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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.

Ethics in Climate Adaptation and Resilience AHRC Award for Keith Hyams

Keith Hyams and Morten Byskov have been awarded AHRC GCRF funding for their project ‘Inserting Ethics into Climate Adaptation and Resilience Policy’. The project will work with collaborators at the University of Cape Town and with Cape Town city’s climate adaptation department to look at how issues of ethics and justice can be incorporated into responses to climate-related risks. Cape Town has already come perilously close to a city-wide drought and regularly suffers from flooding: the project seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable communities such as informal settlements are incorporated in an ethical manner into city-level protection plans. In addition, Morten Byskov has been awarded a competitive Fellowship at Warwick’s Institute for Global Sustainable Development, which aims to bring researchers together from across Warwick to strengthen cross-departmental collaboration and research in the area of sustainability.

Publication on Latin American security

Tom Long and Sebastian Bitar published a new entry on "International Security in Latin America," for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics. The chapter surveys the state of the field relating to Latin American security, including topics such as state security, transnational organized crime, high homicide rates, borders, and more. In the region, "isolated state responses are insufficient to respond to transnational dynamics; although some coordination has been achieved, intergovernmental responses have produced limited gains and substantial unintended consequences." The piece emerged from collaboration during Dr Bitar's visit as an IAS in 2018; Dr Bitar is an associate professor at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia.

The piece is available here:

Fri 01 Nov 2019, 09:40 | Tags: Front, Staff, PhD, MA, UG, International Relations and Security, Research

New Articles on US Foreign Policy by Georg Löfflmann

Georg Löfflmann has published a new article, "The Obama Doctrine and Military Intervention" in a special issue on US foreign policy in the journal Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs (open access). The article is available here:

Also available online is the article "From the Obama Doctrine to America First: The erosion of the Washington consensus on grand strategy," which was published in International Politics. The article is available here:

Fri 25 Oct 2019, 09:59 | Tags: Front, Staff, PhD, MA, UG, International Relations and Security, Research

New articles on democracy in Latin America by Tom Long

Tom Long published two articles on the regional promotion of democracy in Latin America. Both were written the historian Max Paul Friedman and draw on their recent research. Long and Friedman explore the history of regional efforts to advance and defend democracy, particularly a 1945 proposal called the Larreta Doctrine.

The first new article was published in the policy journal Americas Quarterly. It is titled 'Latin America Already Has a Model to Solve Venezuela."

It can be found here:

The second was published in La Diaria in Uruguay, in Spanish: 'Democracia en peligro en América Latina: ¿reanimar la Doctrina Larreta?'

It is available here:

The underlying research was published in the journal Perspectives on Politics. That article, "The Promise of Precommitment in Democracy and Human Rights: The Hopeful, Forgotten Failure of the Larreta Doctrine," is available open access until 1 November here:

Fri 04 Oct 2019, 11:31 | Tags: Front, International Relations and Security, Research

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