School of Politics and International Relations

Research Projects

Our research is international in scope and covers many important aspects of our political and social world in the UK and abroad.

This is a selection of ongoing projects that reflect the research done in the school:

 gold and silver metal cogs

Assessing the Drivers and Consequences of 'Multi-Level' States' Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic in the G7

Funder: The British Academy 
PI: Dr Simon Toubeau
Duration: July 2023 - June 2024

As part of the British Academy's programme on 'Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons to Learn from Covid-19 across the G7', this project will assess why 'multi-level' states responded to the pressures of the time so differently, and consider how they can be helped to better coordinate their responses to future pandemics. 

phone screen with twitter app

Candidate Backgrounds and Online Behaviours in the French 2022 Legislative Elections

Funder: Digital Society Project
PI: Dr William Daniel
Duration: May 2022-July 2023

This project explores how the professional experiences and personal backgrounds of candidates for the 2022 National Assembly elections impacted their online campaign strategies. It generates a complete set of publicly available biographical information on each of the more than 6000 candidates that contested the legislative elections and aligns these data with campaign behaviour on the popular Twitter social media platform.



Can the Centre Hold? The Middle Ground from the French Revolution to Today

Funder: Mercatus
PI: Dr Hugo Drochon
Duration: Ends September 2023

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen both reject the left-right divide in French politics, either claiming to incarnate it 'en même temps', or being beyond it. They propose new oppositions: for Macron, progressives vs. reactionaries, for Le Pen, patriots vs. globalists. Both refuse to acknowledge the other's new framework or their respective place in it. What consequences for our understanding of history and contemporary politics of seeing political dynamics not through a left/right divide but a centre/extremes one?


Creating a Taxonomy of Coercive Influence

Funder: Australian Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs
PI: Professor Rory Cormac; Co-investigator: Professor Andrew Mumford
Duration: October 2022-July 2023

This project, in collaboration with the Australian National University, aims to distil mechanisms states use to influence others, from propaganda to paramilitary activity. It pays particular attention to scales of secrecy, visibility and acknowledgement, what each can achieve, and how observers can assess success. 

The project is supported by Research Fellows Thomas Eason and Katie Bayford. 



Pathways Through Liberation - Revealing Survivors' Support Journeys Outside of the UK National Referral Mechanism

Funder: Economic and Social Resource Council (ESRC)
PI: Dr Andrea Nicholson
Duration: Ends August 2023

In collaboration with 10 NGOs, and partnering with St Mary’s University Twickenham and the Office of the Independent Antislavery Commissioner, this ESRC funded project addresses the above knowledge gap. Undertaking a comparative study of survivors’ experiences across the UK, the research team are working with adult survivors to record and share their experiences of recovery and of their encounters with state and third sector services to better inform antislavery policy and the process of NRM transformation.

broken paperclip chain

Tackling Antisemitism in the US and the UK

Funder: Institute for Human Studies
PI: Dr Hugo Drochon; Co investigators: Professor Maiken Umbach and Dr Annemarie Walter 
Duration: Ends August 2023

This project seeks to develop the first scientifically validated questionnaire to correctly measure levels of antisemitism in the US and the UK, to better understand it so as to better combat it.


 lego building bricks

The Role of Political Parties in Building Resilience in an Age of Democratic Decline

Funder: The Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) 
PI: Dr Fernando Casal Bertoa
Duration: February-July 2023

By examining various party dimensions, the project looks at the way WFD party aid programs could be improved, making recommendations based on good practices and international standards.


What Data? What Happens? Barriers to Generating Evidence-Based Policy to End Honour-Based Abuse

Funder: British Academy
Principal Investigator: Dr Helen McCabe
Duration: February 2023-January 2024

This project is a British Academy Innovation Fellowship in partnership with Karma Nirvana, a leading charity who run the national helpline for honour-based abuse (HBA).

It seeks to map key stakeholders who are, and who should be, collecting data on HBA; identify and share best-practice in data-gathering; recognise barriers to effective knowledge-exchange faced by stakeholders; and co-develop ways to overcome them. 


Taiwan Research Hub

Taiwan Research Hub

The Taiwan Research Hub brings together researchers from different disciplines and career stages to improve our understanding of Taiwan. We look at the fields of politics, history, culture, society, international relations, and economy.



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