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Members of the Department of Politics and International Relations are active in a wide range of political research areas. The Department has a lively and rapidly developing research culture, with members currently engaged in plans for research dissemination in continental Europe, the USA and Asia. All members of the Department are active in research and ensure as far as possible that all teaching is research-driven.

Research Clusters

1. America and the World

The Department has a particular strength in the politics and history of American foreign policy. This speciality of the Department builds on its traditional strength in the history and practice of international diplomacy. Various members of the Department have published on issues relating to American diplomacy, notably on the Cold War era, the making of American foreign policy and on US policy towards Northern Ireland. Shared research interests include US-European security relations and prospects for the future of US-European relations. An international conference on 'Issues in American Foreign Policy' will be hosted by the Department in Leicester in March 2005, under the auspices of the Centre for Diplomatic and International Studies.

2. Democratic Institutions and Politics

Particular specialisms here include democratization in Central Europe, democratic representation in the European Union and the contemporary condition of the British Conservative Party. The Department also has a long history of expertise in South African politics. The path to democratization in Southern Africa is a current departmental research priority, as is the continuing peace process in Northern Ireland. A conference on the road to reconciliation in South Africa and in Northern Ireland is planned for September 2005. Departmental members also have interests in Italian politics and in British political party marketing.

3. Liberal Political Thought and Beyond

The Department is well known for its work on the politics and philosophy of animal rights, on theories of property in 17th century England, and on feminist political and international relations theory. Members of the Department are engaged in research on various themes associated with the political theory of globalization: particularly feminist and Marxist approaches to understanding globalization, theories of sovereignty, and radical responses to globalization.

4. Political Communication

Four members of the Department are also members of the University of Leicester Centre for Mass Communication Research (CMCR), an internationally important body for research in this area. Research on political communication in the Politics Department currently covers topics such as women and information and communication technologies; comparative political communication, especially relating to Britain and the USA; the media and public images of teachers; and the professionalization of political communication across Europe.

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