Russian city skyline at dusk


Explore our work in Russian studies, one of our 5 areas of expertise in Area Studies

We're considering the history and politics of Russia, and the former soviet states in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as their external relations.

In order to understand the current difficulties in relations with Russia, it's important to investigate questions around the nature of the current Russian political system, how Russia sees itself on the world stage, and problems in relations with the EU.

Through our research, we're learning about the issues on the EU's eastern borders, and how the UK and EU should react. Presentations have been made to DSTL (MOD) on Russian Politics and Foreign Policy.

We've been teaching and researching on Russia for over 40 years. We have partner links with Kazan University in Tatarstan, Russia, and cooperation with colleagues in St Petersburg University. We're also members of the EU-Russia research network.

Research informs Russian and Eurasian Politics units on the BA Politics; International Relations degrees, and also informs teaching on the EU’s relations with Eastern Europe and Russia in the unit 'From Security to Risk: International Security in the Twenty First Century' on the MA International Relations degree.

We've been featured in interviews on BBC News, Meridian Today, and over 100 local and national newspapers following the Novichock poisoning of the Skrypals. Our work has been published in the Journal of Contemporary European Studies, and Perspectives on European Politics.

Our work has been funded by the European Commission, for Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence to support project on EU’s eastern external relations.

Our research covers the following key topics

  • Soviet History
  • Russian Politics
  • Russian External Relations
  • Politics and  external relations of the former soviet states


We use qualitative research methods, typically analysis of written sources, and interviews where possible.

Recent project highlights include

Discover our areas of expertise

Russian studies is one of 5 areas of expertise within our Area Studies research – explore the others below.

African Studies

We're building knowledge on conflict in West Africa, with a particular focus on issues in the West African Sahel.

Children walking in arid African landscape
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American Studies

We're exploring questions around the powers of the state, and the fight for civil rights in and beyond the context of US politics and society.

Capitol building, Washington DC, USA
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European studies

We're studying societal change, the institutional and legal dynamics of the EU and its member states, and Europe’s global political role.

Row of European union flags
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French studies

Through our research, we're exploring the politics of France and French-speaking countries in the world.

The Louvre in Paris, France
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Research groups

Sociology and Social Theory Research Group

Our research is located in the disciplinary field of sociology and the interdisciplinary domain of social theory. Find out more

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Citizenship, Race and Belonging

We're researching issues around citizenship and why people are considered to belong within certain nation-states.

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Peace Conflict and Security Research Group

We're researching the complex reality of the struggles over the meaning of security, citizenship and rights.

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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.