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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy


The University regards this Unit of Assessment, currently rated 4B, as making a major contribution to its research mission in the Humanities/Social Sciences. Given that the Department has experienced significant personnel changes during the census period, the University has therefore facilitated major restructuring of its profile, sustaining its staff complement and encouraging the creation of a substantial International Relations research group to complement its existing strengths. There are four strands to the Department's revised research strategy:
[1] It has appointed new staff to expand the international relations group and to broaden its expertise in political theory, particularly investing in young recruits who will be best placed to develop and carry through new, longer-term research strategies.
[2] It has restructured our formerly three-pronged organisation of collaborative research work - in international relations, political theory and European politics - into two research groups, rationalising and focussing its projects to allow specialisms to develop but without sacrificing breadth of interests. Along with substantial individual research work, colleagues have also undertaken collaborative projects based elsewhere in the University and at external institutions. Often involving many scholars of world-wide renown, these activities together contribute significantly to the raising of the Department's national and international research profile and facilitate further expansion of our research base.
[3] Its research culture has also been developed by expanding our series of seminars/workshops and maintaining a successful graduate school with an average per year of 20 registered research students and 20 students on its research-training based Master's degree schemes.
[4] Its proactive Research Committee is centrally involved in Departmental policy-making, restructuring its research strategy in the light of changed circumstances and ensuring that priority is given to the provision of resources - including a carefully targeted sabbatical policy - to support the production of substantial, high-quality research publications.
Departmental Research Environment and Infrastructure
(i) Research Committee.
The main function of this Committee is to propose and implement the Department's research strategy. It carefully monitors the research progress of staff members throughout the year, requiring colleagues to set targets in consultation with the Committee and to report annually on them, particularly when sabbaticals have been granted. It apprises staff of possible funding sources and gathers information to make recommendations on sabbaticals and the distribution of teaching/administrative responsibilities to the Head of Department.
(ii) Research Leave. A member of staff with a definite research and publication/dissemination strategy, developed in consultation with the Research Committee, is entitled to one semester sabbatical in every six. J. Bradbury, M. Evans and A. Vali were granted semesters, and R. Taylor, B. Haddock and C. Ponting were granted academic years, in order to complete targeted items. A. Dobson and D. Boucher, recently appointed to chairs at Dundee and Cardiff respectively, were also granted a semester and a year respectively, producing substantial research publications which will now be counted elsewhere. Members of staff are expected to compete for outside research funding and fellowships.
(iii) Funding. The Department participates in the University's Humanities Planning Group research fund scheme, which provides £400 per person per annum for supporting publication-linked research activity. This has been used primarily to finance paper-giving at both national and international conferences and to develop the Department's overseas research links, in particular with colleagues in European universities. Support is also given to participation in recognised research forums such as P.S.A. Specialist Groups, BISA and ECPR meetings. Significant grants obtained in the census period include G. Boyce's Leverhulme individual award for 2000/1 to work on the Falklands War and British political and military culture. He is also co-convenor of Swansea's ESRC Devolution and Constitutional Change programme, which was granted £122000; colleagues in the Department have formulated proposals for research initiatives under its remit. J. Bradbury was awarded £1000 from the ESRC to support the PSA British Territorial Politics Specialist group annual conference in January 2001. He was also part of a successful bid with colleagues from other institutions for £37443 from the ESRC, administered elsewhere, to research into candidature for the Scottish and Welsh devolved assemblies. A. Collins obtained £3500 from the British Academy which facilitated research in Asia for a resulting monograph. G. Evans gained a Nuffield grant of £3944 for fieldwork in Southern Africa in 1996. M. Evans received £8,250 from the University of Wales Academic Support Fund for a multi-conference and seminar project on ‘Liberalism at the Millennium’, which has led to a major volume and provided the basis from which our Liberalism, Democracy and Postcommunism research project has grown. B Haddock was awarded £2000 by the British Academy to fund collaborative work with a Romanian scholar. B. Teschke has gained £2000 from the British Academy, £1500 from the University of Wales Gregynog staff colloquium fund and £1000 from the University of Wales Swansea's Humanities Planning Group to finance a major conference and volume project in April 2001. A. Vali was awarded £12000 by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Scientific Research to fund a project on 'Politics and Culture in the Kurdish Diaspora: Nationalism in a Transnational Context', undertaken as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Uppsala in 1998-9.
(iv) Conferences, Colloquia and Seminars. Central to the life of the Department is its extensive programme of conferences and seminars, attracting a wide range of internationally renowned scholars, and our staff/research student workshops. Three conferences per annum are organised at Gregynog, the University's country-house conference centre. Speakers in the census period have included Clive Archer (Manchester Metropolitan), Chris Brown (LSE), Janet Coleman (LSE), John Dunn (Cambridge), Joseph Femia (Liverpool), Elizabeth Frazer (Oxford), Mervyn Frost (Kent), Paul Kelly (LSE), Tariq Modood (Bristol), Noel O'Sullivan (Hull) and Paul Rogers (Bradford). In addition to research group-based meetings, a weekly Departmental research seminar is held with distinguished visiting speakers. Guests in this period have included Paul Bew (Queen's, Belfast), Nigel Bowles (Oxford), Stuart Croft (Birmingham), Richard English (Queen's Belfast), Leslie Holmes (Melbourne), John Keane (Westminster), Susan Shell (Boston College) and Fiona Venn (Essex). The biennnial John Rees Memorial lecture (last lecturer: Will Kymlicka, Queen's University Ontario) and various day conferences are also organised. In connection with the research programmes of the University's new National Public Policy Centre, the Department actively sponsors events connected with the 'practice' of Welsh politics. Recently, these have featured a forum on devolution's early progress with former Secretary of State for Wales Ron Davies as keynote speaker and a series of debates/seminars on 'Explorations in Devolved Governance', including 'Education Policy-Making in Wales' featuring Christine Chapman, chair of the National Assembly's Objective One Funding Committee and 'Changing Welsh Governance: An Insider's View' with Hywel Francis of the Public Policy Centre. All PhD students are expected to present aspects of their work in turn at a fortnightly PhD workshop, where staff and other students debate their ideas and offer advice to gain experience of orally defending a thesis. There are separate staff/research student discussion groups attached to the Department's two research groups, meeting fortnightly to discuss selected issues and texts, including early versions of the participants' own work.
(v) Working Papers. The Department has recently adopted a policy of encouraging the dissemination of 'work in progress' in the form of working papers which are advertised externally on the Departmental website. This scheme heightens the Department's research profile and increases the opportunity of valuable critical feedback during one's research.
(vi) PhD Research Environment. The Department funds postgraduate research visits, recently facilitating work in the Truman and Eisenhower libraries, Oxford, South Africa and Canada. It has been successful in its policy of encouraging and helping postgraduates to achieve their first publications. For example: Susie Johnston has co-authored ‘The Ethics of the Infinite’, Maritain Studies, 15 (1999). Steve Marsh, Jacqueline Dix and David Ryall have contributions in Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Cold War, edited by A. Dobson, G. Evans and S. Malik (1999); Steve Marsh has also co-authored US Foreign Policy Since 1945 with A. Dobson (2000). Peter Sutch has critically discussed Mervyn Frost's work in Review of International Studies 26 (2) and has responded to a reply by Frost in no. 26 (3). Rita Abrahamsen has published 'The Victory of Popular Forces or Passive Revolution?' in Journal of Modern African Studies 35 (1) and 'The Gender Dimension of AIDS in Zambia' in Journal of Gender Studies 6 (2). Neil Herman's 'Henry Grattan, The Regency Crisis and the Emergence of Party Politics in Ireland 1788-89' has been accepted for publication by Irish Historical Studies in 2002.
(vii) Master's Degree Schemes. With an average yearly enrolment of 20 students, the Department treats its three MA degree schemes as important to the maintenance of its research as well as teaching profile. We reached our highest FTE intake ever at this level in 2000/1. Many of our students stay with us to read for PhDs. Our Political Theory and European Politics MA schemes have ESRC recognition and gaining it for our International Relations scheme is an important element of our research strategy.
Staffing Policy
(i) Permanent Appointments Strategy.
The Department has taken full advantage of projected retirements, the elevation of some colleagues to chairs elsewhere and the University's policy of strategic investment in order to develop its expertise in international relations. It has recruited A. Murray, who specialises in international relations theory and has published Reconstructing Realism; A. Collins, who is a specialist in security studies and Southeast Asia, a former British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and the author of The Security Dilemma and the End of the Cold War and The Security Dilemmas of Southeast Asia; and B. Teschke, an Andrew Mellon fellow and co-founder of the journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory. Most recently, J. Baylis has been appointed to the Headship of the Department. He comes from the 5-rated Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth and is the joint editor of two major texts in the field, Dilemmas of World Politics (with Nick Rengger) and The Globalisation of World Politics (2nd edition 2001, with Steve Smith), Oxford University Press's best-selling textbook. He is a specialist in the field of security and strategic studies. His current work on Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control, Anglo-American defence relations and European Security adds a new, highly distinctive dimension to the Department’s profile. We have sought to diversify our profile in political thought beyond our traditional strength in liberalism by appointing A. Finlayson, who specialises in post-structuralism (convening the PSA Post-Structuralism and Radical Politics Specialist Group) and has published on the politics of New Labour and the 'Third Way' (upon which he has worked at ESRC seminars), nationalism (on which he has worked for ECPR meetings) and cultural theory.

(ii) Temporary Staff. The Department employs a small number of research students as tutorial assistants, providing them with tutorial experience in line with ESRC guidelines to develop their own careers and create research time for full-time colleagues. This policy has been successful in increasing productivity and launching the careers of young academics. Peter Sutch, Peri Roberts and Steven Marsh have lectureships, Christine Akesson, and David Oprava tutorial fellowships at Cardiff University. Rita Abrahamsen has obtained a lectureship at Aberystwyth, and David Ryall a research position at the Catholic Bishops' Conference, London. Rhys Andrews is Research Officer for the National Forum for Educational Research (Wales), for whom he has produced several public reports. Neil Herman was engaged on an ESRC project at Queen's University Belfast, researching and writing a chapter on postwar Stormont policy regarding public awareness of tobacco-related health hazards; he has since returned as a temporary lecturer. Of the fixed-term lecturers in the census period, Shahin Malik (1996-8) is now at London Guildhall University and Jonathan Seglow (1999) has a permanent post at Royal Holloway College.
Review of Research Activity 1996-2000:
Verification of 1996 Non-Collaborative Targets.
Monographs by Boyce and Ponting have been published, along with substantially revised editions of The Irish Question in British Politics (Boyce) and Film Propaganda (Taylor). Bradbury's monograph has been delayed by his engagement, since 1998 in particular, in researching the politics of devolution. G. Evans's project with J. Spence was disrupted by the retirement of the latter during the census period. Sanctioned by the Research Committee, M. Evans concentrated upon the significantly expanded international 'Liberalism at the Millennium' project to establish a Departmental base in the study of liberalism. Consequently, his monograph on Liberal Justifications, now complete, will be published by Polity in 2002. The committee also encouraged Bideleux and Haddock substantially to develop ties with scholars in Eastern/Central Europe to strengthen the Department's research activities in these areas. Haddock's research interests in Italian thought have been channelled into the collaborative project on Italian national identity, whilst those in federalism have been redirected towards collaborative work on EU constitutionalism within the Political Theory/Government Research Group (see RA5c). Vali's research in Uppsala prompted significant additions to his Modernity and the Stateless: The Kurdish Question in Iran, now to be published by I.B. Tauris in April 2001.
Collaborative Research Initiatives. During the census period, two research groups were established: Political Theory and Government, incorporating existing projects on 'Liberalism at the Millennium' and 'Eastern European Nationalism at the Millennium', and International Relations.
(i) Political Theory and Government Research Group. Group Convenor: M. Evans; Members: R. Bideleux, G. Boyce, J. Bradbury, A. Finlayson, B. Haddock, N. Harding, R. Taylor, A. Vali. The founding project of this group was 'Liberalism at the Millennium', organised by M. Evans. This comprised four conferences (Gregynog 1998-2000 and Swansea 1998) and numerous day seminars with internationally renowned participants, including Will Kymlicka (Queen's University, Ontario), Michael Freeden (Oxford), Peter Lassman (Birmingham), Andrea Baumeister (Stirling), Rodney Peffer (San Diego), Kate Soper (North London), Richard Bellamy (Reading), Margaret Canovan (Keele), Richard Sakwa (Kent) and Andrew Vincent (Sheffield). All contributed chapters to the resulting volume, along with others such as Diana Tietjens Meyers (Connecticut) and David Rasmussen (Boston College). Departmental staff integrally involved in this project and contributing chapters include Bideleux, Haddock, Rex Martin, Jonathan Seglow and a former Ph.D. student, Peter Sutch. This project doubled in size from that planned in 1996 and has resulted in the 22-chapter (200 000 words) Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Liberalism, (Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 07486 13587) edited by Evans who authored chapters on: 'Issues and Trends in Contemporary Liberalism', 'Pragmatist Liberalism and the Evasion of Politics' and 'Prolegomenon to a Liberal Theory of the Good Life'. He also worked extensively with many contributors on revisions to their chapters. It narrowly missed the census deadline (see RA6c), having been published in March 2001. It will shortly be published (hard- and paperback) in the U.S. by Fitzroy Dearborn. This group's political theory dimension aims to develop a specialism in liberalism from this substantial international platform (see 'Collaborative Research Projections'). Four PhD students were accepted for study in this field during the course of the project. Another collaborative project over the period which has significantly orientated the direction of the new research group has been based upon research into civil society and nationalism conducted by Bideleux and Haddock with scholars in Central and Eastern Europe. With Ovidio Caraiani (University Polytechnica, Bucharest), Haddock has extensively researched debates on 'civic' nationalism and civil society in postcommunist Romania. This produced a Political Studies article on ‘Nationalism and Civil Society in Romania’ (1998) and several further papers now in press. They have also published numerous articles, in English and Romanian, in Romanian political journals and Haddock has worked with other colleagues, and given papers on this work, in Bucharest, Timisoara and Sofia, Bulgaria. Bideleux has been constantly engaged as their critical discussant. His History of Eastern Europe, with contributions from Iain Jeffries (Economics Department, Swansea), has importantly extended the Department's research expertise in Eastern European Politics. Two scholarships were awarded to research students working in this field over the period and ESRC funding is being sought for development of further collaborative work with Central and Eastern European colleagues.
(ii) The International Relations Research Group. Group Convenor: A. Collins; Members: J. Baylis, R. Bideleux, G. Boyce, G. Evans, A. Murray, C. Ponting and B. Teschke. Prior to the establishment of the group with the appointment of new staff working in this field, colleagues in international relations organised conferences on the Cold War, resulting in a collaborative volume, Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Cold War, edited by A. Dobson with G. Evans and S. Malik. This included chapters by staff and PhD candidates. Upon its constitution, the group established a regular seminar series with outside speakers, including Kees van de Pijl (Sussex), Adam Roberts (Oxford), Richard Little (Bristol), Simon Bromley (Open University), Brian Schmidt (Aberystwyth) and Mark Hoffman (LSE). It has also held an extensive series of workshops on 'globalisation', developing normative as well as empirical research themes in international relations. Over the past year, it has developed substantial research plans and has been at the forefront of the University's establishment of a new Research Centre for the Study of Conflict (see 'Collaborative Research Projections').
(iii) Other Collaborative Ventures. Baylis has been working on an international study of arms control with colleagues in Reading, Johns Hopkins and California to be published by OUP in 2001 as Strategy in the Modern World. Since 1993 Bideleux has been actively involved in an EU-funded network of scholars working on European integration, based in the Universities of Siena, Salamanca, Granada, Coimbra, Poitiers, the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg, the University of Krakow and the Pantheion University in Athens. He has made the largest contributions to the books which the group has published to date: Europa Unita e didattica integrata: storiografie e bibliografie a confronto (Siena: Protagon Editori Toscani, 1995,), Interessi nazionali e idee federaliste nel processo di unificazione europea (Siena: Centro di ricerca sull’integrazione europea, Università degli studi di Siena, 1998,), Europe: Fédération ou nations (Paris: Editions SEDES, 1999, a revised version of the 1998 Italian volume); and L’Unione Europea tra riflessione storica e prospettive politiche e sociali (Siena: Protagon Editori Toscani, 2000,), all edited by the group’s co-ordinator, Ariane Landuyt (Siena). In 1999 the group launched a collaborative taught Master's in European Studies, with each participant receiving EU funding for curriculum development conferences during 1998-2000. It will be applying for further EU funding for a collaborative research project from 2002 on the significance of EU membership for each of the Member States, which will also involve Bradbury. Boyce has worked with Alan O'Day (North London) to produce two edited books, on Ulster Unionism and revisionist interpretations of Irish history. He has also worked with Robert Eccleshall and Vincent Geoghegan (Queen's University, Belfast) on Political Discourse in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Ireland, to be published in 2001. With John Mawson (Dundee), Bradbury contributed to and edited British Regionalism and Devolution, the product of an ESRC-funded workshop programme. Subsequently, he has worked with Lynn Bennie (Aberdeen), David Denver (Lancaster) and James Mitchell (Strathclyde) on an ESRC-funded project researching candidate selection, party modernisation and devolution; five articles have been prepared from this work so far. G. Evans is part of the Southern Africa Study Group at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House researching the politics of post-Mandela South Africa and publishing After Mandela. Haddock's interests in Italian political thought have been refocussed into work on Italian nationalism and national identity. With Gino Bedani (Italian, Swansea), he has edited and contributed to The Politics of Italian National Identity. Taylor has collaborated on various projects relating to the Soviet and Russian cinema and orchestrated the series of the same name for IB Tauris. Vali is a member of the Kurdish History project which has held international conferences in Berlin, Paris and Princeton. He is editing the results of their research, Essays on the Origins of Kurdish Nationalism (in press). He has been a member of the 'Boundaries Research Group' at the University of Uppsala since 1998, working on the interdisciplinary project 'National Boundaries, Sovereignty and Governance in the Contemporary Middle East'. He has extensively discussed his research on democracy and nationalism in the Middle East with audiences in Turkey and Iran.


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Last updated 17 October 2003

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