UoA 21 Politics and International Studies

Politics and international studies researchers are engaged with the fabric of national and international policy and practice. Our core strengths in politics, devolution, the history of political thought and international relations are reflected by our GPA score of 3.02 and UK ranking of 13th. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 70% of our research was deemed as having a ‘very considerable’ impact in terms of its reach and significance.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 26.0% 55.0% 14.0% 5.0% 0.0%
Outputs 22.0% 48.0% 22.0% 8.0% 0.0%
Impact 30.0% 70.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 37.5% 62.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

We submitted an entry to the Politics and International Studies unit of assessment for the first time in REF 2014.

This decision reflected a broader strategy for developing politics at Cardiff University: consolidating existing strengths in European politics and political theory while developing in new directions, including Welsh politics and international relations.

A team of 19 full-time faculty members, our core strengths now encompass European (including UK) politics, comparative devolution, history of political thought, and international relations.

Our researchers are embedded in UK, European and international networks, active in key international professional associations and regularly interface with practitioners at a variety of levels. 

Europe has remained a central research focus. Major grants include a Leverhulme Trust-funded project on Territorial Governance and two FP7 awards. Confirming its European expertise, Cardiff was awarded a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in October 2012.

Substantial financial investment by the University (c.£1m) has helped elevate the Wales Governance Centre (WGC) to a pre-eminent position in the study of devolution and governance in Wales, with particular expertise on public attitudes, elections and voting behaviour, multi-level governance and public administration.

Longstanding strength in political theory and emerging strength in IR has led to world leading research in Idealist and Anglo-American political thought , ESRC funded research in Maritime Security and interdisciplinary research in the politics and ethics of international law.

Case studies

Understanding Englishness

Examining who we are amid constant political change.

Centres and groups

Centre/GroupDetail
Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research Data and Method (WISERD)Provides a model of all-Wales Higher Education Institution collaboration. WISERD has collated and analysed existing socio-economic data, developed new qualitative and quantitative methodological tools, and provided new data sets on Wales at national and local levels.
European Governance, Identity and Public Policy Research Unit (EGIPP)Examines and compares continuity and change in the institutions, politics, policies and societies of leading European states.
Wales Governance Centre (WGC)Undertakes innovative research into all aspects of the law, politics, government and political economy of Wales.
Political Theory Research UnitUndertakes research to produce individual and collaborative publications and projects in political theory
International Affairs Research GroupProvides an interdisciplinary forum for global and international issues, involving scholars, practitioners and community groups.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1 University of Essex 3.54
2 London School of Economics & Political Science 3.45
3 University of Sheffield 3.40

10 University of Edinburgh 3.07
11 University of Strathclyde 3.04
12 University of Sussex 3.03
13 Cardiff University 3.02
14 University of Cambridge 3.00
15 University of Southampton 2.99
15 King's College London 2.99

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