Dissertation Topics in International Relations


Dr Jana Martiskova


Choosing dissertation topics in international relations is a crucial step towards earning your advanced degree. This decision not only shapes the focus of your research but also determines the trajectory of your academic and professional pursuits. With the ever-evolving landscape of global affairs, selecting a relevant and impactful topic becomes paramount. This article aims to guide students and researchers by presenting a curated list of dissertation topics in international relations, spanning various themes and subfields.

Top 15 Broad Dissertation Topics in International Relations

Global Governance and Institutions

  • The Role of the United Nations in Conflict Resolution
  • Reforming the World Trade Organization: Challenges and Prospects
  • Assessing the Effectiveness of International Criminal Courts

Security Studies

  • Nuclear Proliferation: Regional and Global Implications
  • Cybersecurity Threats in the 21st Century
  • Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect

Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

  • Soft Power and Public Diplomacy: Strategies of Nations
  • Diplomatic Negotiations in the Middle East Peace Process
  • Climate Diplomacy: Addressing Environmental Challenges

International Political Economy

  • Globalization and Economic Interdependence
  • The Impact of Trade Wars on International Relations
  • Development Aid and Its Effectiveness in Promoting Stability

Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Lessons Learned
  • Mediation in Ethno-Religious Conflicts
  • Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Efforts

Regional Studies

  • European Integration: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Security Dynamics in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • African Union’s Role in Promoting Peace and Development

Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

  • Refugee Crisis and International Responses
  • Women’s Rights as Human Rights: Progress and Challenges
  • Genocide Prevention and International Law

Environmental Politics

  • Climate Change Diplomacy: Agreements and Disagreements
  • Transnational Environmental Movements and Their Impact
  • Water Scarcity and Conflict: Case Studies

Terrorism and Counterterrorism

  • Radicalization and Extremism in the Digital Age
  • Counterterrorism Strategies: Effectiveness and Ethical Considerations
  • Financing Terrorism: Disrupting Funding Networks

Global Health Governance

  • Pandemics and Global Health Security
  • Access to Essential Medicines: Equity and Ethics
  • Role of International Organizations in Health Crisis Management

Migration and Refugee Studies

  • Forced Migration: Causes and Consequences
  • Integration Policies for Refugees: Comparative Analysis
  • Climate Refugees: Addressing a Growing Concern

Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power

  • Cultural Exchange Programs: Impact on Bilateral Relations
  • Branding Nations: Cultural Image and Foreign Policy
  • Sports Diplomacy: Building Bridges or Divisions?

Media and Communication in International Relations

  • Propaganda and Disinformation in Modern Warfare
  • Social Media and Political Mobilization
  • Freedom of Press in Authoritarian Regimes

Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

  • Arms Trade Treaty: Implementation and Challenges
  • Nuclear Arms Control Agreements: Future Prospects
  • Emerging Technologies and Arms Control

International Law and Justice

  • Sovereignty vs. Humanitarian Intervention: Legal Perspectives
  • War Crimes Tribunals: Accountability and Justice
  • International Law in Outer Space: Governance Challenges

Other Categories of Dissertation Topics in International Relations

In addition to the broad topics mentioned above, students and researchers can explore specific subfields within international relations. Here are five additional categories with corresponding dissertation topics in international relations:

Gender and International Relations

  • Women in Peacekeeping Operations: Breaking Barriers
  • Gender Mainstreaming in Development Programs
  • Masculinity and Militarism: Exploring Connections

Energy Security and Geopolitics

  • Renewable Energy Transition and Its Geopolitical Implications
  • Energy Interdependence in European Union-Russia Relations
  • Resource Conflict: The Geopolitics of Oil

Ethnic Conflict and Nationalism

  • Ethnic Identity and Conflict Resolution in Multiethnic Societies
  • Nationalism and Secessionist Movements: Case Studies
  • Ethnic Conflict and State-Building

Religion and Politics

  • Religious Fundamentalism and Global Security
  • Interfaith Dialogue and Conflict Resolution
  • Religion and Human Rights: Clash or Compatibility?

Postcolonial Studies and Decolonization

  • Legacies of Colonialism in Modern International Relations
  • Decolonizing Development: Indigenous Perspectives
  • Neocolonialism and Its Impact on Global South


Selecting a dissertation topic in international relations requires thoughtful consideration of personal interests, academic expertise, and societal relevance.

By exploring various themes and subfields within the discipline, students and researchers can contribute meaningfully to the understanding and advancement of global affairs.

Whether delving into complex geopolitical issues or examining nuanced cultural dynamics, the journey of dissertation research in international relations promises intellectual growth and real-world impact.

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