onflict Management and Regime Transition
The last thirty years has seen the transformation of the state across the world. The third wave of transitions to democracy that began in the 1970s was followed by the neo-liberal policy prescriptions of the Washington Consensus in the 1980s and the promotion of Good Governance in the 1990s. This combined with the end of the Cold War, heralded a rise in the deployment of coercive diplomacy and intervention by the international community in the name of international liberalism and global governance. Against this background, several members of the Department study the transformation of state-society relations and the changing nature of sovereignty in the international arena. Research ranges over critical examination of transitions to democracy, the domestic and inter-governmental mediation of conflict and nation and state-building in a range of developed and developing countries.
Environmental Policy and Urban Planning The Department has a specialist interest in environmental policy and urban planning. Research interests also extend to the field of green political theory, philosophical underpinnings of market-based approaches to environmental policy compared to those based on citizenship and deliberative democracy and the development of environmental movements in post-communist Europe.
International Relations Research expertise within International Relations covers a number of areas. Several members of staff have an interest in historical sociological approaches to the study of international relations (including a concern with the changing nature of state power with a particular focus on the relationship between war and society, globalisation and resistance across the developed and developing worlds), as well as international political theory, and the history and theory of warfare. The international relations of the United States is another area of common concern with a particular interest in debates around contemporary American global power and imperialism and globalisation, including the question of how these issues relate to the international political economy of development.
Nationalism Several members of staff specialise in the study of nations and nationalism, national identity national and ethnic diversity and ethnic conflict regulation, Areas of study include Western European politics with a specific emphasis on Catalonia, Northern Ireland and Spain as well as Cyprus and Sri Lanka.
Political Communication and Media Policy This research field covers all political aspects of the functioning of the media and the political communications process in Britain and Western Europe. More specifically, it includes questions related to issues such as media ownership and control, media regulation, media policy-making, news management by political actors and the media and elections. Recent research students in this area have examined the policy-making cycle in broadcasting during the Thatcher premiership and the Labour governments policy on digital television.
Political Theory, Ideas and Thought Research expertise in this area ranges over the history of political ideas and ideologies, critical theory, contemporary continental philosophy and political thought, democratic theory, classical liberal theory and gender theory. Members of the Department are currently working on projects including an examination of the political philosophy of Spinoza, a broad-ranging study of the history of French political thought and an assessment of the thought and practice of the British New Left. Applications in any subfield of political theory and thought are welcome.
Politics of Democratisation The Department has a strong research presence in the politics of democratic transition across a number of distinct regions, including Latin America, southern and east central Europe, and the Middle East. Applications are welcome in any of the following broad areas: transition processes from a comparative or single country study perspective; institution building, democratisation from above (including rule of law and judicial reform) and from below (including the role of the civil society, sectional and ethnic interests); theories of democratic transition, globalisation and democratisation. Additionally, applications may be made on any aspect of the politics of Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe and the Middle East.
Politics of the Middle East Applications are welcome with regard to any aspect of the politics of the Middle East. The Department has a strong research presence in the comparative politics of Iraq, globalisation and the Middle East, democratisation in the region and the international relations of the Middle East. Public Policy and Political Economy Public policy is a broad field, and applications will be considered in respect of any aspect of the policy process in modern societies, at national or subnational levels. Research in public policy seeks to understand what government does. It may proceed by way of theoretical and conceptual analysis, or by historical and empirical analysis. It is, then, a broad and eclectic field and this characteristic is reflected in the diverse research interests of staff. Their research ranges over the sub-fields of public management, environmental policy and urban planning with a particular emphasis on the public sector, political economy and policy.
UK Politics The Department has a strong commitment to research in UK politics, incorporating a wide range of methods and approaches. The Department has several members of staff working on issues related to UK politics such as political parties and elections, local government, public service delivery, political marketing and communications, relationship marketing and policy transfer into the study of political communications.
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