UoA 39: Political Science

Since 2001 the department has established itself as a leading centre for the advanced study of politics. A comprehensive review led to the development of Political Science as the core discipline of the School of Public Policy, culminating in 2005 with the creation of a Department of Political Science within the School and Bellamy’s appointment as UCL’s first Chair in the discipline. The key strategic goal has been to consolidate the School’s distinctive position as a centre of graduate teaching and research devoted to addressing domestic and international policy issues through world class theory and methods driven scholarship, and the high level training of the next generation of democratic political leaders and public servants. The main features of this strategy have been:

  • The rolling recruitment of 12 new staff, mainly new entrants to cover the disciplines four core subfields of political theory (Laborde, Bellamy, Meckled-Garcia); comparative politics (Cali, Stroschein and Van Heerde, adding to the existing strength in UK and Commonwealth politics of Hazell and Russell); Public Policy and Administration (Coen, Franchino, Provost, Reh) and International Relations (Braithwaite, Hudson, Kornprobst).
  • The development of a distinctive, cutting-edge and internationally recognised research agenda coalescing around the overlapping themes of Constitutionalism, Democracy and Human Rights; Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Security; and Regulation, Interest Groups and Global Governance.
  • The establishment of a research intensive graduate programme, with a significant emphasis on methods and theory.
  • The creation of a stimulating research environment through three regular visiting speaker series, hosting international workshops and conferences, collaborating with leading research centres within and outside UCL, and providing funds for pump priming research and participation in the major international conferences.
  • Enhanced monitoring of research plans and the mentoring and career development of junior staff.
  • Engaging with users and providing policy advice.


The result has been a transformation in the quality and quantity of research outputs. In 2001 the 28 items submitted included 5 external reports and 4 pieces in professional journals. These categories have been eliminated from the current submission, although submitted staff have published some 24 reports and 19 such articles since 2001. Over the assessment period, the 14.5 FTE Category A staff – 60% of whom entered the profession after RAE 2001 - have published 3 monographs, 24 edited books and journal special issues, 94 refereed journal articles and 72 book chapters. Meanwhile, the department has expanded its activities as a centre of graduate research training. Its ESRC recognised MSc and AHRC approved MA programmes have increased from 2 in 2001 to 6, with student numbers rising three fold to around 180 a year. PhD student numbers within the ESRC and (for political theory) AHRC recognised doctoral training programmes have likewise grown from 2 part-time in 2001 to 22 full-time and 3 part-time in 2007. The department also continues to attract considerable external funding for research projects, with political science staff obtaining £3,705,722 in grants.

The School acts as the bridge between UCL's world-class research and the policy-making community in Britain and internationally. Collaboration with other parts of UCL is facilitated by ventures such as:

  • a joint seminar on Globalization, Geopolitics and European Security with Geography and the Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration, SSEES;
  • involvement of  political philosophers (Otsuka, Munoz-Dardé, Wolff) and jurists (Dworkin, Guest, Harrison, Letsas, Schofield) in the School’s Legal and Political Theory programme and seminar;
  • collaboration between public lawyers (O'Cinneide, Oliver, Rawlings) and the Constitution Unit;
  • cooperation in EU research networks via the Centre for Law and Governance in Europe (Scott);
  • joint research and teaching on regulation, competition and the environment with political economists (Carlin, Smith, Swanson);
  • Joint PhD supervision with SSEES, Laws, Philosophy and Centre for European Studies;
  • Collaboration with the UCL Centre for Security and Crime Science.


Download full text of the RA5a statement for Politics & International Studies (pdf 96Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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Page last modified on 24 jan 08 13:00


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