International Relations

Also available in: Türkçe

PhD Programme Department of International Relations
This is an extremely specialized programme whose purpose is to develop the candidates’ research and analytical skill in International Relations and to increase their capacity to conduct research that will contribute to the existing theory and knowledge in the discipline of International Relations.

The PhD Programme in our department consists of three parts: a course programme, a qualification examination, thesis writing and its defence. The course programme aims to provide students with a broad methodological, historical and substantive foundation in the discipline of International Relations while the supplementary courses aim to accommodate specific student interests.

Acceptance into the programme is decided after an entrance exam that also establishes whether the student has developed a specific research interest and preliminary understanding of the state of the art in the field.

Part I: Course Programme
1. Foundation Courses:
The foundation courses provide a methodological, theoretical and historical context for the individual thesis. They allow the students to relate their specific interests to the history, methodology and theories of international relations discipline. These courses will not be “taught” in the traditional sense but the emphasis will be on an exchange between students and teacher about the subject matter. All students will have to take these three courses.

PHI 610: Philosophy of Social Sciences
The aim of this course is to evaluate science from a methodological point of view. The relationship between a hypothesis and a theory and the role of induction and deduction in theory formation will be studied. The difference between natural science and social science will be highlighted and the difference and importance of the structure in the social sciences will be discussed. In the third part, the course will introduce the students to major theoretical works in the social sciences from structural and functional perspective. After a short overview of the so-called middle range theories, Marxist, Durkheimian and Weberian schools and their contemporaries will be introduced. This overview will be concluded by taking a brief look at Ibn Khaldum, A.Toynbee and Postmodernism.

RES 602: Research Methods
This course introduces students to empirical research methods in management. The focus is on the conceptualization of research choices to ensure validity, relevance, and discovery. Topics include identification of research questions, formulation of hypotheses or predictions about the question, designing a study to test the hypotheses, observing or measuring variables, examining the relationships between variables observed, and drawing conclusions about the research question based on observed relationships. Research design and techniques of data collection as well as issues in the understanding, analysis, and interpretation of data are discussed.

POL 610: IR/POL Theories
This course aims to introduce students to the different ways in which the International system has been characterised by different theoretical perspectives: is the international system a system of sovereign state forming balances of power, is it characterised by the rule of law and international cooperation in international organisations or is it based on exploitation). These are the three main contending arguments put forward by Realism, Liberalism and Historical materialism respectively. These three perspectives have been challenged in the eighties by Feminism, Postmodernism and Political Islam. The course will help the students to assess their various claims in a critical way.

2. Supplementary Courses:
The objective of the supplementary courses is to give the student some practical experience in academic life through participation in conferences, and the writing of a conference report. At the same time, the student will be able to take several thesis related courses. The central course is the PhD Research Seminar that students will have to attend throughout the writing process. Before they embark on the supplementary courses, students will in cooperation with the chairperson, choose a supervisor who co-assigns the supplementary courses.

IR 605: Advanced Issues in World Politics
This course will be offered by a different member of the department each year and will introduce the students to a more specialised discussion of specific topics in International Relations.

IR 606: Current Issues in World Politics
This course encourages the students to attend a conference abroad (Turkey, Europe and North America) and present a paper. The student will discuss the paper with his or her supervisor and present the conference paper in the research seminar. In addition, the student will select 6 conference papers from his or her area of interest and study them in the light of the thesis topic. In this way the student is encouraged to engage with current research regarding the thesis.

SEM 604: Research Seminar
In the Seminar the PhD candidates will give three different presentations: a conference paper/or a journal article, their PhD proposal and at least one chapter of their thesis.

POL 601: Public Administration
This course intends to introduce the basic concepts of the field of Public Administration to the students. The course, first, concentrates on the concepts of administration and organization, the two pillars of the discipline. It discusses the dynamics of the administration of an organization and then places them into a public context. In the analysis, a dynamic interdependence between administration and organization is emphasized, and features of this relationship in public context are underlined. Part of the discussions in the course will be devoted to the organization and public administration system in Turkey.

Part II: Qualification Exam
The qualification exam establishes whether the student has developed an awareness of the basic issue and concepts in the discipline of International Relations and whether there is also a preliminary understanding of the subject matter pertaining to the individual PhD Thesis. It will consist of a written and oral exam.

Part III: Thesis Writing and Defence
The Near East University International Relations PhD Programme follows the European tradition of thesis writing whereby the supervisor takes on a central role in guiding the student through the courses and the writing of the PhD Thesis. It is thus based on regular contact between the supervisor and the student that is supplemented by regular PhD Research Seminar in which the student is exposed to additional viewpoints. The student will present the outline of his/her thesis, and at least two chapters from the thesis in this research seminar course over the course of the thesis writing. Before proceeding to the jury level, student is expected to have completed a publication based on her/his thesis in SSCI journals. Once the student has finalised the thesis and received a confirmation of publication, it will be sent to the Director of the Institute for Graduate Sciences who will distribute it to members of the jury, and to the chairperson of the department who will set a date for the defence of the thesis. The thesis defence will last for 3 hours and will focus on the individual thesis. If the thesis is accepted the student will submit two final versions, one to the Institute for Graduate Sciences and one to the Library. After this, the PhD certificate can be handed over to the student. If the thesis is not accepted the student will be assigned a maximum of 6 months to improve the thesis before a new defence will be scheduled. If the thesis is still not accepted, the student will not be able to continue with the programme.

Procedural Questions
All courses are subject to the approval of the chairperson of the department and are required to have a course outline detailing weekly discussion topics and readings. They are assigned to the student with the guidance of the chairperson of the department. The supplementary courses are co-assigned by the supervisor.
All PhD courses meet once a week for three hours. Language of instruction and of the thesis is in English. A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 must be maintained for the totality of PhD courses. If the CGPA is below 2.00 in any one term, the student will be unable to continue with the programme. The PhD programme must be completed in at most 12 semesters.