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SLU Extends the M.A. in Political Science to the Madrid Campus

Starting in September 2019, SLU-Madrid will offer a new concentration for the Master of Arts in Political Science and Public Affairs: international relations and crisis. The program has been developed by Madrid faculty in response to the increasing number, intensity and impact of international crises in recent years.


Spain has been deeply affected by both the financial crisis of 2008 and the current refugee crisis.  As a result, there are extraordinary opportunities for internships and outreach work in national and international organizations and NGOs. The M.A. in Political Science requires all students to complete a three-credit practical internship. 

“We find that international relations students are increasingly expected to display the right knowledge and skills to be able to face complex and shifting work environments, whether in research, humanitarian, or the governmental field,” said Simona Rentea, Ph.D., SLU-Madrid’s international relations program director. “This graduate program is designed to help students work with complexity in their future careers by developing key diagnostic and scenario-building tools, introducing them to an emerging area of research ("crisis studies"), and honing their critical skills to allow them to act decisively and responsibly in crises and emergency situations.”

This unique concentration is designed for students holding a bachelor's degree in political science/international relations, or a related field, who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of key contemporary crises. It will familiarize its graduates with the key theoretical, political and social dimensions of the global governance of insecurity.

The 30-credit hour program features creative teaching methods, including simulation games, a guest speaker series, conferences and academic trips. As a country deeply affected by the 2008 financial crisis and the current refugee crisis, Spain provides extraordinary outreach and practical work experiences with international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The program will be developed by diverse and international faculty, whose areas of expertise include crises of leadership, the crisis of the nation-state, the social and political effects of economic crises, the refugee crisis, the EU’s institutional crisis and the rising tide of populism worldwide.

In connection with this program, SLU-Madrid will launch the Observatory on Contemporary Crises, a website dedicated to monitoring the ongoing development of contemporary crises and reflecting the scholarship in the field of crisis and emergency studies. Hosted on the SLU-Madrid website, the Observatory aims to fill in an existing gap in the market in Madrid and in Spain by serving as a reference point for the analysis of crises and as a publishing outlet for related interviews, debates and other materials. Content will include both existing publications as well as items generated by graduate students in the master's in political science program.

“It’s exciting to be launching this new program at our campus,” said SLU-Madrid Dean Paul Vita. “Students and faculty will be working together to identify or respond to global crises.”