Political Studies: Political Theory, Government and International Relations

This section brings together Fellows who specialise in political studies, including political theory, government and international relations.

What is politics?

Professor Christina Boswell FBA

Professor Christina Boswell FBA explores how definitions of politics have shifted in recent years and sets out the contemporary challenge for political scientists.

Focus of this section

The study of politics has three main branches. International relations is self-explanatory: it deals with the relationships between states. Political theory involves both fundamental questions about politics (eg, ‘why if at all should we obey our government?’), and also the study of great political thinkers of the past such as Plato, Thomas Hobbes, or Mary Wollstonecraft. Comparative government and area studies covers systems of government, political parties, voting behaviour, and political cultures within individual countries and across several or many countries.

Section chair

Professor Desmond King FBA

Andrew W Mellon Professor of American Government, University of Oxford

Sign up to our email newsletters