Among the findings were:

  1. "Individually and collectively, the Political Science Department has an impressive record in teaching, research, and service."
  2. "While many political science departments have shifted to large introductory courses with little teacher-student interaction and multiple-choice tests, the Moravian faculty hold fast to the ideals of a liberal arts education." Further, "Despite the grading burden it imposes, the faculty continue to assign papers and essay exams because they are convinced that these are essential  to the their student's intellectual development."
  3. "Moravian students who met with the External Review Committee were markedly enthusiastic about the quality of teaching in Political Science, the scope of their professor's knowledge, the systematic efforts of all department faculty to challenge them to think deeply, develop research skills, comprehend the grounds for their beliefs, and to argue forcefully to defend their positions."
  4. "[T]he intensity and consistency of their assessments of the faculty provided incontrovertible evidence of the teaching excellence in Political Science."
  5. "Describing the classes in their major in superlatives..." the Review Committee notes that one student reflected the sense of those students in the room by saying "I could not have gotten a better political science education anywhere in the world."


Why Study Politics at Moravian?

The areas of study in virtually every political department fall into four broad categories:  American politics, political theory, comparative, and international politics.  At Moravian we go further.  Naturally we prepare students for careers after Moravian, whether in government, law, teaching, corporate, non-profit sector and beyond.  But we seek to transform students in a way that prepares them both for leadership in their chosen field and for moral and political engagement in the world.

The more privilege you have, the more opportunity you have, the more opportunity you have, the more responsibility you have.

-- Noam Chomsky

Plato of Athens, the founder of one of the first colleges, taught that the indispensable mission of liberal learning was to ask questions on behalf of getting at the origin, the root of problems.  For him this meant a radical approach, the word radical being derived from the Latin word radix or root.  We expect our students and ourselves to be radical learners.

Critical inquiry into the momentous and controversial issues of the time has been the abiding hallmark within our political science classrooms.  We demand that students examine all received political wisdom even when that’s personally challenging and at times, uncomfortable.  As the feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem once said, “The truth will set you free.  But first it will piss you off.”  In that sense we make no apologies about our dedication to learning more about global peace and justice within an explicitly interdisciplinary approach. As such, the department concurs with the late South African president Nelson Mandela's declaration that "Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times...they have to rank among slavery and apartheid. Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is a act of justice. It the protection of a fundamental human right -- the right to dignity and a decent life."

Each member of the department routinely draws upon and exposes students to areas of expertise beyond catalogue course descriptions.  This is yet another advantage of attending a small liberal arts college where narrow, esoteric specialization among faculty is discouraged.  For example, our China specialist “does China” but is equally at ease with feminism, ecology and anthropology.  Another member teaches political theory but is comfortably conversant with German literature, women’s health issues, history and literature.  Four teachers in the department grew up in France, Japan, Iran and Germany and weave a welcome cosmopolitan dimension into their courses and out-of-class contacts with our students.

Our majors leave college not only more personally and politically aware but with a sense of moral engagement, an informed commitment to taking on the world.  Unquestionably, studying politics is a highly respected academic discipline and a gratifying way of understanding how the world works.  We want students to understand what governments do (and for whom) but it’s essential to grasp how their lives intersect with politics in a much larger and deeper sense.  When understood in this way, we believe that one’s “politics” are an essential part of one’s core identity.

Politics is not just what goes on in the electoral system, or in Washington. Politics is any power relationship in our daily lives. Anytime one human being is habitually powerful over another, or one group over another, not because of talent or experiences, but just because of race, or sex, or class, that's politics.

-- Gloria Steinem

Political Science

Chair: Professor John Reynolds

Professor: Gary Olson; Associate Professor: Khristina Haddad; Assistant Professor: Yayoi Kato; Visiting Instructor: Faramarz Farbod; Faculty Associate: Jean-Pierre Lalande (Chair, Foreign Language Dept.)

The program in political science provides a comprehensive set of theoretical and empirical strategies
for understanding political experience with all its complexities. Students majoring in political science are well prepared to pursue graduate training in a variety of fields, including public policy, law, journalism, political science, and related social sciences.

The Major in Political Science

The major in political science consists of 10 course units. Four are required: Political Science 110, 115, 120, and 125. Students also must select one advanced course at the 200 level or above, from three of the following groups: Political Science 220, 225, 237, 330, and 340; Political Science 215, 218, and 250; Political Science 210, 235, and 310; and Political Science 245, 247, 257, 327, 347, and 348. 

Two of the remaining three courses required for the major are to be electives at the 300 level, if not already included above.

Courses in special topics and independent study may be substituted for courses at the advanced level, depending on the area in which the student will work and contingent upon departmental approval. Internship (386-388) will be counted as an elective in the major but is contingent upon department approval. Honors candidates take two courses, Political Science 400-401, which are counted within the 10-course requirement. 

Writing-Intensive Courses

Students will be required to take one of the following to meet the College requirement for writing-intensive courses: Political Science 225, 257, 327, 330, 347, or 348.

The Minor in Political Science

The minor in political science consists of five course units: two selected from among Political Science 110, 115, 120, and 125, and three additional courses selected with the approval of the advisor.

The Interdepartmental Major

Set I of the interdepartmental major consists of six course units: any two of Political Science 110, 115, 120, and 125, and four others, two of which may be independent study.

Departmental Recommendations

Students interested in graduate and professional studies are encouraged to take courses in other areas of the social sciences and in statistics. Prospective graduate students are advised to reach at least reading proficiency in those languages that may be required for their studies.