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Area studies research

Explore the work we're doing across our 5 areas of expertise in Area Studies

In a world that's more connected – but fragmented – than ever, Area Studies has never been more important.

This research area explores the fields of international relations, history, politics, economies, cultures, languages and geography across specific regions. From exploring the history of the American civil rights movement, investigating Europe's relationship with Russia, or seeking to understand the causes of conflict in West Africa, our research is helping us make sense of the world.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 25% of our research was rated world leading, and 43% internationally excellent, placing it in the top 10 institutions nationally for impact. Our activities have been funded by major UK and European research councils, including the AHRC, ESF, ESRC, EU, UNESCO, the British Academy and various NGOs.

Our Area Studies areas of expertise

Find out more about the facilities and methods that shape our Area Studies research – and learn more about our recent projects, the academic and industrial partners with whom we collaborate, and the major funders who fund our work.

Research groups

We're researching the legacy of French colonialism and the changing relations between France and the Francophone world.
We're researching the complex reality of the struggles over the meaning of security, citizenship and rights.
We're researching cross-border transnational and supranational dimensions of Europe, the European Union, and the wider world.
We're researching EU politics, European integration and disintegration, and how they are driven by a range of societal actors.

Interested in a PhD in Area Studies & International Development?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Area Studies & International Development postgraduate research degrees page.