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Politics and International Studies

An image of the European Parliament Building

The Department of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) has an international reputation for research in international and national politics, citizenship, security, political concepts, ideology and discourse, cultural politics, development and environmental politics. POLIS’s research groupings are constituted around five areas: International relations and global politics; Citizenship studies; Critical security studies; Political theory and ideological analysis; and British and comparative politics. POLIS academics are also active in the OU Centre for Research on Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) and OpenSpace, centres that bring together researchers from across the social sciences in transdisciplinary research, promote both public engagement and knowledge exchange as well as contribute to theoretical and methodological innovation.

Key facts

  • In the 2013 Research Excellence Framework, the POLIS department was assessed as part of the OU’s transdisciplinary social science submission and other units of assessment such as Geography.
  • POLIS researchers are completing the four-year project Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism, and have led a three-year (2008-2011) Framework Seven Project in Social Sciences and Humanities on European citizenship (ENACT) and the two-year (2009-2011) International Collaboratory on Critical Methods in Security Studies (ICCM).
  • Currently, POLIS PhD students conduct research ranging from European citizenship, social citizenship, digital citizenship and critical security studies, to migration and democratisation.
  • POLIS members are either editors or board members of the following international journals: Citizenship Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, Contemporary Politics, Democratization, Economy and Society, Environment Space Place, Globalizations, International Political Sociology, Perspectives on European Politics and Societies, and the Review of International Studies.
  • POLIS researchers have recently contributed more than 400 (and growing) publications to the OU’s open access Online Research Repository (see below).

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Postgraduate Coordinator
+44 (0)1908 654524/654435

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.