School of Social Sciences
The Politics and International Relations Group, led by Dr. Sophia Price, consists of research active teachers, many of whom are also activists and practitioners. We share a strong commitment to social equality and understanding the processes of change at the local, national, regional and global levels.
Our teaching and research covers the subject areas of International Relations, International Political Economy, Political Theory, Governance, Development, Peace, Conflict Resolution, Security and Human Rights. The Politics and International Relations team have achieved national and international recognition as leading innovative research in a range of areas, such as unarmed civilian peace-keeping, United Nations decision-making and Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the political economy of Spain and Latin America, the political economy of EU external relations and West African trade, the practice of human rights, security technologies and surveillance. For example, Dr. Steve Wright’s work on the international arms trade and surveillance has been compiled as an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) research impact case study. Members of the Politics and International Relations team also contribute to the Global Inequalities Research Cluster of CEASR, which is jointly led by Dr. Sophia Price and Dr. Joseph Ibrahim.
In addition to our research, teaching in Politics and International Relations is also recognized as excellent, with our BA (Hons) Politics and BA (Hons) International Relations and Development courses achieving 95% and 92% satisfaction ratings respectively in the 2016 NSS. We currently offer undergraduate courses in Politics, International Relations and Development and International Relations and Peace, and postgraduate courses in International Relations, International Political Economy, Peace and Development and International Human Rights Practice. We also supervise a number of PhD students.
Our teaching is student focused and research led, encompassing both practical and applied elements with a strong theoretical and critical approach. Within all of our courses we have a common emphasis on innovative teaching and assessment, as well as the development of employability and transferable skills. For example, all Politics and International Relations undergraduate students undertake a volunteering placement and a mock consultancy project for an international organization. These both not only prepare students for work after University but also help them develop as individuals able to contribute to society.
Politics and International Relations team members are engaged in a range of external activities. Dr. Jess Gifkins is a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (University of Queensland) where she retains an honorary post. Dr. Rachel Julian is a member of the Conflict Resolution Society and the Institute of Fundraising. Dr. Paul Wetherly is the joint convener of the State Theory Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association and a member of its Marxism Specialist Group. Dr. Steve Wright is a board member of Privacy International and the Mines Advisory Group.