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Department of Political Science

IPZ Mission Statement and Strategy

IPZ Mission Statement


The Department of Political Science (IPZ) at the University of Zurich was founded in 1971 (history of the department). The IPZ currently (2023) has around 130 employees working in teaching and research at the 16 professorships and research areas.

The IPZ is part of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zurich. In collaboration with the ETH it forms the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS).

Mission Statement - We are committed to…


  • pursuing internationally leading research, addressing important questions with innovative theories and methods.
  • an international publication culture, prizing publications in internationally leading journals and presses.
  • using research findings to inform public debates.
  • creating and maintaining a cooperative research culture both within the department and with other institutions.


  • a broad education of outstanding academic quality, taking into account the breadth and diversity of political science as a discipline in the context of integrated programs with clear profiles.
  • the transfer of research into teaching and to research-based learning.
  • a strong theoretical and methodological training, enabling students to think independently and to conduct high-quality research.
  • MA and PhD programs that are internationally competitive and research-oriented.
  • the diversity of our students’ professional careers by including practical elements, soft skills, and internship options in the BA and MA curricula.

Next Generation

  • involving students in research as early as possible, starting with the BA thesis as well as with research assistant opportunities.
  • the pursuit of an academic career as the main goal of PhD training and Postdoc positions, while recognizing and supporting other career goals.
  • supporting PhD students and Postdocs in the pursuit of an academic career by offering the best possible framework conditions for academic research.
  • supporting PhD students and Postdocs to publish their work in internationally leading journals and presses.
  • the successful training and support of PhD students and Postdocs as the responsibility of the entire department and not only as the task of a single professor or chair.


  • valuing diversity as a strength for the department.
  • identifying and supporting the relevant groups.
  • supporting the UZH Gender & Diversity Policy as an integral part of our mission statement. Diversity Policy at the University of Zurich


  • valuing public outreach and are committed to making scientific findings, as well as the social relevance of its research, visible and understandable beyond academia.
  • bearing a responsibility to the public at large by providing a scholarly foundation for self-reflection in society and contributing toward its positive development.

IPZ Institute Strategy 2021-2024

In its mission statement, the Institute for Political Science describes its self-image and the basis of its actions. It provides all members of the Institute with long-term orientation in all decisions, work, and shapes the strategic goals.

The Institute's strategy focuses on the medium-term development of the Institute and is adopted by the Institute's General Assembly. The strategic goals set the framework for operational priorities and measures, which are defined in an action plan, which is continuously evaluated by the Institute's Board of Directors.

The Institute's strategy includes objectives in six thematic areas:

  1. transversal research priorities
  2. impact on science
  3. impact on society
  4. study and teaching
  5. promotion of young researchers
  6. diversity and sustainability

Transversal research priorities

In the years to come, the IPZ will focus on four main research areas: "Politics and Inequality", "Democracy and Democratization", "Digitalization" and "International Cooperation".

In all these research areas, the IPZ will foster its comparative strengths in quantitative methods and in research contributions to Swiss politics as well as to international comparative political science.

The transversal research priorities are profile- and structure-forming for the development of the IPZ as a whole. Projects and initiatives on these topics can be particularly promoted. In addition, specific thematic foci of individual professorships and research areas retain a high priority.

Impact on science

Research at the IPZ should provide answers of high scientific quality to academically and socially relevant questions, and effectively communicate these answers to relevant audiences. Today, the IPZ achieves excellent results in academic research and high visibility of its scientific findings in the international research community. We want to maintain this level of performance and further increase it. Therefore, we want to create and maintain particularly good and attractive conditions for research.

Impact on society

Based on our expertise and the findings of our research, we provide answers to socially relevant questions. We want to communicate these answers to society, so that they can have an impact. Therefore, we understand successful performance also as knowledge transfer and exchange with non-academic actors. We want to intensify the impact of our academic research in improving the impact of our academic research on society and strengthen its visibility. To this end, we support productive interactions with the stakeholders of our research and develop a strategy for using different strategies for the use of different communication channels.

Study and teaching

We want to prepare our students to be independent, competent and responsible work in science, government, business, economy and society. Therefore, we integrate our strengths as a research-intensive institute at all levels into high-quality teaching, in terms of both theory and methods ("Research-based Teaching & Learning").

National and international partnerships, as well as student mobility, strengthen the breadth and depth of the education and are important elements to increase the attractiveness of the IPZ for students and researchers.

Promotion of young scientists

The IPZ promotes young scientists at all qualification levels. Our goal is the creation of excellent working conditions for the next generation of scientists, in particular to facilitate their path into research. The strategy of the IPZ creates harmonized and fair conditions of employment and institutionalizes cornerstones of mentoring and support. The goal is an effective implementation of this strategy at the entire IPZ in the years 2021-2024.

Diversity and sustainability

At the Institute, we strive for a lived culture of diversity and sustainability.

We actively promote an open and diverse institute and aim to increase diversity and awareness of diversity issues. We want students and employees to feeling equally welcome, so that we can benefit from the brightest minds, regardless of their background and orientation.

In terms of sustainability, the IPZ's goal is to reduce avoidable CO2 emissions as far as possible and to compensate for those that cannot be avoided, taking into account other important goals of the institute, such as excellence in research and teaching.