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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

POLIS includes ten Centres and Institutes which embody the intellectual diversity of the Department through their academic programmes and inspirational research across a broad range of subjects.

Our Centres focus on fields including public policy, gender, political thought, the global south, geopolitics, development studies, public opinion and human rights.

Our Centres

Bennett Institute for Public Policy (BIPP)

The Bennett Institute is committed to interdisciplinary academic and policy research into the major challenges facing the world, and to high-quality teaching of the knowledge and skills required in public service.

Our goal is to rethink public policy in an era of turbulence and inequality. Our research connects the world-leading work in technology and science at Cambridge with the economic and political dimensions of policymaking. We are committed to outstanding teaching, policy engagement, and to devising sustainable and long-lasting solutions.

Cambridge Centre for Political Thought (CPIH)

Cambridge Centre for Political Thought is run jointly by POLIS and the History Department. This Centre 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.

Centre of African Studies (CAS)

The Centre of African Studies’ 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.

Centre of Development Studies (CDS)

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.

University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies (UCCGS)

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. 

Centre for Geopolitics (CfG)

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. 

Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR)

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.

Centre of Latin American Studies (CLAS)

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. 

Centre of South Asian Studies (CSAS)

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.

YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research

The YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research is a joint research centre run by YouGov and POLIS, which promotes in-depth collaboration between pollsters and academic experts. Alongside research and events, the Centre contributes to teaching at the University and provides several postgraduate scholarships each year.