Competitive Research, Thesis and Dissertation Topics for IR Students in 2023

By Editorial Team Last updated: Oct 11, 2023

Competitive Research, Thesis and Dissertation Topics for IR Students in 2023

International Relations has traditionally focused on politics, law, war, economy, and energy, as well as state-to-state relations. The practice and study of international relations is concerned with the unique ties that exist between different nations and cultures. It is one of the most prestigious subjects of study, especially given the excellent job opportunities available. Regardless, in order to graduate from college or university, you must write themes in international relations.

Although most students consider this course to be easy in comparison to others, such as law, it does have its challenges. First and foremost, students will need to be educated on current events on the international stage as well as various diplomatic initiatives between states. Most students find it difficult to come up with research paper themes for international relations, therefore the work of coming up with international relations research paper topics might be overwhelming.

Related: 150+ Interesting International Relations Topics

You have over a million alternatives when it comes to choosing a thesis or dissertation topic.

The only constraint is your own resources and timeline, which you must take into account when choosing a topic.

Your chosen topic must provide a fresh dimension to the existing literature while also addressing some specific difficulties. Your supervisor may be able to assist you with topic selection; always consider your supervisor's input when adding topics to your own list. Make sure that any topic you choose has a sufficient amount of literature from peer-reviewed academic journals, not just news sites and other platforms. This will assist you in defending your dissertation at the end of your academic career.

Trending International Relations Thesis and Dissertation Topics

The following are some of the most popular international relations themes for dissertations in 2023. Each topic has been subdivided into the following categories:

Changes in the Power Balance: From a single polarity to a multipolarity

After the Second World War and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States and its allies consider itself to be the single superpower. The globe has transitioned from a unipolar to a multipolar state as a result of Russia and China's cooperation.

  • US Relations with Russia After Donald Trump
  • Understanding Russia's Syrian intervention and its implications for US-European relations
  • Can the Vicious Circle Be Broken After Thirty Years of US Policy Toward Russia?
  • Is the United States in jeopardy as China develops into a superpower?
  • The impact of the US-China trade war on global trade.
  • As part of a strategy shift in Europe, the United States is withdrawing its armed forces from Germany.
  • The causes of the conflict between India and China are being investigated.
  • Is the conflict between India and China a concern for the rest of the world?
  • The Effects and Consequences of China's Economic Growth on the World
  • The United Nations' participation in ending India's unlawful annexation of Kashmir.

Diplomacy and International Relations

  • A framework of criteria for global health engagement in diplomacy, intelligence, and counterterrorism
  • Implications for the African Union and continental diplomacy of the digital transformation of diplomacy
  • Australia's new consular diplomacy is responsible, but there's still a long way to go.
  • In the age of digital diplomacy, foreign policy is changing.
  • In the digital age, cyber-diplomacy is the process of forming an international society.

Western Myths or Reality: Are Chinese Financial Institutions Duplicating the IMF?

Chinese main development institutions have been chastised for emulating western development finance institutions. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative Bank are designed to provide loans to developing countries under the guise of BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) projects in order to manage their future policy issues. These institutions, like the IMF and the World Bank before them, can exert influence over their policies.

  • What economic effects have China's One Belt One Road projects had on India's economy?
  • What has changed in feminist aspirations in the last five years?
  • What impact has Donald Trump's administration had on foreign relations?
  • Examine the history of the United States' relationship with North Korea.
  • What variables played a role in the present drop in the unemployment rate?
  • What have been the consequences of states raising their minimum wage?
  • How do the immigration laws in the United States compare to those in other countries?
  • What has changed in the United States' immigration rules in the last few years/decades?
  • What impact has the Black Lives Matter movement had on discussions and perceptions of racism in the United States?
  • What is the impact of the Affordable Care Act on healthcare in the United States?
  • What factors influenced the United Kingdom's decision to quit the European Union (Brexit)?
  • What factors aided China's rise to economic dominance?
  • The history of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is discussed.

Taliban Constraints Have An Impact On Intra-Afghan Dialogue

All stakeholders are represented at the Afghan Peace Talks. Afghanistan's government, local parties, Taliban representatives, the United States, and regional stakeholders are all involved. The Taliban's refusal to include the Afghan government in peace talks, as well as the timetable for the withdrawal of US troops, raise concerns about the establishment of a vacuum in Afghanistan, which could lead to civil war.

You can further restrict the topic to include terrorism, women's rights in Afghanistan, INDIA, Pakistan, and the involvement of the United States and Russia in the Afghan crisis. Another chance for International Relations students to learn about new issues is the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan.

You can choose from the following subjects to make your paper more intriguing and current.

  • Afghanistan's Future After the US-NATO Withdrawal
  • In Afghanistan, the way forward is for the United States to leave as a peace prospect.
  • The Impact of the Iran-Taliban Relationship on the Afghan Peace Process
  • The Role of Pakistan and India in the Afghan Peace Process
  • In the backdrop of political violence in Afghanistan, there are security concerns.
  • The Human Cost of US-NATO Presence in Afghanistan From 2001 through 2022
  • Human Rights Violations in Afghanistan Before and After the Taliban Regime
  • Implications for Pakistan from Afghanistan in the Center of the New Great Game
  • ISIS-Al-Qaida Security Challenges for Afghan Peace Talks
  • The Challenges and Benefits of Providing Foreign Assistance to Afghanistan for US National Security.
  • The US Government's Spending in Afghanistan: A Way Forward
  • Biden's Afghanistan Options: Losing or Not Losing
  • Lessons learned in the aftermath of 9/11 for the US war in Afghanistan—a discussion of the positive and negative consequences.
  • Challenges and Policy Options for Pakistan After the US Leaves Afghanistan
  • How the Indian Factor Might Affect Afghanistan's Peace Prospects
  • Regional Threats and Middle East Security Strategy: Implications for Afghanistan
  • Relations between the United States and Iran have an impact on the Afghan peace process.
  • The Impact of China's Geopolitical Ambitions on the Peace in Afghanistan
  • Afghan civilians' prospects under Biden's rule.
  • The International Criminal Court (ICJ) is facing a crisis of accountability in Afghanistan.

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) : Beyond Regional Connectivity

The Marshal Plan is expected to be followed by BRI. Asia will be connected to Central America, Europe, Africa, and South America by six land routes and one naval link. America suggested the Marshal Plan to develop western Europe, whereas China envisions OBOR to develop other countries and attain global connection. As a result, China is accused of copying the Western and European development models.

  • The CPEC's Economic Impact on Pakistan
  • The CPEC has a political cost in terms of Pakistan-India ties.
  • CPEC: Game Changer or Debt Trap?
  • China's Presence in Africa: A Threat to the United States' Global World Order
  • China's African Engagement: The Security-Development Nexus
  • Chinese Investments in Africa: Their Scope and Consequences
  • China's approach to Africa's foreign policy.

The Impact of US Sanctions on Iran on Regional Peace

When the American Embassy in Tehran was detained in 1979, sanctions against Iran were imposed. In the current scenario, the United States has mandated that Iran's nuclear program be shut down. Iran justifies its nuclear program by claiming that it is for deterrence and national security reasons. Trump's tough trade sanctions and economic repression have heightened tensions between the two countries.

  • Iran as a Middle East strategic threat to the United States.
  • Iran's interest in Iraq as a result of US sanctions.
  • Sanctions imposed by the United States have a negative impact on Iran's nuclear development.
  • The impact of Iran's militia on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • After the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, relations between Afghanistan and Iran have improved.
  • The Impact of US Sanctions on Iran on India and Pakistan
  • In the Indo-Pacific region, there is a new great game.
  • Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iran could play a role as a peacemaker.

Biopolitics and Biopower-Related Topics

  • Exercising sovereign power over non-state members through biopolitics, borders, and refugee camps
  • The biopolitics of climate-induced migration: climate, migration, and sex
  • Ecuadorian Foreign Policy and the Venezuelan Migratory Crisis: Biopolitics of Migration
  • Terrorism, organized crime, and the biopolitics of violence on the African continent
  • The biopolitics of a definitional dispute on human security as power/knowledge
  • Russia's quest for sovereignty and biopolitical art

The OIC's Failure Is Due To The Israel-Palestine Conflict

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was unable to condemn Israel's occupation of Palestinian areas and violations of human rights. The OIC has failed to bring together Muslim leaders for a united response to Israeli army crimes. What elements can bring Muslim leaders together, and what factors can make it difficult for OIC Muslim leaders to unite?

The United States' Foreign Policy Towards North Korea

As a revolutionary state and communist bloc, North Korea poses a threat to the United States as a capitalist. Following its first nuclear test in 2006, the United States implemented sanctions in order to de-nuclearize its nuclear program. The growing presence of China and Russia in the country has heightened tensions between the two countries. The financial sanctions are being imposed on North Korea in order to destabilize the country as a result of its nuclear proliferation plans.

Violations of Human Rights in Indian-Occupied Kashmir

The 2018 UN Report on Human Rights Violations in Kashmir has given voice to those who have been silenced. Despite the passage of plebiscite rights for Kashmiris, the UN has been condemned for being insensitive to human rights violations. Pakistan supports the plebiscite and their right to self-determination, but continuing desecrations by Indian police continue. India was held accountable in the UN report, although it contested the facts. Kashmir is home to a variety of political groups, each with its own goal. The first type demands a separate autonomous state, while the second requests a merger with India, and the third requests a merger with Pakistan. This difficult issue requires immediate response in order to restore peace in the zone and prevent it from devolving into a war zone.

  • Abrogation of Article 370, Domicile Laws, and Other Draconian Laws could all be discussed in relation to the Kashmir issue.

Yemen Conflict-Related International Relations Topics

  • Investigating the UN's Role in Protecting Civilians in Yemen
  • Investigating Yemen's Human Rights Violations ( it can be Narrow down to US and its allies as well)
  • The failure of the UN-led Stockholm Agreement on Yemen Ceasefire in 2018 has taught us some valuable lessons.
  • Exploring Yemen's Humanitarian Conflict Resolution Strategies
  • The Importance of Biden's Policy Shift in Resolving the Yemen Conflict


Syria's Crisis Has Devolved Into Civil War

Syrian rebels are gaining strength and forming an alliance with Western countries under the banner of the Free Syrian Army. Bashar Al Assad's forced resignation was demanded. Foreign forces and troops have intervened in the internal strife as a result of the unmanaged situation. It has now become a global hub of terrorism and fell in the area of international relations. The insurrection has devolved into a civil war as a result of the multi-group battles. The foreign-sponsored terrorism and Syrian rebels are in a continuing war with the Syrian army. The Syrian territory is separated into two sectors, identified as; Syrian Army occupied territory and rebels occupied region. This current combat zone is split into various groups in occupied regions.

Iran,ISIS and Syria are the primary participants in Syrian conflict where USA, Saudi Arabia and other western countries alliance have made this hurting other states. Killing of Abu Al baakr Baghdadi as an ISIS leader last month can create an outstanding topic for the dissertation where students can discover the impact of ISIS in this battle.

Global Water Crisis

The water situation has developed into a global concern. The estimated 844 million people do not have an approach to hygienic drinking water worldwide. It means one out of ten folks has to lack access to water. The UN has established 22 March as World Water Day to convey worldwide water facts. The biggest locations affected include sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, cape town, Michigan, and flint. The overall 2.1 billion people are subject to hazardous drinking water.

Excellent International Relations Research Topics

So, before your goal of becoming an ambassador comes to reality, have a look at these exciting international relations subjects that our expert writers have put together. You can pick any international relations subjects that meet your assignment standards and proceed to your writing with all assurance.

Impressive Research Paper Topics International Relations

  • Discuss the impact of coronavirus restrictions in international relationships
  • What is the role of the United Nations in spearheading global unity?
  • Explore the effect of the different diplomatic relations among nations
  • The contribution of international bodies in fostering global security
  • Discuss the threat of terrorism: A case study of the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US
  • CondU.S.t an analysis of the global finance chain among different nations
  • What factors necessitate the interactions between developing and developed countries?
  • The role of nuclear proliferation among various G7 members
  • Discuss the essence of human rights in the international arena
  • A systematic analysis of the unit-level concepts applied in international relations
  • Factors affecting the achievement of sustainable development goals globally
  • The role of place sovereignty in the global space

International Relations Theory Research Paper Topics

  • Discuss the role of the post-positivist/reflectivist theories
  • How the normative theories explain the specific trends existing in the world politics
  • Analyze the impact of material forces in the epistemology theory
  • How positivist theories replicate the methods of natural sciences in the international arena
  • What are the limitations of the realism theory in determining power-seeking rational actors
  • The cooperation between states: A case study of the realism theory
  • Why the view of states as key actors in the international system is a limitation of the liberalism theory
  • Discuss the rise of liberal international relations theory after World War I
  • Do states remain cooperative irrespective of relative gains in neoliberalism theory?
  • Why it may not be easy to achieve cooperation in the anarchic system of states
  • The relative role of material forces in the social constructivism theory
  • Evaluate the Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories of international relations

International Relations Theory Research Paper Topics

  • Discuss the role of the post-positivist/reflectivist theories
  • How the normative theories explain the specific trends existing in the world politics
  • Analyze the impact of material forces in the epistemology theory
  • How positivist theories replicate the methods of natural sciences in the international arena
  • What are the limitations of the realism theory in determining power-seeking rational actors
  • The cooperation between states: A case study of the realism theory
  • Why the view of states as key actors in the international system is a limitation of the liberalism theory
  • Discuss the rise of liberal international relations theory after World War I
  • Do states remain cooperative irrespective of relative gains in neoliberalism theory?
  • Why it may not be easy to achieve cooperation in the anarchic system of states
  • The relative role of material forces in the social constructivism theory
  • Evaluate the Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories of international relations

Hot International Relations Topics For Research Papers

  • Should the world embark on a disarming mission of nuclear weapons?
  • Discuss the role of the Game Theory in determining the vaccine rollout program
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Abraham Accords between Israel and Muslim nations?
  • Why should the US reconcile its partnerships in the Middle East?
  • The effectiveness of the American efforts to speed up plodding Afghan peace talks
  • Principles that govern the formulation of international initiatives
  • Discuss the impact of conspiracies: A case study of China and the USA
  • Should the United States withdraw its forces from Afghanistan?
  • How the use of the bioweapons Treaty can help address pandemics
  • Review the prominent international relations theorists
  • Discuss the consequences of techno-cultural pluralism among nations
  • Analyze the Iran nuclear deal and its implications to the global peace security

Top International Relations Research Questions

  • How can non-state military strategies help overturn traditional perspectives on warfare?
  • What is the impact of countries meddling in the elections of other states?
  • How to deal with malicious state behavior in cyberspace
  • The role of international security experts in contributing to world peace
  • What hurdles does the Iran-Russia cyber agreement pose to the United States?
  • The impact of the siege of the US capital on the global democracy
  • What is the impact of the revolutionary upheavals at the end of the War?
  • The achievements of imperial Russia and imperial Germany
  • How has the War on terror affected the security measures of different countries?
  • The impact of domestic legislation on international relations
  • Discuss the proliferation of the Western culture in the developing nations
  • Discuss the trade relations between different nations during the coronavirus pandemic

Custom International Relations Paper

  • Is the United States policing the rest of the world?
  • Discuss how different nations’ laws related to the international law
  • Do some countries in the global arena overstep others, incredibly the least developed?
  • To what extent does the development of nuclear power affect foreign policies?
  • Reasons why China’s growth as an economic power is threatening the United States
  • How the unstable world of rapidly shifting alliances involves liberal internationalism
  • Discuss the impact of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union
  • The role of geopolitical power in determining foreign policies among nations
  • Do the current foreign policies lack strategy, especially in the implementation?
  • Why the free movement of people across borders is a hindrance to foreign policies
  • How countries use economic, military, and diplomatic power in advancing their global agendas
  • Examine the consequences of Western involvement in Africa.

Topics for International Relations Thesis that are Manageable

  • In international relations, the role of ancient tribal traditions and religious beliefs
  • The root causes of African countries' political power struggles
  • The United Nations General Assembly's efforts to bring the world together
  • Factors that contributed to the Soviet Union's demise
  • Is the world still caught up in the cold war, which has a direct impact on the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • China as a nation poses a threat to Western ideals.
  • Why should scholars of international relations use culture to deepen or broaden their knowledge of global politics?
  • In international relations, discuss the visual, literary, popular, and material factors.
  • Examine the international relations culture.
  • What are the theoretical and methodological approaches to international relations research?
  • Compare and contrast the US and Chinese foreign policies.
  • What impact will Trump's presidency have on international relations?

Topics in International Studies that are Top-Notch

  • Investigate the issue of religious terrorism and extremism.
  • Examine how religion plays a role in global, ethnic, and international conflict.
  • What do the concepts of just war, jihad, and holy war mean in practice?
  • Describe the role of religion in resolving international conflicts.
  • What is the United Nations' most significant achievement?
  • The impact of establishing closer political ties among member states
  • Examine how some countries discriminate against others when forming relationships.
  • The impact of the EU's growing membership
  • The most divisive foreign policies in the world's history
  • Large-scale migration from the Middle East to the European Union and its impact
  • Examine the immediate aftermath of World Wars I and II.
  • The role of coronavirus in causing global economic recession

Topics in International Studies

  • Discuss the International Criminal Court's role in upholding the law.
  • Examine the Chinese economy's rapid expansion.
  • What is the rationale behind the Universal Health Care program?
  • How can the world achieve inclusive globalization?
  • A look at the strategies used to promote world peace.
  • A report on the evolution of peace treaties and their reconciliation
  • What role does the US Air Force play in the fight against ISIS?
  • Influence of vaccine nationalism in the fight against the coronavirus
  • Institutions and standards at the global level that jeopardize world peace
  • Interpol's role in combating cross-border crime
  • Is it wise to improve relations between the United States and Taiwan?
  • Will Biden's administration enhance US-Iran relations?

Topics for Foreign Policy Papers

  • Is it possible to strengthen the foreign policy of China and India?
  • Ambassadors' involvement in advocating foreign policies between countries
  • What role does ideology have in the formulation of foreign policies?
  • Discuss the United States' foreign policy in relation to global democracy.
  • Expound on the role of isolation in the development of foreign policies.
  • What impact have the Gulf War policies had on international relations?
  • Discuss the World Health Organization's effectiveness.
  • Develop the concept of nationalism and provide knowledge about foreign policies.
  • What role does national security play in foreign policy information?
  • Why are governments having difficulty implementing treaties?
  • Discuss the foreign policies of Latin America during the Reagan years.
  • What effect does the United States' nuclear-weapons policy have on its international relations?

Topics for an Essay on International Relations

  • What is the best way for governments to strike a balance between their international and domestic policies?
  • How to design policies and business solutions to meet today's and tomorrow's challenges
  • Multinational firms' place in the global arena
  • Is the American international relations curriculum adequate?
  • Examine the elements that influence global and regional trends.
  • Through political treaties, assess geographic regions and their linkages.
  • Globalization is influenced by cultural and ethnic affiliations.
  • The impact of power and wealth hierarchies in international relations
  • Today's most serious challenges and dynamic world areas are discussed.
  • Individual states' contributions to international development
  • What is the state of international labor around the world?
  • International migration's impact

Current Issues in International Relations

  • How can international relations be used to change the world technologically?
  • A case study of the humanities and social science departments at a university
  • How the world is shaped by massive intergovernmental organizations
  • Understandings of the foreign policymaking process from a social-psychological perspective
  • Obstacles to the Arab Gulf Reconciliation Plan's Implementation
  • Threats to the United States' national defense strategies
  • The Biden plan is dominated by the impact of US-China ties.
  • The consequences of state-sponsored cyber-campaigns
  • Discrimination against LGBTIQ individuals and the role of international relations
  • Why virtual schools could be a globalization roadblock
  • Is the world becoming a global village as a result of social media?
  • Examine the effects of the first phase of the coronavirus on international relations.

Topics in International Affairs That Will Inspire You

  • In international relations, combining the sciences of economics and history
  • The beginning of world wars and the preservation of peace
  • Describe the nature of power and how it is exercised in the global system.
  • State and non-state actors who participate in international decision-making have a dynamic nature.
  • International treaties' psychological and social-psychological justifications
  • States' goals and conduct are influenced by institutional processes.
  • How do international relations help countries have successful trade policies?
  • The function of international relations in promoting travel and immigration
  • How International Relations gives people the chance to improve their lives International Relations's role in allowing nations to cooperate
  • How governments use International Relations to address global challenges
  • Pandemics and international relations
  • Human culture and International Relations

International Relations Political Science Topics

  • The ideology of the Soviet Union
  • Recruiting from developing countries
  • Communist Party of China
  • The structure of the IMF
  • Africa's human rights
  • Global Poverty Factors
  • The administrative structures differ.
  • Syria's causes of war
  • Battles of power
  • The Roots of the American Revolution
  • Election etiquette
  • Republican customs

International Relations Research and Writing Topics

  • Policies for global development
  • Election-related violence globally
  • Common morality
  • Corruption in the world
  • Global interdependence of modern leaders
  • Social movements
  • Role of Plato in international relations
  • Anarchism history
  • Afghanistan conflict
  • War crimes
  • CAR rebellion causes

Additional Foreign Policy Paper Topics

  • African-Americans relations
  • Iran oil conflict
  • News Coverage and International Relations
  • Mediation Methods and International Relations
  • Role of whistleblowers
  • The Arctica power distribution
  • Collaboration among countries
  • Mexico and immigration
  • Religion and social power


This article has discussed international relations and politics dissertation topics related to the US foreign policy, British foreign policy, Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Israel, India, and the Middle East, among others. The most recent and significant geopolitical occurrences are explored in the form of questions, to help you formulate your preferred alternatives.

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