RS: Unexpected Connections

Faculteit Letteren
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode LYX096M10
Vaknaam RS: Unexpected Connections
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II
ECTS 10
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Research Seminar: Unexpected Connections: Local Economies & Local Conflict in their Global Contexts
Leerdoelen Upon successful completion of the research seminars, a student is at least able to:

L1. Acquire, organize and apply knowledge about various aspects of the track specialisation(s) linked to the research seminar, as well as about the role of different actors within these fields. (PLO 1.1, 1.3, 2.3, 5.1)
L2. Develop a research plan with a clearly formulated problem definition, using one or more methods and techniques suitable for the research in the specific field of the specialisation track. (PLO 2.1, 2.2)
L3. Act self-reliant and reliable in the execution of the tasks belonging to this course unit, and execute tasks in a scientifically, socially and ethically responsible manner. (PLO 3.1)
L4. Critically assess research of oneself and of others. (PLO 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 5.2)
L5. Report on research choices and progress in a clear manner, with the help of ICT skills. (PLO 4.1, 4.3, 5.5)
L6. Express oneself in a clear and coherent manner, both in oral and in written/typed form, using understandable and correct English or Dutch. (PLO 4.1, 4.2, 4.3)

The PLO numbers correspond to the programme learning outcomes in the Teaching and Examination Regulations of the Master programme.
Omschrijving The discipline of International Relations long had a tendency to both theoretically and empirically view issues from a global, super-regional, or regional perspective. Recently, this has changed, with a growing attention for sub-regional and even local issues being relevant for our understanding of international relations. In this research seminar we explore how local economies and local conflicts can be set and seen in a global context. This research seminar aims to offer a broad understanding of how unexpected connections at the local level can help us understand issues and processes at a global level, both in time and space.

The seminar takes the nation state of Ghana in West Africa as a laboratory. In Ghana, we find local conflict issues that can be seen in relation to resources (land, water, minerals), and culture (historical / traditional power relations, religion), as well as external pressures on state formation (colonialism, underdevelopment). At the same time, the country is relatively conflict free, rich in exploitable natural resources (oil, gas, gold, aluminum, manganese, agricultural cash crops), and has relatively sturdy traditions of democratic politics and the rule of law.

We will start with a discussion of several of the Ghanaian issues and then try to fit them into an international relations (theoretical) framework. Subsequently the students will choose a comparative case – on one of the identified issues – from elsewhere in the world, based on their own research interests, and design a research project on the chosen topic. In the seminar meetings the students will discuss the importance of “looking locally to understand globally” for their chosen project through the lens of the international relations framework, but with the help of other disciplines (history, social anthropology, economics, conflict studies, religious studies) where applicable.
Uren per week 3
Onderwijsvorm werkcollege
(Seminar starts in week 2)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. M.R. Doortmont
Docent(en) dr. M.R. Doortmont
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
To be announced later
Entreevoorwaarden Admission to the master IR.
Opmerkingen Students have to complete two research seminars. See for more information the ‘brochure research seminars’ available on the Online Study Guide Master IR https://student.portal.rug.nl/infonet/studenten/let/programmes/ma-irio/. It is not possible to register for a Research Seminar via Progress. You should submit your preferences for your Research Seminars from Monday 24 January 2022 12.00 hrs (noon) until Friday 4 February 2022 23.59 hrs (see enrolment form).

The IR department will do the utmost to place you in your preferred research seminars, but because of scheduling and overall availability of places in the research seminars we cannot guarantee you will be placed in your first choice.

After you have submitted your preferences, you will be registered in Progress for your Research Seminars before 11 February. Research Seminars start in the week of 14 February.

For this course attendance is mandatory.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Course units for exchange students 4 semester II keuze
Ma Internationale Betrekkingen  (International Security) 1 semester II keuze
Ma Internationale Betrekkingen  (Geopolitics & Connectivity) 1 semester II keuze
Ma Internationale Betrekkingen  ( International Relations and International Organization) 1 semester II keuze