International Organization takes mostly place within the context of one of the four other specializations: Global Governance, International Security, European Integration and International Political Economy. We kindly direct you to those sites to get an impression of the research activities of the Department. In addition, you are invited to click on the link below to access an article published by staff of the Department.

  • Testimonial van Rishi Raithatha

    Internship at the Centre for European Security Studies Groningen (CESS)

    The experience of doing a placement demonstrated my ability to adapt to different demands and environments, and produce quality output even when under pressure. In addition to this, I was able to learn more about the intellectual element of CESS itself – namely Security Sector Reform (SSR)..

    By also being able to visit these countries, I was further inundated with some of the security challenges faced by the surrounding regions and what measures were being taken to alleviate the issues. The internship allowed me to explore a different strand of an area of familiarity (Burundi), ultimately assisting my thesis-writing process. On a side note, during the internship itself, a letter I submitted to The Economist (on what constituted a “state”, whilst mentioning Burundi) was published on their website and in that week’s print edition.

    Without a doubt, I enjoyed traveling abroad to two different countries and representing CESS at two High-Level events. It gave me an unparalleled insight into the lifestyle of a “high-flyer”, proven by my having to work on the train to Schiphol and even on the aircraft itself! But aside from the trips, I enjoyed working as part of an accepted member of a close-knit group of people. This allowed me to contribute constructively to the teams ideas and objectives. Read more

    – Rishi Raithatha
  • Testimonial van Paul Morgenstern

    Student ambassador Paul Morgenstern

    My name is Paul Morgenstern and I am 22 years old. I was born in New Zealand to Dutch parents so I am a strange mix of the two nationalities. I enjoy sports like hockey and swimming as well as cultured events like wine tasting and the exploration of old cities. I enjoy studying history and also love to read books. I would describe myself as an individual who is dedicated to always achieve his best but also knows how to relax and enjoy life.

    The reason why I applied for the master in International Relations, Security track at the University of Groningen is because it aligned with my interests and it had a system that allowed students who had BA degrees from Universities outside Europe to apply. The master degree at the university of Groningen is fun and challenging. It is made up of research seminars, lectures about IR theory as well as a 20.000 to 25.000-word thesis and an internship at an international institution like the European Union, a Government Ministry or Embassy.

    If I was to summarize the programme in three words they would be challenging, exciting, and intense. With good time management I can complete all my work for the week by 4 to 5 hours per day, including weekends, but this depends on the spread of your assignments because some students are given two assignments to complete in one week so naturally they spend more time on their work in that given week.

    Overall this master at the University of Groningen is the best fit for me and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is passionate about studying International Relations.

    – Paul Morgenstern
  • Testimonial van Student Laura Wieseman

    I like the focus on preparing students for the labour market

    Hi future Master students! My name is Laura Wieseman (23) and in September 2013 I started the Master International Relations: track International Relations and International Organization (IRIO), and I chose to focus on Middle and Eastern Europe. This Master's track has given me the opportunity to concentrate on a very dynamic and interesting region of Europe. What I like the most is its small scale, the personal contact between students and lecturers, and the focus on preparing students for the labour market.

    – Student Laura Wieseman
  • Testimonial van Gloria Dede

    Junior Policy Officer at the Dutch House of Representatives

    I work as a junior policy officer for the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) in the House of Representatives of the Netherlands. I support different MPs in the areas of development aid and foreign affairs. I like the fact that I work on current issues that you hear in the news and get to meet interesting people with various different jobs. I also like the fact that development aid is the main focus of my work, as it was during my studies.

    I chose the Master’s track in International Relations and International Organization because it offered a good combination of international relations and politics, as well as paying plenty of attention to development aid, which I am very interested in. Furthermore, the programme covers very diverse topics, and it is very useful to be able to learn another language alongside English. 

    During the track I learned most from my placement, which taught me how to put the theory into practice. I also learned practical skills like writing reports, which I still use in my current job. 

    I hope to continue working in development aid, maybe at a non-governmental organization. I also hope to work abroad for a while.

    – Gloria Dede
  • Testimonial van Quirien van Straelen

    Placement at the United Nations Development Programme in Sierra Leone

    I choose to do an internship in support of the Transition Support Team (TST) of the United Nations Development Programme in Sierra Leone. My task was to support the TST in the daily management of the Transition Initiative Fund (TIF). The main objective of the Transition Initiative Fund (TIF) is to support the implementation of the Local Government Act (2004) and in particular build the capacity of the Local Councils to deliver their broad mandate of decentralized service delivery.

    – Quirien van Straelen
  • Testimonial van Janna Bots

    “The master is challenging, deepening and multidisciplinary.”

    My name is Janna Bots and I am a 22-year-old master's student International Relations and International Organizations (IRIO) with a specialization in International Political Economy (IPE). The reason I chose this master is because I have always been interested in the relationship between politics and economics and how politics is affected by and affects the economy.

    To summarize the master in three words; challenging, deepening and multidisciplinary. The master broadens your knowledge about the theories and topics related to IR and especially teaches you to think critically. The specialisation in IPE offers me the right combination of global issues seen from an economic as well as political perspective and teaches you the interconnectivity that exists between the economic realm and the political realm in International Affairs.

    The reason I would recommend the master IRIO at the University of Groningen is because it gives you the possibility to broaden your knowledge and explore yourself as a researcher in IR, while at the same time spending time abroad or at a ministry, doing an internship. Besides, Groningen is a wonderful student city and the best if you want to study in the Netherlands!

    – Janna Bots
  • Testimonial van Esmée Bloemendal

    "The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest."

    The Master International Relations offers six different tracks, and I chose East Asian Studies. This means that my Master is focused on International Relations in East Asia, but also that we look at East Asia from an Asian perspective instead of a Western perspective. I find it very interesting and I am enthusiastic about my Master: it is challenging and it forces you to look critically toward your own perspective..

    The courses are challenging, but at the same time give you the opportunity to delve deeper into your topic of interest. Also, the courses are a preparation for your thesis, which I find really helpful.
    Within the Master’s programme, there is a lot of freedom of choice: in the second semester we have the option to study abroad in East Asia, to do an internship or to follow another research seminar. You are supposed to work hard for the Master: besides taking part in the intensive classes, it takes a lot of time to prepare the seminars and study the theories of International Relations as well. Nonetheless, I do not find the study load is too heavy: due to good time management it is possible to do something extra besides the study.

    I have chosen for the University of Groningen because their Master’s programme allows me to expand my knowledge about the Asian region in general, in addition to my knowledge about China. Also, I am really interested in International Relations, so for me this programme brings together the best of both worlds. I am originally not from Groningen, but I feel at home here. It is a friendly, cozy city, “gezellig” as we call it in Dutch. The city centre is small, which allows you to bike around and get to know the city very easily. I am very happy to study here, and I would definitely recommend the Master if you are interested in International Relations and East Asia!

    – Esmée Bloemendal
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