Update on Final state examination procedure

10 Mar 2021

Final state examination (FSE) in the spring semester 2021 will be an oral examination organized via Zoom (please see below for technical requirements; here you can download a detailed guide that describes the recommended procedure for online FSE). In June, the examination will be conducted online. 

Final state examination consists of Master’s thesis defence, and an oral examination focused on the published state exam topics and literature.

The thesis defence consists of:

1) Brief introduction of the thesis by the author: the topic, goals, theory, concepts or methods, main findings and conclusions

2) Summarization of the supervisor’s and opponent’s reviews, the opportunity for the student to respond to questions and comments in the reviews.

3) Discussion on the thesis and questions from the State Examination Committee

Note: it is not possible to use PowerPoint or similar tools during the defence


The defence is immediately followed by oral examination, during which the committee members ask questions based on the published state examination topics and literature. Each student is asked two questions, which are to be answered without preparation.

The defence and examination take 40 minutes altogether.

The result of the final state examination is announced on the same day.

Zoom: Technical requirements

1. PC/notebook or tablet with a working webcam and microphone.

2. Zoom-compatible OS (Zoom is available for PC, Mac and Linux; for system requirements please follow this link.)

3. In case you would prefer to use a smartphone, s/he should contact CIKT (cikt@fss.muni.cz) no later than five days before the examination and ask for assistance.

Final Exam Topics and Required Reading

  • Causes of Civil Wars (Collier and Hoeffler 2004, Fearon and Laitin 2003)
  • Economics, inequality, and terrorism (Krueger 2007)
  • Colonialism and Development (Acemoglu et al. 2001)
  • Modernization and Democratization (Boix and Stokes 2003)
  • Security Systems and Actors (Waltz 2001, Buzan 2008)
  • Liberty, Authority, and Legitimacy (Beetham 2013, Talisse 2016)
  • Democracy, Disagreement, and Political Representation(Talisse 2009, Mair 2013)
  • Cybersecurity (Singer and Friedman 2014)
  • Types of Modern Non-Democratic Regimes (Brooker 2000, Chehabi 1998, Linz 2000)
  • Paradigms of Democratization: historical sociology, modernization paradigm, transition theory, democracy promotion (Haerpfer et al. 2009)
  • Theories and types of conflict (Ramsbotham et al. 2011)
  • Dynamics of conflict – causes, actors, intensity and resolution (Bartos and Wehr 2002; Ramsbotham et al. 2011)



  • Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S. and Robinson, J. A. (2001): Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation. American Economic Review, 91(5), pp. 1369-1401.
  • Bartos, Otomar J. and Paul Wehr (2002): Using Conflict Theory.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 12-49 and 98-118.
  • Beetham, D. (2013): The Legitimation of Power. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 3–41.
  • Boix, C. and Stokes, S. (2003): Endogenous Democratization, World Politics, 55(4), pp. 517-549.
  • Brooker, P. (2000): Non-Democratic Regimes. Theory, Government and Politics.Houndmills, Basingstoke Hampshire: Macmillan Press, pp. 7-99 and 226-255.
  • Buzan, B. (2008): People, States & Fear: An agenda for international security studies in the post-cold war era. Colchester: ECPR Press, pp. 18-30 (chapter 1).
  • Collier, P. and Hoeffler, A. (2004): Greed and Grievance in Civil War, Oxford EconomicPapers56(4), pp. 563-595.
  • Fearon, J. and Laitin, D. (2003): Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War, American PoliticalScience Review97(1), pp. 75-90.
  • Haerpfer, Ch. W., Bernhagen, P., Inglehart, R. F. and Welzel, Ch. (eds., 2009): Democratization, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 74-106, 249-265 and 377-385.
  • Chehabi, H. E. and Linz, J. J. (eds., 1998): Sultanistic Regimes.London – Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, pp. 3-48.
  • Krueger, A. B. (2007): What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 23-104.
  • Linz, J. J. (2000): Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. London: Boulder 2000, pp. 1-40.
  • Mair, P. (2013): Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy. London: Verso, pp. 1–16.
  • Ramsbotham, O., Woodhouse, T. and Miall, H. (2011): Contemporary Conflict Resolution.Malden: Polity Press, pp. 78 – 245.
  • Singer, P. W. and Friedman, A. (2014): Cybersecurity and cyberwar: what everyone needs to know. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 12-165.
  • Talisse, R. (2009): Democracy and Moral Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 11–41 (chapter 1, “The Problem of Deep Politics”).
  • Talisse, R. (2016): Engaging Political Philosophy. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 41–65 (chapter 3, „Liberty“), pp. 66–92 (chapter 4, „Authority“).
  • Waltz, K. N. (2001): Man, the state, and war: A theoretical analysis. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 1-42 (chapter 1).

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