Welcome to Brown University’s department of political science. I am honored to serve as department chair. The department has experienced significant growth over the past decade, and enjoys a reputation for intellectual pluralism, creativity, and research productivity. The department today includes 31 leading faculty who use a wide range of empirical and normative approaches to illuminate the most pressing issues of our times. Can liberal democracy withstand rising polarization and economic inequality? How can the international community help bring peace to the world’s most war-torn states? How should governments respond to hate groups and people that oppose the democratic ideal of free and equal citizenship? In recent years, members of the department have won prestigious book awards, published articles in the discipline’s top journals, and received competitive grants from the National Science Foundation and other external sources.
The faculty is deeply committed to excellence in both undergraduate teaching and graduate training. Political Science is one of the largest and most dynamic concentrations at Brown. Undergraduates gain skill in critical thinking, empirical analysis, and normative inquiry, preparing them for leadership careers in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Our doctoral program features close interaction with professors and offers state-of-the art training in American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. The department is enriched by its close ties to key research centers, institutes, and programs at Brown, including the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the Political Theory Project, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Modern Culture and Media, and Urban Studies.
Brown Political Science is on an upward trajectory. I encourage you to explore this website and learn more about our vibrant and exciting community.
Chair, Department of Political Science
Congratulations to Mark Blyth
Winner of the 2022 SWIPE Award
for Mentoring Women in International Political Economy
Partial Hegemony by Jeff Colgan
"Partial Hegemony is a major and original contribution to international relations theory. Jeff Colgan uses his new conceptualizations of subsystems and partial hegemony in an enlightening analysis of oil politics since the 1970s and a cogent argument for climate clubs to enforce emissions limitations in this decade." -- Robert O. Keohane, Professor of International Affairs (Emeritus), Princeton University
"Employing a wide-angle lens, Colgan reconceptualizes international order, unabashedly paving a novel framework for power dynamics and systems change. Colgan's analysis provides important insights not only for understanding oil politics, but also for interpreting how efforts to address emerging developments like climate change and the escalating US-China rivalry could influence international affairs." -- Alice C. Hill, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations
'Defending the Filibuster' by Richard Arenberg 'should be required reading for the Senate' says then VP Biden in 2012
Scholars in the Public Arena
‘Rogers and Turner have masterfully curated a collection of essays that will guide the field of African American political thought for generations. The study of American political thought will never be the same.’
-Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Princeton University
Winner: "Outstanding Book Award" from the International Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
‘Skarbek's rigorous analysis of governance structures across varying prison regimes makes this a major theoretical breakthrough in law and society research generally, one that should be read by all who care about the nature of public order in institutions of control.’
-Jonathan Simon, University of California Berkeley
“Shell-Shocked is a must-read for anyone recovering from the disorientation and desensitization of the Trump years. Honig’s feminist lens permits us to see past an overwhelming barrage of words, images, and video outtakes, to reveal how patriarchy remains the foundation of so much of what ails us. Honig brings keen observation and wry humor to dazzling readings of literature, cinema, and cable news, as well as to the everyday moments that have troubled and confounded us. Her insights not only make us smarter; they promise to equip us for the work toward justice that lies ahead.”
-Martha S. Jones, author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
2021 Lionel Gelber Prize Finalist
"Ingeniously plotted, briskly written, and strikingly illustrated, Killer High delivers a kaleidoscopic trip through the history of drugs and war. Peter Andreas looks at the drug-war relationship from every angle: how combatants and noncombatants used drugs; how wars were fought through, for, or against drugs; and how wars shaped the fates of drugs, often speeding their rise as global commodities."
-David Courtwright, author of Forces of Habit and The Age of Addiction
‘Provides both a realistic and a hopeful assessment of how UN peace operations can bolster the rule of law in the aftermath of civil war.’
-Kyle Beardsley - Professor of Political Science
‘a solid resource’
‘Provides illuminating case studies of how to combat structural racism and the recent resurgence of racist thought and action in the Americas.’
-George Reid Andrews, University of Pittsburgh
Eric Patashnik and Wendy Schiller
‘With topics ranging from tribal politics in the age of Trump to states taking a greater role in governance to citizens self-sorting on social media, this volume offers valuable insights and potential paths forward for American democracy.’
-Craig Volden, codirector of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia
The liberal democratic experiment was built on the prospect of social solidarity and the promise of shared prosperity. But fraying solidarity and rising economic insecurity have undermined confidence in democratic politics. Can liberal democracy withstand the polarizing forces of economic insecurity and social fragmentation? In this collection Rosenbluth and Weir have assembled a dream team of scholars who tackle this most important question. The result is an innovative and outstanding work of rigor and bracing clarity. Robert Lieberman, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Race and Democracy in America
This panel discussion features Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science, Melvin L. Rogers, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Andre C. Willis, Associate Professor of Religious Studies. Moderator: Bonnie H. Honig, Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science. With opening remarks by Richard M. Locke, Provost. This event is curated by Brown University's Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America in partnership with the Office of the Provost.
Juliet Hooker awarded the 2020 Presidential Faculty Award
Professor Hooker's lecture was on "Between Fact and Affect: Ida B. Wells and Harriet Jacobs on Black Loss." She addressed the ways in which two Black women thinkers made visible and grieved the losses suffered by Black communities in two different historical eras - and outlined what lessons they might offer contemporary activists. The Presidential Faculty Award was established to recognice members of Brown's distinguished faculty who are conducting especially important and innovative scholarship.
Read the full article in News from Brown
The political science department at Brown University is a dynamic community of scholars and students investigating some of the largest, most pressing challenges of political life today. Our faculty are at the leading edge of research in all the traditional subfields of political science: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. We study many different regions of the world, and we engage a wide variety of methods and intellectual approaches. We have a vibrant PhD program that trains graduate students for careers in academia and advanced research. Our undergraduate major is one of the largest on campus, although most of our classes are small and allow students to work closely with faculty members. Our graduates pursue a wide range of different careers paths, including law, public service, business, education, and more.
Our faculty and students profit from the many outstanding institutes, centers, and programs at Brown that bear on the study of politics. These include the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, the Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs, Masters in Public Affairs Program, the Program in Urban Studies, the Center for Contemporary South Asia, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Political Theory Project, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Middle East Studies, Development Studies, the Population Studies and Training Center, and Africana Studies. Together we are a community of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars at the cutting edge in the study of political life. We are diverse in approach, method, and field of study, but we work closely together to foster new understanding and creative approaches to the political challenges of our increasingly complex world.