OxPo was initially created in 2005 as an agreement between Sciences Po, the CNRS and two departments in Oxford (DPIR and Sociology) as the Oxford-Sciences Po Programme. In 2008, the Maison Française replaced the CNRS as the third partner. OCEH joined in 2014. DSPI joined in 2015.
The objective of OxPo is to foster and stimulate joint scientific projects. The wide range of interests of faculty and students from both institutions means that the projects developed under OxPo auspices cover practically all aspects of the transformations of polities and societies. To accomplish this goal, OxPo facilitates faculty and doctoral/postdoctoral exchanges between three social science and humanities departments at Oxford and Sciences Po. Every year, up to six faculty members and six junior scholars from each side spend time at the other institution.
OxPo also coordinates comparative research projects and joint events including workshops, graduate conferences and seminars. It has provided seed money to launch research collaborations and supported various collaborative projects leading to the organisation of international conferences and to publications.