The School of Politics and International Relations is widely recognised for its strong international research profile in conflict and security, regional and comparative politics and political and social theory.

We want our research to have a positive impact regionally, nationally and internationally.

We develop relationships with a wide range of non-academic partners to enhance the relevance of our research outside higher education. We help to develop our researchers' skills, so their work reaches further and has more impact.

Our research is making a difference in the world. Our research on conflict resolution has enhanced professional training in the field and improved democratic participation in conflict-ridden societies.

Our research environment was rated as 100% world leading or internationally excellent in the latest  Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) assessment, reflecting the quality of our research and its impact on society.  


This new project will investigate why voluntary return is declining and what leads to partially successful returns or failures.

Man in soldier's uniform in the background, woman's hand in the foreground, suggesting discussion

Providing a Nourishing Environment

Where both established and junior academics produce world-class research.

Our research contribution

The School of Politics and International Relations is a supportive and intellectually invigorating research community.

We have a strong focus on originality and on national and international collaboration. Over the last decade, we've increased the scale and scope of our activities. This makes for a strong research environment.

Our research staff play a significant role in professional associations. These include:

  • the Political Studies Association (PSA)
  • the British International Studies Association (BISA)
  • the International Studies Association (ISA)
  • the Conflict Research Society
  • the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)
  • the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES)

Our research activities include hosting research seminars, workshops and conferences and producing the academic journal Global Society.

We also run the fortnightly School of Politics and International Relations Research Seminar (SPIRRS). This gives staff and research postgraduates an opportunity to meet and listen to leading figures in the discipline.

Our four research centres are the foundation of our research contribution.

  • The Conflict Analysis Research Centre has an international reputation for its research on communities affected by violent conflict.
  • The Centre for Federal Studies is the only centre of its kind in the UK. It is a hub of research on federalism in the UK, attracting visiting scholars from around the world.
  • The Global Europe Centre focuses both on the European Union and on Europe as a whole. It examines how Europe interacts with global politics and the global political economy. The centre hosts the Energy Analysis Group (EAG) which studies Europe as a global actor on energy issues.
  • The Centre for Critical Thought aims to consolidate, sustain and develop cutting-edge research on critically-oriented theory within the humanities and social sciences.