MA Diplomacy and International Studies

Plan A
8 Core Course (4 credits per course; total of 32 credits)
Thesis : (16 credits)
Oral Examination
Publication of thesis in an academic journal

Plan B (No thesis)
8 Core Course (4 credits per course; total of 32 credits)
3 Elective Courses (4 credits per course; total of 12 credits)
Independent Studies (4 credits per course; total of 4 credits)
Comprehensive Examination

Admission Requirements

  • Candidates for admission to the Program must possess at least the following qualifications:
  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • Proficient command of the English language.

Course Description

IDS 601 International Security Studies
The course will survey the sources and resolution of conflict. It will concentrate on contemporary security issues: cultural and religious conflicts; the use of force; terrorism; the Taiwan straits; nuclear, biological, chemical proliferation; epidemic outbreaks. It will also trace international and regional efforts to build up multilateral security arrangements aimed at safeguarding peace. The course will also examine the roles of the Security Council, peacekeeping operations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).


IDS 610 International Politics
The course will address in depth the main theoretical approaches to international relations and international politics. It will examine the historical evolution of international relations, the behavior and foreign policy of states, and the role of international norms and international institutions. It will investigate current global and regional issues related to international security, international political economy, and other transnational issues.


IDS 620 Public International Law
The course will provide a basic knowledge of international law and key concepts, including sources of international law; subjects of international law. Certain areas of international law will be elaborated upon such as the use of force and terrorism, law of the sea, space law, treaty law, international environmental law, international trade law, and the settlement of international disputes.


IDS 630 International Organizations and Multilateral Diplomacy
This course will equip students with knowledge and a deep understanding of the workings of multilateral diplomacy in key international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It will examine these organizations’ origin, evolution and current roles and how they influence world politics and economics. It will also study modern geo-political and geo-economic shifts that shape the incentives and actions of key world players, in particular during the cold war and up until the present. Case studies will be used to demonstrate how decisions are made and negotiations conducted in real-life diplomacy at the multilateral level.


IDS 640 International Economics, Trade and Development
This course is divided into two sections: international trade and international macroeconomics. The international trade section covers issues such as the concept of comparative advantage, commercial policy (i.e. tariffs, export subsidies, and import quotas), trade and economic development and Free Trade Areas. International macroeconomics section covers issues such as the concept of national income accounting and balance of payments, macroeconomic policy management under fixed and flexible exchange rate regimes and case studies on recent economic crises and reforms in developing countries.


IDS 641 International Business, Finance and Investment
This survey course introduces the principles of international business, finance and investment and how they are interrelated. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of predominant economic and business concepts and the frameworks that underline international business, finance and investment, their application as well as their results and consequences. Some key issues such as foreign exchange, exchange rate determination, multinational financing and investment decision, currency risk management, and capital market and portfolio investment will be explored. To some extent, issues such as international trade regimes, the role of multinational corporations and the relationship between foreign investment and national development will also be discussed. Students attending this course will be able to develop skills in identifying and analyzing critical issues involving international business, finance and investment and explore strategy options that are available to governments and businesses. Theories, concepts and issues will be covered systematically throughout the course. Case studies will be used to relate such theories and concepts to actual business problems.


IDS 650 Human Rights and Transnational Social Issues
The course will explore the key concepts in human rights law and procedures, for example, universality, rights versus responsibility, rights versus development, economic and social rights. It will examine the roles of the United Nations and other key international, regional and national institutions as well as the non-governmental organizations created to protect human rights. The course will also address transnational social issues such as refugees, human trafficking, international crime, foreign labor as well as international, regional and national efforts to cope with these issues.


IDS 660 The Mechanics of Diplomacy and International Negotiation
The purpose is to train students on the mechanics of diplomacy and international negotiation.
The course will cover the following areas:
o Processes of International Negotiation and Negotiation Techniques.
o Protocol, Etiquette, Diplomatic Correspondence
o Public diplomacy and media skills
o Speech-writing /speech delivery


Elective Courses

IDS 602 Foreign Policy Analysis
This course will explore various theories and approaches as tools in analyzing foreign policy, in particular its formation, implementation and impacts, and in formulating recommendations. These theories and approaches will include realism, neo-realism, post-modernism, decision-making, game theory, systems analysis, and integration theory. Case studies will be used extensively to show how various theories and approaches can be used in analyzing real-life foreign policies in various regions of the world so that students will gain the analytical skills for practical use in their professional life. The course will also try to impart practical skills to students in analyzing the impacts of the implementation of selected foreign policies, for example, the impacts of the establishment of free trade areas on the government and the private sector of Thailand. In addition, the course will study possible policy recommendations to alleviate such adverse impacts.


IDS 670 Regional Co-operation and Integration; Theory and Practice
The course will explore the theories and concepts of regional cooperation and integration. It will discuss their various forms. Their benefits and costs in the political, economic and social areas would be examined. The course will use ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and the EU (European Union) as in-depth case studies whereby the similarities and differences between regional cooperation and integration will be discussed. The course will also trace Thailand’s experiments with regional cooperation as tool of its time-honored foreign policy from ASEAN to APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), BIMSTEC (Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation), ACD (Asia Cooperation Dialogue), ACMECS (Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy), ASEAN + 3 (China, Japan and South Korea).


IDS 642 Contemporary Political Economy of Southeast Asia
This course is a gateway to understanding the intricate interaction between political and economic policies that drove a selected group of Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore) to be the Asian Tigers. How did the four Asian countries manage to rise to the top of developing countries with impressive growth rates in the 1980s and the early 1990s? What was the political underpinning that helped fuel the growth? The course will offer an analytical overview of political development in the four Southeast Asian nations since the post-colonial era (for Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore) and since the Second World War (for Thailand). However, prosperity came with risks as evidenced by the 1997 crisis which brought about not only economic collapses but also deep political changes. How have the political reforms begun almost ten years ago changed the political and economic landscape of Southeast Asian nations? In the end, what should Thailand’s foreign and domestic policies be in order to address the changes in its neighboring countries?


IDS 690 Seminar on NGO’s; Theory and Practice
Non-governmental Organizations’ growing role and influence in foreign affairs are undeniable. The course will introduce students to key international NGOs, Thai NGOs and their work. It will discuss their philosophy, missions, management, fund-raising, budget, advocacy, and NGOs’ strategy to influence official policies. NGOs’ executives will be invited to speak to the class to share their real-life experiences.


IDS 643 International Political Economy
This course will introduce students to the major issues of international political economy, namely, the proper balance between the state and the market and how their interactions affect the flows of capital, goods and labor and other globalization phenomena. The main theories and perspectives on the political economy, for example, Liberalism, Marxism, and Nationalism will be discussed. The course will then examine the building blocks of the global economy, namely, national economies, global trading system, global financial system and regional economic integration. Finally, the effects, benefits and the alleged resulting problems of globalization such as terrorism, poverty, un-even development, and the effects on environment will be explored.


IDS 692 Research Design and Methodology
The goal of this course is to provide students with quantitative and qualitative research skills in designing and writing independent studies/thesis. It will introduce students to basic knowledge in research design and research methodology, both quantitative and qualitative. Students will gain knowledge on statistical concepts, quantitative methods, such as data survey, sampling, data presentation in various ways including graphical forms, correlation and regression analysis and other mathematical techniques. As regards qualitative research, the course will familiarize students with techniques such as interviews, questionnaires, content analysis, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, CIPP (Context, Input, Product, and Process). Finally, students will be familiarized with various appropriate independent study/thesis formats.


IDS 691 Seminar on Trade and Investment in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have recently become members of ASEAN and recognized as new and promising markets for trade and investment. This course will explore their trade and investment opportunities. It will survey the prevailing commercial regulations, investment rules and incentives in these countries as well as their political and economic systems. Top executives who have worked and invested in these countries will be invited to share their experiences with the class. This course would be useful for those who wish to pursue careers relating to these countries.


IDS 644 Taxation and International Business
The objectives of the course are to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the main concepts and practical application of taxation system. It is useful for students wishing to practice in the areas of economics, accounting, law, and financial management.This course provides an economic analysis of and insights into a wide range of taxes. The concepts and methods needed for this analysis, which have general application, will also be presented. The emphasis is on explaining and clarifying the basic principles and demonstrating their wide-ranging applicability. Topics to be explored include principles of taxation, tax incidence, taxation of goods and services (sales tax, excise tax, value-added tax, custom tariff, etc.), taxation of income, property tax, environmental taxation and some other tax issues related to local governmental finance. The concepts in taxation offer an excellent balance between tax concepts and the tax code and regulations, preparing users for a future in the business environment. In addition, the course will highlight many institutional issues that are potentially of special interest to students preparing for professional careers.


IDS 681 Thai Studies
This course would be appealing to students who wish to know and understand Thailand in-depth. It will examine Thailand in the political, economic, social and cultural aspects by using multi-disciplinary approach.


Thesis (Plan A) / Independent Studies (Plan B)

IDS 698 Independent Studies
Directed reading and research for credit under the supervision of an advisor. It provides an opportunity for students to study certain issues within the discipline of diplomacy and international studies. The topic for study and research must be approved by the relevant advisor prior to commencement of the study.


IDS 699 (Thesis)
Students who choose plan A must complete a thesis on diplomacy and international studies or related fields as partial requirement of this program. The research topic must be approved by the research topic defense examination committee and the advisor prior to their actual research work.