Want to Study Politics Through Clearing? Apply to University of Southampton

Want to know why UK citizens are so disillusioned with politics and what can be done about it? We’re on it. Interested in studying British politics and elections? We’re the home of the Telegraph’s Polling Observatory. Additionally, our students engage in real-world research with prospective employers. For more reasons to study Politics and International Relations at University of Southampton, explore the diversity of content written by staff and students on our group blog here at SotonPolitics.org.

If you’re interested in studying Politics at the University of Southampton, we’ll spare you a labyrinth of confusing websites. From 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, just call our hotline 02380 598989 and say you want to apply for a Politics degree!

(If you really love websites you can learn more about clearing at Southampton here.)

A Debate on Ukraine, Crimea, Russia and International Law’s (In)Capacity

Tonight, academics from Southampton Law School and Southampton University’s Department of Politics and International Relations will debate the place of international law in the Crimean crisis and ask what it means to brand Russia’s action ‘illegal’. The debate will be held tonight at 6pm in Building 46, Lecture Theatre A (Room 3.001).

Professor Rod Rhodes awarded #PSA2014 Special Recognition Award


Professor Rod Rhodes of the Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Southampton, has been awarded a Special Recognition Award by the UK Political Studies Association. The award was the unanimous choice of a jury of distinguished academics and journalists who met recently at Westminster. The jurors agreed that Rod’s contribution to political science has been outstanding and increased enormously understanding of how government works and done much to raise the esteem of the discipline. The award was presented by Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) at the recent Political Studies Association Annual Conference in Manchester.

You can read more about Rod’s work on his website.

Poster Session for @sotonpolitics Undergraduate Dissertation Projects

By Matt Ryan, Politics & International Relations

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The coolest but often most challenging piece of work for undergraduates is their final year dissertation – a 10000 word paper based on their own research , conducted under supervision of a member of academic staff. The hardest part of this process often comes at the beginning. Students need to find a research question and a method of answering that question that stands up to scrutiny. One of the most difficult challenges in research is taking the questions and hunches we have about what is going on ‘out there’ in the world and turning them into research proposals – that is focused, methodical approaches to understanding the conundrums of social and political phenomena. We start out like children in a sweet shop. We want to consume all the information we can get but this would take too long and if we just try to stuff our face the conclusion won’t be much to look at anyway! At Southampton from the beginning we work closely with students to guide their research and we have introduced numerous teaching innovations to our second year methods module that I convene with @jmrphy to help them along.

Academics regularly use posters as a medium to communicate their research at conferences. They are an extremely useful and undervalued tool – they force the researcher to think carefully about how their research should appeal to an audience that is not captive (it is easier to move past a poster than walk out of a presentation). They also discipline us to think about how research can be communicated and understood quickly and easily.  This year, developing a great idea first shared by @Alison_statham at DMU (see here), we asked 2nd year students to design a poster to communicate their research proposals. On Wednesday we held a special event where they presented their posters to their colleagues (students and us staff). There was a great buzz of excitement and a superb collegiate atmosphere with students and staff feeding back to one another on research plans. We were really impressed with our students work. We certainly found that students were inspired to be creative, adding a bit of personality to their research, but also they were a lot more focused in communicating logical approaches to social inquiry. It is always a great challenge even for experienced researchers to guide students through what can be a challenging process but a very rewarding one when we see the quality of their work.

Ukraine, Crimea, Russia and International Law’s (In)Capacity: invitation to a debate

By Dr Kamil Zwolski, Politics and International Relations

The language of international law has dominated news coverage and commentary on recent events in Crimea. Most international lawyers have condemned Russia’s ‘unlawful’ use of force and its ‘illegal annexation’ of Crimea.

Reflecting on international legal reaction to recent events in Crimea and public perceptions of international law’s capacity to address such crises, academics from Southampton Law School and Southampton University’s Department of Politics and International Relations will debate the place of international law in the Crimean crisis and ask what it means to brand Russia’s action ‘illegal’. We hope you will join us, and join the debate.

The debate will be held on May 1st at 6pm in Building 46, Lecture Theatre A (Room 3.001).

You can register here.