LSE Government and International Relations submission ranked first in the UK for the percentage of its research graded world leading or internationally excellent.

The LSE Department of Government is one of the largest and most diverse departments of political science in the world, with scholarship covering a broad range of specialisms in theoretical and empirical political science.

Its achievements across these fields are reflected in results from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, to which Government made a joint submission with the LSE Department of International Relations. 44 per cent of the research submitted by the two departments achieved the highest (4 star) grade, indicating that it was considered 'world-leading'; a further 44 per cent was designated 'internationally excellent' (3 star). As a result, the submission was ranked first in the UK for its percentage of 3 and 4 star research and second in the UK for its overall performance. 

Activity within the Department is organised through five research groups - Political Science and Political Economy; Comparative Politics; Political Theory; Conflict; Comparative Public Policy, Administration and Regulation - and through the semi-autonomous Kuwait Programme and Migration Studies Unit. In addition, the Department houses the Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation, European Parliament Research Group, Public Policy Group and British Government @ LSE.

Launched in 2010 to promote engagement with UK government officials, British Government @ LSE is just one of the channels through which scholars provide advice and evidence to local, national and international policy-makers, including the London Mayor’s Office; House of Commons; UK Cabinet Office, Home Office, Treasury, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; foreign governments; EU institutions; and international organisations such as the OECD.

This sort of engagement allows the Department to use its high-quality research to support the development of effective, evidence-based policy. Here in the UK, for example, work led by Professor Patrick Dunleavy has helped shape the evolution of e-government policy, particularly in terms of migrating government services online. As well as supporting the provision of more user-friendly and cost-effective public services, the research prompted significant government investment in digital infrastructure.

The Migration Studies Unit Director, Dr Eiko Thielemann, has likewise contributed to the formulation of policy. His research on the determinants of asylum flows informed UK and European debate on asylum policy, helping to equalise the burdens of Europe’s rapidly-expanding refugee population. Reforms based on Dr Thielemann’s recommendations have already started to rebalance these responsibilities and improve protection capacities in over-burdened countries such as Greece.

Much of the Department’s research is also of public interest, and researchers seek to facilitate and encourage increased understanding of and participation in political processes at home and abroad. Notable examples include their publication of a series of widely-read blogs focusing on policy issues and the institution of, which collects, analyses and publishes all recorded votes in the European Parliament and Council. Underpinned by Professor Simon Hix’s work (with colleagues at New York University and Berkeley) on European voting systems, the website attracts more than 12,000 visitors each month. In addition to supporting increased public engagement with European politics, VoteWatch has helped improve MEP voting attendance, contributing to increased transparency and democratic accountability.

Departmental results: Politics and International Studies|

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Impact Case Study Summaries