Specializations

The Department of Political Science gives its MA students the opportunity to specialize in sub-disciplines within Political Science, a specialization showing that they focused on the study of a particular field in the course of their studies.

Students must specialize in a field of their choice. The choice of specialization is mandatory for all MA students. 

The conditions for obtaining a certificate of specialization for students in the One-year MA Program are:

  • students satisfy all requirements to earn an MA degree in CEU's Political Science program;
  • students earn 6 credits in courses related to the specific field in question; and must have received a B+ or better grade in each course;
  • students write their MA thesis on a topic related to this field of specialization.

The conditions for obtaining a certificate of specialization for students in the Two-year MA Program are:

  • students satisfy all requirements to earn an MA degree in CEU's Political Science program;
  • students earn 28 ECTS in courses related to the specific field in question; and received a B+ or better grade in each course;
  • students write their MA thesis on a topic related to this field of specialization;
  • please consult the course lists in both of your academic years.

Each year courses offered by the department are distributed to specific fields of specialization before the beginning of each academic year.

2022/2023 list of courses by specialization

2021/2022 list of courses by specialization 

Below you will find the fields of specialization in which the students must earn a certificate:

Comparative Politics

The aim of the specialization is to offer advanced studies from a comparative perspective in a wide range of topics ranging from the analysis of national political institutions to the interplay between social structures and political development, and individual political behavior. While the nation state will play a crucial role as the object of study, students in this track will also learn about the increasing role of both sub-national and supra-national units in an ever-more interdependent world. Graduates from this specialization will be particularly qualified for employment in an international work environment, be this in the academia or international organizations. Furthermore, being exposed to the comparative perspective regarding political phenomena also makes graduates from this specialization good candidates for government positions, political think-tanks, and political advisor jobs.

Political Economy

The aim of the specialization is to provide advanced-level knowledge and understanding in the field of political economy. It covers a broad range of topics necessary for the study of the economic determinants of politics and policy, the political constraints of economic life, policy evaluation and analysis. Topics include the varieties of capitalism, the comparative study of the welfare state, economic development, the economic basis of democracy and autocracy, rational choice and collective action, global inequality, rent-seeking, and so on. Graduates will be well-equipped to work as decision makers and analysts in the civil service, in international organizations, think-tanks, and the business sector. They will also acquire the background for pursuing doctoral studies and an academic career in political science.

Research Methods and Techniques

The aim of the specialization is to provide advanced skills in a wide range of social science methodologies, including theoretical and practical training in statistical methods, quantitative and qualitative research techniques, game theory, as well as small- and medium-N comparative analyses. Graduates from this specialization will be well trained for employment in applied research, e.g., in the civil service, consultancy and polling companies, NGOs, international organizations, and think-thanks, and also be suitably prepared for pursuing doctoral studies and an academic career in political science or related fields.

Social and Political Theory

Courses belonging to the Political and Social Theory Specialization deal primarily with problems in contemporary normative political theory, such as the theory of justice, democratic theory, the theory and practice of human rights, and the problems of political authority and obligation. It includes problems in contemporary constitutionalism, global political theory, the problem of multiculturalism, and others. The policy relevance and implications for political practice of normative theories are kept in focus throughout. Students who take this specialization will be well-positioned to pursue Ph.D. level studies in political theory, to work as policy analysts and researchers in government or international organizations or non-governmental organizations and advocacy groups, or in the media.

Political Behavior

The aim of the specialization is to cover the study of the micro-level phenomenon of politics, including the analysis of surveys, public opinion, political psychology, voting, communication, and other forms of participation in politics. While this specialization takes a behavioralist perspective highlighting general patterns of how individuals engage with politics it also evaluates how the institutional and technological context shapes these behaviors. Graduates from this specialization will be particularly qualified for employment in both non-profit and for-profit organizations relying on data to study political outcomes. Furthermore, the emphasis of this field on quantitative methods and measurement will make graduates of this specialization excellent candidates for a broad set of jobs involving data analyses.

Democracy and Social Change

The aim of the specialization is to provide advanced-level knowledge and understanding in topics related to democracy and social change broadly understood. It covers a range of courses covering topics such as how democratic institutions work; how they change overtime; how democratization progresses as well as the conditions under which undemocratization occurs. It pays special attention to how democracy and democratic practices relate to social institutions and social dynamics. Graduates will acquire skills to work as policy analysts; democracy analysts as well in a range of social movements and think tanks. They will also be prepared to further their studies into doctoral studies.

Students are welcome to apply to other, university-wide advanced certificates that are offered across several Departments (and are regulated by university policies).