Social Sciences: Politics & International Relations

Research themes

The Division of Politics & International Relations has a broad research base with specialisms across a range of different areas, including political systems and institutions, international relations and international political economy, political theory and philosophy, environmental politics and global governance.

We are particularly interested in working across these boundaries and have therefore organised our research output around five broad, interdisciplinary strands:

Citizenship and democracy

Citizenship, both as an idea and as a lived experience, is changing. Here we seek to examine these changes in emerging transnational and global contexts, as well as study innovations in democratic practice from the local to the international level.

Post-carbon futures

The prospect of a post-carbon future is now firmly on the agenda among policymakers at all levels and in general public discourse. But how do we go about achieving a post-carbon future? What are the political and economic challenges to be tackled? We seek to provide answers to these questions in a variety of ways, both theoretical and empirical.

Economy, (in)security and power

Against a backdrop of political, economic and cultural globalisation, the nature and exercise of power is shifting and changing in ways that cannot be captured easily. In this research strand, we aim to unpack how global political economic relations work and how they might work better. We also ask conceptual questions: what is the nature of political and economic power? Do different understandings of power yield different perspectives on political reality?

Governance and its discontents

Here we seek to tackle a range of challenging research issues that have surfaced in response to new mechanisms of governance currently emerging, including the nature of governance failure and the conditions for effective governance in an uncertain world. Similarly, effective governance can be found to have fostered resistance and political dissent among a variety of marginalised groups.

Faces of inequality and expressions of justice

In this research strand, we look at international and transnational justice, underscored by the ever-present reality of global poverty and of inequality in general. We ask how such questions should be approached analytically, how they might be answered in practice and what can be learned from existing social movements.

To find out more about our research, please visit  Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance for more detail.

Meet our students

Emily McMahon

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“The course appealed to me as it is extremely flexible across all the social science areas that interest me.”

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