Often adopting an interdisciplinary perspective across the social sciences, the department’s research can be grouped into four key themes:
- Democracy and Representation
- Conflict and Security
- Comparative Politics and Policy
- Political and International Relations Theory
Democracy and Representation
Our staff research central areas of politics relating to elections, political organisations and emerging challenges to modern liberal democracies. This theme includes expertise on political participation, including party membership, party change and electoral behaviour. We also have expertise on constitutional politics (including independence referenda), energy politics, far-right politics and green politics.
Supervisors: Dr L Bennie, Dr M Harvey, Professor M Keating, Dr K Thomas, Dr D Toke, Dr A Widfeldt
Conflict and Security
Several staff members have expertise on themes relating to conflict and security, including post-conflict peacebuilding, terrorism and counter-terrorism, civil-military relations, cybersecurity, immigration and asylum, memory studies, political apologies, international security, and EU conflict resolution.
Supervisors: Dr D A Anagnostakis, Dr M Bain, Dr T Bentley, Dr N Danilova, Dr S Durkin, Dr M Lekunze, Dr S May, Dr J McEvoy, Professor Michael Smith, Dr E Tabur, Dr A Teti, Mr J Wyllie, Dr I Xypolia
Comparative Politics and Policy
The department has a long-established background in Comparative Politics with expertise on multilevel governance, devolution and constitutional change, migration policymaking, democracy promotion and energy politics. Staff have expertise in areas including the UK, the EU, China, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and post-Soviet states, Scandinavia and the Western Balkans.
Supervisors: Dr L Bennie, Dr M Bain, Dr N Danilova, Dr J McEvoy, Dr E Tabur, Dr A Teti, Dr K Thomas, Dr D Toke, Dr A Widfeldt
Political and International Relations Theory
Several staff members specialise in political and IR theory. This focus includes expertise on postcolonial theory, precarity and affect, aesthetics and politics, temporality, globalisation and global governance, knowledge production in social science, Michel Foucault.
Supervisors: Dr A Teti, Dr D Toke, Dr R Vij
Applicants to the PhD and MRes must provide a detailed research proposal and two academic references from their most recent academic institution. Applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors before making an application.
Please see PhD Supervision which details our research interests and our leaflet: Guidelines for writing a Research Proposal.
Recent successful postgraduates have gone on to posts in the Scottish Parliament and civil service, the House of Commons, the UK civil service including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Ministry of Defence, international organisations including the United Nations and the European Union, research consultancies, international business and banking, and lobbying.
Others have moved into academic careers or drawn on their Politics and IR degree to undertake Postgraduate qualifications in other disciplines and career paths.