Affiliated Centers, Institutes and Programs

Housed within our Department:

Institute for European Studies (IES)

IES is structured upon principles of interdisciplinarity and intellectual curiosity, and provides an academic forum for students and scholars to engage in rigorous inquiry into the structures, actors, policies and institutions that have shaped and continue to contribute to contemporary Europe. IES provides theoretically based insights into the process of making (and sometimes un-making) Europe.


Key Affiliations on Campus:

International Relations Undergraduate Program

The International Relations (IR) Program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program offering the Major and the Minor in IR. The IR Program enables undergraduate students to develop an in-depth understanding of IR by combining the concepts and perspectives of different disciplines. IR Majors take required courses in Political Science, History, and Economics, and elective courses in a wide range of additional disciplines. In 2013 the IR Program moved into the Liu Institute for Global Issues. Students interested in the IR Program should review the IR Program website or make an appointment with the IR Program Advisor.


Liu Institute for Global Issues

A number of our faculty and PhDs, from different Political Science subfields, have and continue to be affiliated with the Liu Institute, which is an interdisciplinary research hub for emerging global issues that strives to catalyze innovative thinking and positive change, bridging the gap between academics and practitioners to transform research into actions. A policy-led approach encourages examination of economic, social and environmental interactions and solutions that advance sustainability, security and social justice, particularly in lower income communities.

A number of our PhDs are Liu Scholars, a cross-discipline collection of exceptional PhD students who help to strengthen the Institute’s networks and facilitate collaborative, issue-based research on global issues. Liu Scholars have access to funding, opportunities to publish online, attend workshops and conferences, exchange knowledge with world-renowned visiting fellows, co-author and mentor with faculty and other scholars, and engage in creative endeavours like the Liu Lobby Gallery.


Institute of Asian Research (IAR)

Many of our faculty are regional experts on Asia and are affiliated with IAR, UBC’s hub on Asia policy issues. IAR is a central resource for researchers and students, visiting scholars, government, social partners of all kinds on Asia. It is the largest research center and think tank focused on Asia in Canada, and hosts high profile events with visiting scholars, university officials, and government officials – including Canadian Federal Ministers.

Most of our PhDs working on Asia-related topics, and some MAs, have working space in IAR, and are actively involved in interactions with top scholars from UBC and Asia, with government and university officials, and with visiting scholars. IAR helps to facilitate PhDs’ field work access in Asia through connecting students to visiting scholars and officials to build up links for field work, maintaining networks in Asia, and in catalyzing new MOUs with university partners in Asia. In 2016, IAR led an event with over 50 global leaders to prepare the G20 in China, drafting a Blue Book of recommendations for the Chinese G20 presidency, which was submitted and read at the highest levels. The event took place at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and over 15 UBC students were involved and participated in the summit, half of which were Political Science students.


Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies (CIS)

CIS is an interdisciplinary research unit for Indigenous critical theory and politics, arts research, and applied social practice within the humanities and social sciences at UBC. It hosts First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS) and the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program (FNEL). In addition to providing institutional support for undergraduate and graduate education and a home for visiting scholars in the field and Indigenous artists, CIS fosters ethical research practices and meaningful partnerships with communities that further the social and political health, capacity, and self-determination of Indigenous peoples locally and globally.

Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (IRES)

IRES is a problem-focused and curiosity-driven interdisciplinary research institute and graduate program, with interest and expertise in a wide range of topics under the realm of environment and sustainability, that seeks to foster sustainable futures through integrated research and learning about the linkages among human and natural systems, and to support decision making from local to global scales.

The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ)

GRSJ is a leading hub of excellent collaborative, creative, and transformative interdisciplinary engaged research, teaching, and outreach on social justice, that seeks to ask provocative questions about gender, race and sexuality, to enrich knowledge and initiate dialogue about culture, politics and public policy, and to agitate for social justice locally, nationally and beyond.


U.S. Studies Program

The U.S. studies program at UBC advances Canadians’ grasp of the U.S. The core components of the program are a U.S. Studies Major for undergraduates, graduate studies on the U.S., research conducted by distinguished scholars, and a public outreach program. The program claims the strongest group of scholars found at any Canadian University, thereby placing UBC as the clear leader in the field of U.S Studies.


The Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI)

CDSI seeks to advance publicly-engaged research, teaching, and dissemination of ideas and knowledge about innovation in democratic practice and institutions. It provides a focal point for events and discussions, connecting scholars, with a focus on institutional innovation in three problem areas: citizen engagement and participation, constitutional governance, and transitional regimes.