Our scholars are internationally regarded and supported by distinctive research centres.
We are a research-intensive part of a research-intensive institution.
This means that every permanent member of academic staff carries out original, peer-reviewed research, which they incorporate into their third year undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
Rankings of research intensity put us in the top ten of politics departments in the UK.
The research we carry out depends in part on the research interests of individual members of staff. You can find staff members’ research interests through our staff directory.
Our research also takes place in different research centres, which bring together staff and PhD students who share research interests:
- The Centre for Politics in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East (AAME) brings together researchers who have expertise in the politics and international relations of different countries in the Global South. Recent conferences organised by the Centre have focused on the challenge of ensuring political stability in ethnically and religiously divided societies. The centre hosts an MA programme in the Politics of Development.
- The Democracy and Elections Centre brings together researchers who are interested in electoral behaviour, and how elections do (or don’t) shape public policy. Researchers at the centre are particularly interested in how our political views and behaviour depend on our age (Smets, Sloam) or social backgrounds (Heath, Hanretty), and how public policies, including spending policies, are made more or less responsive to public opinion (Hackett, Hanretty, Benedetto). The Centre is home to the journal Electoral Studies.
- The Centre for International Public Policy serves as a hub for research and teaching on new challenges in public policy which result from the fragmentation of political authority. Researchers in the centre are recognised for their expertise in particular areas, ranging from nuclear weapons control (Bentley) to food security (Petrikova) via energy policy (Goldthau), and for their knowledge of particular institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the EU (Stubbs, Benedetto). The Centre hosts three of the School’s MSc programmes, in International Relations, International Public Policy, and International Security.
- The Centre for Islamic and West Asian Studies is the product of an exciting new collaboration between Royal Holloway, University of London and the Imam Sadr Foundation and affiliated donors. While based in the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy at Royal Holloway, the centre provides an institutional base for Royal Holloway scholars whose research relates in some way to Islamic and West Asian studies, including researchers in the departments of History, Music, Geography, Theatre, English, and Economics, and in the School of Law and the School of Management.
- The New Political Communications Unit was set up in 2007 to carry out research into new media and communications technologies, and how they shape individual behaviour and institutional responses. Researchers at the unit are interested in both how new technologies affect relationships between countries (O'Loughlin) and in how they affect domestic governments and voters (Collignon). The Director of the Unit, Ben O'Loughlin, is one of three editors of the journal Media, War and Conflict.
We also host a Centre for European Politics, which hosts our Jean Monnet Chair in EU budgetary politics (Benedetto), and a Contemporary Political Theory Research Group, which brings together researchers from Politics and International Relations and researchers from Philosophy.