MA in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development

Admission to this program has been temporarily suspended for the Fall 2024 semester. If you have any questions, please contact


In a global context, where divisive politics and nationalism are gaining ground, there is a crucial need for individuals with the skills to approach contemporary issues from an informed, pluralistic viewpoint. The MA in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development is a two-year, bilingual program with the University of Paris I-Sorbonne. Through this collaboration, you will join a community of scholars working in Paris across languages, cultures and different educational systems to develop conflict resolution and humanitarian skills, global solidarity networks and future civil society alliances.

Our close working relationship with the Sorbonne enlarges our community of scholars, permitting students of the program to focus on multidisciplinary study, ethical reflection and internationalism.

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.

A Different Perspective

Alongside the requirements of the AUP program, you will take modules at the University of Paris I-Sorbonne. After passing a DELF B2 in French, you may enroll in four graduate level courses at the Sorbonne and receive a certificate attesting to your capability to successfully complete graduate work in French. In exchange, AUP admits those Sorbonne graduate students with sufficient English to participate in four of our modules, enriching the module experience for all students through enhanced cross-cultural referencing. Learning two languages and studying across two universities, you will be uniquely immersed in two ways of viewing the world.

International Partnerships

As part of the program, you will engage with the world outside of AUP through The Hague, Oxford and Ecole de Guerre practica, along with 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 and often within the context of another language and culture.

Program Requirements

As a student of the MA in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society  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, 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.


PO5006 Globalization And Its Discontents

This course of offers graduate students a comprehensive conceptual and factual treatment of historical globalization, from the Industrial Revolution in the late-modern period to the universalization of capitalism and the ICT revolution in the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.


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.


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.


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.

Explore the full Program Requirements

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, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development 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 Master's 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 Master's thesis

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

  • Graduate with the ability to give oral presentations and produce coherent written work in the French system to a graduate level


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. 


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:



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


Turner Broadcasting

Your Classmates

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.