How do actors relate to each other and their natural environment in terms of threats and vulnerabilities? When and how is violence organized? How can possible conflicts be prevented or solved?
International Security, a track of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.
Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence,
i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International
Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after
the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as
environmental security (about climate change or industrial
hazards), societal security (about group identities) and economic
security (about welfare and development). These different types of
concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent
conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution
Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.
Hi, I am Karol! I decided to study International Relations, with a focus on International Security, due to the significant changes that we have been facing nowadays in terms of climate change and the vulnerability that it creates, which is a significant security threat.
One of the main reasons for choosing the University of Groningen is its world-ranking position, the university being research-led, and the option to specialize in environmental security. Further, I was keen on studying in a student-centred city and I stand by my decision since the university's academic and student-life offer is excellent.
In the next five years, I would like to work for an international organization.
Hi! My name is Hester and I have been working as an international adviser at The Hague police unit since December 2020. I am involved in non-operational international cooperation, and this mainly concerns the exchange of knowledge with foreign countries on certain crime themes. So I don't work on ongoing operational police cases.
What kind of student were you?
I really enjoyed student life, I always had a part-time job and I did committee work for the study association Commotie during my Bachelor’s studies: Communication and Information Studies. I was a part of the rowing club Gyas, where I became chairman of the External Contacts committee. During exam periods, but also during lecture weeks, I could often be found in the University Library.
Did you have a particular area of interest, a
specialization if you like, during your studies?
During my BA, I studied for a semester abroad in Geneseo, New York State. There I became more interested in the International Relations and International Organization (IRIO) course. I then chose the pre-master’s programme IRIO, and then naturally did the Master’s IRIO.
During lectures, I noticed that the topic of international security interested me the most. Initially, I followed the broad International Relations programme, but within this programme, I chose the 'International Security' specialization by following specific courses and as a topic for my thesis dissertation. After I completed my thesis research on 'Government communication about terrorism', I did an internship with the police. During my internship, it became absolutely clear that I was very interested in the topic of international security.
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.
As the organizational culture at the Scottish Parliament is very informal overall, I was given a very reasonable deal of responsibility which allowed me to experience the workings of the parliament first-hand. As such, I learned much about the day-to-day workings of a MSP's (Member of Scottish Parliament) office and the politics and alliances within the parliament itself – on a local as well as on an international level.
Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Russia, India or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.
Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.
Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of International Relations.