Comparative and International Relations

Comparative Politics

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.

International Relations

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.

Faculty Research

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.

Read about our faculty’s recent research, articles written and quotes in leading media outlets on our news page, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Faculty Members

Dan Altman

Assistant Professor
International Security, Strategic Studies, Territorial Conquest, Crises, the Causes of War, Red Lines, the Fait Accompli, Deterrence, Coercion.

Louis-Alexandre Berg

Assistant Professor
Civil war and political violence; post-conflict peacebuilding and state building; security and justice system reform; urban violence and organized crime.

Chris Brown

Senior Lecturer
International and Comparative Political Economy, Development, Country Risk and Strategy, Latin America, Ireland.

Henry 'Chip' Carey

Associate Professor
International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, Comparative Legal Development, Empirical Democratic Theory, and Elections and Democratization.

Ryan Carlin

Comparative Politics, Public Opinion, Electoral Behavior, Social Preferences, Natural Disasters, and Rule of Law.

John Duffield

International Politics (International Security, International Institutions and Organizations, International Relations Theory), and Energy Policy/Politics.

Jeannie Grussendorf

Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies
International Relations, Peace Research, International Organizations, Global Terrorism, and American Politics (Foreign and Domestic).

Charles Hankla

Associate Professor
Comparative and International Political Economy.

Michael Herb

Professor and Chair of the Department
Comparative Politics, Middle East Politics, the Resource Curse, Monarchism, Democratization.
William Long

William 'Bill' Long

International Cooperation, Conflict Resolution, International Political Economy, Religion and Politics, and Comparative Political Theory.

Carrie Manning

Comparative Politics, Post-Conflict Politics, Peacebuilding, and African Politics.

Jennifer McCoy

Distinguished University Professor
International Relations and World politics, Comparative Politics (Latin America) and Democratization.

S. Rashid Naim

Senior Lecturer
Comparative Politics (Middle East, South Asia), International Relations, Religion and Politics.

Kim Reimann

Associate Professor
NGOs and International Politics, Japanese Politics and Political Economy, Political Economy and International Relations of East Asia.

Jelena Subotic

International Relations Theory, International Organizations, Human Rights.

Andrew Wedeman

Comparative Politics, Chinese Politics, Political Economy of Corruption, Corruption in China.