Our master programme



The International History and Politics Department of the Graduate Institute – the oldest school of international relations in Europe located in Geneva, the site of historical international organisations and historically of the League of Nations – enables students to pursue historical research and analysis in the context of the Institute’s anchoring in both the humanities and the comparative analysis of contemporary policy and governance.


A Dynamic Study Plan


The particular contribution of the International History and Politics Department is to bring a historical methodology to the study of international affairs, including policy-making, political systems and institutions. These methods – specifically qualitative and textual analysis, archival research and attention to structural change and continuities over time – allow students to coherently link history, politics and the contemporary environment.

A degree in international history and politics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva can lead to a career as an international historian and it also provides a set of tools for a practical career in politics and diplomacy as well as in the private sector.  The same methods that make for a great international historian are a tremendous, indeed indispensable asset in the world of global politics. Of particular importance are the ways that historians illuminate the political relevance of questions of meaning, culture, mentalities and deep economic structures locally and globally.

The Department’s mission is to encourage dynamic and cross-cutting historical approaches to understanding, contextualising and situating current international politics and policies. Members of the faculty teach and research governmental and non-governmental actors and organisations; human rights, humanitarianism and humanitarian actions/interventions; development politics, policies and ideologies; nation-building and state-building; civil society and social movements, gender, women and public policies, labour, employment and trade unions; international and global public health; environment and environmentalisms, climate change and political ecologies; immigrants, refugees and diasporas; international finance and economy; conflicts and international security issues, political violence and terrorism; transnational actors, institutions, histories and processes; and foreign policies, multilateral diplomacy, negotiations and co-operation, regional integration, and North-South relations.


Master Programme


The Master in International History and Politics is a rigorous, two-year degree exploring various dimensions of international history and historiography. It provides students with up-to-date critical, analytical and methodological tools and encourages historically-informed approaches to current policy, politics, economics and culture.

Courses, seminars and research projects in the Department cluster around the intersecting themes of international relations, institutions and movements; global/world and transnational history; history and policy; the history of ideas; the Global South and postcoloniality; and the histories of individual regions – the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • This master's degree combines coursework, workshops, research and a thesis.
  • It encourages direct contact, debates and exchange with faculty and fellow students.
  • Compulsory courses introduce the aims, substance and criticisms of the various approaches to international, transnational and global/world history.
  • Research training is focused on individual and collective work based on primary and secondary sources.
  • Students take elective courses in anthropology and sociology, economics, international law and international relations/political science, taught in the departments concerned.

Master in International History AND POLITICS

  • 4 compulsory courses (24 credits)

  • 11 elective courses (66 credits)

  • 7 to 9 courses in discipline of specialization (42 to 54 credits)

  • 2 to 4 in one or several other disciplines (12 to 24 credits)

  • Thesis (30 credits)

Total of 120 credits

Master Thesis

Master Thesis Guidelines


Davide Rodogno, Professor of International History and Politics, welcomes new students and gives an introduction to what they can expect in their first year at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.