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Department of Political Sciences – Mission Statement and Research Focus

The department of Political Sciences has a specific research profile that can be
summarised as follows:

  • Strong research orientation with a considerable number of external grants, researchers and publications;
  • Outspoken international profile. New tenured academic personnel have been recruited from outside of the UAntwerp and also from international universities. Many of these personnel members participate in international comparative projects, hold key positions in international networks, and publish their results in international journals. Students take part in an international PhD programme (NIG, in cooperation with the Dutch universities);
  • Output focuses on publications in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Research is mostly of an empirical nature;
  • Pluralist research agenda. Staff and students engage in many different kinds of research with no specified theoretical framework or method;
  • Tenured academic personnel members are granted full autonomy to pursue any research programme they see fit. Their plans and activities are not interfered with, unless performance is judged to be substandard.
  • Strong common culture of standards regarding what ‘good’ research entails. Students are trained and socialised in this culture.

The department’s research is divided into two spearhead groups: Multi-level Governance and Political Sociology. These spearheads incorporate almost all of the research produced by the department. Multi-level Governance encompasses the research programmes on international relations, the European Union, global governance and public management, while Political Sociology groups research on representation, political communication and political behaviour.