Organised by two of Oxford University’s leading institutions, St Antony’s College and the Department for Continuing Education, the International Politics Summer School addresses the questions and issues that shape and define politics of the modern world.

During this intensive course, you’ll study the politics of key regions and countries outside of North America and Western Europe. You’ll be encouraged to contribute your knowledge of these regions to the discussion of broader issues that affect all parts of the globe.

Core Academic Program

  • Daily lectures hosted by renowned speakers and world-class scholars, which include distinguished members of St Antony’s College and Oxford University
  • Small seminar group led by specialist tutor
  • Informal daily discussion groups

Select one elective course from the following:

  • Democracy and Authoritarianism in Russia and the Former Soviet Union
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • International Relations of China and the Asia-Pacific
  • Political Transformation in the Contemporary Middle East

Each challenging seminar consists of five two-hour meetings per week, which usually contain a maximum of 12 students.

* Details of the 2017 program are still subject to final change *

Additional Course Information

Contact Hours

The program provides a minimum of 45 contact hours including:

  • 15 hours of lectures (10 lectures of 1.5 hours each)
  • 20 hours of seminar meetings (10 per week)
  • 10 hours of discussion group sessions (5 discussions of 1 hour each per week)

Level of the program

This is an intensive program taught at Master’s level to an informed international audience. Non-native speakers of English will be required to submit evidence of their English language competency.

Participants are expected to

  • Undertake preparatory reading in advance of the programme
  • Attend all lectures, seminar meetings and discussion sessions
  • Be actively engaged with their seminar topic
  • Submit an assignment of 2000 words in length
  • Undertake approximately 80 hours of private study during the programme (elements of private study will include: reading and other preparation between seminar meetings and discussion sessions, work in the library, writing a paper, etc)

Teaching Staff

  • Dr Paul Chaisty

Democracy and Authoritarianism in Russia and the Former Soviet Union

Dr Paul Chaisty is University Lecturer in Russian Government at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and Director of the Oxford University International Politics Summer School. His publications include Legislative Politics and Economic Power in Russia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), as well as articles in journals such as Europe-Asia Studies, Government and Opposition, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Party Politics and Post-Soviet Affairs. He is currently involved in a large project on the phenomenon of coalitional presidentialism in the former Soviet Union, Africa and Latin America.

  • Dr Eduardo Posada-Carbá

Democratisation in Latin America

Dr Eduardo Posada-Carbá is Departmental Lecturer at the Latin American Centre in St Antony’s College, Oxford. His publications include: (ed.) Elections Before Democracy. The History of Elections in Europe and Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 1996), and La nación soñada: Violencia, liberalismo y democracia en Colombia (Grupo Editorial Norma, 2006), as well as articles in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Research Review, Journal of Democracy, Revista de Occidente, Caravelle and Revista de Estudios Sociales. He is currently working on the edition of a five volume history of Colombia, to be published by Santillana in Spain, and, with Samuel Valenzuela (University of Notre Dame, USA), he is also co-editing a book on the origins of democracy in the Americas.

  • Dr Paul Irwin Crookes

International Relations of China and the Asia-Pacific

Dr Paul Irwin Crookes is Lecturer in the International Relations of China and Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at Oxford University. He gained MPhil and PhD degrees from the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge and holds a BSc(Economics) from the LSE. He has research interests in East Asian security, EU-China relations, and China’s innovation capabilities. Publications include The Politics of EU-China Economic Relations: Constraints on Cooperation in the 21st Century (Palgrave, forthcoming in 2016) and Cross-Taiwan Strait Relations in an Era of Technological Change: Security, Economic and Cultural Dimensions (co-edited with Jan Knoerich; Palgrave, 2015), as well as articles in journals such as China Information, International Politics, and European Foreign Affairs Review.

  • Professor Fred Lawson

Political Transformation in the Contemporary Middle East

Professor Fred Lawson is Professor of Government at Mills College, USA, and a Visiting Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the politics and international relations of the Middle East. He was Fulbright Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Aleppo, Syria, in 1992-93, and Fulbright Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Aden, Yemen, in 2001. His publications include Bahrain: The Modernization of Autocracy (Westview Press, 1989), Why Syria Goes to War (Cornell University Press, 1996), Constructing International Relations in the Arab World (Stanford University Press, 2006) and Global Security Watch Syria (Westview Press, 2013). He is editor of Demystifying Syria (Saqi Books, 2009).


All students who satisfactorily complete the program will receive an ‘Attendance Certificate’. If seeking credit at your home institution you will also receive a ‘Detailed Certificate’ which lists contact hours (for lectures, seminars and discussion group sessions) and the grade achieved for your written work.


  • Participants will be enrolled as readers at the University`s main reference Library, the Bodleian
  • They will also have access to St Antony`s Library and the Social Science and Continuing Education Libraries.

IT facilities

  • Participants will be eligible to use the IT facilities at St Antony`s College. Wireless internet access is available in all bedrooms and some communal spaces of the college.

University and Faculty

Oxford University

First recorded as far back as the 12th century, the University of Oxford is noted as the world’s second oldest university. The first studies which took place at the University were translations and interpretations of the work of Greek philosophers, which paved the way for much development of society as we know it.

The colleges of the university were backed by the Christian Church, which can be clearly seen when observing that the buildings located on university grounds consist of various chapels and churches. Notable alumni include numerous former and acting politicians, such as former Prime Ministers of the UK David Cameron, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, as well as 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton. In this way, studying at Oxford allows students the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of true names in history in the field of politics and the development of international society.

The most international of Oxford’s graduate colleges, St Antony’s College was founded 1950 to be a centre of advanced research and study in the fields of modern international history, anthropology, economics, philosophy, and politics.

Site Visits and Cultural Activities

With Oxford Royale Academy, you might have the opportunity to take in the sights with an in-depth guide to the history of the city and the university, sprinkled with amusing anecdotes about Oxford life. You might also like to take a night-time tour with the award-winning Bill Spectre, who dresses as a Victorian undertaker to tell students the terrifying stories of Oxford’s ghosts.

Throughout the summer school, a variety of optional social events and excursions will be offered such as after-dinner talks, weekend excursions to fascinating historical and literary sites and peer-led workshop sessions. These activities will give you a great opportunity to really get into the vibe of this incredible student town.

(Please note that most of these activities incur additional costs, which are payable upon arrival in Oxford).

Tour Oxford


Accommodation is provided at St Antony`s College, either in ensuite rooms (with private bathroom facilities) or standard rooms (with shared bathroom facilities) with full board (except lunch on Saturday and Sunday). Please note that there are only a small quantity of standard rooms available and it will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Meals are provided for resident participants from dinner on the arrival Sunday until breakfast on the departure Saturday.

All rooms are furnished to a high standard; the average room includes: a single bed with mattress cover, duvet and pillows (students provide their own linen), desk and chair, easy chair, small table, book shelving, desk light and wardrobe space.

The kitchens have cupboard space for students to store food etc; the College provides pots, pans, crockery and cutlery. You may wish to bring your own utensils but remember that storage space is limited! Fridges, freezers, a microwave, kettle and toaster are also provided in the kitchen of each house or accommodation block.

The Main Building, which houses college offices and the main library, dates from the nineteenth century, as do some of the residences. The Founder’s Building, opened in 2000 to coincide with the College’s fiftieth anniversary, contains accommodation, ranging from ensuite study bedrooms to one and two bedroom flats, seminar rooms, a music room and fitness suite. But the social hub of the College is the award-winning Hilda Besse Building built in the 1960s which contains the fine dining Hall, Common Rooms, Meeting rooms, Buttery and Bar. There is also a well-appointed, air-conditioned lecture theatre and pleasant gardens. St Antony’s 40 Governing Body Fellows all have international reputations in their specialist fields and, in combination, provide a unique insight into today’s global issues. There are more than 400 students from some 77 different countries studying for postgraduate degrees and each year around 100 visiting senior members from the academic, diplomatic, business and political worlds come to the College.

Students cannot be accommodated by St Antony’s College either prior to or beyond their programme dates. Family members and/or friends who are not enrolled on this summer school cannot be accommodated in college.

Destination Information


Oxford, England

First settled in Saxon times, Oxford, located 92 km from England’s capital, is internationally known as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the country and the English-speaking world. The city retains features reminiscent of the period in which it was founded, with many examples of Saxon architecture found throughout its streets and university buildings. Oxford has a diverse economic base and its industries include education, motor manufacturing, publishing and numerous science-based and information technology businesses. Majority of the iconic landmarks which define the city and attract numerous tourists yearly are associated with the universities of the city, including the University of Oxford Botanical Garden, Museum of Natural History and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin among many others.

Here are some reasons why Oxford is a fantastic place to have your English experience:

  • Home to over 150,000 people, a large amount of which consist of students across the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University.
  • Oxford University is currently ranked as number one university in the world.
  • As a university city, Oxford University’s buildings and faculties can be located all across the city centre, allowing the chance to travel around and still be on campus grounds.
  • The university is in charge of a variety of museums, including the Museum of Natural History, Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of the History of Science and Pitt Rivers Museum.
  • Oxford possesses a culture rooted in theatre and the arts, home to numerous theatres, including Oxford Playhouse, O’Reilly Theatre and New Theatre (formerly known as the Apollo).

Arrival Information

We recommend that you book your flight to Heathrow Airport in London.

If travelling directly to Oxford from Heathrow (as opposed to spending some time in London first), you can take a National Express bus directly from the airport to the centre of Oxford. Travel time is approximately 1-1.5 hours (depending on traffic) and costs about $30 one way.

More information is available from the Oxford Bus Company website:


Credit and Funding


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Course convenors will not be able approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus, so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive this in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack, along with information about how to apply for credit at your university.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, as well as in your AIM Overseas acceptance pack.

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Application Information

Applications for our July 2017 programs are now closed. 

We are no longer taking applications for our July 2017 round of programs. Applications for our January 2018 programs will be open on May 22nd.

If you wish to know more, or if you have any questions about our programs please contact us via or (02) 9975 7792. You can also refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Alternatively, register your interest now for a January 2018 or July 2018 program, meaning you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline and when applications are open.