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Department of Political Sciences

Research in the Department of Political Sciences

Research within the Department of Political Sciences broadly revolves around the two subjects presented by the Department, namely Political Science and International Relations.

Specific areas of study include:

  • Political science and international relations theory
  • African politics
  • Peace, security and strategic studies
  • Mediation studies
  • Governance studies
  • Democracy studies
  • International political economy
  • Diplomacy and foreign policy

Departmental Projects

Multilateralism and the EU in the Contemporary Global Order - MERCURY

MERCURY is designed to examine, critically and globally, the European Union’s contribution to multilateralism. This project aims to clarify forms of multilateralism, develop specific theses about the EU’s contribution to multilateralism, and test specified theses in line with best scientific practice. MERCURY’s primary research questions are:

  1. How should we understand multilateralism, both historically and in contemporary terms?
  2. Does the EU live up to its ambitions to contribute to effective multilateralism globally?
  3. What policy lessons can be drawn from Europe’s experience of promoting multilateralism?

The University of Pretoria (Department of Political Sciences) is part of this project, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), the University of Köln (Germany), Charles University (Czech Republic), Istituto Affari Internazionali (Italy), Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (France), Fudan University (China), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sweden) and the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom). For more information, visit

Special report

To read the report on the recent MERCURY plenary conference, which took place at Charles University, Prague, on 24-25 March 2011, please click here.


Monitoring South Africa's Second Term on the UN Security Council

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Political Sciences and the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. It is sponsored by the Open Society Foundation of South Africa.

Progress report

To read the progress report on the project, compiled by Ms Faith K Mabera, please click here.

Final report

To read the final report on the project, compiled by Ms Faith K Mabera, please click here.