Politics MPhil/PhD

Major code: PKPR

About us


Postgraduate education and training in Politics has a long and impressive history at the University of Liverpool, matched by cutting edge research expertise.

As a department we've particular research strengths in:-

  • European Politics and Security
  • Nationalism
  • British Politics
  • Irish Politics
  • Caribbean Politics
  • Latin American Politics, Media and Politics
  • Mediterranean Politics

As a postgraduate student, taught or research, you'll be closely involved in our research community and activities, as well as free to pursue a wide range of topics. Completion rates are excellent and our graduate students' work has been widely published.

Staff research interests


E: d.p.dolowitz@liv.ac.uk

David Dolowitz’s research is at the forefront of the political and academic debate relating to policy transfer and lesson drawing, or the way different political systems look to one another for ideas and inspirations in the development of their socio-political system.  In this area, his research has been amongst the chief theoretical influence (particularly in relation to linking knowledge and learning to the transfer concept), and his work on the American influence on the development and operation of the British welfare system is highly regarded in contemporary academic debates.  Second, David is actively involved in examining the role of policy transfer in relation to US environmental regulation (particularly in relation to the development of green building technology and storm-water management).  To date his primary focus has been on the role of German technologies and Ideas, but has recently expanded to include research into cross State and City transfer.  Third, David’s research is at the forefront of the debates surrounding ideological renewal.  This is has been primarily focused on the role of social liberalism and New Labour’s ideological renewal.  However, since the election of the Conservative/Liberal coalition this has focused has shifted to the role of ideas in the development of the Cameron approach to the Party.


E: gavin@liv.ac.uk

Neil Gavin’s research interests extend from political communication to electoral behaviour and methodology. In political communication his specialisations straddle the impact and political significance of coverage of issues such as climate change, peak oil and energy security, the economy, and the Europe and the euro. Neil Gavin also has an interest in public service broadcasting, and in spin and the limits of political image management.


E: richard.gillespie@liv.ac.uk

European Foreign and  Security Policy; Democratization in North Africa; The Union for the Mediterranean; Nationalism and Autonomy in Spain


E: e.harris@liv.ac.uk

Her research focuses mainly on politics of nations and nationalism, identity politics and the relationship between identity, democracy and European integration generally, but particularly in Eastern and Central Europe


E: k.hickson@liv.ac.uk

Dr Hickson’s research focuses on British politics, especially British political ideology and political economy.  He is a prominent contributor to recent debates over the ideological identity of New Labour and of the Conservatives under David Cameron.  He has published highly regarded works on the political thought of all three major political parties in the UK and he is now undertaking cutting edge research in the political ideology of the Coalition Government, concentrating on the meaning of the ‘Big Society’ and how this has led to a number of major policy developments that seek to replace central government provision with direct citizen participation in local voluntary projects and the impact of government on the self-identity of the two Coalition parties.


E: j.tonge@liv.ac.uk

Professor Tonge has written extensively on various aspects of British and Irish politics, publishing fifteen books and dozens of journal articles and book chapters. Professor Tonge has co-edited studies of the last four general elections, the latest being Britain Votes 2010 with Oxford University Press and has been an investigator on five ESRC projects and one Leverhulme Trust research project. He was Director of the ESRC’s 2010 Northern Ireland General Election survey. Professor Tonge is Associate Editor of Parliamentary Affairs and is a regular television and radio broadcaster.


We have excellent library facilities and opportunities for interdisciplinary inputs into research degrees. The Faculty and School run research methods training programmes for postgraduate research students and there are guest lectures and seminars in many areas of politics, communication and media which are open to all. Student presentation sessions provide opportunities to present work-in progress at various stages of completion within a supportive environment. We also offer access to computerised databases on specialist areas of interest: advanced training in IT and data-mining skills.

Professor Erika Harris

We provide the highest standard of expertise and tuition and we are very proud of our postgraduate research community.