MA in International Affairs

In our complex world where challenges to peace are multiplying, there is a crucial need for analytical thinkers able to address transnational issues in a creative and constructive fashion. The MA in International Affairs allows you to take full advantage of Paris’s central role in international economics, politics and social issues. Throughout the pursuit of your degree, you will have the opportunity to supplement the rigorous coursework and professional modules with internships, fieldwork for thesis research and case study methods for thesis production.

We work closely with our students to provide one-on-one intellectual mentoring and support that enables them to make a difference in the world. Recent Fulbright recipients have specialized in post-conflict civil society building in Ivory Coast; women's rights in India; and the impact of corporate social responsibility on climate change.

Project-based learning

While providing a rigorous and well-rounded understanding of contemporary international affairs the course will push you to take theory beyond the classroom. Throughout your studies, you will have opportunities to work alongside visiting professionals to advance your skills and networks through intense three-day workshops that provide expertise in humanitarian assistance, diplomacy, non-profit management, negotiation, legal problem solving, health assessment in conflict zones, micro-credit management and mediation.

New and Experienced Thinking

We welcome recent graduates from educational institutions across the world – having earned the equivalent of a BA degree in International Affairs or a closely related field – as well as current professionals already working in the worlds of international institutions, NGOs and policymaking.

International Partnerships

As part of the program, you will engage with the world at large through the Ecole de Guerre practicum and cultural trips offered by other programs, such as those in India, Fez and Cambodia. This type of on-site learning or fieldwork encourages you to interact with a professional environment – legal, humanitarian, diplomatic, civil society – and often within the context of another language and culture.

Program Requirements

As a student of the MA in International Affairs you will engage with discipline-specific theoretical constructs through modules designed to enhance critical thinking, as well as graduate-level research and writing capacities.

The program features core and elective courses, allowing you to focus on various fields of practice. We cover a rich scope of content from law to international relations and diplomacy and from conflict resolution to human rights, including:

Core Courses

PO5005 Philo. Found. Of Internat'l Relations

Articulated within the emergence of the European nation-state and born in the context of the First World War and its aftermath, the discursive field of International Relations is organized around the constitutive concepts of conflict, anarchy, power, system, rule, law, and justice, and the practices of civil society and political economy. These concepts and practices organize, in turn, both the major schools of International Relations theory and contemporary methodological pluralism. This course interrogates these founding concepts from a philosophical perspective within the historical and discursive context of each major school: 1) from classical liberalism to international liberalism; 2) from classical realism to modern realism; 3) the ‘English School’ of IR theory (Bull); 4) Marxist tenets within international relations (from Karl Marx to international political economy); 5) Modern and Contemporary Critical Liberalism (Polanyi and Held); 6) The philosophical grounds of contemporary Constructivism.

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PO5012 Civil Society: Internat'l & Comp. Persp.

“Civil society” is one of the more elusive entries in the social science lexicon, and not a few have argued that we could do well without it. In a critical but appreciative spirit, this seminar introduces to the various meanings and uses that have been attributed to, or made of, civil society across time and national contexts. A constant in its various meanings is the reference to an elementary capacity of social self-organization beyond states and markets. This has made civil society an attractive alternative to diminished states and unfettered markets in the era of globalization, interestingly for the political left and right alike.

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PO5058 Conflict Manag't, Prevent'n, & Resolut'n

Course will examine both the theory and practice of decision making, diplomacy and conflict resolution. It will examine theories of procedural and instrumental rationality, prospect theory, multiple advocacy, along with an examination of actual policy formation involving bureaucratic politics, policy networks, and caucuses. The course will likewise examine diplomatic theories ranging from “ripe for resolution” to “ripe for prevention”. And finally, specific historical and contemporary cases studies involving conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict transformation and conflict resolution will be examined.

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PO5072 Us & World Affairs

America's predominant position in the modern world system derives from a continuous process of expansion. Using a pluridisciplinary approach with a strong historical focus, this course critically explores the US’s ascending movement from the confines to the center of the world system and the ways in which America has shaped the global political economy. It will allow students to anchor controversial contemporary debates (imperialism and hegemony, cooperation and conflict, multilateralism and unilateralism, globalization, transnationality and the nation state, etc.) in historic and comparative perspective. Major IR and IPE theoretical frameworks (realism, liberalism, Marxism, transnational theories) will be discussed and their relevance assessed when applied to different issue areas.

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Explore the full Program Requirements

Program Highlight

Ecole de Guerre Practicum

Take part in a simulation operated by the French War College and civilian partners

Engaged and analytical problem-solvers

This degree will prepare you to be an informed, proactive participant in developing new ideas for the promotion of peace and social justice at community, national, and international levels.

As a student of the MA in International Affairs you will:
  • Build an in-depth understanding of a cosmopolitan canon of academic and expert publications in international affairs, international law, public policy, transnational affairs, conflict resolution and civil society development

  • Develop clear analytical thinking as demonstrated by contributions to in-class discussions and argumentation as developed in written work including in the exploration of causality in your Masters thesis

  • Demonstrate initiative in selecting a range of rigorous academic sources for oral and written work and in the pursuit of original research for your Masters thesis

  • Gain a mastery of qualitative methodology (especially case study methods) and a basic understanding of statistical methods

STRONG GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT

Close to 9 out of every 10 graduate alumni that graduated from The American University of Paris during the years 2012-2014 have found a job, become entrepreneurs or pursued additional educational routes within one year of graduation. Our graduate programs provide academic excellence and practical knowledge that prepares you to successfully enter the international employment market after graduation. 

Internships

During the course of your study, you are encouraged to build on your education at AUP by applying gained knowledge and skills. An internship provides you with the crucial connection between theoretical knowledge and the real world experience that can ultimately kick start your professional career.

In the past our students have undertaken placements with companies that include:

OECD

UNESCO

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Bredin Prat

US Embassy Paris

Pour Une Planete sans Frontieres

African Artists for Development

Ogilvy & Mather Paris

Elan Edelman S.A.S.

United Nations

WLPGA

Turner Broadcasting

Experience the Program

Learning methods focus on conventional techniques as well as critical management studies and approaches from other academic disciplines. Courses combine lectures, seminar discussion, case-method and student-directed projects. Within this context, a special emphasis is put on professional skills development and career development. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with each other and program faculty for research projects and specialized directed study courses.

PRIPARE Project

PRIPARE Project

Participate in a project to restore privacy as a human right in the digital age

Course Spotlight

Conflict Management, Prevention & Resolution

Examine the theory and practice of decision making, diplomacy and conflict resolution