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Our mission and values

Politics is at the heart of human life. From an international, to an interpersonal scale, political structures and processes profoundly affect the distribution of resources and human rights. Our vision is a world with a wider understanding of political power, process, and its impact. This is what we study and this is what we teach.
DPIR vision

Ideas that shape the world

Innovation and impact

DPIR is a nexus for big questions and big ideas. We develop innovative new ways for gathering, processing and analysing data; we create new theoretical frameworks; and our research projects tackle some of the most-pressing challenges around the globe.

Pluralism & partnerships

Our diverse research community bridges International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory. This creates a rich intellectual environment for interdisciplinary engagement.

Outstanding teaching

At DPIR we teach students in a way that encourages them to reach their potential. Through the small group teaching of the tutorial system, students engage with a remarkable group of Professors, Lecturers and Tutorial Fellows—people who ask big and important questions and answer them in a thoughtful and often innovative way.

Our strategic priorities are shaped by our teaching mission: We want to employ the best academics, as well as ensure that an Oxford Politics education is available to the very best students from around the world, regardless of financial means.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

In 2020-21 the Department has:

  • set up an Equality and Diversity Working Group within the Department, which reports to the General Purposes Committee and the Sub-Faculty
  • introduced mandatory Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training for DPIR staff
  • incorporated EDI more explicitly into our recruitment processes
  • supported the University's Race Equality Action Plan
  • launched an initiative to diversify and 'decolonise' our curricula in time for the coming academic year
  • recruited graduate students to help us with curriculum work
  • committed DPIR to establishing a safe space for discussion of EDI concerns beginning with a town meeting/focus group facilitated by Planning and Equality Manager, Social Sciences Division
  • made a departmental statement concerning the Rhodes statue

This work is just beginning and we are still learning what needs to be done.  We have much work to do in creating a truly diverse and inclusive community where everyone feels respected and secure, but we are determined in our efforts to achieve this. We welcome your support, your comments, your questions and your participation.   

A safe space to research, teach and learn

You can read our policies and procedures, which outline DPIR's stance on the issues of academic freedom and harassment.