Politics

Washington, DC vista

  • How does a critical engagement with politics and political thought help us to understand power in contemporary and historical terms?
  • What sorts of power do we see at work in modern institutions such as states, global capital, and the media?
  • How do subordinate groups and individuals resist and transform systems of power?

In the Politics Department we explore these questions by exposing students to multiple perspectives on the most consequential, often controversial, issues of our times. Such issues may include questions of war and peace, democracy, the environment, the politics of development, the impact and legacy of empire, terrorism, justice, race, gender, globalization, transnational networks, immigration, and labor. 

UFW Students; Leviathan; Interview

The goal of the Politics department is to cultivate in students a critical ability to interpret political questions from a variety of perspectives. As measures of our success in meeting this goal, we expect students to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the interconnections of political institutions, movements, concepts, and events from multiple intersecting vantage points;
  • identify important contested assumptions, ideas, and intellectual debates in politics scholarship;
  • pose critical questions about power relations as they investigate key political questions in a globalizing world;
  • conduct a focused academic inquiry that demonstrates a critical awareness of competing arguments in response to a key question, an ability to formulate a systematic path of analysis, and the capacity to generate creative findings based on original research.