A thriving scholarly community
SGIA’s research and educational activity crosses wide-ranging specialisms with a shared rationale of embedding regional studies expertise within core disciplinary strength. The School is within the QS top 100 departments in the world.
The School hosts a thriving scholarly community across major sub-disciplinary areas of Political Theory, Comparative Politics, International Relations and International Political Economy, with strong interdisciplinary connections and engagement with research users.
Research Centres and Institutes provide financial and intellectual support to kick-start new projects and hone outputs. We educate exceptionally able undergraduate and postgraduate students, from more than 50 countries, with an increasing range of practice-oriented, field-based and educationally innovative programmes and modules.
SGIA will include at least 50 academic staff in the major sub-disciplines of Political Theory, International Relations, Comparative Politics and International Political Economy. The School will host world-leading researchers in each sub-discipline and at all grades, linked to Institutes and Centres fostering inter-disciplinary engagement with political, social and economic challenges of global significance.
Well-resourced, including through grant income, SGIA will exploit international partnerships and collaborations projecting our research into global academic and stakeholder horizons, generating impact and international recognition. SGIA will incentivise the highest-quality recruitment, and enable staff to produce outstanding research of world-leading calibre. In turn, staff will be delivering both world-leading research and the highest quality of learning experience for students and an innovative and collegial School environment based on participatory citizenship, shared community and collective progress.
We are ranked 6th in the UK for Politics and are the first UK Politics department to hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award
Complete University Guide 2017
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Equality, justice and liberty are benchmarks for Political Theory. Methodological innovation characterises Comparative Politics. Conflict and post-conflict dynamics, international political theory and critical approaches to the study of world politics characterise International Politics. IPE is concerned with the impacts of capitalist dynamics on contemporary national and global-level governance. Connecting area-specific knowledge, including extensive field-based research, to core disciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches is a hallmark of SGIA’s research strategy. Our research emphasises methodological diversity, with work contributing to innovation in quantitative, qualitative, philosophical and historiographical methods.
Institutes and centres cut across these four groups, supporting collaborative research and external-facing engagement and impact activities. Interdisciplinarity, especially via institutes and centres, is a priority. The School is home to multiple research institutes, such as the Durham Global Security Institute, the Global Policy Institute, and the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Our research engages with other disciplines, including History, Geography, Anthropology, Philosophy, Theology and Economics, with active involvement in other Research Institutes across the University, including the Institute for Advanced Study and the Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience
Current major research projects include:
- Perceptions of security amongst internally displaced persons in Somalia;
- How patterns of political violence in Victorian and Edwardian Britain can help us understand political violence in contemporary democratic transitions;
- Re-setting understandings of the Mediterranean space to facilitate inclusive, responsive and flexible EU policies;
- The role of culture and the arts in post-conflict reconciliation and peace-building in the Balkans;
- Overcoming ‘gridlock’ in global governance institutions to achieve better outcomes in areas such as healthcare;
- The interaction of Church and State in the development of British political thought, practice and culture in the twentieth century;
- The role of ‘youth’ in post-Arab Spring politics in North Africa.
SGIA is housed in two buildings, located close to one another, and within easy walking distance of the main University library and central teaching space. Durham’s central collections are consistently strong in our fields, augmented by excellent on-line provision of journal access and other core research resources. Staff receive individual research allowances, augmented by School and University level funding to initiate new projects, build partnerships, support engagement and impact and trial new techniques. Effective central support aids applying for and delivering major research grants.
In 2017, SGIA’s core academic staff will grow to 29, with these appointments taking that to 36. Expected staff numbers are 50-55 by 2025-26. We have strength in all four of the main sub-disciplinary areas, with plans ensuring that all have at least 10 core staff by the time we complete our planned expansion, although most staff are active members of more than one grouping. Our current academic staff profiles.
Support comes from, at present, 8 administrative staff, with growth scheduled alongside expansion of academic staff.