A master’s thesis is the capstone of the European History, Politics, and Society program. In researching and writing the thesis, students bring the knowledge and skills they have gained through their classes to bear on a topic of their choice. The thesis is both “broad,” in the sense that all of your studies are in the background, supporting your work, and “concentrated,” as an intensive, extended analysis of a single topic. You should start thinking about possible topics, and building relationships with potential faculty advisors, early in the program. The journey from your initial plans to a polished thesis is an important part of your studies.


The thesis is based on original research and is supervised by a faculty advisor. Students begin identifying topics (and approaching potential advisors) through the MA colloquium. In the spring semester of the colloquium, students prepare a prospectus that sets out the thesis topic and argument and outlines a plan for research. Students usually conduct thesis research during the summer and write the thesis in the following fall semester.

The process, from identifying a topic to submitting the final version of the thesis, is explained in the Thesis Guidelines.

2021-2022 Deadlines

To submit the prospectus, Thesis Registration Form, and MA Checklist (to confirm degree progress):

  • September 17, 2021 to register to write in the Fall 2021 term
  • January 21, 2022 to register to write in the Spring 2022 term
  • May 6, 2022 to register to write in the Summer 2022 term

For your advisor to submit the Thesis Evaluation Form and for you to deliver paper and electronic copies to the European Institute: 

  • October 6, 2021 for October 2021 graduation
  • January 26, 2022 for February 2022 graduation
  • May 4, 2022 for May 2022 graduation

Thesis Grants

The Institute provides competitive grants to students who want to conduct thesis research in Europe during either winter, spring, or summer breaks.

Please view the Thesis Grants page for more information.

    European History, Society and Politics Theses

    Past theses are available to read at the European Institute office.

    Featured Video

    Ben Diehl (MA, 2020) presents his thesis research at the fourth annual Columbia GSAS Master's SynThesis Competition: The SPD and the Personalization of Politics in Leipzig, 1903-1913.

    For more videos featuring MA students and alumni, please view this YouTube playlist.

    Recent Theses

    Michael Chrzanowski
    Heralds of the Terror: the Journalist-Legislators of the French Revolution, 1793 - Awarded with program distinction
    Advisor: Charly Colemann

    Nick Cohen
    Krzysztof Skubiszewski and the Making of Contemporary Polish Foreign Policy: The Legal Universalist Roots of Polish-Ukrainian Relations, 1990-1993
    Advisor: Tsveta Petrova

    Solal del Castillo
    Practicality and Sensitivity in 18th Century Economic Thought: A reading of Rousseau, Hume, and Montesquieu
    Advisor: Pierre Force

    Adam Frick
    Labour & Labor: Reframing the Party-Union Relationship Leading to the Winter of Discontent
    Advisor: Luca Falciola

    Matteo Giordano
    Mediterraneità: Luigi Federzoni and Fascist Italy’s visions of world order and political space (1928-1938)
    Advisor: Victoria de Grazia

    Matthew Hall
    Memory Politics in Orbán’s Hungary
    Advisors: Paula Ganga

    Luke Jandrain
    "A Daily Memorandum": Huguenots in English Political Rhetoric after the Glorious Revolution
    Advisor: Christopher Brown

    Bennett Kauffman
    Missed Warnings, Unheeded Advice: How Bismarck and Moltke’s Successors Ignored the Advice of the Founding Generation and Led Germany Towards War
    Advisor: Volker Berghahn

    Christian Neubacher
    Is there Global Power in a Union? An Analysis of the Relationship between the AFL-CIO and ETUC
    Advisor: Seamus O'Cleireacain

    David Stolwijk
    After the Vote: Why the Netherlands Accepted the Lisbon Treaty, Despite the ‘Nee’ Against the European Constitutional Treaty - Awarded with program distinction
    Advisor: Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

    Parker Yagman
    Assessing the Efficacy of the European Union's Rule of Law Toolbox
    Advisor: Sheri Berman

    Lauren Ashley Bradford
    Occupation Relations: How American Relief Policies and Post-War Strategies Impacted Jewish DPs, Berlin 1945-48
    Advisor: Volker Berghahn

    Ali Cain
    State of Pandemic: Opportunity or Challenge to Far-Right Populist Parties? The Case of the Alternative für Deutschland Party
    Advisor: Paula Ganga

    Ethan Cohen
    “What are we doing in Morocco?” Relocating Spanish History - Awarded with program distinction
    Advisor: Ana Fernández-Cebrián

    Ayana Dootalieva
    On European Identity: Values, Citizenship, and the Idea of Europe
    Advisor: Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

    Faïz El Mamoune
    When 27 Become 1: A Single European Union Seat at United Nations Security Council or the Triple Trouble of A So-Called Good Idea
    Advisor: Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

    Max Ferrer
    Touring Imperial Catalonia: Consuming Nostalgia, Constructing Identity - Awarded with program distinction
    Advisors: Lisa Tiersten & Victoria de Grazia

    Huiyi Gu
    The Metamorphosis of Individuality: On Self-Overcoming and Becoming of Overman
    Advisor: Oliver Simons

    Kristjan Gudmundsson
    Occupy Denmark, 2011–2013
    Advisor: Sheri Berman

    Ruiqi Ji
    The Economic and Social Impacts of EU Accession Immigrants in the UK
    Advisor: Seamus O'Cleireacain

    Yuri Kazakov
    Dream Diplomacy: B.A. Bakhmeteff, V.A. Maklakov, and White Émigré Influence on Franco-Soviet Interwar Relations
    Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

    John Melkon
    The Geopolitical Dilemma of Migration to Europe?
    Advisor: Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

    William Naylor
    Decentralization and Populism: How Podemos’ Appeal to Regionalism Defined its Political Rise
    Advisors: Pablo Bustinduy & Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

    Claire Olmstead
    Red and Blue and Read All Over: How the Newspapers ‘Mujeres Libres’ and ‘Y’ mobilized their readers during the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
    Advisor: Victoria de Grazia

    Jade Quintero
    Aquarium and Kino: Rock and Roll in the Soviet Union After 1985
    Advisors: Daria Ezerova & Tsveta Petrova

    Floris Rijssenbeek
    A Nascent Democratic Generation: On the Role of Young Hungarians in Defending Democracy
    Advisor: Tsveta Petrova

    Kristofer Seibt
    "My Heart Bled": Sustained Destruction and the Economics of Coercion in German Cameroon
    Advisor:  Volker Berghahn

    Laura Sussman
    How the EU’s ETS can be impacted by a single country using Poland as a case study
    Advisor: Tom Moerenhout

    Ruben Tjon-A-Meeuw
    The Role of Politics in Germany’s Support for the Gas Pipeline and its Implications for Energy Security in Central and Eastern Europe
    Advisor: Peter Clement

    Oleksandr Yusupov
    The Russo-Ukrainian War: Causes, Proposed Solutions, Changing Circumstances, and a Way Out
    Advisor: Valerii Kuchynskyi

    Andrew Carroll
    The NATO Multilateral Force: Driver of Nonproliferation and Limiting Integration in European Security
    Advisor: Valerii Kuchynskyi

    Corey Cherrington
    Reinventing the Ancients, Creating a Religion: Joseph Smith in the Transnational World of Early Archaeology
    Advisor: Konstantina Zanou

    Ben Diehl
    The SPD and the Personalization of Politics in Leipzig, 1903-1913
    Advisor: Volker Berghahn

    Ian Donnellan
    Discipline and Death: The Training of the 12th SS Hitler Youth Panzer Division
    Advisor: Adam Tooze

    Marc Dorpema
    The 1970s as Transition: Recasting the Relance Européenne 
    Advisor: Adam Tooze

    Joseph Elmo
    Images of Identity: Spanish Anarchists Defined Through Spanish Civil War Posters
    Advisor: Thai Jones

    Emma Flaherty
    A Question of Favoritism? Sentiment Trends in RT’s Reporting on Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries
    Advisors: Tsveta Petrova & Thomas Kent

    Emily Healy
    The Pedagogy of National Identity: Teaching Towards Colonialism
    Advisor: Elizabeth Leake

    Arnor Gunnarsson
    “Some Good News from Greece”: Philhellenism in Denmark
    Advisor: Konstantina Zanou

    Gabrielle Higgins
    A ‘National Socialist Itinerary:’ Nazi Party Interference in British Travel Experiences
    Advisor: Adam Tooze

    Anna Koolstra
    In Defense of the Spitzenkandidaten
    Advisor: Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti

    Tuure-Eerik Niemi
    Sovereign Europe? Analysing EU Member States' Voting Positions in the United Nations General Assembly
    Advisor: Tsveta Petrova

    Quinn Shepherd
    The Spiritual Elite: German Influences on French Nonconformism, 1929-1934 - Awarded with program distinction
    Advisor: Mark Lilla

    Edoardo Vaccari
    Rethinking Socialism, Rebuilding Empire: A Political Portrait of Ignazio Silone (1941-1953)
    Advisor: Mark Lilla

    Charlotte Waldraff
    Währungspolitik ist Auẞenpolitik’: Deutschmark Internationalization in the Times of Helmut Schmidt - Awarded with program distinction
    Advisor: Adam Tooze

    Ben Walsh
    Survey of Bavarian Distinctiveness
    Advisor: Sheri Berman

    Jie Zhu
    The EUEOM's Low Electoral Standard in 2017 Kenyan Presidential Election
    Advisor: Tsveta Petrova

    Mitul Arora
    Hungarian Economic Shift towards the Nazi Sphere of Influence during the Interwar Period
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova

    Ryan Conley
    Diffusing Global Medical Knowledge in Ukraine: A Study of the Changing Practices and Policies to Treat PTSD Among Soldiers and Veterans Post-2014
    Advisor Elise Giuliano

    Ahmet Goksun
    Muslims and Christians in 18th Century Crete: Enigma of a Society Divided by Self-Interest
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova

    Marisa Henderson
    Black Politics and the Press: Paris-Dakar and Black Representation in 1930s Senegal
    Advisor Natasha Lightfoot

    Angela Kun-Gazda
    Conflict and Popular Medicine Reflected in Witchcraft Trials in a Sixteenth-Century Transylvanian Town
    Advisor Pamela Smith

    Kevin Lavery
    Youth, Internationalism, and Ideological Accommodation in the Age of the Popular Front: The World Youth Congress Movement, 1936-1939
    Advisor Susan Pedersen

    Joseph Puchner
    Amid the Stormy Scenes of Civil Commotion: Liberties and Liberalism in Post-Napoleonic Iberia, According to the Third Earl of Carnarvon
    Advisor Konstantina Zanou

    Tristan Sechrest
    The Romantic Manager: Alfred Hugenberg in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1924
    Advisor Adam Tooze

    Robin Stark
    The Russian Speaking Nation: Indications of the Political Attitudes of Latvia’s Russian Speaking Ethnic Population
    Advisor Elise Giuliano

    Tiffany Thompson
    International Socialist Playgirl of the Year: Bernadette Devlin Between Student Rebellion and Parliamentary Politics in Northern Ireland, 1968-1974
    Advisor Victoria de Grazia

    Harry Whomersley
    Going Forth and Multiplying: Empire, Citizenship and the Anglosphere in ‘The Penny Magazine,’ 1832-1845
    Advisors Deborah Valenze & Emily Jones

    Brandon Allen
    Thesis: A Victorian Experiment: the Social History of Amnesty International in Britain, 1962-1967
    Advisor Tarik Amar

    Melissa Bosem
    Thesis: At the Feet of Giants: Monumental Remains and the Construction of National Identity in Post-Soviet Ukraine
    Advisor Tarik Amar

    Daniel Castro
    Thesis A Year of Incessant Controversy? British Policy Toward Franco's Spain in 1943
    Advisor Emily Jones

    Jerry Christodoulatos
    Thesis Dictators and Don Juans: Reconsidering Greek Mass Tourism through Film, 1967-1974
    Advisor Dimitrios Antoniou

    Joseph Dammann
    Thesis: Russian State Media in the 2017 French Presidential Election
    Advisor Elise Giuliano

    Andrew Dornstadter
    Thesis Tests of NATO Allies' Commitment and Performance: Lessons from Poland and Slovakia since the London Summit "Hand of Friendship"
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova

    Ryan Eavenson
    Thesis: The Romanian Association for Strengthening Relations with the Soviet Union (ARLUS), Literature, and Soviet Soft Power in Romania, 1944-1964
    Advisor Victoria Phillips

    Nicholas Fiore
    Thesis The United Kingdom Independence Party: Crafting a "Winning Formula" or a Typical Party of the European Radical Right?
    Advisor Sheri Berman

    Meyer Horne
    Thesis: Impossible Hope: Riots, Resistance, and Resilience in France, the United Kingdom and the United States
    Advisor Naor Ben-Yehoyada

    Jake Palmer
    Thesis The Boundaries of Democracies: A Normative Case for Porous Borders
    Advisor Turkuler Isiksel

    Sarah Roth
    Thesis Operation Focus: The Controversial Role of Print Propaganda in the Lead-Up to the 1956 Hungarian Uprising
    Advisor Victoria Phillips

    Kaitlin Shine
    Thesis L'Uomo Frainteso della Grande Guerra
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Stephanie Sonkin
    Thesis Origins of Sweden's Public Diplomacy Overhaul, 2003-2007
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova


    Alvaro Miranda
    Thesis The Pan, the Bolshevik, and the International of Good People: Revolution and Identity in Isaac Babel’s Red Calvary
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova

    Holly M. Porino
    Thesis The Great Imperial Plants of Zola’s La Curee
    Advisor Elizabeth Leake

    Elizabeth Kim
    Thesis Trade for Good: The Impact of the EU-Egypt Free Trade Agreement on Egyptian Labor Rights, 2004-2011
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova

    Alexandro Pedraza
    Thesis Power, Violence, and Opportunity: The Recruitment of Indigenous Soldiers in 1920s Spanish Morocco
    Advisor Lisa Tiersten

    Renee Pappous
    Thesis “Learning to Obey The Rules for the Sake of Society”: Public Identity and Identity Formation at Constantinople Woman’s College, 1914 – 1950
    Advisor Dimitrious Antoniou

    Jackson Allison
    Thesis Rethinking the Labor Process in Britain: Deskilling and Managerial Control, 1930-1050
    Advisor Adam Tooze

    Farrah Madanay
    Thesis West German Physicians and the Legacy of Nazi Medicine, 1968-1989
    Advisor Deborah Coen

    Anne Schult
    Thesis A Sense of National Decline: Populist Pundits and the Immigration Debate in Germany and France
    Advisor Sheri Berman
    Click here to watch Anne discuss her project.

    John Barry Schuyler
    Thesis Spain and the United States during the initial years of the Spanish Transition to Democracy
    Advisor Tsveta Petrova

    Vinicius Bivar Marra Pereira
    Thesis German Influence in Brazil: between Vargas nationalism and Roosevelt’s Pan-Americanism
    Advisor Volker Berghan
    Click here to watch Vinicius discuss his project. 

    Erika Martinez
    Thesis The Rockefeller Foundation Through The Dawn of the Atomic Age
    Advisor Volker Berghan

    Leslie Ching
    Thesis The Evolution and Occlusion of Memory: A Historiography of the Events in Paris, October 17, 1961 as Depicted in Four Films
    Advisor Emmanuelle Saada

    Jarrett Moran
    Thesis The Fall and Rise of John Ruskin, Political Economist: 1860-1905
    Advisor Susan Pedersen

    Michael Peragine
    Thesis The Effect of Cultural Distance on Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes in Europe
    Advisors Christel Kesler and Victoria Phillips

    Manoj Thadhani
    Thesis Yugoslav Dream Team: The Rise and Fall of the National Basketball Team and Yugoslavia’s Collapse
    Advisor Aleksandar Boskovic

    Robert Ast
    Thesis Pretty, Vacant: Brummel, Jagger, and the Dandy Mystique
    Advisor Lisa Tiersten

    Erica Chanin
    Thesis Utilization of Economic Sanctions and Soft Power Leveraging by the European Union in the Yugoslav Dissolution and Its Impact on the War in Kosovo
    Advisors Kimberly Marten and Tanya Domi

    Youri Chung
    Thesis The Structural Limits of the EU Normative Foreign Policy: The Debate Over the 2008 Beijing Olympics Boycott
    Advisor Victoria de Grazia

    Toni Ciprian-Matthews
    Thesis Endogenous Shocks and Banking Unions: Lessons of the European Financial Crisis
    Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

    Halley Farrell
    Thesis Subverting Imagery of the Feminine Divine in Spanish Cinema: Religious and Cultural Critique in the Films of Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, 1958-1999
    Advisor Lisa Tiersten

    Serena Israni
    Thesis The Self-Interested Trade Policies of the European Union and United States 
    Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

    Vanessa Johnston
    Thesis The Roaring Twenties, American Mass Culture, and the Weimar New Woman
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Whitney Jones
    Thesis Culture, Society and Politics in Post-Cold War Germany: The Role of the U.S. Military
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Nicole Krieg
    Thesis Neorealism Now: Fascism in Vittorio De Sica’s Late Work
    Advisor Elizabeth Leake

    Jixiu Li
    Thesis Articulation of Normative Power Through Foreign Policy: How Can the European Union Act as the Agenda-Setter in its Relations with China?
    Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

    Amelia Purtill
    Thesis 1968 Through the Years: Germany’s “Achtundsechtzigers” and the Struggle with the Nazi Past
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Richard Smith
    Thesis Defining Bosnia: Race, Identity, and Anthropology in Habsburg Occupied Bosnia, 1878-1908
    Advisor Deborah Coen

    Kelly Cocuzza
    Thesis Italian Particularism: How a Social Crisis Becomes a Cultural Trauma—Italy and Its Migrants
    Advisor Barbara Faedda

    Ilias Dourmousoglou
    Thesis The Greek Crises: A Social, Economic, Political and Cultural Study since 1967
    Advisor Stathis Gourgouris

    Cody Franchetti
    Thesis Nominalism and History
    Advisor Samuel Moyn

    Christopher Kreiler
    Thesis European Banks: Regulation and Reform 
    Advisor Irene Finel-Honigman

    Andrés Lyon Valdivieso
    Thesis Acedia: Dante’s Commedia and Beckett’s How It Is
    Advisors Teodolinda Barolini and Edward Mendelson

    Dafina Nedelcheva
    Thesis Crossing Imagined Borders: History and Memory of Aegean Refugees in Post World War II Bulgaria
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Linyao Tang
    Thesis Common Agricultural Policy Reforms: Legacies and Implications for the Future
    Advisor Seamus O’Cleireacain

    Boyd van Dijk
    Thesis Caught Between the Great Powers: The Birth of Human Rights and the Netherlands, 1940-1950
    Advisor Samuel Moyn

    Lycourgos Sophoulis
    Thesis Recurring Dilemmas and Romantic Digressions: Orthodoxy and Nationalism in the Early Neohellenic Kingdom
    Advisors Volker Berghahn and Christine Philliou

    Johan Warodell
    Thesis Joseph Conrad and Sense-Impressions
    Advisor Edward Mendelson

    Miriam Wray
    Thesis Ornament and Fashion in Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers from an Aesthetic, Historical and Social Perspective
    Advisor Mark Anderson

    Darrell Dela Rosa
    Thesis Biofuel Bust: The Adverse Effects of European Energy Policies
    Advisor Glenn Sheriff

    Veronica Mayer
    Thesis Crisis of Nationalism: The Impact of Trafalgar on British and Spanish Self-Conceptions
    Advisor Monica Cohen

    Evan Saperstein
    Thesis How the Top Bottomed Out: The Turkish Government’s Unexpected Embrace of Grassroots Anti-Semitism 
    Advisor David Cuthell

    Lorna Schmidt
    Thesis The Evolution and Regulation of Consumer Credit in the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany, 1800s-2008
    Advisor Victoria de Grazia

    Marguerite Van Cook
    Thesis Wordsworth’s Cloak of “Duffil Grey,” or The Passions of Capitalism
    Advisors Marianne Giordani and Stathis Gourgouris

    Kenneth Alston
    Thesis Dirigisme: Through the Lens of Nicolas Sarkozy
    Advisor Irene Finel-Honigman

    Allison De Seve
    Thesis Non-Pacifists for Peace: The Peace Now Movement of 1943-1944
    Advisor Nancy Collins

    Virginia Howard
    Thesis Trafficked Women in the European Union: The Natashas and Victim-Centered Criminal Justice
    Advisor Michael Stanislawski

    Katherine Minette
    Thesis The German Question: Helmut Kohl and the Push for Unification
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Adee Braun
    Thesis Constructing the Hungarian Nation: British Travelers’ Perspectives of Hungarian National Identity Under the Dual Empire
    Advisor Volker Berghahn

    Ali Mortezai
    Thesis Concepts of Freedom in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger: An Auseinandersetzung
    Advisor John Rajchman

    J. Armand Musey
    Thesis Underlying Causes of the Disparity Between the French and English Surrealist Movements
    Advisor Linn Cary Mehta

    Richard Seidlitz
    Thesis Russophilia in France, 1870-1910
    Advisor Samuel Moyn

    Wakako Suzuki
    Thesis The Narrative Techniques of Modern Literature
    Advisor Mark Anderson

    Kristin Wood
    Thesis The Cracked Cauldron: An Investigation of Madame Bovary’s Philosophical Realism
    Advisor Monica Cohen

    Heather Higgins
    Thesis The Search for Identity in the Works of Five East European Novelists
    Advisor Ivan Sanders

    Gabriela Maj
    Thesis “Las, Dąb i Róg” (The Forest, the Oak and the Deer’s Horn): The Role of the symbol of the Forest and Polish National Identity
    Advisor Zoë Crossland

    Kerry McElroy
    Thesis A Defensive Modernism: Popular Culture, Cinema, and the Absence of a British Avant-Garde
    Advisor Michael Golston

    Anthony Roman
    Thesis The Italian Marshall Plan Films: The Handmaiden of Recovery
    Advisor Victoria de Grazia

    Shalini Tripathi
    Thesis Ionesco’s Béringer Plays: The Evolution of an Everyman
    Advisor Shawn-Marie Garrett

    James Weidner
    Thesis Central European Literary Connections Between a Vacant Moral Center and the Rise of Nazism
    Advisor Ivan Sanders