Recent News

Ellis Goldberg
After serving nearly 30 years as a member of the Political Science Department, Professor Ellis Goldberg has retired. At the end of Winter quarter, he assumed the title of Professor Emeritus. He plans to remain an active member of the University of Washington community continuing his research on the Arab Spring, teaching part-time, and directing the Center for Middle East Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies. Professor Goldberg joined the Department of Political Science at UW in 1985 after completing his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. He was promoted to associate professor in 1991... Read more
After serving 40 years as a member of the Political Science Department, Professor Margaret Levi has assumed the Directorship of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University with an appointment as professor in Stanford's Political Science Department. The Directorship of CASBS is a prestigious appointment that provides a capstone to Professor Levi’s illustrious career. She assumed the new role at the end of March at which time she retired from the University of Washington. She is now Professor Emerita in our department and the Jere L. Bacharach... Read more
George Lovell
Professor George Lovell teaches American politics and law. After earning his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, he taught at the University of Maryland and College of William and Mary before coming to the University of Washington in 2001. Professor Lovell’s research focuses on how political institutions and law shape the way people organize for political action. For example, his book Legislative Deferrals showed how workers in the early 20th century struggled to end judicial restrictions on their ability to organize. His second book, This is Not Civil Rights, looked at how... Read more
What is justice? Why have government? What makes a good life? Political theory is the field of big questions, the part of political science that keeps us debating the fundamentals of ethics, politics, and society, that keeps us in touch with traditions of moral reflection extending from Plato’s academy to Machiavelli’s Florentine Republic to Locke’s defenses of toleration and the right to revolution. Made up of three core faculty members, the political theory subfield at the University of Washington is flourishing. Its faculty are internationally known and its Ph.D. students are unusually... Read more
J. Allen Smith
The excellence of today’s Department of Political Science may not have been foretold by our inauspicious beginning when J. Allen Smith—the namesake of Smith Hall on campus—came to the UW as the Professor of Political Economy in 1897. By 1911 the Department of Political and Social Sciences had four members, all male. An assistant professor of economics was added two years later for the lofty sum of $1,500 per year. A then recent Ph.D. of the department, the first female hire, was also named a temporary instructor. Controversy over Smith's book, The Spirit of American Government, in... Read more
In the 1970’s William Burke was a program director at the University of Massachusetts but he had a grander vision: to create a Washington, D.C., internship program that would connect students to internships and provide them with housing and academic credit at their home institution. He founded a non-profit, The Washington Center (TWC), to provide that service to universities throughout the world. In 1977 the University of Washington Political Science Department became a partner to TWC. Since then, hundreds of UW students from majors across the campus have ventured to the nation’s capital, but... Read more
Peter May
Political Science: Continued Excellence As we near the end of another academic year, we are reminded how the end of a year often marks transitions of one kind or another. This newsletter highlights some of these along with features about our department's history, the Washington Center D.C. internship program, our highly successful political theory graduate program, and a staff spotlight of Susanne Recordon our Graduate Program Assistant. One positive force for change in the academic world is the hiring of new faculty. We were fortunate this year to search for two faculty positions. Jeffrey... Read more
Chris Parker
Prof. Christopher Parker appeared in a radio interview on ABC Classic FM (Australia) for discussion about Tea Party and their core beliefs.
Alex Gottfried
Alex Gottfried, a retired professor of political science, civil liberties leader, antiwar activist, and expert on Chicago’s machine politics, died on March 18, 2014, in Renton, Washington.  He was 94 and lived in Seattle. A self-described “nuclear pacifist,” Dr. Gottfried dated his opposition to all wars from the United States destruction of Hiroshima by an atom bomb, and this conviction remained an important element of his philosophic and political outlook.  He was also a local leader in Seattle in the movement to end the war in Vietnam, and an active participant in and supporter of the... Read more