• Department of Political Science

    The Department of Political Science is devoted to the study of politics and government, domestically and abroad. This includes the study of political institutions that exercise government authority, including legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies; political organizations through which individuals and groups seek to reshape the political landscape, including parties, interest groups, and social movements; public policies that reflect governmental efforts to regulate the actions of individuals and corporations, including civil rights, immigration, and environmental policy; and the interactions between and among nation-states and transnational organizations that shape patterns of trade and development, conflict and cooperation, war and peace.

    At the undergraduate level, political science majors will be exposed to political inquiry across a broad array of substantive topics, while also concentrating in one of the following areas: American Politics & History, Law & Politics, Political Economy, Political Participation & Mobilization, Global Governance & Foreign Policy, Political Violence & Conflict, Public Policy, Parties & Elections, Comparative Politics, Citizenship & Democracy, or Political Thought & Philosophy.

    At the graduate level, 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 & Policy, Law & Courts, or Security Studies.

  • Commitment to Inclusion

    The Maxwell School stands in support of all students demanding change in the face of racism and hate speech on our campus. We are committed to making our school and our university a more inclusive and just community for all.

    There is absolutely no place here for behavior or language that degrades any individual or group’s race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, disability or religious beliefs.

  • Upcoming Events RSS Feed

    Due to public health concerns around COVID-19, all in-person public events are postponed or canceled until further notice.

  • Political Science News RSS Feed

    Reeher comments on political polarization, coronavirus in The Hill

    Professor Grant Reeher says that while the primary focus needs to be on the human cost of the crisis, "it is in fact a very good natural experiment to answer the question of how deep our polarization goes — and the answer is, very damn deep." He was interviewed for The Hill article "The Memo: Political trench warfare colors views on coronavirus."


    Gueorguiev study on mass-elite relations in China, Vietnam published

    "Collective Charisma: Elite-Mass Relations in China and Vietnam," co-authored by Dimitar Gueorguiev, was published in Problems of Post-Communism. Comparing China and Vietnam, the authors show how variations in recruitment, vetting, and rotations lead to predictable patterns in party-building and public relations strategies of rising politicians.


    Barkun weighs in on irrational fears of coronavirus in Foreign Policy

    Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science, was interviewed for the Foreign Policy article "Why Are We So Scared of the Coronavirus?" Barkun says the unseen, mysterious nature of coronavirus makes it especially scary—and especially ripe for all kinds of imagined explanations and antidotes.