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Shape the Future of Politics and Governance

Political Science Department

Lincoln statue in front of Maxwell Hall

full-time faculty teaching and conducting research in political science


of Maxwell faculty conduct research focused outside of the U.S.


graduate students in residence; fewer than 12 admitted each year

Undergraduate Studies

Studying political science will help you understand the workings of political life at the local, national and international levels and will prepare you for a lifetime of active and informed citizenship. The Department of Political Science at Syracuse University has more than thirty full-time faculty that teach a wide variety of courses in multiple subject areas. We will guide you as you explore the world of politics and hone your skills as a researcher, analyst and writer.

Graduate Studies

Master’s and doctoral students receive broad training in quantitative and qualitative methods of social science research, while also concentrating in two of the following substantive fields: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, public administration and policy, law and courts, or security studies. 
Mazaher Kaila

I am Maxwell.

Civic engagement is a core value for me. I have always aspired to help the communities I’m from.” Mazaher Kaila, a Maxwell alumna and third-year student at Syracuse University's College of Law, moved with her family from Sudan to Central New York when she was four years old. “I realized that to make meaningful change in society, I needed to understand the systems that power it—government and politics—and that’s insight I would gain by studying political science.”

Mazaher Kaila ’19, L’22

political science, law

Read Kaila's story, “A Powerful Voice for Justice”

Recent Faculty Books

Maxwell's Political Science Department faculty members publish award-winning books on a wide range of topics.  Scroll a sample of recently published works below, or visit the Maxwell Faculty Bookshelf for more.

Pandemic Politics: The Deadly Toll of Partisanship in the Age of COVID

Shana Kushner Gadarian, Sara Wallace Goodman, Thomas B. Pepinsky

Princeton University Press, 2022

COVID-19, Democracy, Political Parties, Politics


Money in Politics: Self Enrichment, Campaign Spending, and Golden Parachutes

Simon Weschle

Cambridge University Press, 2022

Democracy, Political Theory and Methods, Politics

Dimitar Gueorguiev Retrofitting Leninsm

Retrofitting Leninism: Participation without Democracy in China

Dimitar Gueorguiev

Oxford University Press, 2021

China, Collaborative Governance, Comparative Politics, International Affairs, International Political Economy: Finance, Trade & Migration, Policy, Politics

Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America's Founders

Fears of a Setting Sun: The Disillusionment of America's Founders

Dennis C. Rasmussen

Princeton University Press, 2021

American Politics, Founding History, Government, History Department, United States

Secession and the Sovereignty Game: Strategy and Tactics for Aspiring Nations

Secession and the Sovereignty Game: Strategy and Tactics for Aspiring Nations

Ryan Griffiths

Cornell University Press, 2021

Comparative Politics, International & Intra-State Conflict

The Other Side of the Coin: Public Opinion toward Social Tax Expenditures

Christopher Ellis, Christopher Faricy

Russell Sage Foundation, 2021

American Politics, Tax policy

Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

Edited by Ryan Griffiths, Diego Muro

Rowman & Littlefield, 2020

Political Science Department

Transnational Crime and Black Spots: Rethinking Sovereignty and the Global Economy

Transnational Crime and Black Spots: Rethinking Sovereignty and the Global Economy

Stuart Brown, Margaret Hermann

Palgrave Macmillan, 2020

Economics Department, Mapping Global Insecurity, Peace, Security & Conflict

Illegal: How America's Lawless Immigration Regime Threatens Us All

Illegal: How America’s Lawless Immigration Regime Threatens Us All

Elizabeth F. Cohen

Basic Books, 2020

Immigration & Citizenship

Politics of Public Health

Shana Kushner Gadarian, chair and professor of political science, has been named a 2021 Carnegie Fellow. As a recipient of this prestigious award, she will receive a grant of up to $200,000 for her project “Pandemic Politics: How COVID-19 Revealed the Depths of Partisan Polarization.” She is the third Maxwell faculty member—second from the political science department—to earn the award in four years.

Shana Gadarian

Chair and professor, political science

Read the announcement

Shana Kushner Gadarian
Political Science Department
100 Eggers Hall