News

Government at Essex continues to deliver outstanding research

  • Date

    Mon 16 May 22

Two students debating

The Department of Government is delivering world-class research and offers one the best research environments in the UK according to the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

The Department of Government is 2nd in the UK for research outputs with 97% either world-leading of internationally excellent and is 6th in the UK for research environment with 100% of its submission in this area rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Between 2013-2020 – the period reviewed by REF2021 - the Department received over £3.1 million in external research income.

Professor Shane Martin, Head of the Department of Government, said: “Over the last seven years, the Department has grown from 32 to 54 members of staff, which has also enabled us to champion greater diversity, equality and inclusivity, including growing the number of women academics and minority-ethnic academics.

“Our research addresses topics most pressing politically as well as professionally. An example of societally relevant research is demonstrating that migration provides a link between climate change and conflict, that domestic and international linkages between terrorist groups allows these groups to survive, and that conflict is less likely to recur through speedy and targeted deployment of peacekeepers.

"Our research has had impact on developing metrics for early warning for conflicts, improving communication strategies surrounding foreign aid, and supporting parliaments in scrutinising proposed legislation. Meanwhile, Professor Alejandro Quiroz Flores is the Chief Scientific Adviser for Essex Country Council."

The Department of Government has made major contributions to our scientific understanding of politics. Between 2014 and 2020, the 54 members of staff published 21 books and more than 550 articles and chapters in edited volumes. Monographs were published by leading academic publishers, such as Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.

Articles appeared in all the main journals in political science, such as the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, Journal of Political Philosophy, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, Comparative Political Studies, Review of International Organizations, and World Development. They also regularly publish in interdisciplinary journals, such as Climate Change, Environmental Politics, Global Environmental Politics, Politics and Gender, and Nature Climate Change.

The Department is the home of the only Regius Professor in political science, currently held by Professor Gleditsch. Professor Gleditsch was also the president of the International Studies Association, the leading professional organisation for the study of international relations, in 2021-22. The Departments also hosts the British Journal of Political Science and colleagues have contributed to editorial leadership of various leading journals, such as the Journal of Peace Research and International Interactions.

Professor Martin said: “The Department has demonstrated its ability to sustain and grow its research base, putting it in an excellent position to realise its ambitious plans for future growth. With a continuing and strong commitment to theoretically informed empirical research, the Department is ready to become even more diverse and inclusive in terms of its staff, and to opening further to public engagement and new areas of research. 

“The Department is set to continue generating knowledge that is not only of the highest intellectual rigour but also has clear and immediate societal relevance. The continued commitment to research, and the excitement and vitality of the University of Essex Department of Government remains palpable.”

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