The Department of Political Science
Why do Hindus and Muslims live in harmony in one city and fight bitterly in another just a few miles away? Why is the United States the only industrialized nation without a complete national health insurance? What is the legacy of slavery in the United States? Why are there so few women in Congress? How is radicalism in the Middle East changing? Why and how does democracy flourish? Just what is democracy? How do emotions shape our political behavior? What do war movies tell us about the USA? Would less government lead to more social justice? What is social justice? How does smuggling (of drugs, guns, and people) reshape international relations? How do immigrants see the American Dream? What is the American dream?
Political science is about questions like these. You can grapple with every one of them –and many more— in the scholarship and the classrooms of the Brown political science department. What it comes down to is pretty simple: We study how people –nations, regions, cities, communities— live their common lives. How people solve (or duck) their common problems. How people govern themselves. How they think, talk, argue, fight, and vote.
Traditionally, political science splits into four subfields: (1) the study of politics in the United States (American politics); (2) the comparative study of different political systems and individual nations around the globe (comparative politics); (3) the study of relations among states and peoples (international relations); and (4) the philosophical study of political ideas (political theory). What particularly moves us at Brown are the big questions about political life – both at home and around the world. We engage these questions in a wide range of different political contexts, often in ways that cross between the traditional subfields. We also pay particular attention to how our analyses touch the real world of people and politics.
You’ll find us involved all around the campus: at the Taubman Center for public policy and American institutions, the Watson Institute for International Affairs, the Political Theory Project, Development Studies and Middle East Studies among many others.
The political science department at Brown University invites you –undergraduates, graduate students, and fellow scholars—to join our dialogue about things that really matter to polities around the world. For more details on our interests and strengths, please browse the pages on this site.
Political Science Masters Degree for Brown Undergraduates
The Political Science Department announces a 1 year Masters degree open only to Brown University undergraduates. Spend a fifth year at Brown and leave with an MA degree in Political Science. Our MA students participate in all the same activities as first year Ph. D students. Students must apply before they complete their undergraduate degree.
For more information, contact Suzanne Brough (email@example.com).
Jordan Branch joined the Political Science department at Brown as an Assistant Professor in summer 2012. He received his PhD in Political Science at UC-Berkeley in 2011, and spent 2011-2012 as the Hayward R. Alker Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California.. His interests include international relations theory, the history of the sovereign state system, contemporary challenges to statehood, and the intersection of technological and political change. His research has appeared in International Organization and the European Journal of International Relations.
Steven G. Calabresi is the Class of 1940 Research Professor of Law at Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Yale Law School (1983) and of Yale College (1980). Professor Calabresi was a Scholar in Residence at Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2005, and he was a Visiting Professor of Political Science at Brown University in 2010 and 2011 and will visit again at Brown University in the Fall semester of 2012. Professor Calabresi is also visiting at Roger Williams University School of Law in the Fall of 2012 where he is teaching a six class Perspectives on Law seminar.
Heather Silber Mohamed is a Visiting Lecturer in Political Science at Brown University. She specializes in Latino politics, immigrant socialization and participation, immigration policy, and identity politics in the U.S., with a particular focus on the intersection of race, class, and gender. She received her PhD and MA from Brown University. She also holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from Tufts University. Before completing her PhD, she worked for six years as a legislative aide in the U.S. Congress. She has participated in numerous academic conferences, and currently has a forthcoming article in American Politics Research on the 2006 immigration protests and their effects on Latino self-identification.
Arnulf Becker Lorca has been a Lecturer in international law at King’s College London, a Visiting Fellow in International Relations at the Watson Institute at Brown University and received his doctoral degree from Harvard Law School. His areas of expertise include public international law, laws of war, history of international law, and theories of international law and international relations. His research traces the global intellectual history of international law focusing on the role non-Western international lawyers have played in the construction of the international legal order. His forthcoming book, Mestizo International Law: A Global Intellectual History, 1850–1950, will be published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press.
Joseph O'Mahoney is a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department at Brown University. He received his PhD from George Washington University. O'Mahoney's research interests include international security, symbolic sanctions, the termination of interstate wars, especially the study of peace settlements, and change in international norms and institutions. His main research project investigates the rise during the 20th century of nonrecognition of the results of the use of force. In addition, he is working on projects related to the methodology of motive attribution.
Jeeyang Rhee Baum is a research fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Her research and teaching interests include comparative political institutions, administrative law and political economy of bureaucratic reform, particularly in the context of developing democracies in East Asia. She has conducted field research in South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, the results of which appear in her book, Responsive Democracy: Increasing State Accountability in East Asia (2011, University of Michigan Press). Scholarly journals in which her work has appeared include the British Journal of Political Science, Governance, Democratization, and Journal of East Asian Studies. A recipient of numerous research fellowships and awards, including a National Science Foundation grant, her current research focuses on the different ways that politicians restructure the state in Asia after democratic transition. Presently she serves on the editorial board for the Political Science Network (PSN) at SSRN.com. Prior to coming to the Kennedy School, she was a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and an assistant professor in the political science department at UC San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in political science at UCLA.
Dr. John P. McCaskey will visit the Political Theory Project this Fall and bring to Brown a seminar he has been teaching (to rave reviews) at Stanford University, here called "Rival Defenses of American Capitalism" (POLS 1822P).
Professor Mark Blyth blogs for the Harvard Business Reveiw August 7, 2012.
Professor John Tomasi was on the National Review.