Politics and International Relations at Leicester


100% of the real-world impact of our research was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent in REF2021

Our research aims and ambitions are:

  • To produce world-leading research that continues to develop the discipline in areas where we excel, particularly innovative critical, normative and empirical theory and analysis. We will continue to emphasise new approaches to traditional areas of enquiry such as security (e.g. through developing critical approaches to intelligence and security), alongside developing new areas of enquiry (e.g. moral and political duties towards non-human animals), and harnessing the vast array of social science datasets and innovative quantitative methods to answer pressing questions about the evolution of parliamentary behaviour and public opinion in post-Brexit contexts. Aligned with the University’s priorities, we will seek to develop research and impact in respect of Africa and the Global South.
  • To continue to emphasise practitioner engagement and impact by translating our research into collaborations with non-academic partners. We will build on existing connections such as with NATO, the UK Parliament, and UK in a Changing Europe, and use them as the basis for forging new ones. 
  • To increase our international, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research.
  • To continue to foster a research environment that rewards individual and collaborative excellence in research, that facilitates the development of ECRs, is inclusive, and open and international in outlook.
  • To build on our grant capture success by diversifying sources of funding and widening the proportion of colleagues holding major awards through targeted support and mentoring. 

Research clusters

Politics and International Relations research is structured into three active research clusters.

These groups aim to promote and support high quality research, acting as a stimulating and supportive research environment for research staff and PhD students working in these areas. The three clusters meet regularly, organise seminars with external speakers and serve as a platform to discuss research in progress by staff and PhD students.

Detailed information about the research interests of individual staff and their recent publications can be found on their staff pages.

Recent publications

All our staff are actively engaged in publishing high-quality outputs from their research. You can find a comprehensive list of publications on our staff's individual pages.

Research projects

Our staff engage in wide-ranging, international recognised research on a broad range of topics. These pages include information about current and past externally-funded research projects

Research impact 

The impact achieved by the School reflects the wide range of staff research interests, and the types of impact achieved include influencing public policy, enhancing professional standards and training, stimulating public and professional debate, and guiding political parties. 

In recent years, non-academic user groups of our research include: 

  • The UK Parliament
  • The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT)
  • UK Ministry of Defence
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
  • The European Space Agency (ESA)
  • The UN
  • National Police Chiefs Council Intelligence Practice Research Consortium (IPRC)
  • ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO)
  • Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • The Swedish Defence University
  • The Norwegian Defence Intelligence School

Research students

We offer a wide-range of research degrees, both campus based and by distance learning, and a vibrant postgraduate research (PGR) student culture.

We will be happy to welcome you if you are interested in undertaking a research degree with us.

Seminars and events 

We have a vibrant programme of research seminars. These are organised by the three research clusters, Global Ethics and Political Theory (GEPT)Intelligence, Security and Strategic Studies (ISSS)Parties, Parliaments and Public Opinion (3PO), who invite external speakers who are working in key areas of the group’s activities.

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