Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Select tags to filter on

PAIS: A Consistently Top-Ranked Politics Department

We are delighted to announce that the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick has moved up to 3rd place out of 80 UK Politics Departments in The Times/The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022. This prestigious league table also continues to place us 1st in the Russell Group for both ‘teaching quality’ and ‘student experience’. This departmental success was announced just days after the news that the University of Warwick has been recognised as the best university in the UK for teaching quality and as runner up University of the Year by The Good University Guide, the internationally respected British university rankings guide published by The Sunday Times.

Professor Matthew Clayton, Head of PAIS, commented: “It is always pleasing when the collaborative efforts of staff and students to sustain an inclusive and productive learning environment are recognised in national league tables, but particularly gratifying this year given the challenges posed by the pandemic. PAIS is a special department in which every member of the community is supported to find their own voice by engaging with the best scholarship in our discipline. I congratulate colleagues and students alike for their work and look forward to our building on this consistent success in the future.”

Dr Justin Greaves, Director of Student Experience and Progression, commented: “This is brilliant news for the PAIS Department and all our students, alumni, and staff. It follows our great success in the 2021 National Student Survey (NSS) where we were 1st out of all Politics departments in the Russell Group in all categories, including 1st for overall student satisfaction. These consistent results are a testament to the hard work and brilliance of everyone who works and studies in PAIS, along with our ethos as viewing students as partners, producers, and collaborators, and valuing and acting on student feedback. We will continue to place a strong emphasis on academic support, including on study choices, and employability and skills. I look forward to working with our incoming and returning students to ensure that the PAIS Department continues to go from strength to strength. Congratulations everyone!”

Thank you to all our students and staff for PAIS' continued success.

Wed 22 Sep 2021, 08:37 | Tags: Front Staff PhD MA UG Faculty of Social Sciences

PAIS Professor Shirin Rai elected Fellow of the British Academy

The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick is delighted to announce that Professor Shirin Rai, Professor of International Political Economy, has been elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy.

This prestigious award recognises outstanding research across the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2021, the British Academy elected 52 UK Fellows; the University of Warwick's press release can be accessed here.

On receiving her award, Professor Rai said: “I am delighted to have been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy and look forward to working with colleagues in the Academy - particularly in the Politics and International Relations Section - through my research and impact work to address issues of international development, social (in)equalities and innovative methodologies. I thank colleagues in PAIS and the wider gender and politics community for supporting my work”.

Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams, Head of PAIS, commented: “Professor Rai’s election to a Fellowship of the British Academy reflects her long-standing status as a world-leading researcher in gender, political economy, and development. Her Directorship of the Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development (WICID) – hosted in PAIS – is a beacon of excellence across research, education, and impact in the Social Sciences at-large. Colleagues and I are proud of Professor Rai’s scholarly achievements, but PAIS is also very fortunate to benefit from her academic leadership and warm collegiality. Her tireless efforts to support early career scholars and embed principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion have been transformational in the Department. Very many congratulations, Shirin”.

The PAIS Department is home to two Fellows of the British Academy: Professor Shirin Rai and Professor Stuart Elden. 

Mon 26 Jul 2021, 12:40 | Tags: Front Staff Impact PhD MA UG Faculty of Social Sciences

NSS 2021: PAIS top in every category among Russell Group peers

NSS logo with the text The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) is thrilled to announce that, for the second year in a row, we are placed 1st for “overall student satisfaction” among Russell Group Politics Departments in the 2021 National Student Survey (NSS). This is a position that we are proud to have held for 4 out of the past 6 years.

In the NSS 2021, PAIS came top in every category among Russell Group Politics Departments:

  • 1st for Teaching
  • 1st for Learning Opportunities
  • 1st for Assessment and Feedback
  • 1st for Organisation and Management
  • 1st for Learning Resources
  • 1st for Learning Community
  • 1st for Student Voice
  • 1st for Academic Support

The 2021 results show that we are 1st in the Russell Group on 20 of the 27 NSS questions and in 2nd place on a further 5 questions.

For six years in a row, PAIS has ranked either 1st or 2nd on overall student satisfaction amongst the Russell Group. The 2021 outcomes reflect our best ever performance across all categories in our peer group; they demonstrate our close and effective partnership with the student body and our sustained commitment to the student experience.


PAIS position in Russell Group for overall satisfaction














Across all programmes with which we are involved - both single and joint honours - we achieved 84% overall satisfaction. The Russell Group average for Politics was 72%.

These impressive outcomes are due to an outstanding team effort among our fantastic students, academics, and professional services colleagues, and demonstrate a partnership which we are extremely proud of. Thank you to everyone for all your hard work and support for our teaching and student experience during a very challenging year for all concerned. We are pleased that our approach to blended delivery during restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic was appreciated by our students and we will continue to learn from student feedback to further enhance the student experience in 2021/22.

We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with our amazing students and dedicated staff to sustain and build on these strong results, which reflect our deep commitment to research-led teaching excellence. At the start of the new academic year, we will feed back in greater detail to all students and we will discuss and take forward ideas for further enhancement of the PAIS student experience via our Student Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs).

In particular, we will intensify our work on liberating and decolonising the curriculum, employability and building a sense of community and belonging. We will support and promote student wellbeing and work with partner Departments to ensure continued excellence across all programmes, in particular joint degrees.

*See the Office for Students website for more details and the full data. The results are based on the official Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) subject breakdowns and the 20 Russell Group institutions which met the publications threshold for Politics.

Franklyn Lisk Publishes Research Study for the African Development Bank

Professor Franklyn Lisk has recently published a research study, carried out on behalf of the African Development Bank.

This research study was commissioned by the Office of the President, African Development Bank (AfDB), as a ‘knowledge product’ on a new model of a geographically demarcated and integrated agro-industrial ecosystem that the Bank had developed and termed Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone(SAPZ). As the consultant selected for the study, I was required to provide relevant information concerning planning and implementation and policy guidance that can be used by the Bank for the design and programming of the SAPZ as a flagship spatial solution aimed at agricultural transformation and rural development in its 54 member-states across Africa. The study frames the SAPZ model within the institutional mandate of the AfDB as a regional development financing agency; defines and explains key conceptual and strategic (legal, institutional, regulatory and policy) issues; makes use of a political economy framework to illustrate critical factors involved in implementation of the model, such as the role of the state and its engagement with private investors; and presents and evaluates empirical evidence from 8 different country case-studies drawn from existing agro-industrial experiences in the region, as the basis for recommendations pertaining to drivers of success and common pitfalls to avoid. The main ‘takeaways’ from the study are that the SAPZ model has great potential to stimulate structural change with employment opportunities, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, aid transitioning to internationally-competitive and green industrial development, and support regional trade and integration.

You can read the research study here.

Tue 13 Jul 2021, 10:26 | Tags: Front Staff Impact Faculty of Social Sciences Research

Coventry students address United Nations global conference on the legacy of the slave trade

Grave of MyrtillaTwo Coventry school pupils have addressed a prestigious United Nations conference thanks to the support of the University of Warwick’s Colonial Hangover project.

Just five student teams were chosen from around the world to speak. Harvir Dhatt [15] and Aadam Vohra [15] of Lyng Hall School, part of the Finham Park Multi Academy Trust, represented the UK with their presentation at the 12th Annual Global Student Conference on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

This year’s theme was “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice.”

Harvir and Aadam spoke about the links between Coventry and the transatlantic slave trade – which the Colonial Hangover project helps local school students to explore - and also reflected on their own experiences as young men of Indian and Pakistani heritage.

Addressing representatives from 28 countries and H.E. Mr. Alie Kabba, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Harvir said: “Coventry’s legacy still remains unknown to many of the population living in it. Until I had conducted my research for this presentation I hadn't realised how close to home this legacy had existed. It prompted me to question, have I remained too silent?”

Aadam spoke about examples of racism in today’s society such as the abuse directed towards footballers like Marcus Rashford and asked the delegates to consider whether this was a legacy of slavery – “although slavery, as a constitution, has been abolished, the deep-rooted attitudes still have prevalence today.”

“It is vital that we learn to appreciate and value all people regardless of race, religion, skin colour, gender, and respect our differences as points of celebration rather than of division,” Aadam concluded.

Dr Shahnaz Akhter, Research Fellow of the Colonial Hangover project, based within the Department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick, said: “In their presentation Harvir and Aadam focused on placing their local and personal history within the context of the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the year they have really engaged with the work that the United Nations outreach programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery does, and their presentation highlighted why it is so important that we continue these conversations on the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade. These legacies often form part of our everyday environment and the Colonial Hangover project works with schools to examine these hidden legacies.”

Reflecting on the conference, Aadam said: “I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to voice my beliefs and share the history of slavery in my home of Coventry and also my motherland of South Asia. All of the presentations were thought-provoking and inspiring pieces of academic work.”

Harvir said: “I offer my heart-felt thanks towards everyone at the conference, it was an honour to speak in front of so many members about a topic which is not only important but something I am passionate about. Everyone’s presentation was enlightening – the charisma in their work meant I came away with transformed views of the wider issues.”

Mrs Cathy Smith, Associate Headteacher at Lyng Hall, said: “The inspirational and professional delivery and subject matter was both thought-provoking and a pleasure to witness. I’m incredibly proud of the students who represented Lyng Hall on a truly global stage, ably facilitated by our own Miss Lisa Hagan, Director of English, who co-ordinated the project with Colonial Hangover at Warwick University.”

17 June 2021

PHOTO CAPTION: the tomb of Myrtilla in Warwickshire, one of the oldest graves of an enslaved black person in the UK, which was discussed by Aadam in his presentation. Credit: Dr Shahnaz Akhter.

Mon 21 Jun 2021, 10:39 | Tags: Front Staff Impact Faculty of Social Sciences

Older news