The politics of global challenges

An image of the world on the edge of a cliff

In line with the university strategic goal of addressing ‘global challenges’ and with the faculty strategic goal of advancing the social sciences, POLIS has set out a ten-year research and educational vision to investigate, understand, and help shape the ‘politics of global challenges’. By the politics of global challenges, we understand two things:

1) the multiple ways in which global challenges are constituted, shaped, and contested by social forces in general (from the scientific through to the political);

2) the way in which these challenges are addressed through structures of power and responsibility (from global governance through to the very repudiation of the global).

Aligning with university academic strategy and underscoring the import of social science inquiry, the School aims to foreground, in sum, the difference between global challenges and the politics of global challenges. The former point to the consequences of global transformations, including pandemics, climate change, poverty, inequality, insecurity, racism, patriarchy, challenges to democratic governance. The ‘politics of global challenges’ defines something more focused: the implications of power, contestation, and response in and for global challenges and transformations, from local to world scales, in the context of a world of interdependent, but multiple and uneven societies.

1) To achieve national and international recognition for both our research and our educational programmes under the canopy-vision of the ‘politics of global challenges’.

2) To create a continuum of engaged students from undergraduate to postgraduate research. To foster a postgraduate community that is aligned with the profile of the School and our research interests, that is made up of a mix of domestic and international cohorts, and that is both rooted in Leeds and online.

3) To think through, and carefully implement, blended education opportunities in order to foster a global community of learning that increasingly answers to our strategic profile.

4) To further interdisciplinary nodes of research and education across the faculty and the university that advances social scientific insight and skillsets.