The Institute of Political Studies (IEP) is a research and teaching institute which aims at producing and transmitting knowledge concerning contemporary political issues.
A number of factors contribute to the institute outstanding profile: its interdisciplinary approach, its theoretical and methodological pluralism, and the diversity of the political objects it undertakes to study. Significantly the researchers and teachers affiliated to the Institute come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. All main areas of specialisation in political studies are represented: public policy, Swiss and comparative politics, political institutions, international relations, political sociology, political behaviour, contemporary international history and the history of political and economic thought.
The IEP offers the following degrees in political science: a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree and a PhD. The teaching curriculum for these degrees has an interdisciplinary nature and offers a variety of options connected to the different areas of specialisation of the members of institute. The IEP also has a close association with the Master of Arts in Public Management and Policy (PMP)—convened jointly by the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences—, the Master of Arts in Public Opinion and Survey Methodology (MEOP), and the doctoral programme of the Conference of Universities of Western Switzerland (CUSO).
The research activities carried out at the IEP are structured around five research centres and two observatories, which develop research on globalisation and regulation, the history of political and economic thought, citizenship, social movements, international history, public policy, local political life, and the study of Swiss elites. The Institute is committed to several research projects supported by the main national and international funding bodies. It is also home to Vie Doc, a documentation centre, unique to French-speaking Switzerland, dedicated to the political life of the Canton of Vaud and more generally of Switzerland.