The graduate program in the Department of Political Science and International Relations is oriented around the theme of global governance. Global governance may be defined as an approach to politics and public policy that transcends the nation-state and its formal institutions of government. It is global because it recognizes that virtually all issues on the public agenda – e.g. development, environment, gender, human rights, migration, religion, security, the trafficking of persons - transcend in their scope, source, and solution national boundaries. It is governance (rather than "government") because non-formal, non-state actors -- nongovernmental organizations, interest groups, professional associations, and so forth -- have increasingly been accorded legitimacy in rule-making and rule-enforcement. The global governance perspective does not insist that the traditional nation-state has collapsed, or even that such a collapse is inevitable. It does suggest, however, that we will increasingly live in a world characterized by powerful tensions between the formal governmental institutions of individual nation-states, on the one hand, and a vast array of transnational, non-state forces on the other. It is this tension, with each set of forces laying claim to political legitimacy, which will shape the politics of the new century.
While ours is primarily a PhD program, a limited number of MA students may be admitted. To help students navigate the burgeoning field of global governance, we organize study around three tracks of inquiry: The United States in the World, Global Processes and Transnational Issues, and Comparative Perspectives. PhD students pursue two tracks, while MA students pursue one. Each track offers students opportunities to explore in depth complex theoretical, conceptual, and practical questions related to particular issues, and to develop specific research interests under the guidance of distinguished faculty.
Approximately 50 graduate students from all over the USA and the world are currently enrolled in our graduate program. Our faculty provide close advising and mentoring to our graduate students who find a collegial atmosphere in the Department. Through colloquia, seminars, and an annual spring speaker series, we offer a stimulating intellectual environment. In addition, we provide our advanced graduate students with opportunities to teach their own courses. Finally, we encourage our advanced graduate students to present their research at conferences and to publish their scholarship in peer-reviewed journals.