Political Theory and Law
The subfield of Political Theory includes undergraduate courses in the study of political theory and public law, including a concentration in Law and Theory. The subfield also includes graduate offerings in political theory and law. The theory subfield focuses on the conceptual frameworks we use to understand, explain, and evaluate our political world. Our faculty includes specialists in both theory and law, many of whom overlap with other subfields in the discipline and who have interdisciplinary ties with fields including Legal Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Sexuality and Gender Studies, and Islamic Studies. Our department includes the study of both the history of ideas and contemporary political and social theory, with strengths in critical theory, modern and postmodern political theory, feminist and queer theory, democratic theory, and Islamic political thought.
Courses offered in the subfield at the graduate level include a Proseminar, Democratic Theory, Capitalism and Its Critics, Normative Political Theory, International Law, as well as courses in International Relations Theory and assorted topics courses reflecting faculty specialties.
Comparative Politics as a sub-field is a wide and diverse area of study that deals with politics beyond the U.S. It embraces a range of methodological and theoretical approaches. At the University of Delaware, our comparative politics faculty conduct research in gender and politics in Africa, governance in Africa, comparative political economy with a focus on Europe, populism in Latin America, regionalism in Asia, religion and politics in the Middle East, and ethnic conflict.
International Relations (IR) is the study of international and transnational politics broadly understood. Work in the IR subfield is attentive to exchanges and processes among states, peoples, corporations and other economic activity, organizations, transnational actors and movements, as well among the global, regional, and local levels of politics. The IR faculty at the University of Delaware conduct research in areas of historical IR and the historical evolution of the international system; normative IR theory; conflict and peace-building; international security; security studies; political economy; gender and IR; human rights and human security; and global, regional, and transnational governance.
The American politics field broadly encompasses institutions (including Congress, the presidency, and the courts), mass behavior (including public opinion and political participation) and political organizations (like parties and interest groups). Our research program and courses are theoretically driven, but also offer opportunities for students and faculty alike to engage in applied politics. We have particular strengths in the study of political psychology, gender and political behavior, and race and inequality.