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Best MA (IR/Diplomacy) in EUROPE?

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    • Thread Starter

    I know IR seems to be the "it" thing at the grad forums, but I hope you will bare with me...

    I've been looking at various forums and rankings and I see that the IR discussion always focuses on the US/UK programs... I'd say 80-90% US programs are listed as the "best in the world" with maybe 10-20% in the UK.

    First of all, why is that?

    Second, what are the BEST programs in continental Europe? This is what really interests me.
    The only names I really hear mentioned here are:
    Siences Po (Paris)
    and HEI (Geneva)

    How do those MA programs compare to the US/UK ones?
    And what are the other programs worth mentioning in CONTINENTAL EUROPE?

    I hope some people smarter than me WILL voice their opinions here. I'm counting on you guys!

    Ps. I should mention that my aspirations are not quite of the UN/IMF/CIA caliber. I'm just trying to find my way to a job with the local ministry of foreign affairs or diplomatic corps... and/or maybe something EU related (Czech or Slovak).

    Kofi Annan went here


    I would say that the three best (in my opinion & no particular order) are:

    - Sciences Po (but I gather that their straight IR degree is taught primarily in french. They have a number of great English programmes.)
    - IHEID (HEI and IUED merged to form this 2 years ago, linked to Geneva University)
    - Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
    - Central European University

    I know most about the IHEID. Its reputation "in the field" of IR is very good, but does not have the broader name recognition of somewhere like Sciences Po. As a warning, they changed many of their degree programmes and their titles recently as a result of the merger so don't look at any pre-2012 material if you don't want to be misled.

    The reason IR is so prominent in the Anglosphere is basically because it was developed as an academic field in primarily in the US
    & UK. The long established programmes and generous funding have attracted and created the top scholars in the field for a while now.
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by Vanbrugh)
    The reason IR is so prominent in the Anglosphere is basically because it was developed as an academic field in primarily in the US
    & UK. The long established programmes and generous funding have attracted and created the top scholars in the field for a while now.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and share your knowledge. I have a follow-up if you don't mind...

    Considering that,
    (A) I have just graduated with a BA in Cultural Anthropology from an American university (Rutgers, New Brunswick).
    (B) I want to live and work in continental Europe (either for EU, or czech/slovak diplomacy/foreign ministry).

    Do you think it would serve me best to study in Europe, or (because of their reputation) I should look for American/British programs?

    I imagine having an American BA and a continental Masters (French/Swiss/etc) might be an asset in my situation. But maybe I am wrong to assume this, and would be better served applying to the American grad programs.

    (Original post by Homeless)
    Hi Homeless,

    The following is just my opinion/impression, and I hope that others will answer this thread to give you a broader perspective on the matter!

    If you want to live and work in continental Europe I think that going for a European institution (broadly speaking that can also include UK programmes) would be a good move. From there you can search for work and make important connections that will really help you post-college. I also agree that an American and European qualification could be an advantage.

    However, I know that if you want to go back to the USA at some point after graduation then it might be best to get a US IR degree, since from my reading many US employers seem to be either quite anal or ignorant about non-US IR programmes. Good US programmes are certainly well respected in Europe, however.


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