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Politics and International Studies Research Unit

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Gain new insights into the ever-changing landscape of politics today

An interdisciplinary hub for critically exploring contemporary political issues on local and global levels

The Politics and International Studies Research Unit (PISRU) is faculty-driven and is meant to create a hub in which teams of scholars from the disciplines of Politics, International Relations, Economics, History, Geography, Political Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, and other disciplines can collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to shed new light on political developments and challenges, both at the international and the national levels.

The objective is to avoid specific methodological and disciplinary limitations and transcend traditional academic fields while adopting a critical perspective towards political developments around us.



In past years, SHSS faculty and students have collectively conducted research projects on a number of political issues.

These include a public opinion survey preceding the legislative elections of 2007; consultancy in preparation of a parliamentary bill dealing with the problem of street begging as requested by the Ministry of Social Development, Family and Solidarity;  and a project with The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) on “poverty alleviation and forest resources management.”

These research projects were developed in parallel to individual research projects of faculty members which have resulted in a wide spectrum of publications related to national and international politics.


Research Areas

PISRU conceives research in a broad sense to include basic or applied research as is generally understood in the social sciences, liberal arts, and other scholarly inquiries. The unit will encourage collaborations between scholars from different disciplines and the nature of the collaboration may vary according to the different themes which include:

  • Colonialism and Post-Colonialism;
  • Conflict and Security Studies;
  • Governance and Political Participation;
  • International Politics;
  • Issues of Migrations and Refugees;
  • Linguistic Diversity and its Social Impact;
  • Moroccan Foreign Policy;
  • Moroccan Politics;
  • North African Politics;
  • The Arab Uprisings and their consequences;
  • Theoretical and Conceptual Debates in International and Domestic Politics;
  • Water and society.


PISRU organizes national and international conferences, talking series, occasional roundtables as well as workshops on specific themes.

PISRU is meant as a platform for the interaction between researchers from the different programs and school of Al Akhawayn University and their colleagues in other national and international universities.

These research projects can involve fieldwork, data gathering, interviews, and many other instances of academic research. PISRU also hosts visiting scholars as well as researchers who intend on performing their research in the region or in Morocco. 



  • International Studies Association;
  • Middle East Studies Association.

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