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Politics and International Studies

An image of the European Parliament Building

Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at The Open University has an international reputation for research in British and comparative politics, citizenship, democracy and social movements, international relations and global politics, and political theory. Research within POLIS is organised around five corresponding areas: British and comparative politics; citizenship studies; democracy and social movements; international relations and global politics; and political ideas. POLIS academics are also active in the OU Centre for Research on Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) and OpenSpace, transdisciplinary research centres that bring together researchers from across the social sciences, promote public engagement and knowledge exchange, and contribute to theoretical and methodological innovation within social science research.

Key facts

  • Researchers in POLIS have recently led a four-year, ERC funded project titled, Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism, a three-year Framework Seven Project on European Citizenship (ENACT), and a two-year International Collaboratory on Critical Methods in Security Studies (ICCM).
  • POLIS PhD students conduct research on issues including European citizenship, British political institutions, social movements, migration and asylum, and democratisation.
  • POLIS members are editors or board members of international academic journals, including: Citizenship Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, Contemporary Politics, Democratization, Economy and Society, Environment Space Place, Globalizations, International Political Sociology, and European Politics and Society.
  • POLIS researchers have recently contributed more than 400 (and growing) publications to the OU’s open access Online Research Repository.

Further information

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

Discipline Convenor
+44 (0)1908 654472

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


Research publications by Open University staff are available through Open Research Online (ORO), the university's repository of research publications and other research outputs. ORO can be searched or browsed by staff name or subject.

The following list, generated from ORO, provides a flavour of the most recently published work in Politics and International Studies