PhD candidates have to write a doctoral thesis (= dissertation). Topics can be chosen from a wide range of research fields, not only from Law and Political Science, but also from other areas such as Economics, Sociology, History, Philosophy, European Studies or Cultural Studies. Due to the interdisciplinary approach of the study programme, each topic has to be sufficiently related to either Law or Political Science to be accepted.
Fields of research:
Law: especially Constitutional Law, General Theory of State, Administrative Law and Public Administration, Legal Theory, Legal Sociology, Legal Philosophy, Public International Law, European Law, Business Law, Legal History.
Political Science: especially Political Theory, Political Systems, Comparative Government, International Relations, Public Management.
Economics: especially National Economy, Regional Economy, Political Economy, International Management.
Sociology: especially Macrosociology, Microsociology, Sociological Theory; Empirical Social Research.
History: especially Contemporary History.
Philosophy, European Studies, Human Rights Studies, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies and Anthropology.
To avoid duplication, it is necessary to perform a check of availability ("Themenabfrage") before the topic/title of the thesis can be registered and submitted. Students have to make sure that their intended topic/title has not been chosen and submitted as a doctoral thesis in Austria yet. First, the university's database has to be checked (UNIGRAZonline - Search - Theses/Final Papers). Completed theses and theses in progress have to be checked separately. Please find a screenshot here. Then, the Austrian library network has to be checked. Using the index card "Hochschulschriften" (university theses), theses submitted in Austria during the last years will be listed.
In case you find any theses similar to yours, please inform the Coordinator and your (future) supervisors immediately.
You need to find by yourselb two supervisors.
Any member of the University of Graz, holding a postdoctoral lecture qualification ("Habilitation") can supervise the thesis in his/her field of formal qualification. One of the supervisors may be from another university. However, any supervisor must possess a postdoctoral lecture qualification.
Title, topic, dissertation subject and supervisors will be registered after the First Defence.
Regular consultations with the supervisors shall take place during the whole period. They shall be provided with as many draft versions as they ask for. Usually, students send one final draft version to the supervisors before the official submission of the thesis.
It is recommended to agree on a final deadline of submission to make sure that the readers have enough time for their assessment (= up to four months).
After having agreed upon title, topic, dissertation subject with your supervisors, you need to do the First Defence in order to have your doctoral thesis and supervisors officially registered. Find out here how to apply for the First Defence.
The thesis should be approximately 60,000 words in length.
Please make sure to use the template of the cover page.
Please note that abstracts have to be uploaded in UNIGRAZonline in English and in German. Therefore, please make sure to be able to provide abstracts in German as well.
To see what is to be submitted in detail, please click here.
For further information on submission and the Final Defence of your thesis, please see
PhD Law and Politics
Florian BieberScientific Programme Director
Centre for Southeast European Studies
Schubertstraße 21/1, 8010 Graz
Tanja BilaverAdministrative Coordinator