The Department's research activity makes it one of the very top political science departments in Europe, and indeed in the world. A recent cross-national survey placed it 11th among the several hundred political science departments in Europe, and it rose to 3rd when the number of staff was taken into account. It was ranked 40th in the world and, once again, 3rd when size was taken into account. (Fuller details can be found in Simon Hix, 'European universities in a global ranking of political science departments', European Political Science 3:2 (2004), pp. 5-23, and at Simon Hix)
Details of recent publications by members of staff can be found on the staff web pages.
The Department has particular strengths in a number of areas. It is known world-wide for its work on the European Union, comparative politics and comparative political institutions, with an emphasis on voting behaviour, political parties, legislatures, elections, and electoral systems. It is also strong in the areas of public policy, political economy, Irish politics, international relations, political geography, democratic theory, and transition politics. The list below indicates in broad terms the areas in which department staff specialise. For more detailed information, individual lecturers' own sites give an idea of the kind of research work that staff members are engaged in, and the kind of work by doctoral students that they would be able to supervise.
Political Institutions, with an emphasis on Elections and Parties
The Department has particular strengths in the comparative study of elections, electoral systems, voting behaviour, and party membership studies. Members have published extensively in these areas. The Department is home to an archive of Irish survey data and to a database of electoral system indices:
Members of the Department are active in studying different aspects of the EU, notably the European Parliament, policy-making, implementation, and decision-making within the council. See in particular:
Members of the Department have been heavily involved in a number of studies of aspects of politics in the Republic of Ireland, such as Ireland's first National Election Study in 2002, with a second study after the 2007 election and a third after that of 2011. Several members of the Department have contributed to the most recent edition of the standard Irish politics textbook, Politics in the Republic of Ireland and to the How Ireland Voted series of election studies including the most recent book, How Ireland Voted 2011. Other work in this area includes Days of Blue Loyalty, the first ever study of the members of an Irish political party. A future funded project is on the (absence of) the extreme right in Ireland. See in particular:
International Relations and Security
Members of the Department, working within the broad framework of IR, place particular emphasis on international organisation, human rights, international political economy, global governance, and trade policy. See in particular:
There is a long tradition at Trinity of research in the field of political theory. See in particular:
Several members of the department have published on aspects of judicial politics and the relationship between politics and the courts:
Staff and students in the Department work actively in the field of transition politics, with a particular emphasis on postcommunist systems. See in particular:
The Department has a number of research students working in this area. See in particular:Back to Top