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Global governance research

Explore our work in global governance, one of our areas of expertise in Politics and International Relations

Our research in global governance addresses the complex political challenges of a highly-interconnected world.

Our work analyses the factors that produce problems of insecurity, conflict and political exclusion in different regions. We're also investigating the policies, norms and political outcomes associated with global governance actors – from NGOs and social movements, to the European Union and United Nations. Our staff are engaging with policymakers and practitioners to find solutions to the real issues they face.

A significant strand of our research deals with the deficits in accountability and transparency of both elected and non-elected governance actors, and explores the ways in which we can enhance democratic participation in decision-making.

We're also exploring topics ranging from how perceptions of social cohesion and national identity are changing in an age of mass migration, to how norms about the use of weapons of mass destruction are evolving, and the ways in which linguistic barriers affect the participation of aid-recipients in aid projects.

Our research is regularly published in leading international peer-reviewed journals in the field, including the Journal of Common Market Studies, the Journal of European Public Policy, Conflict Security and Development, and the Journal of International Development.

Our researchers also publish monographs with leading academic publishers, such as Cambridge University Press, Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge.

We have also been invited to present policy recommendations from our project, The Listening Zones of NGOs to the House of Lords, the Department of International Development, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a range of NGO bodies, such as Accountable Now, Bond, and the Scotland International Development Alliance.


Our researchers working in this area have expertise in patterns of regional and global cooperation in various policy areas, including international development, security and intelligence, trade and migration. Our work focuses on the following key topics:


  • Accountability of transnational governance actors
  • Conventional and non-conventional global security threats
  • Democratisation and democratic participation in forms of governance
  • Development aid
  • Global governance institutions and actors
  • Lobbying
  • Migration
  • Non-proliferation and deterrence
  • Regional political and economic integration
  • Regional security cooperation


We use a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, including archival research, statistical analysis, social network analysis, document analysis, media discourse analysis, questionnaires, participant/non-participant observation, focus groups, and elite and non-elite interviews.

Collaborations and funders

We work with NGOs, think tanks, civil society networks, and national, regional and transnational governance actors – and offer advice and expertise to policy-makers and practitioners, such as Chatham House, the Centre for Global Cooperation Research in Germany, the Department of International Development, the European Union, the European Parliament, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) and the Overseas Development Institute.

Recent projects have been funded by major funding bodies in the UK and across Europe, including The Arts and Humanities Research Council (ARHC), the British Academy, European Union, and the research councils of Norway and Germany. 

Discover our areas of expertise

Global governance is one of our 4 areas of expertise in our Politics and International Relations research area. Explore the others below.

Citizenship and civil society

We're exploring aspects of citizenship, including identity politics, questions of sovereignty, and how they impact individuals.

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Politics of states and regions

We're working to foster citizen engagement in politics, improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of public institutions as well as the educational experience of students. Explore our politics of states and regions research.

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Security and defence

We're exploring how we can reduce the impact of war, encourage peace, improve the lives of citizens around the world and create a safer, more peaceful world.

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Interested in a PhD in Politics & International Development?

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