The chairs of the PSA, BISA and UACES recently wrote to those at the institution consulting on potential risks to those working in the Department of Politics & International Relations. 


We express our deep concern and solidarity with all PSA members and other colleagues at Lincoln at this challenging time. 


We write as the chairs of the  Political Studies Association (PSA), the British International Studies Association (BISA),  and the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) – the three main learned societies representing scholars in Politics and International Relations (IR) in the UK.  


We fully understand the financial pressures and other challenges facing universities in the UK such as Lincoln. We also appreciate that as a consequence, university leadership teams are having to contemplate difficult business decisions in order to ensure the future sustainability of their institutions.  


Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned about the proposed cuts to the School of Social and Political Sciences, including the loss of at least two posts at the SL and AP levels in the Politics and International Relations team. 


We are aware that the Politics and International Relations team has already lost a significant number of colleagues in recent years who have not been replaced. These reductions are already jeopardising its capacity to carry out the kind of research and teaching for which the Politics and International Relations team is world-renowned.  


These cuts seem short-sighted, given almost twice as many young people are now taking an A-level in Politics compared to twenty years ago and are increasingly engaged in political and global issues. The British Academy have demonstrated that the skills gained by politics and international relations graduates are highly valued by many employers across all sectors of the economy. The School of Social and Political Sciences should be in a strong position to take advantage of these favourable opportunities and will not be able to if the proposed redundancies at the level suggested are made.  


The Politics and International Relations team at Lincoln is held in high esteem within our profession and within our associations. In particular, they are known for ‘teaching what they research and researching how they teach. Moreover, team members regularly engage with Parliament, share their expertise with select committees, and drive policy development through the Lincoln Policy Hub. Your colleagues also offer unique undergraduate modules that have inspired alumni who have themselves gone on to make significant political impacts locally and nationally. Your colleagues also have been active in our professional associations, serving as working group conveners, trustees, and members of our executive boards. 


The ethos to ‘teach what they research and research how they teach’ has been a hallmark of the Politics and International Relations team at Lincoln for many years. It is recognised within the profession and been enshrined as best practice. For example, the annual PSA Prize for outstanding contributions in advancing teaching and learning in political studies is named in honour of your late colleague Prof. Jacqui Briggs.  


Given the brilliant work being undertaken by your colleagues, we urge you to consider the damage further reductions in staff will cause to the institution in terms of teaching, research, and wider reputation. We urge you to work creatively with staff and students to find a way forward without compulsory redundancies – one which protects Lincoln’s reputation and future prospects and also provides opportunities for students from all backgrounds to study Politics and International Relations.


Yours sincerely 


Dr Rose Gann
Chair, Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom 


Professor Kyle Grayson
Chair, British International Studies Association 


Professor Simon Usherwood
Chair, University Association for Contemporary European Studies