School of Political Affairs and World Politics at MGIMO University is one of the oldest of all Schools of Political Science and Politics in Russia. Unlike many other institutions of higher education that are mostly focused on training lecturers in Political Science or Politics, MGIMO University established its own «full-cycle» School of Political Affairs which as a research and teaching centre offers the entire range of graduate degrees — BA, MA and PhD. The School trains political scientists of the highest calibre to work as lecturers, researchers, diplomats, analysts, and consultants. The unique nature of the School allows it to offer prospective students a much wider range of specializations than in many other educational institutions in Russia, while at the same time giving them an excellent grounding in theory and valuable practical skills.
The School has 7 departments: Department of Comparative Politics, Department of World Politics, Department of Political Theory, Department of Applied International Analysis, Department of Political Economy and Economic Policy, Department of Civil Society, English Department #7. Basic training for all specializations includes political science with an emphasis on international issues as a distinctive feature of MGIMO University. The graduates of the Department of Comparative Politics major in comparative analysis of political processes and political expertise. The Department of World Politics and the Department of Applied International Analysis place special emphasis on international analysis and interaction management in the sphere of world politics. The Department of Political Theory concentrates on theoretical issues, and the Department of Civil Society does research and teaching in civil society issues. The Department of Political Economy and Economic Policy is oriented towards case studies in political regulation of economic processes as well as in business and government relations. English Department #7 provides language teaching and researches on language-related issues.
The School offers undergraduates unique opportunities not only to obtain broad knowledge at MGIMO but to enhance it in an international environment through various partnerships and exchange programmes with higher educational establishments in many countries. A variety of internships and language training programmes are available to students at all levels of education. In addition, prominent visiting professors regularly give lecture courses at the School. Political scientists from Sciences Po (Paris), Freie Universität Berlin, Stanford University, University of California (Berkeley), North Carolina, Iowa, Columbia University and State University of New York, Oxford University, University of Bergen (Universitetet i Bergen, Norway), Yuan Ze University, China Institute of International Affairs, Delhi University and many other universities come to the School to deliver their courses. In its turn, the School organizes various specialized courses that are in demand with foreign students.
The School of Political Affairs collaborates with one of the first double-degree Master’s at MGIMO University — Russian-French Master’s Programme in International Relations and World Politics that is organized jointly with Sciences Po (Paris). Sciences Po is one of the world’s top international training centres for specialists in political science, international relations and world politics. A similar programme is implemented in collaboration with German universities: Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as well as a BA level certificate programme “German Studies Russia”. The graduates get dual degrees and, what is most important, an opportunity to study at the best international learning centres where they expand their knowledge and hone skills.
For undergraduates the School provides an opportunity to have introductory internships in the Russian Parliament and government offices (the Presidential Administration, the Government Executive Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other ministries), as well as in private consulting firms, think-tanks, and, recently, in foreign embassies.
The School extensively uses simulations and games in teaching. When studying both comparative politics and international relations through modeling conflicts and elaborating strategies for their resolution, the students acquire invaluable practical competencies. Computerized teaching and new methods of testing students’ knowledge are now part of the teaching process.
The graduates of the School have excellent career prospects and the career paths for them are extremely varied. Majors in Comparative Politics work as comparative political science researchers and analysts, and there is a predicted growth in demand for them in Russia. World Politics alumni may pursue different careers working for Russian and international organizations engaged in organizational support of international activity and international analysis. They have numerous options of becoming political scientists, international relations specialists, diplomats, experts, international mediators, management analysts, government and private sector advisers and consultants. There has been quite a rapid growth in demand for qualified political scientists and experts in international affairs in an increasing number of national and foreign companies in Russia.
The School has 80 professors and lecturers. Among them there are experts in international relations and political science, theoreticians with expertise across vast areas of politics, practitioners with experience of working in the MFA of Russia and other branches of government, the private sector as well as in centres of fundamental and applied research. Among the senior members of the faculty at different times were: Andrei Kokoshin (Head of a parliamentary committee), Yuri Pivovarov (Director of RAS Institute), Yevgenyi Primakov (former Prime Minister), Tatiana Alexeeva, Alexey Bogaturov (First Vice-Rector of MGIMO University), Irina Busygina, Alexei Voskressenski (current Dean), Oxana Gaman-Golutvina, Andrey Degtyaryov, Igor Ivanov (former Foreign Minister), Mikhail Ilyin, Alexander Konovalov, Nikolai Kosolapov, Vladimir Kulagin, Marina Lebedeva, Olga Malinova, Andrei Melville (former Vice-Rector for Research), Alexander Nikitin, Victor Sergeev, Alexander Solovyov, Mark Khrustalev, Pavel Tsygankov, Dmitry Feldman, Tatiana Shakleina.
The School of Political Affairs develops cooperation with the foreign partners engaged in academic research and teaching in the sphere of political science and politics. At different stages among our foreign partners were colleagues from Stanford University, University of California (Berkeley), North Carolina, Iowa, Columbia University and Brown University, State University of New York, Sciences Po, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Oxford, University of Bergen (Universitetet i Bergen, Norway), Uppsala University (Uppsala Universitet, Sweden), Delhi University (India), China Foreign Affairs University the MFA of P.R. China, Fudan University (China), Yuan Ze University, etc.
Departments at the School of Political Affairs:
Department of Comparative Politics
Head: Prof. Dr. Pol. Sc. Oxana Gaman-Golutvina. The Department does teaching and research in political science and comparative politics.
Department of Political Theory
Head: Prof. Dr. of Philosophy Tatiana Alexeeva. The Department teaches students general problems of and theoretical approaches to contemporary political science and international affairs. The main focus of the Department is the analysis and the development of concepts and theories.
Department of World Politics
Head: Prof. Dr. of Philosophy Marina Lebedeva. The Department deals with world politics.
Department of Applied International Analysis
Head: Professor, Dr. of History Tatiana Shakleina. The Department teaches methods of applied analysis of international issues and political management of economic and international processes.
Department of Civil Society
Head: LLD Vladislav Grib. The Department was established in June 2008 meeting the demands of the civil society development in Russia and at the request of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation. The Department concentrates on contemporary mechanisms of civil society and on the mechanism of human rights protection.
Department of Political Economy and Economic Policy
Head: Dr. Elena Zavialova, PhD in Economics. The Department was established in 2011 in collaboration with IKEA to teach political economy, economic policy and to do research on government and business relations.
English Department #7
Head: Dr. Irina Mazaeva, PhD in Linguistics. The Department offers instruction in the English Language, developing students’ communication skills and competences to the target level of proficiency in their specialist fields, set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation for communication in the professional sphere.