There is much interdisciplinary cooperation here: together with psychologists, the research field of political psychology has been developed. Water conflicts in the Middle East are studied together with engineers, scientists and humanities researchers. Researchers in sustainable environmental policy cooperate with engineers and environmental experts. Welfare policy changes are analysed with researchers within sociology, social work and economics, while researchers of expertise and democracy cooperate with medical researchers in the study of genetic engineering.
Research and education thrive together
The department strives to develop research projects alongside the courses and programmes offered. With committed researchers as lecturers the teaching is dynamic and up to date. And with engaging lecturers as researchers, the research becomes more comprehensible.
One of the department’s strong fields is international relations – negotiations, diplomacy, international political theory, and peace and conflict research. Current projects deal with the role and power relations of transnational agents within world politics, international environmental policy, gender issues within international security, the EU’s foreign policy and identity, and the role played by nationalism and religion in politics.
Another field of research is comparative politics. Ongoing research compares and measures how well political systems function with particular focus on how the structure of political institutions affects politics. Several projects specialise in political economy and the functions of political parties.
A third specialisation is public administration in which research into governance, ethics, leadership, organisation and policy processes shapes different projects. The research develops in relation to different policy areas such as environmental policy, change in public authorities, privatisation, gender and diversity policy, urban policy, integration policy, etc.
Political theory constitutes an independent research specialisation which analyses norms and concepts, among other things. But the subject is also an important part of other fields of political science. At the department in Lund, this is most noticeable within research on democracy. Democracy beyond the nation state is linked to research on international relations and social movements. Democracy theory is an important basis for researchers analysing the influence of experts as well as public administration and public ethics. The democratisation of authoritarian political systems is also an important research field.
Democracy is one of the common key concepts within the subject and power is another. Questions are asked about how the resources of power can be distributed, about the authority of institutions, opportunities for self-determination and how power is created and reproduced.