UK Politics and International Studies rated as world class

November 27, 2007

UK Politics and International Studies research has been shown to world leading according to a new report by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Political Studies Association (PSA) and the British International Studies Association.

The report, which will be launched today (27th November), at the annual Political Studies Association Awards, compares the quality and impact of UK Politics and International Studies research against international standards. By looking for diversity and originality, the review provides an insight into the discipline's strengths and weaknesses in an international context, and identifies areas to focus resources as well as acknowledging and celebrating successes.

Amongst the findings, the review concluded that UK Politics and International Studies are: In summary, Professor Bob Goodin, from Australian National University, who chaired the panel of leading international scholars who conducted the review, noted that: "Benchmarking to the best worldwide, we found the discipline of Politics and International Studies in the UK to be very strong indeed. Its influential contributions do much to shape virtually all the major debates worldwide, both among scholars and among policymakers and the public at large. Furthermore, the discipline is renewing itself wonderfully well, with an exciting influx of talented new scholars from around the world'.

Commenting on the review, Professor Ian Diamond Chief Executive of the ESRC said: "I am delighted with the outcome of this review, highlighting as it does the excellence of the research taking place within these disciplines in the UK. This underpins the ESRC's commitment to further strengthening the discipline, investing in capacity building within language-based area studies as well as further developing skills within advanced research methods including statistical modelling, research design as well as quantative and qualitative methods."

Professor Jon Tonge, Chair of the Political Studies Association of the UK declared: "I am absolutely delighted that this review has confirmed the world-class status of UK Politics research. The review was the most exhaustive international examination of UK Politics yet conducted. The UK continues to attract leading international scholars and offers much of the most innovative and important research in Political Studies"

ESRC Press Office:
Alexandra Saxon on Tel: 01793 413032, e-mail:
Danielle Moore, Tel: 01793 413122, e-mail:


1. A copy of the full report is available on the ESRC Society Today Website at

2. The ESRC is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. It supports independent, high quality research relevant to business, the public sector and voluntary organisations. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2007 - 08 is £181 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and research policy institutes. More at

3. ESRC Society Today offers free access to a broad range of social science research and presents it in a way that makes it easy to navigate and saves users valuable time. As well as bringing together all ESRC-funded research and key online resources such as the Social Science Information Gateway and the UK Data Archive, non-ESRC resources are included, for example the Office for National Statistics. The portal provides access to early findings and research summaries, as well as full texts and original datasets through integrated search facilities. More at

Economic & Social Research Council

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