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Interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences

Ranked 2nd nationally for research power and 1st among modern universities for research quality by REF2021

The Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) offers global perspectives on the major social transformations of the past and present, specialising in research into cross-border transnational and supranational dimensions of Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. With strong roots in Area Studies, CEISR provides a unique interdisciplinary space for scholars in the humanities and social sciences to identify thematic synergies that break free from disciplinary silos. In doing so, the Centre focuses on three core thematic research areas: marginality, inequality and security.

In the Research Excellence Framework 2021, our entry in Area Studies was ranked as the top modern UK university for overall quality by Grade Point Average (GPA) and research power, and 2nd across all UK universities for research power, according to Times Higher Education. 100% of our impact was rated as having outstanding or very considerable reach and significance.

CEISR’s annual calendar has as its key focus two high profile events: the CEISR Annual Lecture and the CEISR Public Lecture. These high profile events underscore CEISR’s research focus on marginality, inequality and security and its contribution to the building of civic engagement with the humanities and social sciences at the University of Portsmouth.

Partnerships and collaboration

CEISR works with a number of external stakeholders including Chatham House, The European Parliament, The West Africa Peace and Security Network, and Friends Without Borders. CEISR hosts a number of Area Studies PhD students each year through the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (with the Universities of Southampton and Brighton).


Our activities have been funded by major UK and European research councils, including:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • European Social Fund (ESF)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • European Union (EU)
  • British Academy
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

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Publication highlights

View CEISR's research publications on the University of Portsmouth's Research Portal.

Research groups

Decolonising Spaces

We're researching the history, societies, cultures, politics and languages of different regions of the world, with a particular emphasis on decolonial perspectives.

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History Research Group

We're researching aspects of social and cultural history in European societies, and further afield.

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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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Sociology and Social Theory Research Group

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

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Transnational Politics and Society Research Group

Our research focuses on the cross-border dimensions of Europe and the wider world, including transnational politics, civil society and migration.

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Women's and Gender Studies Research Group

We're researching violence against women and girls, access to justice, peace-building and conflict resolution.

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Education, Social Justice and Transformation Research Group

This group seeks to open up opportunities to share and explore critical, radical, alternative and liberatory approaches to the research and practice of education across multiple global contexts.

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Research areas and areas of expertise

Area studies

We're exploring international relations, history, politics, economies, cultures, languages and geography across specific regions.

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We're researching what education looks like for different groups of people around the globe, while pushing for social justice and the human rights agenda worldwide.

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We're understanding our society through the study of experiences, culture, values and activities of people throughout history. 

Young girls on a march in Eastern Europe
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Languages and applied linguistics

We're looking beyond words to explore how they're used in certain contexts, and the relationship words can have with social constructs such as class or power. Explore our languages and applied linguistics research.

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Politics and international relations

We're exploring pressing issues in politics and international relations and working with organisations, governments and individuals to find solutions.

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We're studying the patterns of relationships, social interaction, cultures and communities, and how people live their lives. Explore our sociology research.

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Women's and gender studies

We're exploring women’s issues and gender issues in social and cultural contexts through time, and how gender is represented in the media. Explore our women's and gender studies research.

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Our members

Director of CEISR

Simon Alexander Stewart Portrait

Professor Simon Stewart

Professor of Sociology

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

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Events Coordinators

Media Coordinator

Mark Anthony Kaye

News, blogs and podcasts

Find our more about our latest research successes, read blogs by our academics and listen to the latest ideas and discoveries that look set to change our lives in our Life Solved podcast.

Security and Risk blog

Read the latest insights into security and risk in relation to our modern world, with a focus on government regulations, online safety, cyber wars and travel security.

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