Are authoritarian meritocracies more successful in developing their countries than those that adopt a Western model of democracy? Could the Chinese blackmail the United States by threatening to dump billions of US Dollars they hold in reserve? Why would European states agree to relinquish many of their sovereign rights in exchange for a unified Europe? How does one barter cattle for computer chips?
The Department of Political Science offers an entire range of courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels on international relations and comparative politics, from international organizations, international security, and U.S. Foreign Policy to international political economy, international law, international conflict, international organizations, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict; from courses on development administration, the developing world, Chinese, Latin American, and European Politics, to comparative democratization, revolution, terrorism, and more. “Democracy Studies,” a cornerstone of the discipline of political science, call on all aspects of the teaching and research of its department faculty: issues of democracy not only within the American context but also on a comparative basis relevant to other advanced industrial states and emerging nations. As students learn, institutionalizing democratic values in a stable state can be difficult. Knowledge of the evolution of the democratic state, its cultural and historic roots, its structure and the forces in a society that challenge or support its operation, is critical to appreciating and promoting its longevity.