2014-2     2013

This is a one-semester course offered to senior students in FEASS (Economics, International Relations and Political Science and Public Administration Departments). It is designed to enhance students’ transferable skills in learning beyond their disciplinary boundaries and applying theoretical material to real life issues. Students taking GE 4XX form groups consisting of five members composed from the three disciplines, and prepare a project that answers a pre-chosen question under the supervision of an advisor. The course components include seminars, weekly meetings with project collaborators as well as the supervisor/s, a 3000 jointly written paper and a 10-minute team presentation in front of a panel of experts. Overall, the course is designed to prepare students for professional life by providing valuable tools geared toward lifelong learning.

The objectives of GE courses include broadening our students’ theoretical and practical knowledge and insight beyond their own disciplinary boundaries, and enabling them to experience applying their theoretical knowledge to “real world” issues.

The course conducted jointly with Faculty Academic English Program (FAE). The FAE component provides students the opportunity to develop and learn to apply the skills needed to design, write, and present an extended, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research project in the social sciences. Emphasis is on hands-on tasks and regular feedback from instructors and peers. Students will critically evaluate examples of research proposals, literature reviews, research project introductions, and other documents similar to those they will be expected to compose for this course.

Objectives of the course

Transdisciplinary project courses have proven to be valuable tools in preparing students for professional life. They do this by helping students to: 1) broaden their theoretical and empirical knowledge beyond their own disciplinary boundaries; 2) learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to ‘real world’ issues; 3) learn to communicate and cooperate across disciplines.

 GE 4XX is designed keeping in mind three purposes that involve teaching the students how to:

  • apply their theoretical knowledge to ‘real world’ issues
  • broaden their horizons beyond their own discipline
  • manage a group project.

Students from Economics, International Relations and Political Science and Public Administration Departments will be working in groups of five participants. Each group will complete an empirical research project that includes the analysis of a topic from the perspectives of economics, international relations and political science disciplines.

In addition, the course aims to help students:

  • formulate a compelling, significant and manageable research project
  • evaluate existing literature and data and relate it to the project
  • improve writing skills such as self-editing, getting feedback, rewriting, mastering academic style
  • make team presentations

Course Format

The format of the course combines the seminars with mainly group work. The course structure will be as follows:

  • Throughout the semester, seminars bringing together the whole student body will be run by the three Supervisors to disseminate knowledge on the mechanics of the group project as well as issue of substance. Students are required to attend all seminars.
  • Guest speakers from within and outside Bilkent University will be invited. Attendance to such seminars would also be compulsory for the students. Students will be writing individual opinion papers on seminars and their literature review during the semester.
  • Groups will meet with content supervisors following a pre-determined schedule. Content Supervisors will be responsible for running the seminars, guiding students through various steps of the research process, grading and providing feedback on various components of the project, and grading. Every group will work with three content supervisors.
  • Every group will also work with language supervisors. Language supervisors will provide feedback to the groups about language and stylistic issues of their assignments. They will guide groups on how to write research projects throughout the course. The groups will have lectures and tutorials with language supervisors (for more detailed information, please see the course document prepared by the language supervisor’s on the MOODLE page of the course).
  • Groups will present their posters in Poster Presentation Day which will be held one week before the panel day. The posters will be graded by content supervisors.
  • At the end of the semester, there will be a one-day panel where all groups will present the results of their research. Students’ group presentations and other performance in the workshop (asking questions, providing comments) will constitute a part of their grade.
  • The final project report will be graded (on the written report and their presentations at the panel) by content supervisors and language supervisors.




GE 440 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on Globalization

The chosen theme for GE440 is “Globalization”. Globalization involves the intermeshing of various aspects of peoples’ lives regardless of their geographic location. In the globalizing world, people, capital, cultures, ideas are travelling in an unprecedented level. So are crime, global warming, and diseases. Globalization with advantages and disadvantages shapes and transforms us and the world we live in. In this course, teams study and explore different dimensions of these complex transformations and resistances in a transdisciplinary manner.

GE 441 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on European Union

The chosen theme for GE441 is “European Union”. The course is designed to introduce students to the political and economic aspects of the EU. It starts with an overview of the political and economics frameworks regarding the European integration, followed by a discussion of several policy areas relevant to the EU including but not limited to the single market, EMU, CAP, regional policy, and foreign and external relations. These topics allow the students to study each in an interdisciplinary framework.

GE 442 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on Negotiation

The chosen theme for GE 442 is “Negotiation”. Negotiation is a communicative process used for dispute resolution applied to almost every aspect of social, economic and political life. The academic literature on the topic is highly interdisciplinary as well. The course aims at teaching students a basic understanding of negotiation in a theoretical and applied manner. The theoretical part of the course will cover three main disciplinary perspectives: game-theoretic bargaining models, social-psychological dynamics and inter cultural communication.

GE 443 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on Social Challenges in Turkey

The chosen theme for GE 443 is “Social Challenges in Turkey”. Resolving national challenges and designing policies to overcome such challenges requires mobilizing the common expertise of various areas of knowledge of economics, international relations and political science. In this course students will explore Turkey’s challenges and propose solutions to these challenges within an interdisciplinary framework.

GE 444 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on Human Mobility and Development

The chosen theme for GE 444 is “Human Mobility and Development”. This course aims to address the increased human mobility and its effects on development. Global migration has presented profound challenges and opportunities for the economic, political, and social structures in both developing and developed countries. At the nexus of development, economics, and global politics, understanding Human Mobility and Development presents an interesting transdisciplinary puzzle and its effects requires mobilising the expertise of various areas of knowledge including economics, international relations and political science.

GE 445 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on Power and Development

The chosen theme for GE 445 is “Power and Development”. In the 21th century, individuals and social groups have developed new consciousness, formed new alliances, and improvised new methods of resistance to life-determining structures and processes of global politics and economy, which restrict individual rights and freedoms. Importantly, the protest movement has a trans-border character affecting global political and economic relations. The course is designed to study power relations in contemporary politics and economy and the resistance that has emerged globally and locally.

GE 446 – Transdisciplinary Senior Project on Development: Critical Perspectives and New Directions

The chosen theme for GE 446 is “Development”. We will approach the issue of development from a critical perspective that includes both the prospects and challenges of development. We will also discuss new possibilities in our understanding of development, from “sustainability” to “de-growth”. Topics may include the relationship between development and other social phenomena such as environmental issues, gender policies, urbanization, nationalism, citizenship, democracy and social movements among others.