Comparative Politics and Government at Oxford


The comparative study of politics and government examines political institutions - from constitutions to executives to parliaments to parties to electoral laws - and the processes and relationships that account for stability and change in political economy, culture, conflict, government, rights and public policy.

Data range from archive documents, official records, surveys, ethnographic observations and interviews, to press, broadcast and internet publications. We emphasise rigour in the interpretation of historical and ethnographic data and in statistical inference.

The comparative study of politics and government is at the heart of the BA degree courses Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and History and Politics. The MPhil in Politics: Comparative Government and the MPhil in Politics: European Politics and Society for many students form the first two years of a four-year doctoral programme, while for others they form a foundation for work in public and private institutions, or for further training in education or the professions. DPIR alumni teach comparative politics and government and European politics in university departments and many occupy leading positions in public and private institutions across the world.

The network of academics who work broadly in the field of comparative politics and government at Oxford intersects with the research communities in Political Theory, International Relations and the many area studies centres to form a vibrant research culture.

The Government and Politics Network organises regular colloquia for staff and students at all levels, along with frequent workshops, seminars and conferences. Graduate students have opportunities to present their own work, discuss the work of visiting speakers and gain experience in organisation and chairing.

The Government and Politics Network welcomes visitors, both doctoral students and senior academics, who participate in seminars, colloquia and conferences, engage with students, and who contribute to Oxford’s superb research environment.