We believe that often the most interesting and important political questions transcend disciplinary fields and encourage faculty and students to work at these intersections. As a product of these initiatives, the Department recently hired fifteen new faculty through its "Faculty Hiring Initiative," an effort to recruit scholars whose work spans multiple fields in the discipline. Committed to cross-field fertilization, the Department of Political Science has introduced three research and curricular initiatives in the following areas: Global Forces; Governance and Institutions; and Democracy, Participation, and Citizenship. (Visit our faculty page to explore the research interests and expertise of all our faculty).
The cross-field commitments of the department are reflected in the graduate curriculum. The Department is committed to maintaining graduate program excellence in the traditional fields (American politics, comparative politics, contemporary social and political theory, history of political thought, intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary political studies, international relations, public law, and public policy and administration). In addition, we offer coursework and encourage doctoral students to pursue research questions that cross the domains of two or more fields. Course offerings include broad survey courses of the fields as well as the following cross-field seminars: Comparative Democratization; Collective Action and Political Change; Political Participation; Foundings; Violence and the State; Nationalism; Political Dissent; Language and Politics; Feminist Theory and Politics; Technology, Power, and Governance; International Environmental Politics; Civic Political Engagement; Democracy and the Public Sphere.
In addition, the Department has launched cross-field Workshops engaging faculty and graduate student presentations of work in progress in each of the three Initiative areas. These workshop foci include Ambiguities of Democracy, Governance and Institutions, and Politics in America. In addition, the department regularly hosts the Dean Alfange Jr. Lecture Series on American Constitutionalism and has a very active interdisciplinary speaker series. These workshops and lecture series are intended to attract students and faculty from across the political science discipline and from other disciplines as well, indeed any scholars whose work speaks to or is informed by the study of politics.
Want to learn more about our current students? Visit our graduate student page for a quick overview of current students, browse through some recent dissertations, or read through some of our student profiles (below) for greater depth! Our Placement History also documents some of the institutions and programs where our alumni have secured fellowships or tenure-track positions.
- Rebecca Lisi: Interview with Holyoke City Councilor at Large
- Alix Olson: Informing Activism with Political Scholarship
- Melinda Tarsi: Cross-Cutting Political Research Motivates Graduate Student