Studying at Nuffield College
Students are given by the Faculty Board a University Supervisor who has principal responsibility for the student's studies. The University Supervisor is often a Fellow of Nuffield, but is not necessarily so. The main objective in the selection of the University Supervisor is to provide the student with guidance from the person with the greatest expertise in the particular area of the student's interests. In addition, the College appoints a College Supervisor, who has special responsibility for the welfare of the student and who provides continuing academic assistance during the student's period in Nuffield.
Students thus benefit from a dual supervisory system that ensures a high level of support throughout their postgraduate studies.
Politics at Nuffield spans the field of political science, in its broadest sense. Fellows and students work on topics in comparative politics, comparative political economy, electoral politics and political sociology, political history, foreign policy and international relations. The College is particularly well represented in the politics of Britain, the United States, Latin America and Europe (including the EU), but students in the Politics Group are engaged in research on many other areas, including India, South-East Asia, and Africa. There is also a strong political theory group, whose members work on a range of historical, contemporary and international questions. The international group spans historical, psychological and rational approaches and engages topics including the decline of empires, foreign policy decision-making and international institutions and law.
The College has a particular strength in the statistical analysis of social science data sets, where students in Politics often collaborate with fellows in neighbouring disciplines.
The permanent fellows in the Politics Group can provide advice and supervisory help on most specialised topics and sub-fields within political science. In addition, the Group runs an active academic visitors' programme, which brings senior figures in the discipline to Nuffield for periods ranging from a few weeks to a year, and these visiting scholars are encouraged to make themselves available to students for consultation. Students also have access to politicians, civil servants and political researchers who are attached to the College through our visiting fellowship programme.
Most Politics/IR students who come to Nuffield do so with a DPhil as their final goal. Some take master's degrees, for example - the one-year MSc in Politics Research, or the two-year MPhil in International Relations - as a first step, though students who already have adequate research training in politics may be admitted by the University to Probationer Research Student status, which leads directly to the DPhil without further coursework. Some students who have completed an MSc or an MPhil elsewhere in Oxford choose on academic grounds to move to Nuffield to complete a DPhil - for instance if their supervisor is located here. The particular research topics chosen by Politics students at Nuffield vary widely from one cohort to the next.
The Politics group is able to offer some additional financial support and graduate students are also provided with offices. For further information please see ‘Funding your studies’.
One or two visiting students in Politics, working for PhDs in other universities, may also be admitted for a maximum of one year. Applications must be submitted at least two terms in advance of the proposed visit. The next deadline for applications will be advertised in due course. If you have any questions about visiting student status, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The research interests in politics of permanent Fellows of the College include:
Nancy Bermeo Comparative regime change, institutional design, social movements, economic development, political violence.
John Darwin The history of European imperialisms, particularly the British empire circa 1880-1970. The history and politics of decolonisation.
Ray Duch Quantative methods, comparative political economic, public opinion research, and democratization.
Geoff Evans Political sociology: class, inequality, & politics; measuring social attitudes & perceptions; ethno-political divisions; transitions to democracy.
Yuen Foong Khong United States foreign policy, international relations theory, and the international politics of the Asia Pacific.
Desmond King Comparative Government and American Politics. Main interests in comparative public policy including welfare states and labour market policy; race and politics especially in American political development; democratization; immigration; and the politics of social research.
Iain McLean Applications of rational choice theory to politicians, bureaucrats and voters. Apportionment and redistribution. UK politics, including elections and core-periphery relations. The political economy of lobbying and the environment, including historical studies. Rollcall voting in the House of Commons. History of social choice theory. The politics of health and safety regulation.
David Miller Political theory. Main interest in contemporary political theory, especially theories of justice and equality, the ethics of market economies, and the concepts of nationality and citizenship. Subsidiary interest in the history of political thought from Hobbes onwards.
David Rueda Comparative political economy, welfare state, labour market policy.
Gwendolyn Sasse Post-Communist Transitions, Comparative Democratisation, Ethnic Conflicts; Minority Rights; Migration, EU Eastern Enlargement
Duncan Snidal International relations theory, institutional organizations, cooperation, international law, rational choice.
Laurence Whitehead Recent work on international aspects of democratisation, and on the relationship between democratisation and economic liberalisation. Main focus on Latin America.