Along with the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology, the Department of Politics & International Relations forms part of the School of Social Science. The Department currently has twelve core teaching staff, together with in excess of fifty postgraduate students. Over the course of five decades it has developed an international reputation as a centre of academic excellence for political research.

PIR’s central themes are Conflict and Security; Representation and Democracy; Comparative Politics and Policy and Theories of Politics and International Relations. Staff within Politics and International Relations publish internationally on these themes and are active in publishing and supervising research.

In 2014 the Department of Politics and International Relations celebrated its 50th anniversary.

For students, our commitment is to provide a core curriculum along with unique options that represent the research interests among staff. These interests include international political economy and globalisation, democracy and democratization, public policy and public opinion, power and security, interest groups, political parties, social movements, institutions and many more. Likewise, we offer expertise in the Middle-East, Latin America, North and South Asia, the Nordic Countries, Central and Eastern Europe as well as Scotland, the UK and the EU.

Politics & International Relations focuses on the role of power, states, and governments in historical and contemporary human affairs.  Aberdeen is noted for its comparative and multidisciplinary approach to such questions, involving both advanced democracies and less-developed countries.  Specific areas of excellence include political organisation/participation, comparative politics, conflict/security, energy/environment, and international relations theory.