Whether analysing UK politics or charting the rise of extremist parties abroad, research carried out within the Politics and International Relations Division addresses fundamental questions about how society is governed.
Our academics employ cutting-edge empirical methods alongside normative, theoretical, historical and critical approaches and draw on a range of regional specialisms to conduct research into international relations, political theory and comparative politics.
Our ground-breaking work on global organisations such as the United Nations sits alongside research into international political economy, intergenerational justice and equality and we are leading the way with our focus on far-right parties in Europe.
The Division is also home to the world-leading Centre for Climate Justice and Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Programme in Climate Justice, which provide the knowledge needed to develop and implement the policies required to address climate change.
For specific enquiries, please contact:
Dr Martin Binder
Research Division Lead
Telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 6907
Justice in a changing climate
The Reading Centre for Climate and Justice brings together work that puts justice at the forefront in understanding the problems of climate change, and researching solutions to them. It applies the University's considerable climate expertise to identify gaps in knowledge, and emerging areas in which a justice-focused approach will bolster our understanding of the human response to climate change.
The centre’s research addresses issues such as people displaced by climate change, how new climate change mitigation technologies such as geoengineering could cause injustice, and equity and fairness in global climate policy.
The centre’s work provides an evidence based platform to find solutions that protect and benefit those most vulnerable to climate change: the world’s poorest people, both now and in the future. Find out more
Image credit: Asian Development Bank/Flickr, under CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0
Combating the rise of the far right in Europe
Timely research into the rise of the far right in Europe is helping to provide answers to pressing policy questions about the continent’s future.
By analysing why people vote for extremist parties against the backdrop of migration and the economy, research led by Dr Daphne Halikiopoulou gives an insight into the circumstances that lead to the far right’s popularity and what can be done to stop it.
Her findings are providing economic policy makers with vital information regarding social security and welfare, migration issues such as citizenship and asylum, and EU membership. She has published a working paper with the European Trade Union Institute to disseminate the findings of her research and, through another strand of her research into far right party Golden Dawn in Greece she is involved with NGOs and different organisations in Greece that deal with Golden Dawn to disseminate her work. Find out more
Advising NATO on proxy wars in the Middle East
Dr Vladimir Rauta joined an international delegation of experts in January 2019 to discuss strategies for defence against terrorism, specifically proxy wars, with NATO Generals from across the globe.
The seminar was run by the Centre for Excellence Defence against Terrorism (COE-DAT). Dr Rauta led a session on proxy wars in the Middle East, drawing on new research published in International Relations and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism to consider a better set of definitions for countries and other factors involved in conflicts, such as the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
Proxy wars in the Middle East have become key to understanding the dynamics of civil wars such as those in Syria and Yemen, as well as a key factor to consider when discussing their termination. Dr Rauta’s research to understand the roles of external support to rebels in these types of wars and how it could help confront and counter these destructive conflicts.
Institutional learning in the armed forces
With a focus on how fighting organisations learn, Dr Geoffrey Sloan’s research has provided stakeholders within the Ministry of Defence with a series of validated criteria and given intellectual support to the Defence Organisational Learning Strategy. Other impact areas include war experience and the role of women in Yemen.
See our latest publications in the University's institutional archive.
Get the latest news about our research via:
Reading Centre for Climate Justice on Twitter: @RdgClimateJust