Comparative and International Relations
Comparative Politics studies the effects of political culture, institutions and individual decision-making in different political systems around the world. This field also examines how political processes and structures vary across counties and the historical development of these political processes and structures.
Comparative Politics analyses the political behavior and preferences of both political leaders and ordinary citizens. Major themes include the study of war and peace, democracy, dictatorship, regime change and economic development.
Although a separate subfield from International Relations, Comparative Politics often touches on both the domestic origins of foreign policy and the impact of the international system on domestic political behaviors and outcomes.
The study of International Relations analyzes how states in the international system relate to one another. What explains international conflict or cooperation? Why do states choose a particular course of foreign policy? Why do they join international organizations? How do international organizations work?
While a separate subfield of Political Science, International Relations builds on insights from Comparative Politics to make larger claims about global politics and the world in which we live.
Our Comparative Politics and International Relations faculty conduct research on virtually every world region. Key areas of interest include comparative democratization, comparative political behavior, the study of civil war, post-conflict peace building and reconciliation, comparative and international political economy, international and comparative energy policy, international security, human rights, corruption and development, and NGOs in world politics.
Political Science faculty’s work has been published by the discipline’s leading journals and book presses and is supported by prestigious funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Scholarship by members of the department has been cited in leading media outlets, and faculty members have been active in professional consulting with such agencies as the Carter Center and the United Nations. Recently a faculty member served as a fellow for the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Kissinger Institute for China and the United States.