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Research, knowledge exchange and public engagement are at the heart of the work of the Politics and International Studies team at the Open University. OU research in Politics and International Studies heavily influences our teaching and research-driven teaching materials are central to all of our modules and qualifications.

The academic staff carry out and publish research on a wide range of pressing topics in areas such as international politics, citizenship, security, political theory, British and comparative politics. This sustains a lively research culture where communicating research in an accessible way is a key priority. This page offers an insight into some of our work, but you can also follow up the work of individual researchers.

Latest news relating to research at the OU can be found on the main OU research news webpage. You can also find out more about what is going on in Politics and International Studies by following us on twitter (@OUPolitics). Many of our staff are also active on social media. You can find out more by visiting their individual pages.

Research in Politics and International Studies at the OU is published in academic journals, public blog posts, popular media, policy working papers and briefs, and books. Some of the recent books published are listed below. Free access to many of the publications in Politics and International Studies at the OU can be found through ORO.

Faculty members also contribute to popular television and radio programmes. Links to some of them are given below.

Staff from the Politics and International Studies team work closely with others from across the University and beyond. In particular, this is organised according to two ‘Strategic Research Areas’ (SRAs). There is more about these below.

Recent Books

Andrews, Geoff (2015) The Shadow Man: At the Heart of the Cambridge Spy Circle, I.B.Tauris, London

Blakeley, Georgina (2013) The Regeneration of East Manchester: A Political Analysis, Manchester University Press, Manchester (with Brendan Evans)

Bloom, Tendayi (2017) Noncitizenism: Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens, Routledge, London

Bloom, Tendayi (2017) Understanding Statelessness, Routledge, London (with Katherine Tonkiss and Phillip Cole)

Brown, William (2013) African Agency In International Politics, Routledge, London (with Sophie Harman)

Czajka, Agnes (2016) Democracy and Justice: Reading Derrida in Istanbul, Routledge, London

Czajka, Agnes (2013) Europe After Derrida: Crisis and Potentialities, Oxford University Press, Oxford (with Bora Isyar)

de Jong, Sara (2017) Complicit Sisters: Gender and Women’s Issues Across North-South Divide, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Heffernan, Richard (2016) Developments in British Politics 10, Palgrave Macmillan (with C. Hay, Meg Russell and Philip Cowley)

Heffernan, Richard (2011) Politics and Power in the UK (3rd ed), Open University Press, Milton Keynes

Wastnidge, Edward (2016) Diplomacy and Reform in Iran: Foreign Policy Under Khatami, I.B.Tauris, London

Recent Media Collaborations

Meet the Lords BBC2 (Richard Heffernan)

Inside the Commons (BBC2) (Richard Heffernan)

Secret History of Our Streets: Edinburgh BBC2 (Georgina Blakeley)

BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed

Don't Panic: the truth about population BBC2

Strategic Research Area: Citizenship and Governance

Governance in contemporary societies is complex. The nation state is no longer always sovereign; a range of other forces work with or against it to create citizens' civil, political and social rights, and their public services. Our Citizenship and Governance research area is rethinking the changing relationships between states, markets and citizens in the 21st century and the challenges of governance and leadership, such as migration and security. The research encompasses the macro level down to the micro level – from global issues like migration to the private sphere, via the organisations, structures and practices which create public and social value.

Strategic Research Area: International Development

Decades of top-down aid and development policies have failed to address global inequity and grinding poverty for billions of world citizens. Our international development research is pioneering a different approach which we call ‘inclusive innovation’. We are involving poor and marginalised people in developing their own solutions, and working with them to bring about a fairer and sustainable world.


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