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RA6a: Additional observations, Evidence of esteem

1.1 The School's research plan outlined in RA5 of the 1996 Research Assessment has been exceeded early in this RAE period. Substantial numbers of new staff, including four new professors, allowed for a comprehensive process of restructuring. The last year has been characterised by continued growth designed to provide research linkage both within the School and across the campus. Together with appointments made in 1999-2000, this has allowed the development of a productive pattern of research groupings by attracting researchers of the highest calibre in the areas as outlined in RA5. The vigorous research culture of the School is denoted, above all, by an ability to publish in good refereed journals right across the field (81 articles) and to produce single authored books (10) and co-authored books (7) in outlets of standing, underlining both the quality and the range of research at Nottingham.
1.2 The School plays a leading role in scholarly communities. In 1999, the School hosted the PSA annual conference. This whole School effort was led by Pierson as Academic Convenor, by Tormey as Local Organiser and by Humphrey as Graduate Conference Organiser. Pierson and Tormey were the inaugural editors of the new selective and peer-reviewed conference volume with contributions from prominent scholars. PSA 1999 attracted an international range of speakers including Gerry Cohen, Agnes Heller, David Held, Mo Mowlam and the President of APSA, Matthew Holden Jnr. Heywood has served on the PSA Executive's sub-committee on research in the specific role of liasing with the ESRC. Elgie has served as Secretary of PSA Ireland. Forster served as a member of the BISA Executive and was instrumental in the new format BISA newsletter as editor, a role now continued by Jones and Rawnsley. The School is a member of the European Consortium of Political Research, the Public Administration Committee of the Joint University Council and the European Thematic Network of Political Science and Public Administration.
1.3 Forbes has played major public roles in the review period. As Chair of PSA Executive from 1996-99 he oversaw the development and launching of a new journal and a new book series. Forbes has also been active in the promotion of the social sciences. Elected to Chair the Executive of the Association of the Learned Societies in the Social Sciences (ALSISS) in 1997, he played a leading role in the creation of the new Academy for the social sciences that supersedes ALSISS. He has been elected first Chair of the Council of the Academy. He had an important role in the development of the Leverhulme Bid for the Institute for the Study of Biorisks and Society, and will now lead two of its funded research projects. He has also sought to improve liaison with ESRC, the OST and to increase opportunities for political science in the EU's FPV and FPVI.
1.4 In the last five years Politics at Nottingham has developed a substantial international profile. For example, Mitra has completed a study of 'Elections and Social Change in India' begun in 1996 involving large scale data collection in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi. He is now completing a comparative study of six regions in India supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinshaft (German Research Council).
1.5 Heywood is co-editor of the journal South European Society and Politics. He is a member of the editorial boards of Government and Opposition and the Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans. He has been co-chair of the PSA Specialist Group on Politics and Society in Mediterranean Europe. In the current period he has refereed for 10 academic journals and seven academic presses including CUP, OUP and UCL. Aldrich has been co-editor of Intelligence and National Security since 1995 and all the UK editorial activity of this journal is now located at Nottingham with the arrival of Wylie as review editor. Aldrich is also co-editor of the book series Studies in Intelligence and Vice-Chairman of the UK Universities Study Group on Intelligence.
1.6 The international profile characterises the whole school and is not limited to the professoriat. Jones has engaged in a three way international network on European monetary integration and central banks with the Centre of European Policy Studies and Harvard. In the last three years Jones has been invited to present his findings at Amsterdam, Chicago, Baltimore, Brussels, Budapest, Chapel Hill, Florence, Harvard, Princeton, Victoria and Washington DC. He has received invitations to serve as a visiting professorial scholar at the Catholic University of Portugal (1997); the Johns Hopkins Bologna Center (1997 and 1999); the NATO Defence College, Rome (1997); the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels (1998); Nuffield College (1999). Forbes, Jones, Heywood and Mitra are among a number of colleagues called upon to examine doctoral dissertations overseas including the University of Calcutta, the European University Institute Florence, the University of Victoria, the University of Uppsala and Johns Hopkins University.
1.7 Elgie, Hedman, Heywood, Humphrey, Rawnsley and Stavrakakis have been invited to edit special issues of refereed journals including Political Studies and West European Politics. Hedman edited a notable special issue of the Human Rights Law Review arising from a major international conference at Nottingham in 1999 focused upon events in East Timor. Staff have served on the editorial boards of seven journals including a new wave of electronic journals such as the Electronic Journal of History and Governance.
1.8 One of the most significant achievements of the School has been the successful encouragement of many new lecturers and research fellows in the School who have recently completed or are just completing their Ph.D. This element has encompassed almost half the School, including Hedman, Hughes, Humphrey, Pupavac, Raman, Stavrakakis, Stevens, Thorlakson and Wylie. All but two of these individuals (who are still completing their Ph.D.s) have full returns. Partly through protected teaching loads, these members of the School have completed comprehensive training and have taken a full part in the collective research activities. They have also taken an important role in developing the sub-areas of the discipline. Humphrey has been invited to edit of a special issue of Environmental Politics in 2001 and Pupavac has organised several specialist panels at BISA.
1.9 The list of institutions receiving advice on policy or practice from Nottingham is now substantial and includes the African Child Association, the UK All Party Group on Social Science and Policy, the British Council, the Constitution Unit, the European Commission (DGXII), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Her Majesty’s Treasury, House of Commons select committees, House of Lords select committees, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, the Lord Chancellor's Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Overseas Development Institute, the OECD, the Public Record Office, the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, Survivor Support Services, Trent Regional Health Authority, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, the United Nations Institute for Social Development and the World Bank.
1.10 Substantial international links reflect the School's twin geographical concentrations on Europe and Asia. The School has hosted research fellows from the Chinese Association for International Understanding and collaborates with the New Bulgarian University. Forster has served as visiting staff at Chulalongkhorn in Bangkok as part of an EU sponsored programme. In 1999-2000 Heywood was a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Madrid. Pierson has recently completed a second professorial fellowship at Australian National University as part of an ESRC project. In 1999-2000 Wylie chaired the weekly advanced seminar on Swiss foreign and security policy at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
1.11 Research by the School makes a real contribution to the wider public understanding of politics at both the national and international level. Numerous articles have appeared in the foreign press from the Cambodia Times to the Free China Journal. Significant pieces of work have been translated into foreign languages. Pierson's work on the state is widely available in Chinese and indeed in five other languages. He was recently invited to give a plenary address at the symposium 'The Twentieth Century - Dream and Realities', Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. Stavrakakis's book on Lacan is being translated in Japanese and his work is available in four other languages. Tormey's work on Agnes Heller has appeared in Spanish, French and German journals including Sinn und Form, the journal of the German Academy of the Arts. In 1998, prompted by the publication of a book into Turkish, Tormey was invited to give the keynote address at the 'Global Vision 2000' conference in Istanbul, broadcast live on television and radio. Aldrich and Wylie have undertaken extensive documentary work with the media, including TV Asahi/TS Japan (equivalent to Panorama) and have collaborated on seven programmes produced by BBC Timewatch.
1.12 Profound changes, remarkable in their scope and scale, have resulted in a School with a growing international profile. The University of Nottingham has created a flourishing research environment, allowing the School of Politics to contemplate the future with every confidence. Further phased expansion will continue to attract staff and research students of the highest quality.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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