Political science is a broad field of study, and the range of our research reflects its diversity. Faculty and PhD students have engaged in research across the spectrum of political science subfields. Many of our faculty work at the intersections of the five traditional subfields of political science:


Comparative Politics

Our faculty in the comparative politics subfield studies the social, organizational, and ideational bases of political mobilization and power across a wide variety of contexts.

Public Policy

Faculty research in public policy investigates the processes by which policy agendas are set, actors form policy coalitions, and policies are implemented and evaluated.

US Politics

Several of our faculty take a historical perspective on US politics and focus on culture and institutions.

International Relations

Our international relations faculty cover a wide range of substantive focuses, from national security affairs to international environmental politics and the politics of international trade and finance.

Political Theory

Our political theory graduate students have addressed topics including Indigenous politics, liberalism, historical memory, environmental politics, anarchism, and Southern slavery and oligarchy.

Associate professor Erin Beck

Researching Violence against Women

“Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is now recognized around the world as a serious human rights abuse. Many countries have passed legislation criminalizing VAWG, offered survivors of violence special protections, and created new institutions to enhance survivors' access to security and justice. But what happens after laws are passed? Do governmental reforms actually help women and girls—and if so, which ones? My research focuses here, exploring the impact of top-down VAWG reforms on diverse women across Guatemala, focusing especially on the impacts for women in rural areas, Indigenous women, and poor women.”

–Erin Beck, associate professor

man and woman sitting across the table from one another with laptop

Recent Publications

Read the latest research from the Department of Political Science.

Recent Publications

Professor Joe Lowndes

Maintaining a Free Society

"The study of politics is the cornerstone of a free society. Learning how power is organized and to what ends helps us understand our world, and helps us imagine better ones."

–Joe Lowndes, department head and professor


August 1, 2023
POLITICAL SCIENCE- Professor Joseph Lowndes opines in the Washington Post article that former President Donald Trump's quest for no limits on presidential power isn't new for the Republican Party. Lowndes offers a perspective on presidential power and its relationship with the Republican Party.
August 1, 2023
POLITICAL SCIENCE- Honors alum Jakob Hollenbeck is featured in the New York Times for his contributions toward supporting Portland Oregon's unhoused population.
July 10, 2023
ANTHROPOLOGY, HISTORY, POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY - The College of Arts and Sciences is adding six Latinx studies tenure-track faculty members in several departments as part of the college’s commitment to becoming a premier institution for Latinx studies while meeting student demand for culturally relevant classes.