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Research – University of Reading

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  • World-leading research

    80% of our research impact was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014).


In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), we ranked 11th in the UK for research outputs in Politics and International Studies.*

*Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked By Subject, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014.

World-leading research

Whether analysing politics at home 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, comparative politics, and political economy.

Our groundbreaking 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.

Notable grants and funding

Many members of the Department have won prestigious personal funded fellowships and grants, for example:

  • Professor Catriona McKinnon's British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship, and her Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, both related to her work on climate change justice
  • Dr Georgina Holmes' research into how African female uniformed personnel are integrated into UN peace operations, funded by the Leverhulme Trust
  • Dr Damian Raess' Swiss National Science Foundation grant on 'BRICs Globalization and Labor Protections in Advanced and Emerging Economies'
  • Dr Sarah von Billerbeck's ESRC Future Research Leaders on 'Self-Legitimation by International Organizations'.

Research coverage and groups

Our research covers all major disciplines including political theory, international relations, comparative politics and political economy.

Besides a number of informal groupings, the Department has the following centres:

Speakers and seminars

Leading researchers (visiting and from within the University) present their latest research at seminars held in the department in the spring and autumn terms.

Recent guest speakers include:

  • John Bercow (Conservative MP, Speaker of the House of Commons)
  • Douglas Carswell (politician)
  • Sir Vince Cable (former Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister)
  • Matthew Barzun (United States Ambassador to UK)
  • Stella Creasy (Labour MP)
  • Eddie Izzard (stand-up comedian, actor and writer)
  • Daniel Hannan (Conservative MEP)
  • Dame Margaret Hodge (Labour MP)
  • Paul Flynn (Labour MP)
  • Tim Yeo (politician)
  • Lord Kerslake (former head of the Civil Service)
  • Giorgio La Malfa (former Italian Minister)

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