Research in Political Science and Public Policy

The study of political life is a broad endeavour including a range of specialties such as international relations, political theory, public policy and social policy. Public policy and social policy are both interdisciplinary areas of research examining how government bodies develop and implement policies in the context of political values and culture, economic constraints, and political party agendas. Social policy research is specifically concerned with how policy links to people’s social needs.

Current research themes at Waikato University include health and ageing care; immigration and sustainable citizenship; pacifism, terrorism and democracy; international relations and security. Recent research reflecting these themes includes:

A Marsden-funded project on sustainable citizenship led by Associate Professor Priya Kurian and focussed on how citizens can have meaningful input into policy decisions, particularly around new and emerging technologies; and a Marsden-funded project led by Dr Rachel Simon-Kumar entitled ‘Engaging Women and Migrants in New Zealand’s public policy’ to explore ideas of citizenship and democracy among minorities.