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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 is ranked 4th out of 80 UK Politics Departments in The Times/The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. This prestigious league table also places us 1st in the Russell Group for both ‘teaching quality’ and ‘student experience’.

This follows recent rankings of 4th in The Complete University Guide 2021 and 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2021 making PAIS one of the most consistently top-ranked Politics Department in the UK. For the last seven years, PAIS has held a ‘Top 7’ place in all three major national league tables:









The Times/ Sunday Times








The Complete








The Guardian








The Times Good University Guide 2021: Where to Go and What to Study: O'Leary, John, Times Books: 9780008368289: Books

Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams, Head of PAIS, commented: “Congratulations to all on another outstanding outcome. Our winning formula for success means that we enjoy a consistent appearance at the very top of all major national league tables. Students and staff know that PAIS is a special Department in which every member of the community is supported to find their own voice and reach their full potential. Such consistency and high levels of support are arguably more important than ever as we face these turbulent times together”.

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 2020 National Student Survey (NSS) where we were 1st or 2nd in the Russell Group in 6 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. 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.

Overall the University of Warwick is ranked 10th.

Mon 21 Sep 2020, 09:41 | Tags: Front Staff PhD MA UG Faculty of Social Sciences

Keith Hyams Wins the 2020 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy

The International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) is pleased to announce publicly the winner and finalists for the 2020 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy. ISEE established the award to promote work in public philosophy and honor contributions to the field by Dr. Andrew Light, who was recognized for his distinctive work in public environmental philosophy at ISEE’s 2017 annual summer meeting.

With this award, ISEE strives to recognize public philosophers working in environmental ethics and philosophy, broadly construed, and who bring unique insights or methods that broaden the reach, interaction, and engagement of philosophy with the wider public. This may be exemplified in published work or engagement in environmental issues of public importance.

This year’s honorees have made important contributions and provide distinctive examples of the work in public environmental philosophy that is happening today. The winner and finalists will be honored at an International Society for Environmental Ethics group session at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association on Thursday, January 14, 2021.

This year’s Light Award winner is Dr. Keith Hyams, Reader in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at University of Warwick (United Kingdom). Dr. Hyams, who earned his DPhil at University of Oxford in 2006, has published academic research in areas that include climate ethics, climate justice, urban resilience, and the governance of global catastrophic risk. However, what distinguishes him as a public environmental philosopher is his work across disciplines, sustained collaboration with non-governmental organizations, and public engagement on issues that include urban adaptation in low income countries, environmental and human rights for Indigenous peoples, and health and environmental injustice in informal settlements in six African cities (Johannesburg, Lusaka, Kampala, Nairobi, Lagos, and Freetown). Dr. Hyams’s collaborators describe his approach as “always one of developing a constructive partnership,” and note that he brings to this work methodologies that help various publics and policymakers to integrate and constructively discuss ethical issues at stake in environmental decisions. Dr. Hyams’s work on climate adaptation is especially notable. In this area, he has served as an ethics advisor to the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change network, co-authored a report on ‘Remedying Injustice in Indigenous Climate Adaptation Planning: Climate Ethics, Inequality, and Indigenous Knowledge’ (available at:, served as an advisor to the city of Cape Town climate adaptation department, and worked with international NGOs such as Oxfam and Practical Action on the ethics of climate adaptation. Additionally, Dr. Hyams has mentored six postdoctoral researchers and multiple doctoral students, helping them to develop their own skills in publicly engaged environmental philosophy. This year’s Andrew Light Award recognizes the collaborative, publicly engaged, and ethically grounded work of Dr. Keith Hyams as distinctive contributions to public environmental philosophy.

This year’s finalists are Dr. Kian Mintz-Woo of University College Cork (Ireland) and Dr. Jeremy Moss of University of New South Wales (Australia).

Dr. Mintz-Woo, a lecturer at University College Cork, is an early career scholar who has already demonstrated a sustained commitment to publicly engaged philosophy. As a graduate student at University of Graz, Kian Mintz-Woo helped to develop a public art exhibition, Exhibition CliMatters, which was shown in multiple venues in Austria and drew over 1700 visitors, and he founded, organized, and contributed to the Climate Footnotes blog ( As a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, Dr. Mintz-Woo collaborated with Professor Peter Singer on an article, “Put a Price on Carbon Now!” published in Project Syndicate on May 7, 2020. Dr. Mintz-Woo’s academic writing focuses on climate ethics, particularly carbon pricing, discounting, and the social cost of carbon.

Dr. Jeremy Moss is a Professor of Political Philosophy at University of New South Wales (Australia) whose work focuses on climate justice, the ethics of renewable energy, and ethical issues associated with climate transitions. He is Director of the Practical Justice Initiative and leads the Climate Justice Research program at UNSW as part of this initiative. Professor Moss’s work has been featured in The Guardian, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), National Aboriginal Radio, Al Jezeera, and LeMonde, and he has developed a Climate Justice website ( “to provide accessible discussions of the justice-related issues that underpin an effective response to climate change.” In addition, he has published op-eds on climate ethics in The Conversation, including “When It Comes to Climate Change, Australia’s Mining Giants are an Accessory to the Crime”).

Tue 12 Jan 2021, 10:55 | Tags: Front Staff Impact Faculty of Social Sciences Research

Peter Burnell has chapter published in Comparative Politics

Peter Burnell's chapter 'From supporting democracy to supporting autocracy' can be read in the recently published, revised and updated fifth edition of Daniele Caramani's popular advanced textbook, Comparative Politics, published by Oxford University Press.

Fri 04 Dec 2020, 14:35 | Tags: Staff

In Memoriam: Professor Zig Layton-Henry

Zig Layton-Henry (BA Birmingham, PhD Birmingham), Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Warwick, was born on 28 August 1942 to a Polish father and Scottish mother. In 1968, Zig joined what was then the Politics Department at Warwick. Zig’s initial research was on youth movements in political parties. His key contribution, however, was in the field of race in British politics where he was a scholar of very significant national and international standing.

Zig developed an acute understanding of governmental policies and their effects upon Black and ethnic minority communities in England. Despite his outstanding contribution to the understanding of race relations in British politics, Zig was always very modest about his work. He published a number of well received books – such as The Politics of Race in Britain (George Allen & Unwin, 1984) and The Politics of Immigration: Race and Race Relations in Post-War Britain (Blackwell, 1992) – co-edited the leading book series in that area, and supervised doctoral students. Zig also led and reenergised the Warwick ESRC Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, particularly encouraging young scholars to participate in its work, attracting prestigious overseas scholars to Warwick and running a number of high-profile academic and policy-related events.

Zig was always very popular and extremely well appreciated among the doctoral students he supervised. Several kept in touch with him over the years after their successful completion, even to the extent of inviting him to their home country to give guest appearances. Colleagues across the institution remember him as ‘a global superstar’, ‘collegial’, ‘a true gentleman’, and, first and foremost, a ‘very decent person’.

Shirin Rai, Professor of Politics and International Studies at Warwick, commented: ‘Zig was a kind and generous colleague, with a gentle manner and good humour, but his political commitment to race equality was however fierce and steadfast’.

William Paterson, former Chair of PAIS and now Honorary Professor of German and European Politics at Aston University, said: ‘Zig was a good scholar and an excellent person -he played a key role at an important juncture in the history of the Department’.

As PAIS continues to enjoy sustained success across education and research, we remember and celebrate the life and contribution of a founding figure and one of our most distinguished colleagues.

Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams
Head of Department
11 September, 2020

If you knew Zig and are affected by this news, there is a range of University support available to all staff and students. The Wellbeing Support Services website gives more details about support available, or you can contact the team on 024 76 575570, ext. 75570.

Mon 14 Sep 2020, 09:52 | Tags: Staff

Šádí Shanaáh delivers presentation to the Government’s Commission for Countering Extremism

Šádí Shanaáh has given a presentation followed by a Q&A to the government’s Commission for Countering Extremism. He presented the results of his doctoral research entitled “Under Pressure: Muslims’ Engagement in Counter-Extremism” and engaged in a discussion about the lack of robust empirical evidence regarding the perception of counter-extremism and counter-terrorism policies by UK Muslim communities and the lack of research into the attitudes, motivations and work of Muslims who are active in addressing Islamist extremism.

The Commission’s tweet about the event is available here:

Tue 18 Aug 2020, 13:58 | Tags: Staff, Research

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