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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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We are a multidisciplinary department—this is reflected in the disciplinary diversity of our members and their wide-ranging research.


Our research leads the historical and contemporary study of political thought, international relations, British and European politics, the study of the global South, political economy, public policy and gender.

Our work reaches throughout the University and well beyond Cambridge. 

We appoint outstanding researchers and attract the best students. 



Our research centres within POLIS:


The Bennett Institute for Public Policy 

The Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge aims to become a world-leader in achieving successful and sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time.

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Centre of Governance and Human Rights 

Established in 2009 as an outward-focused multi-disciplinary research endeavour strongly committed to advancing thought and practice within areas of critical importance to global justice and human well-being in the twenty-first century.

The Centre aims to be widely valued as a dynamic, innovative and collaborative research network with proven expertise in core thematic areas, that produces high-quality scholarly outputs drawn upon by the academy as well as policy-makers and practitioners.

Within Cambridge, CGHR brings together wide-ranging expertise from within POLIS and across the University to build a core network of scholars, including graduate researchers. The Centre benefits from the ideas and involvement of a range of academics with expertise in regional politics (Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America), human rights, comparative law, international studies, security studies, anthropology, geography, international development, history and political thought.

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Centre for Geopolitics

An interdisciplinary space created by leading academics to consider within their historical contexts the world's most pressing current geopolitical questions.

The centre seeks to deepen the study of grand strategy and statecraft at the University of Cambridge, offer innovative opportunities for collaboration with practitioners and deliver impactful engagement with the wider world. 

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The European Centre

The European Centre @POLIS aims at bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise on European affairs in Cambridge, including history, law and economics in addition to politics and security studies, and form the focus for research projects, speaker meetings and networks of scholars.

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Cambridge Centre of Political Thought

Cambridge Centre of Political Thought is run jointly with History and offers activities such as seminars, lectures and conferences. Cambridge is a world-leading centre for the study of the History of Political Thought.

Many of the subject’s finest practitioners have studied and taught here, among them John Dunn, Duncan Forbes, Peter Laslett, John Pocock, Quentin Skinner, Gareth Stedman Jones and Richard Tuck.

Through their research and teaching, the present generation of Cambridge scholars constantly takes the subject forward in new directions, reinforced by a large and lively community of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

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Centre for African Studies

The Centre’s primary role is to undertake, promote, and support research and teaching about Africa as well as to build academic engagement with African scholars and institutions.

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Centre of Development Studies

The Centre of Development Studies provides a focus for students wishing to undertake an MPhil or PhD in the area of development. We continue to provide interdisciplinary training where content and style have kept abreast with the changing reality of the developing world and the changing requirements of those seeking to make a career in the development field.

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Centre of Latin American Studies

The Centre's staff and students are involved in research across a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, politics, anthropology, economics, development and cultural studies (including literature and the visual arts) of Latin America. 

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Centre of South Asian Studies

The Centre of South Asian Studies is a world-renowned, and exceptionally vibrant, research centre. It serves all faculties and departments in the University whose teaching and research touches on the regions of South and Southeast Asia. 

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Centre for Gender Studies

The University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies is a multi-disciplinary centre for research and teaching. Working together with over 20 departments within the University and an international network of gender scholars beyond, the Centre conducts outstanding research and teaching on a broad spectrum of approaches to understanding gender and sexuality in relation to the human subject. 

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