Research

We are a leading centre for research in European and British politics and have a growing reputation in the area of international security and intervention. We also investigate international politics and policy, on people and power, as well as on institutions, theories and processes.

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Research groups

European politics

We research European foreign and security policy, the role of the EU as an international actor, European integration theories, European equality policies and social policy, regionalism studies, area studies, environmental policy and opposition to the EU.

Government and opposition

We specialise in electoral behaviour, party politics and party patronage, campaigns and elections, and citizens’ impressions of parties and their leaders. We also research social movements, opposition and resistance, populism and radicalisation, and social media. Our research is grounded in cutting edge theoretical and methodological debates in social/political theory, gender theories and public opinion analysis.

Security and conflict

We focus on cross-cutting issues in security studies, including humanitarianism, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building, foreign and defence policy, technological change and intervention, normative theory and intervention and non-state armed groups.

Research projects

Completed projects

Overview

Principal investigators
Funder

Economic and Social Research Council

Start date

October 2013

End date

September 2016

Synopsis

Prior to the current widespread economic recession there had been growing attention to the importance of work-life balance (WLB). Relevant legislation and normative pressures led to developments in employer WLB policies, albeit unevenly between sectors and often with an implementation gap between policies and practice.

There are two arguments about how this progress will be affected by the economic crisis. On the one hand, it is argued that financial problems may eclipse social and individual concerns and that WLB and associated policies will be side lined, as other priorities take centre stage. On the other hand, there is an argument that employers may use flexible working arrangements as a means to manage the impact of the crisis, leading to increased availability of quality flexible or part-time jobs and the evolution of flexible efficiency-driven ways of working that could challenge assumptions about ideal, constantly visible workers.

Emerging research suggests a complex picture with both being true to some extent and in some contexts. This has implications for policy makers, employers, employees, their families and wider society.

Project detail

About

This seminar series will focus on the impacts of the recession on WLB and associated policies and practices, and on potential strategies for supporting a triple agenda, which we define as enhancing employee WLB, sustaining or enhancing organisational effectiveness, and contributing to social justice. The overall aims are

  1. To understand the WLB challenges for employees, employers and policy-makers posed by the current recession and austerity measures
  2. To provide a forum for researchers from the UK and internationally and a range of research users to exchange information and ideas for meeting these challenges in the recession and beyond.

The seminars will make a timely contribution to current policy debates on WLB, quality of work across Europe, social justice, equalities, care, and to developments in evidence-based workplace practices.

Seminars will be hosted at Middlesex, Warwick, Reading, Manchester and Surrey.

Overview

Principal investigators

Simon Usherwood

Funder

University Association for Contemporary European Studies

Start date

March 2011

End date

March 2014

Synopsis

The collaborative research network provides funding for three years to bring together scholars working on euroscepticism, an increasingly important and consequential part of the European integration process. Following a successful launch at a workshop at Surrey in June 2011, the network will support two further annual workshops, as well as organising panels at relevant research conferences and developing large-scale research funding bids.

Overview

Principal investigators

Laura Chappell

Funder

University Association for Contemporary European Studies

Start date

June 2012

End date

May 2015

Synopsis

This project aims to critically assess the EU’s role in security and defence, the term strategy and what this implies analytically, the extent to which some form of strategy already exists or is feasible, and what the key elements of any future Common Security and Defence Policy strategy and the connected military and civilian capabilities might be. In this respect the project will examine where the EU’s interests lie geographically, the types of crises it should respond to and the capabilities needed to do so within the context of economic and institutional opportunities and constraints.

Overview

Principal investigators
  • Chris Flood
  • Steve Hutchings
Funder

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Start date

2006

End date

2009

Synopsis

This project compared the way Islam is constructed in the British, French and Russian media. The edited collection on political and cultural representation of Muslims: Islam in the plural is the main output of this project.

Overview

Principal investigators
Funder

Economic and Social Research Council

Start date

October 2013

End date

September 2016

Synopsis

The aim of this project is to explore competing understandings of international intervention, i.e. efforts by the Global North to influence the course of events in the Global South, in terms of when and how it occurs, what it is meant to achieve, and whether it succeeds.

Project detail

About

The seminars, which are the product of a collaborative design process across the academic, practitioner, and policy-making communities, will make a substantial contribution to current debates about the nature, rationale, and impact of international intervention in a way that is informed by the priorities of key stakeholders in this field. The workshops will provide a platform for evidence-based dialogue between governmental and non-governmental actors that will shape the development of a holistic theory of international intervention. This approach to intervention will focus on the interface between competing actors and political priorities, as well as the geo-strategic considerations that determine foreign policy priorities.  

Overview

Principal investigators

Marie Breen-Smyth

Funder

The British Academy

Start date

November 2011

End date

October 2014

Synopsis

This project will build a teaching and research partnership between Birzeit, Palestine, Singidunum, Serbia and the University of Surrey to support critical work on international intervention. 

Project detail

About

This project will evaluate how international intervention has been practised, document local voices in areas that have experienced international intervention and compare these with the views of policy makers in the UK. Following research training, students in the three locations will develop written and audio-visual course materials on intervention based on their conduct of this primary research and on their reading of the literature. Research training and film-making facilities will be provided to students in all three locations. Two summer schools on intervention will be delivered, distance learning access on postgraduate courses and parallel provision in participating institutions will be explored, and a substantial research project on global legitimacy and international intervention will be planned.

Overview

Principal investigators
Additional team members
  • University of Liège, Belgium
  • Masaryk University, Czech Republic
  • University of Jena, Germany
  • University of Bologna, Italy
  • University of Porto, Portugal
  • Örebro University, Sweden
  • Ankara University, Turkey
  • Queen's University Belfast, UK
Funder

European Commission

Start date

May 2009

End date

April 2012

Synopsis

The research examined the processes which influence democratic ownership and participation among ethnic minorities, migrants, women and young people in nine countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey). It explored the macro-level contextual factors (including historical, political, electoral, economic and policy factors), the proximal social factors (including familial, educational and media factors) and the psychological factors (including motivational, cognitive, attitudinal and identity factors) which facilitate and/or inhibit civic and political engagement and participation.

View project website.

Overview

Principal investigators

Marie Breen-Smyth

Funder

Office of the First and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland

Start date

July 2011

End date

January 2012

Synopsis

This project was commissioned by the Wave Trauma Centre to investigate the circumstances of people injured in the conflict and their families. This was an action research project, helped by trained volunteers from local victims groups, and was informed by an advisory group of people from the Wave Injured Group, service providers and government representatives.

Project detail

Project outputs
  • Article in Medicine Conflict and Survival
  • Two films titled 'Injured.'
Publications

The needs of individuals and their families injured as a result of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Overview

Principal investigators

Roberta Guerrina

Funder

Economic and Social Research Council

Start date

May 2012

End date

April 2014

Synopsis

The network brings together some of the leading scholars in political science, European studies, law, and international relations. The main aim of this interdisciplinary network is to produce a shift in the way in which we understand the interaction between gender, social norms and public policy development.

Project detail

About

The network will develop new and innovative ways of understanding the indirect consequences of European policy on domestic gender regimes and gender relations. The analysis of gender and associated norms provides a useful starting point for an exploration of intended and unintended consequences as a wider framework for public policy analysis.

This analysis is timely, as policy markers are increasingly moving away from a gender centred approach to equality to a more general focus on inequalities and social exclusion. The main aim of the network is therefore to expand the reach of current debates about intentionality in the articulation of political strategies and policy objectives. In particular, it seeks to develop further ongoing critiques of gender mainstreaming as a political strategy and policy tool for a re-articulation of the dominant gender order in Europe.

Research events

We run weekly research seminars for academics to discuss ongoing research projects. We also organise regular public lectures with high profile speakers including academics, politicians and diplomats to debate current affairs.

Contact us

Find us

Address
Department of Politics
Duke of Kent Building (DK)
University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey
GU2 7XH