UoA 21 Politics and International Studies

The Department of Politics and International Studies generates educational knowledge of the highest quality, drawing on a range of methodological, theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, and is committed to securing the widest possible impact, both academically and socially.

Within a shared disciplinary perspective, research-led teaching is organised in clusters of faculty with specialisms in comparative political behaviour and institutions, political theory, international studies and public policy.

In addition to the clusters, which are the basis on which our teaching informed by research is organised, there are also a number of University and School research centres which focus on research themes and provide additional institutional structures for facilitating research. Most receive substantial external research funding and work across disciplinary boundaries.

Key results

  • 30 per cent of research rated as world-leading (4*) and 84 per cent at 4*or  internationally excellent (3*), compared to national Unit of Assessment averages of 28 per cent and 68 per cent respectively.
  • Ranked 5 nationally for 4* or 3*research, out of 56 submissions.

Impact case studies

NameSummary
Improving the quality of electoral administration Researchers in the Centre for Elections, Media and Participation (CEMaP) have improved the quality of electoral administration and enhanced the quality of understanding and debate about electoral systems in New Zealand. Following a transition from a first past the post to a mixed member proportional (MMP) system in 1996, New Zealand has become an electoral reform model of international interest and the country held a referendum in 2011 on whether to retain the new system. CEMaP research has had impacts on the New Zealand Electoral Commission, the general public and electoral system campaigners. The main impacts of the research have been:
  • Improvements to electoral administration in recording official voting data in elections.
  • Better understanding by the Electoral Commission of voter attitudes towards elections for more effective electoral administration.
  • Improvements to information campaigns to increase public understanding of the mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system and informing media debate during a national referendum.
  • Informing a national review of the MMP system including to maintain thresholds on party electoral support necessary for admission to Parliament in the light of public concern about the potential of MMP to admit too many small parties.
Shaping land policy and management Appropriate land policy is vital to ensure sustainable food supplies, economic development and environmental protection. Research by the has developed the policy and management implications of the ecosystems services approach to valuing and protecting the environment, which stresses integrated and equitable management of land, water and living resources. The research has contributed to major shifts in policy and practice by national government bodies and changes in the attitudes and behaviour of farming communities. The main impacts have been:
  • Contributing to the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) development of national guidelines embedding the ecosystems services approach in policy and helping make the case for the first ever UK National Ecosystems Assessment.
  • Informing the Commission for Rural Communities’ major review of rural uplands policy and changing policy through the review to improve environmental stewardship in upland farming.
  • Improving Defra and Natural England’s agri-environmental policies to better communicate the scientific rationale of policies to farmers through training and advice to bring about more pro-environmental attitudes and farming practices.
Changing thinking on regulation Much contemporary government activity involves regulation of the economy and society. International organisations have increasingly promoted regulatory impact assessment as a tool to appraise the likely costs and benefits of regulations. Ground-breaking research by a team at the Centre for European Governance (CEG) has exposed the limitations of narrow economic approaches to regulatory impact assessment and regulatory reform. The research shows that impact assessment and regulatory measures need to be cast in their political and administrative context to operate effectively and to ensure appropriate cross-national learning about regulation. The main impacts have been:
  • Bringing in political-administrative context to change policy-makers’ thinking and improve regulatory impact assessment policy in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Bank as reflected in the guidance they distribute internationally to governments.
  • Improving the Netherlands Government’s processes for learning about regulation from experiences in other countries.
  • Developing and applying new measures of regulatory performance in the OECD as reflected in the OECD’s new framework for evaluating regulation.

Research centres

Our research centres are hubs of research activity with tightly-organised groups of researchers working together to create capacity for multiple bidding, co-authorship, running Masters programmes, and recruiting PGR students to vibrant, close-knit research communities.

CentreAbout the Centre
Centre for Elections, Media and Participation (CEMaP)

Established in 2008, the Centre for Elections, Media and Participation at the University of Exeter provides many opportunities for teaching and research across core areas in comparative politics such as the study of electoral behaviour, media studies, institutional analysis, political parties and civil society research.

Centre for European Governance The Centre for European Governance is a university-recognised research centre and a Jean Monnet Centre for Excellence. It has a collaborative and research-led approach to studying European Governance and is internationally renowned for interdisciplinary research and post-graduate specialised training.
Centre of Advanced International Studies

The Centre of Advanced International Studies (CAIS) has developed one of the UK’s leading International Relations programmes in one of Europe’s leading Politics departments.

We offer internationally recognised, research led teaching and supervision in areas of global importance including international security,  international political economy, international political theory and globalisation and resistance.

Centre for Political Thought

The Centre for Political Thought is distinguished by its diversity, collegiality and engagement between different approaches. Exeter now has one of the largest groups of political theorists in the UK. It has a long-standing reputation as a centre of expertise in the history of political ideas and discourse and is the home of the discipline’s leading journal, History of Political Thought.

The Centre for Rural Policy Research brings together an inter-disciplinary team of social scientists focusing on all aspects of the rural economy and society. 

We particularly focus on: agricultural, environmental and bioenergy policy; sustainable land management; agro-food regulation; sustainable communities; the social and economic development of agriculture; and the impacts of climate change on farming and land use.

Research projects

Please see the Politics website for more information on our research projects.

UoA 21 Politics and International Studies

The Department of Politics and International Studies generates educational knowledge of the highest quality, drawing on a range of methodological, theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, and is committed to securing the widest possible impact, both academically and socially.

Within a shared disciplinary perspective, research-led teaching is organised in clusters of faculty with specialisms in comparative political behaviour and institutions, political theory, international studies and public policy.

In addition to the clusters, which are the basis on which our teaching informed by research is organised, there are also a number of University and School research centres which focus on research themes and provide additional institutional structures for facilitating research. Most receive substantial external research funding and work across disciplinary boundaries.

Key results

  • 30 per cent of research rated as world-leading (4*) and 84 per cent at 4*or  internationally excellent (3*), compared to national Unit of Assessment averages of 28 per cent and 68 per cent respectively.
  • Ranked 5 nationally for 4* or 3*research, out of 56 submissions.

Impact case studies

NameSummary
Improving the quality of electoral administration Researchers in the Centre for Elections, Media and Participation (CEMaP) have improved the quality of electoral administration and enhanced the quality of understanding and debate about electoral systems in New Zealand. Following a transition from a first past the post to a mixed member proportional (MMP) system in 1996, New Zealand has become an electoral reform model of international interest and the country held a referendum in 2011 on whether to retain the new system. CEMaP research has had impacts on the New Zealand Electoral Commission, the general public and electoral system campaigners. The main impacts of the research have been:
  • Improvements to electoral administration in recording official voting data in elections.
  • Better understanding by the Electoral Commission of voter attitudes towards elections for more effective electoral administration.
  • Improvements to information campaigns to increase public understanding of the mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system and informing media debate during a national referendum.
  • Informing a national review of the MMP system including to maintain thresholds on party electoral support necessary for admission to Parliament in the light of public concern about the potential of MMP to admit too many small parties.
Shaping land policy and management Appropriate land policy is vital to ensure sustainable food supplies, economic development and environmental protection. Research by the has developed the policy and management implications of the ecosystems services approach to valuing and protecting the environment, which stresses integrated and equitable management of land, water and living resources. The research has contributed to major shifts in policy and practice by national government bodies and changes in the attitudes and behaviour of farming communities. The main impacts have been:
  • Contributing to the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) development of national guidelines embedding the ecosystems services approach in policy and helping make the case for the first ever UK National Ecosystems Assessment.
  • Informing the Commission for Rural Communities’ major review of rural uplands policy and changing policy through the review to improve environmental stewardship in upland farming.
  • Improving Defra and Natural England’s agri-environmental policies to better communicate the scientific rationale of policies to farmers through training and advice to bring about more pro-environmental attitudes and farming practices.
Changing thinking on regulation Much contemporary government activity involves regulation of the economy and society. International organisations have increasingly promoted regulatory impact assessment as a tool to appraise the likely costs and benefits of regulations. Ground-breaking research by a team at the Centre for European Governance (CEG) has exposed the limitations of narrow economic approaches to regulatory impact assessment and regulatory reform. The research shows that impact assessment and regulatory measures need to be cast in their political and administrative context to operate effectively and to ensure appropriate cross-national learning about regulation. The main impacts have been:
  • Bringing in political-administrative context to change policy-makers’ thinking and improve regulatory impact assessment policy in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Bank as reflected in the guidance they distribute internationally to governments.
  • Improving the Netherlands Government’s processes for learning about regulation from experiences in other countries.
  • Developing and applying new measures of regulatory performance in the OECD as reflected in the OECD’s new framework for evaluating regulation.

Research centres

Our research centres are hubs of research activity with tightly-organised groups of researchers working together to create capacity for multiple bidding, co-authorship, running Masters programmes, and recruiting PGR students to vibrant, close-knit research communities.

CentreAbout the Centre
Centre for Elections, Media and Participation (CEMaP)

Established in 2008, the Centre for Elections, Media and Participation at the University of Exeter provides many opportunities for teaching and research across core areas in comparative politics such as the study of electoral behaviour, media studies, institutional analysis, political parties and civil society research.

Centre for European Governance The Centre for European Governance is a university-recognised research centre and a Jean Monnet Centre for Excellence. It has a collaborative and research-led approach to studying European Governance and is internationally renowned for interdisciplinary research and post-graduate specialised training.
Centre of Advanced International Studies

The Centre of Advanced International Studies (CAIS) has developed one of the UK’s leading International Relations programmes in one of Europe’s leading Politics departments.

We offer internationally recognised, research led teaching and supervision in areas of global importance including international security,  international political economy, international political theory and globalisation and resistance.

Centre for Political Thought

The Centre for Political Thought is distinguished by its diversity, collegiality and engagement between different approaches. Exeter now has one of the largest groups of political theorists in the UK. It has a long-standing reputation as a centre of expertise in the history of political ideas and discourse and is the home of the discipline’s leading journal, History of Political Thought.

The Centre for Rural Policy Research brings together an inter-disciplinary team of social scientists focusing on all aspects of the rural economy and society. 

We particularly focus on: agricultural, environmental and bioenergy policy; sustainable land management; agro-food regulation; sustainable communities; the social and economic development of agriculture; and the impacts of climate change on farming and land use.

Research projects

Please see the Politics website for more information on our research projects.