Research Degrees: Politics and International Studies
The Department of Politics and International Studies accepts students for research work leading to a PhD. The central feature of PhD work is the close relationship between the research student and his or her supervisor, in which they meet regularly and consult closely. This relationship is supported and strengthened in various ways.
Every research student has an adjunct supervisor, another member of staff with a close interest in the student’s region and/or sub-field of the discipline. There is a research tutor with overall responsibility for research students who is available for a discussion of general problems. In addition there are a number of other activities which contribute to a research student’s work and training.
All incoming PhD research students are required to take PhD training courses in their first year. Within the Department regular seminars are held to which political scientists working on Africa and Asia or on other relevant aspects of the discipline are invited to give presentations or lead discussions. Students are encouraged to suggest themes for such meetings, and may in due course present papers. During term-time many other seminars on African and Asian themes are held within the School. New research students are often encouraged, and may be required, to attend MSc courses relevant to their research.
Almost all SOAS research students spend some time doing field work in the regions of their research. The Department and the School, through their various connections with individuals and institutions in the universities and governments of Asia and Africa, facilitate this work with personal contacts and introductions.
The School’s language training facilities are available to students in order to develop their facility in an appropriate language for research purposes. Applicants must normally have an advanced degree equivalent in level and content to the Department’s MSc in Politics.
The Department has approximately 30 MPhil and PhD students and more than 70 MSc students at any one time.
Some Recent Research Theses
Simona Vittorini – Representing the Nation: Competing Symbolic Repertoires in India
William Judson Dorman – The Politics of Neglect: The Egyptian State in Cairo 1974–1998
Academic Staff and their Research Areas
Dr Arshin Adib-Moghaddan BA MA(HAMBURG) PHD(CAMBRIDGE)
International politics of West Asia; Iranian foreign and domestic politics; Critical theories of international relations; US foreign policy in the “third world”; Islamic political and intellectual history
Dr Fiona Adamson BA(STANFORD) MA PHD(COLUMBIA)
International Relations Theory; International Security; Migration and Diaspora Mobilisation; Globalisation and Global Governance; Transnational Identity Movements
Dr Rochana Bajpai BA(BARODA) MA(JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIV) PHD(OXON)
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor / Programme Convenor (PhD)
Contemporary political theory, particularly multiculturalism; methodology, particularly political ideologies; modern Indian politics
Dr Felix Berenskoetter MA (RUTGERS), PHD (LSE)
International Relations Theory, concepts of identity and power, politics of space and time, Cold War history, critical security studies, special relationships, international institutions, European foreign and security policy and transatlantic relations
Professor Stephen Chan BA MA (AUCKLAND) MA (LONDON) PHD (KENT)
Politics of southern Africa, normative values and non-Western methodologies
Dr Bhavna Davé BA MA(BOMBAY) PHD(SYRACUSE)
Kazakhstan: politics of language, ethnicity and nationalism in post-Soviet countries
Dr Dafydd Fell BA(LEEDS) PHD(LONDON)
Domestic politics in Taiwan, particularly party politics, election campaigning, gender politics and political corruption
Dr Stephen Heder BA MA(CORNELL) PHD(LONDON)
South East Asia, particularly Cambodia: political violence
Dr Stephen Hopgood BSC(BRISTOL) DPHIL(OXON)
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor / Programme Convenor
International relations theory; anthropology of the international; international politics of human rights
Dr Salwa Ismail BA(CAIRO) MA(MCMASTERS) PHD(MCGILL)
Urban politics and state-society relations in the Middle East; the study of islamism; Islamist movements; modern Arab and Islamic politic thought; political ethnography
Dr Laleh Khalili BSC(TEXAS) PHD(COLUMBIA)
Policing and incarceration, gender, nationalism, political and social movements, refugees and diasporas in the Middle East
Dr Yuka Kobayashi LLB (Kyoto) MPhil DPhil (Oxford)
Human Rights, WTO, Environment, with reference to China and East Asia
Dr Tat Yan Kong BA(NEWCASTLE) MPHIL DPHIL(OXON)
Head of Department
Korea and Taiwan: government-business relations; comparative political economy; late industrialisation; development theory
Dr Mark Laffey BA MA(CANTERBURY, NZ) PHD(MINNESOTA)
Postgraduate Admissions Tutor / Programme Convenor (International Politics)
International relations theory; international political economy
Dr Matthew J Nelson BA(BOWDOIN) PHD(COLUMBIA)
South Asian politics with special reference to the politics of Islamic identity in North India and Pakistan
Dr Lawrence Saez BA(CALIFORNIA) MALD(FLETCHER) MA PHD(CHICAGO)
Comparative and international politics: international political economy, comparative political economy, emerging markets, South Asi
Dr Julia C Strauss BA(CONNECTICUT COL.) MA PHD(CALIFORNIA)
China and Taiwan: public administration and civil service, regulation, state and society, and environmental politics in China
Professor Charles R H Tripp BA(OXON) MSC(POL) PHD(LONDON)
Middle East: states and ideologies, war, Islamic political thought
Dr Leslie Vinjamuri BA(WESLEYAN) MSC(ECON) PHD(COLUMBIA)
International Relations Theory: International Organisations, Post conflict Reconstruction and State building, the Politics of International Criminal Justice, and Civil Liberties and Human Rights in the war on terror
Dr Tom Young BSC MA PHD(LONDON)
Southern Africa: international politics; South African domestic politics; political theory
Research Training Year 1
Students are expected to upgrade from MPhil to PhD student status within twelve (12) months of their registration. It must be stressed that transfer from initial registration from MPhil to PhD is NOT automatic. Successful completion of the WHOLE training programme is a requirement for progression from MPhil to PhD. This means students must attend all courses and complete all written assignments. They will be expected to produce an upgrade paper before the end of Year 1 which will allow them further progress.
Students undertaking fieldwork will generally do so in their second year. A maximum of three terms’ fieldwork is usually permitted in a full-time PhD programme. Fieldwork of longer than 12 months has to be approved by the Associate Dean for Research.
Training Beyond Year 1
Throughout the process of research design, fieldwork, and writing, students are expected to maintain regular contact with their supervisors. The work of writing the PhD dissertation is the student alone, supported, of course, by regular meetings with the supervisor. Advanced PhD Students are strongly encouraged to participate in workshops offered outside SOAS and to attend and present at conferences organised by the major research associations in the field.
Teaching is an important part of doctoral training for PhD Students considering an academic career. The Department aims to regularly offer advanced Research Students the possibility to work as a Tutor (or Graduate Teaching Assistant, GTA) on one of the courses offered in the Department for a maximum of two years. Tutorial duties involve seminar teaching, PhD Research Handbook 2011-12 holding office hours, and marking. Research Students taking on a Tutor post are expected to have completed a GTA training module offered by the Academic Development Directorate (usually offered in September, see ADD website).
How to apply
How to apply
- Research Admissions and Applications
- Online Application
- Funding options
- English language requirements
- Tuition Fees
- Admissions Contacts
- Doctoral School
Application Deadline: 2014-02-14 16:00
Application Deadline: 2014-04-30 17:00
Application Deadline: 2014-03-21 17:00
Application Deadline: 2014-01-31 17:00
Application Deadline: 2014-02-28 17:00
A Student's Perspective
Berkay Gulen, MSc International Politics
If you are looking for alternative approaches and think that “another way is possible”, SOAS can be the right choice.