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NGOs have emerged as important actors in global politics. They are often viewed as basic building blocks for democracy and economic growth. This course examines the role of NGOs at international, national and local levels. It provides groundwork approaches to understanding nonprofits, NGOs, and philanthropy. The emphasis is on how philanthropy, nonprofit, and NGO sectors operate, their niche alongside private and public sectors, revenue sources, impact on society, and converse effects of society and its institutions; and more importantly the policy-making process. We will explore various... Read more
Is America democratic? What is democracy? What do we do when different dimensions of democracy collide? Are there costs to democracy? This course will explore these questions through a combination of historical analysis, studying current events, thinking through and applying democratic theory, and analyzing empirical research. We will assess how democratic American institutions (Congress, Presidency, and the Courts) are, the components of democratic citizenship, and how civil rights and civil liberties influence state-citizen/ citizen-citizen interactions.... Read more
This course uses an American political development approach to the study of state and local politics with an emphasis on Washington state.  We go beyond simple considerations of institutions and law to understand ways in which actors are empowered and constrained within the landscape of local government.  Our goal is to develop a nuanced and robust body of knowledge conceptualizing how state politics provide a unique laboratory of democracy.   Be prepared for guest speakers from a wide variety of arenas linked to state and local government.  In the past we've had state supreme court justices... Read more
India is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, but haven’t really done much in terms of taking actions even though they signed the 2015 Paris agreement. India relies on coal a lot for energy, which means they have a lot of work to do in terms of working towards renewable energy, but it has not been given a lot of attention in the political sector. Furthermore, the election in India is quickly approaching and the citizens of India are demanding climate action, which means whoever or whichever party wants to win the election needs to have plans for climate change or renewable energy... Read more
Margaret Levi, Jere L. Bacharach Professor Emerita in International Studies at the University of Washington, has been named the 25th recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. She is awarded the prize for “having laid the foundations of our understanding of why citizens accept state coercion, by combining theoretical acumen and historical knowledge.” Margaret Levi is currently Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (... Read more
Pi Sigma Alpha members wearing logo sweatshirts
The student leaders of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, are raising funds to support their annual end of year dinner for students and faculty.  To do this, they are offering one of a kind UW Political Science swag!  The sweatshirts say “UW” on the front and  "Department of Political Science | University of Washington" on the back. They are very comfortable.  If you would like to support Pi Sigma Alpha (and to see more merchandise images), click on this link: Pricing:... Read more
Political Science Lecturer Scott Lemieux argues on the Think (NBCNews) web site that unless Democrats can get rid of the Senate filibuster then future Democrat presidents will have trouble passing legislation. While some Democrats suggest that the filibuster should stay as it makes legislators from parties work together, there are many now on the campaign trail that want to dispense with it. But Prof. Lemieux argues that "... If the filibuster could restore bipartisan comity to American politics, it would have already happened."... Read more
The Green New Deal is facing a backlash and the problem is allowing it to be framed in the context of socialism. Socialism is too closely related to the failed states like Venezuela and the central planning disasters that caused famine in Soviet and Great Leap Forward eras. Profs. Prakash and Dolšak arufe that the GND needs to harness the creative solutions of regulated capitalism and not socialism.... Read more
As I write, the cherry trees on the quad are blooming and we are being teased with beautiful weather. Spring quarter has sprung, which culminates in Convocation, the department’s own graduation celebration. This year’s Distinguished Speaker is Tim Burgess, former Seattle City Council member (and Interim Seattle Mayor). After a career in law enforcement and politics, Tim recently returned to the UW to complete his Political Science degree! About 50 undergraduates participated in Career Night in February. Political Science advisors Meera Roy, Tamara Sollinger and Mark Weitzenkamp first offered... Read more
Abstract Marx’s humanism haunts the 1844 Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, which reserves species-being for humans alone, with the capacity for free conscious life activity. This is problematic and seemingly does not represent what we know about the lives of other species. This essay departs from the humanist tradition and argues that Marx’s relational ontology and concept of species-being can be extended to the nonhuman world, bringing Marx up to speed with evolutionary biology and animal studies. Nonhumans possess the capacity to change our material world and live subjective lives, and... Read more