Message from the Head of the School

SPAIS – the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies –  is an interdisciplinary research and teaching environment with close to sixty academic staff, where prominent scholars of sociology and politics and international relations teach and research on pressing theoretical questions and engage in cutting-edge empirical research.  SPAIS staff are internationally renowned in their fields; their ideas are published in academic books and journal papers, policy reports, blogs and newspaper articles, and are discussed in lively debate across the School through events organised by our Research Centres, as well as in lectures, seminars, round-tables and small group or one-to-one meetings.

There has never been more need for innovative, relevant and rigorous social and political science.  Our research and teaching in SPAIS addresses some of the most important topics that face everyone today: questions of globalisation, risk and uncertainty; issues of security and the resilience of states; of gender and social inequality; problems of migration, ethnicity and citizenship; and dilemmas of global development and sustainability.  We address these with reference to our research conducted in areas as diverse as the societies of East Asia, the European Union and the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.

SPAIS is also a lively and friendly place in which to work and study.  Benefiting from the distinctive ambience of the city of Bristol and the excellent facilities of the University, we provide a welcoming and supportive approach to students - undergraduate and postgraduate - and to scholars from diverse parts of the world.

Professor Therese O'Toole

Head of the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS)

SPAIS HoS image
Professor Therese O'Toole, Head of the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
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