Research projects

The combination of disciplinary strength and interdisciplinary effectiveness across the School allows colleagues to develop collaborative teaching and research projects, to generate research income and to further develop effective knowledge transfer activities.

Ongoing research:

Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Understanding Local Government Responses (2018-2021)

This research project analyses local government responses to the refugee crisis in Turkey and seeks to explain variation between localities

CREST: Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (Oct 2015 - Oct 2018)

The Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) is a national hub for understanding, countering and mitigating security threats. CREST brings together the UK's foremost expertise in understanding the psychological and social drivers of the threat, the skills and technologies that enable its effective investigation, and the protective security measures that help counter the threat in the first place.

Smart Urban Intermediaries: Trans-European research, learning, and action Project (2017-2019)

The project will seek to generate impact and value in academia, civil society and urban governance in understanding, contributing to and advancing smart urban development and social innovation.

Jam and Justice: co-producing urban governance for social innovation (2016-2019)

Jam and Justice aims to create a unique space for social innovation to co-produce, test and learn from new ways of governing cities

The Politics of Forced Migration in the Mediterranean: Interstate Bargaining and Issue-Linkage in Greece and Jordan (April 2017 - Sept 2018)

This 18-month long project aims to understand how post-2011 forced displacement has affected the behavior of two key states in the region towards international actors.

Migration Diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean - Inter-State Politics of Population Mobility in the Middle East (April 2017 - March 2018)

This yearlong project investigates how migratory flows across national borders have affected states' diplomatic interaction.

Towards a new (restraining) global consensus on the use of armed drones (Jan 2016 - June 2018)

This project – supported by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations – aims at securing a new normative consensus that delegitimizes the use of armed drones for targeting killing outside of recognized war zones. Such a consensus does not exist within Europe, between Europe and the United States, nor globally.

Comparative political theory of the Cold War (Sept 2015 – Jul 2018)

This project intends to apply a new methodology for the study of political ideas in order to reread an event in contemporary history. The methodology is comparative political theory; the event is the Cold War. A view often expressed at present is that the Cold War 'is back', but this project suggests that the lessons of the original are still yet to be fully learned – the comparison in political ideas being the missing element.

Understanding and managing intra-state territorial contestation: Iraq's disputed territories in comparative perspective (Jun 2015 - May 2018)

The project will make a contribution to enhancing our knowledge and understanding of one of the most significant disputes in Iraq – the contestation of a large swathe of land known as the 'disputed territories' that lie to the south of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR) and that are administered by the Government of Iraq (GoI), with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) demanding their incorporation into the KR.

Select Committee Data Archive Project, 1979-Present (Mar 2015 - )

The project will utilise quantitative methods to create and analyse a comprehensive dataset covering the membership, activities and outputs of Select Committees of the House of Commons from 1979 (the date of previous major reform) to the present in order to permit an evidence-based evaluation of the Wright reforms, as well as providing a valuable resource for understanding this vital venue for executive-legislative interaction and for parliamentary involvement in the development and scrutiny of policy.

Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) (2019-2022)

A prestigious international research initiative, the Developmental Leadership Program, has made its home at IDD with funding in place to continue its work for the next three years.

GSDRC: policy-oriented research (2001-)

For over a decade, IDD has led a cutting-edge research and knowledge management centre, GSDRC. This supports many aid agencies, synthesising the latest evidence and expert thinking to inform policy and practice.

Inclusive Responses to SGBV and HIV in Humanitarian Crises

Funded by the UK ESRC, Global Challenges Research Fund, this strategic network brings together cross-disciplinary academic expertise and practitioners.

Completed research:


Nuclear Ethics and Global Security: Reforming the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

How far can an existing state-based international order be hospitable to the protection of individual and global security in a nuclear world? At a moment of profound crisis, uncertainty, and yet potential opportunity in the nuclear non-proliferation regime, this project will investigate possible paths for the reform and strengthening of the regime through an engagement with ethical and normative thinking in the fields of Philosophy and International Relations.

Nefarious Criminal and Terrorist Uses of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (Apr 2016 - Apr 2017)

The focus of this research project is to analyse the threat presented by the revolution in easy access to the air presented by the technological development of small and medium sized Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or "drones".


(Not) Made in Germany? Imagining Germany from the Outside (Jan 2015 - Dec 2016)

Through this project the IGES consolidated and expanded its role as a primary hub for the support and inspiration of German Studies in the United Kingdom, as well as its reputation as a leading global research centre.

The ideology of political reactionaries (Sept 2013 - Jul 2016)

Reactionaries are a political breed still little understood. What do they share with the mainstream Right? Have they changed? Why are they still here? This project is trying to develop a more integrated theory of reactionary ideology than is currently on offer – in particular, by using an analytical perspective focussed on rhetoric.

Do flexible institutions enhance democracy? A comparative analysis of public governance innovations in Brazil and the UK (Jul 2014 - Jul 2016)

The purpose of this exploratory research is to bring complementary expertise from the UK and Brazil to the analysis of democratic innovations - the global search for new ways in which societal, economic and cultural problems can be resolved through the direct involvement of citizens, civil society organisations, and other parties.

Networking for fisheries co-management on Lake Victoria, East Africa (Jun 2014 - May 2016)

This research will contribute to co-management theory and practice by investigating the personal networks of fisheries stakeholders to find out who, and what types of relationships, influence fishers' behaviour. Relationships to be investigated might include who is consulted to gain information on where to fish, to whom fishers turn to borrow money or find employment. Such relationships influence fisherfolk behaviour and, in turn, attitudes to and engagement with co-management.

Security-Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus (CASCADE) (2014-2016)

The CASCADE project will: 1.scrutinise Caucasian states and societies for the root causes of conflict and insecurity.

Shrinking the state: analysing the reform of arm's length bodies (2012-2016)

This four year project analysed the UK Coalition Government's major reform of 'arm's length bodies' (ALBs – often called 'quangos').


Translation across borders: exploring the use, relevance and impact of academic research in the policy process (Jan 2014 - Mar 2015)

This project seeks to explore and suggest ways to address the frustrations which attempts to translate research into policy can bring.

Evaluation of Community Organisers and Community First programmes (Nov 2012 - Feb 2015)

The evaluation will assess the delivery and social impact of both programmes, providing continuous learning and relevant insights for programme development.

Provision of Basic Services (2004-15)

Understanding how the relationship between government and non-state providers is affected by their different perspectives on public action and how these in turn are affected by the relationship.

The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Conflict and Cooperation Within and Between States (Oct 2013 - Sept 2015)

This research project will contribute to building the evidentiary base for informed policy making on the use of US/UK drones in overseas theatres of operation.


The Future of American Power (Jan 2013 - Dec 2014)

This is an ESRC Seminar Series running in 2013-14, with the aim of bringing together scholars of internationally-leading calibre from the United States and the UK for five all-day events to discuss the nature, causes and consequences of changes in the United States' dominance in the international distribution of power.

Enhancing Strategic Analytical Capabilities in NATO Partner Countries (Jan 2014 - Dec 2014)

The aim of this project is to contribute to building truly interactive and meaningful collaboration between academics from NATO and EU member states and partner countries in the Western Balkans and EaP area and to disseminate knowledge and understanding of current and new threats in these countries by promoting independent and critical thinking from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective.

The German Past and the Contemporary World: The domestic and foreign politics of memory (Jan 2013 - Dec 2014)

The project examined in detail the interaction between collective memory, policy elaboration, and the personal remembering of different individuals and social groups.


The Challenges to Trust-Building in Nuclear Worlds (2009-2013)

Professor Nicholas J. Wheeler received a 3-year ESRC / AHRC fellowship to pursue the Trust-building in Nuclear Worlds project as part of the Global Uncertainties programme, which brings together the activities of the UK's Research Councils to better integrate current investments and to develop and support new multi-disciplinary research in response to global security challenges.

Zeitgeist. What does it mean to be German in the 21st century? (2010 - 13)

What does it mean to be German in the 21st century? To inherit a difficult history and be subject to national stereotypes or much more than that?


Male and Transgender Sex Work in the UK and Netherlands (2011 - 12)

The proposed research seeks to contribute to academic and policy debates about commercial sex by advancing empirical and theoretical knowledge in the under-explored area of male and transgender sex work.


Integrated Public Service Budgets (2010 - 2011)

This research examines and establishes the costs and benefits of aligning or pooling budgets across activities, services, and organisations.


The Impact of Local Authorities Supplying Legal Services to NHS Trusts (2010)

This research, undertaken by Dr Peter Watt, examines the business case for such provision and the legal issues that arise in working in such a way.

International Terrorism-post-9/11 Comparative Dynamics and Responses (2008 - 10)

This project considers comparative responses to international terrorism post 9/11 and contributes to current debates over state responses to political violence.

The Treasury under New Labour since 1997: the evolution of a British Institution (2007 - 10)

The study will produce a politico-administrative anatomy of HM Treasury, the UK's finance and economics ministry, in its five roles: as a central department, ministry of finance, economics ministry, domestic policy department, and agency of foreign economic policy. Its role since 1997 will be placed in historical, ideological and global contexts.

The International Monetary Fund and the Diffusion of Global Economic Norms (2005 - 10)

The project will examine the changing responsibilities of the International Monetary Finance in the aftermath of the global credit crunch, as well as how the organisation is likely to continue to evolve in the future.

Religions and Development (2005 - 10)

The Religions and Development Research Programme Consortium is an international research partnership.

Interpreting International Relations / Interrogating Global Politics (2004 - 10)

The project questions the foundations of meaning in the discipline of International Relations, gesturing towards the idea of global politics as a more appropriate frame of reference for the ever-changing contemporary world.

Older projects

Narratives of Violence in the North Caucasus (2003 - 09)

The aim of this project is to analyse political violence in the North Caucasus. Of particular interest is the way in which aspects of violence in the North Caucasus have inscribed narratives of identity and broader theoretical accounts of transversal politics.

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