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Department  

Department of Social and Political Sciences

The Department of Social and Political Sciences (SPS) has been ranked first among the large departments of social sciences in the 2004-2010 research assessment. SPS conducts and coordinates research and teaching programmes in the fields of social and political theory, public policy analysis, the politics of work and welfare, and the study of culture and of social relations.

Background
The Department was established in April 2012 when it merged the Department of Social and Political Studies and the Department of Labour and Welfare Studies. The widely acknowledged multidisciplinary nature of the original departments was thus reinforced, drawing together sociologists, political scientists, legal scholars, economists and anthropologists who apply their skills to developing collaborative, multidisciplinary research and teaching programs across a large range of issues of contemporary and scholarly importance.

Mission
The Department believes that the social sciences in their plurality are pivotal to understanding contemporary political and social systems and processes of change. For this purpose, it promotes multidisciplinary research and innovative and integrated tertiary educational programmes. As with the best European and international research and models of higher education, it seeks to pool, exchange, challenge and develop the knowledge and expertise of scholars and students of the social sciences.

Objectives
The Department of Social and Political Sciences offers students and junior and senior researchers a physical space, an intellectual environment and training programmes through which they can tackle new and challenging ideas and conduct research into their chosen fields of scientific interest. At the heart of this formation is the Department’s characteristic interdisciplinary approach.

The Department:

  • offers 5 BA programmes (in two cases in association with other departments) and 4 MA programmes, and participates in the teaching activities of several other programmes in the Faculty of Political, Economic and Social Sciences and in the School of Linguistic and Cultural mediation sciences;
  • facilitates and supports participation in international, national and local research programmes and fora, and participation in all aspects and stages of the research process, including collaboration with public institutions and private bodies;
  • promotes the creation of stable national and transnational research networks and organizations so as to bring together both leading and emerging scholars from a range of scientific communities;
  • organizes scientific seminars, conferences and summer/winter schools, also in collaboration with parallel national and international scientific bodies;
  • manages, updates and disseminates bibliographies of the latest research through its own Documentation Centre;
  • manages and develops an IT laboratory which supports research and teaching activities within the department;
  • promotes the establishment and activities of research centres and laboratories, also in cooperation with other departments and universities;
  • facilitates the circulation and public discussion of research results, including through the publication of its own various working paper series, the organization of public seminars, and high profile media interventions;
  • coordinates and conducts research and consultancy activities regulated by contracts and agreements with a variety of public and private institutions in accordance with national laws and the University’s statutes and regulations.

The Department upholds the principle and process of peer review for each and every research activity undertaken at the University and beyond, and further acknowledges peer review as central to academic integrity and independence.

The Department adheres to the principles set forth in the University Code of Ethics and formally commits to respecting the principle of equal opportunity for all.

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