The MA in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development program is a 62 credit Research Masters taken over the course of four semesters. The program is composed of five courses taken at AUP (20 credits) and four courses taken at our French partner university (16 credits). In addition to these nine courses there are six required modules (12 credits), these are short workshop style seminars taught by visiting professionals working in the fields of International Affairs, Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development. The final fourteen credits are fulfilled with a required thesis writing seminar (2 credits) and a 15,000-word thesis (12 credits).

Students should take note that the Sorbonne runs on a French academic calendar that does not coincide with The American University of Paris' academic calendar. The classes at the Sorbonne start later in the academic year and therefore finish later the following spring. Final semester exams are often scheduled as late as February for the fall semester and June for the spring semester. The Sorbonne vacation breaks during the academic year do not coincide with those at AUP.


Core courses (8 credits)

Choose two of the following 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.


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.



Elective courses (12 credits)

Choose three courses from the PO, GV and LW course offerings.


Modules (12 credits)

Six modules (as available - module topics change from semester to semester).

PO5002 Modules

The module topics change each semester and are taught by working professionals in the fields of international affairs, conflict resolution and civil society development. Each semester four or more different modules are offered.



Sorbonne courses (16 credits)

  • Courses vary by semester


Seminar and Thesis (14 credits)

PO5099 Thesis Methodology Seminar

This seminar is required for all students in their final semester of classes in the MAIA program. It is designed to instruct them in the appropriate methodology for the actual writing of the thesis. During the course of the semester students will be personally guided as they choose their thesis topic and will create an outline and abstract in preparation for their research and/or fieldwork.


PO5095 Thesis

In the last semester of their studies students are required to complete a 20,000 word thesis. Additional paperwork available in the office of the Registrar is MANDATORY for registration of the thesis.



Credit Model

Core Courses at AUP 4 2 8
Electives at AUP 4 3 12
Modules at AUP 2 6 12
Courses at the Sorbonne 4 4 16
Thesis Methodology Seminar 2 1 2
Thesis 12 1 12



2 core courses at AUP 2 elective courses at AUP 1 elective course at AUP Thesis
2 modules 3 modules 1 modules
1 French IA course 1 French IA course 2 French IA Courses
Thesis Methodology Seminar
16 credits 18 credits 16 credits 12 credits


See the tuition and fees for this program. 

* A special note: U.S. Federal regulations state that AUP students receiving federal loans cannot do their Internship or write up their thesis in the United States. Students can only complete an Internship in the United States when it is not in pursuit of their degree.