Recent News

Due to the Electoral College, both George W. Bush (2000) and Donald Trump (2016) lost the popular vote but won the presidency. There are only two Senates for each state regardless the size of the state. This has important implications for political representation. The current demographic groups that tend to support Democrats are likely reside in populated states such as California and our current system strongly favors white voters. There is a democratic deficit in our system and it is almost impossible to amend the Constitution to change how the Senate or the president is elected. There is a... Read more
There was a debate organized by the UW Center for Environmental Politics about Initiative 1631 on Tuesday, October 16th 2018 in Gowen Hall 301 and was reported by Leslie Fisher for the UW Daily newspaper. "The debate featured Nature Conservancy government relations director Mo McBroom and Washington State Labor Council representative April Sims supporting the initiative versus “No on I-1631” campaign spokesperson Dana Bieber and former executive secretary of the Washington Building Trades Council Lee Newgent from the opposition." The initiative is mainly about a carbon emission fee that will... Read more
TRUMPISM in EUROPE, an article written by a freelance journalist Rebecca Nathanson who is based in New York and the United Kingdom. In her article, she talks about how much opposition Trump has in Europe but also how the right wing are beginning to rise across Western Europe, due to the united Kingdom leaving the European Union, Sweden’s far right democrats receiving the third highest votes in the country’s history whose platform is based on ending immigration and leaving the European Union, and other far right parties in Italy, Austria, Netherland, and Belgium following the same paths.... Read more
Dr. William J. Gore passed away peacefully in his home on September 10, 2018 in Seattle, WA at the age of 94. Bill's primary goal for the end of his life was to remain at home, and he was blessed to have the support of his family, compassionate home care providers and a broad network of professionals to do so.  Bill was born and raised in Medford, OR, and finished High School in Oakland, CA. Like many young men of that era, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Europe. Returning from WWII, he entered the University of Washington and joined the Wesley Club, where he met and married his wife,... Read more
John Wilkerson, Department Chair
It is a privilege to serve as the new chair of the Political Science department.  I have spent my entire academic career at the University of Washington. Our family also has a long Husky history – my grandmother earned her B.A. from the UW in 1928 (!) and my son earned his in 2015. The main things I have come to appreciate so far is our capable and dedicated staff and the valuable advice of several former chairs. The department is doing well despite broader budgetary challenges. Undergraduate majors are up by 50 percent since 2014. In 2017–18, over 900 undergraduates majored in political... Read more
Meera Roy, Director of Academic Services
Meera Roy has spent her entire professional life in higher education. As an undergraduate she studied political science at McGill University in Montreal and received her B.A. at Albertus Magnus College, a tiny school in Connecticut where her instructors included nuns in the Dominican Order. She then pursued a master’s degree in political science at the University of Delaware. Even though she did not complete her graduate studies, the experience instilled a deep commitment to higher education. It also gave her an appreciation of what it takes to become an academic and the challenges that both... Read more
James Long conducting research
In 2010, James Long and his colleagues created a simple yet effective anti-corruption tool to fight election fraud in many elections. Around the world, a common approach to promoting fair elections is to deploy international observers to monitor local polling stations. This approach is expensive (it can cost thousands of dollars per observer) and there is limited evidence of its benefits.  While serving as one of these observers in Afghanistan in 2009, James happened to take a photo of the final vote tally posted at a polling location he visited in Kabul. He... Read more
When it comes to studying how bills are passed to become laws in Congress,  scholars and journalists typically study effectiveness by equating the progress of bills with the progress of policy ideas. This is flawed because bills sometimes advance for reasons that have nothing to do with the sponsor and it overlooked the lawmaking contributions of other legislators. One way to address these limitations is to use "text reuse" to study the progress of policy ideas. It detects how legislators borrow other legislators' ideas and it also reflects institutional realities and strategic... Read more
Professor Jamie Mayerfeld has published an essay entitled "Kavanaugh and the question of torture" in the blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money.  Mayerfeld argues that "there are unanswered questions about Kavanaugh’s involvement in torture when serving as a White House lawyer between 2001 and 2006" and that "his opinions as a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals from 2006 to the present undermine fundamental protections of the right not to be tortured."  For the full piece please click here...
Victor, you and your co-author Michael Albertus have a new book. What is it about? Yes, we examine what happens when authoritarian systems of government transition to democracies. How does this process occur and what are the consequences? For example, since World War II, the outgoing authoritarian regime has drafted the new democratic constitution in over... Read more