Students Staff

Our Centre

We explore the complex and multiplying connections between political theory, social problematization and public policy. Embracing normative, critical and empirical perspectives, and focussing on different levels of governance, we bring together diverse voices in teaching, research and public engagement.

Our members share a concern with the diagnosis of pressing social and political issues, as well as their analysis and evaluation through a range of contemporary theories and styles.

Our aims and research

We have a unique plural and transdisciplinary focus on the study of public policies and controversies, using a range of critical and normative idioms of analysis. Our research underpins evidence-based policy analysis and evaluation.

We aim to provide a platform for cross-disciplinary collaborations across the departments of the University and with other benchmark universities both in the UK and Europe. We have close ties with Essex Business School, the Department of Sociology, the School of Law, the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and Philosophy, in the School of Philosophy and Art History.

We also provide links between research and education by actively integrating our students in research projects, hosting seminars, academic visits and working with other institutions.

We want to become a prominent home for humanities and social science fellows, projects, dialogue and debates. We'll build this intellectual community through regular activities, organised within clusters:

  • poststructuralist, post-Marxist and psychoanalytic theories of ideology and discourse
  • contemporary democratic theory and governance
  • research methods in critical political theory and analysis
  • populism and democracy
  • democracy, justice and social movements
  • mass media, communication and political agency

Our events

Throughout the year, we host seminars, workshops and conferences. The date and time of our events this term are to be confirmed.

Study with us

We have close ties to courses in our Department of Government, in political theory, ideology and discourse analysis, and public policy.

Contact us

If you'd like to know more about the work we do, or have any questions, contact us at