Political Science at Örebro University is characterised by a diversity of political science perspectives and areas of inquiry. The research environment is inclusive and open to a variety of research areas, theoretical perspectives, and methodological approaches. Our research connects to some of the central concepts in political science, such as the state, democracy, policy, participation and institutions. We conduct research within areas such as political theory, policy and planning studies, institutional theory, political socialisation, comparative politics, public administration, and political participation.
Research and teaching in political science are highly integrated, with teachers being involved in teaching subjects within which they conduct their own research. We offer courses in political science from the introductory to the graduate level. We offer a bachelor level programme in Public Administration and Leadership, a Master’s programme in Public Planning for Sustainable Development; and contribute to both the Social Studies Teacher Education Programme and the Urban and Regional Planning programme. We also have a successful Political Science PhD programme.
Political Science has a long tradition of conducting multi-disciplinary research and of being involved in cooperative projects with outside stakeholders. Adopting a diversity of perspectives – both from within and outside of academia as well as across disciplines – not only provides an important basis for making scientific advances, it also contributes with valuable knowledge that can be used to address important societal challenges and to create a better society.
Through the research environment Democratic Government in Change (DGc), research from different political science sub-fields is used to understand and explain how societal reforms and processes of change affect and alter the nature and functioning of democratic systems. Within this research environment, we primarily conduct research within two interrelated themes.
Citizen participation, democracy and civic engagement
The focus of this research is primarily citizens in democratic contexts, and on how civic and political knowledge, values, attitudes, interests, and engagement form and develop. The research relates to several theoretical fields, such as political socialisation, civic education, political communication, political participation, and democratic innovation, civil society and social movements. The research stream encompasses quantitative studies, both longitudinal and cross-sectional, as well as qualitative studies of various kinds.
Governance, public policy and political institutions
Within this research stream the focus is on understanding changes of and within political and administrative institutions. By integrating studies of public policy, planning, public administration, governance, and institutional theory, we are able to provide a more comprehensive understanding of processes of policy formation, implementation, and evaluation, the development of new modes of governance, organisations, and public values, as well as of the shifting conditions for and roles of politicians, public officials, and citizens in “the policy politics” of modern government. The research is conducted within various policy fields on both the local and the national level, and encompasses both the development of theory and empirical studies.