Future of Research at Glasgow

Glasgow's distinguished history of teaching politics began in the 1760s, when Adam Smith gave a series of lectures on justice, police, revenue and arms at the University. Today we are a leading centre for Politics & International Relations in the UK.  

We comprise more than 40 staff and are distinctive for our concentrations of expertise in: 

  • Comparative Politics – the quality of democracy, authoritarianism, immigration and refugees; 
  • International Relations – emotions, war and the European Union’s external relations; 
  • Area Studies – the politics of China, Russia, Southern Europe and Latin America, in some of which we work closely with colleagues in Central & East European Studies.  

We work hard to ensure the future of research at Glasgow by engaging, supporting and training the next generation of politics students and researchers through regular talks at local schools and annual Model United Nations events.  

We have recruited and trained 24 Early Career Researchers since 2014. Of the 24, 17 have taken up academic positions at the UofG, and five have gone on to take up academic positions elsewhere in the UK and abroad. 

In terms of the future, recent major research projects in Politics & International Relations will aim to deepen our research and capacity for impact in our distinctive areas of excellence, notably comparative authoritarianism and democratic backsliding, Chinese politics, migration and international relations. 

Dr Christopher Claassen was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2021 for his research on public support for democracy and methods of combining survey data across time and space. He will use the prize funds to extend his work on support for democracy to how political trust influences institutional stability and change, drawing on both new and existing data in countries that have seen democratic backsliding. 

Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas has been awarded a €1.49 million Starting Grant from the European Research Council for a five-year project on 'The International Politics of Mobility Sanctions’. It will examine the use of labour and forced migration as an instrument of foreign policy by Western and non-Western countries alike. The project focuses on the seven countries involved in largest waves of migration into, out of, and across the Middle East, and will run between 2022 and 2027. 

In Central and East European Studies, the future research agenda has been designed around two main foci: Dr Huseyn Aliyev’s ESRC-funded project ‘From Russia with War’ investigates the influence of sociocultural, perception-centred and opportunities-based motivations on the mobilisation of foreign fighters in the former Soviet Union.  

Professor Luca Anceschi’s ongoing research on personalism and political personalisation in Eurasia will solidify synergies with Politics & International Relations colleagues who have an interest in the global dynamics of comparative authoritarianism and democratic backsliding.