Recent News

One week after being interviewed by The Washington Post's Ezra Klein, UW Political Science Professor Christopher Parker contributed a guest post to the Post's Monkey Cage Blog. In the article entitled "The Tea Party is better understood as a reactionary conservative force," Parker discusses the rift between congressional Republicans and the Tea Party as well as the difference between the two groups. Professor... Read more
While the tea party served as leverage for House Republicans in their negotiations with Democrats before the 2012 election, after the election the tea party faction within the House of Representatives has become a significant problem to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in his attempt to avoid a shutdown of the government. Even though the majority of his party agrees with Boehner on the matter, tea partiers are unwilling to compromise. This rift between the Republican establishment and the tea party faction, The Washington Post's Ezra Klein notes, did not come as a surprise to UW Political Science'... Read more
Washington Post writer Ezra Klein interviewed UW Political Science Professor Christopher Parker about his Tea Party research for the Wonkblog. In the interview titled "'People don't fully appreciate how committed the tea party is to not compromising'," Parker explains why labeling Tea Partiers racist, sexist and homophobic is not just an attempt to write them out of civilized discourse. Based on the survey and content... Read more
In his opinion piece "How Did Conservatives Get This Radical?," Thomas B. Edsall points to the significant impact of the Tea Party faction on House Republicans when they "voted 228 to 1 on Sept. 20 to make continued financing of the federal government contingent on defunding the Affordable Care Act." Considering these radical tactics, Edsall asks "how can Republicans [...] claim to be conservative?" To address this question, Edsall refers to academic research in the... Read more
Many alumni remember a favorite professor who stood out because of their influence along with their uncanny abilities to engender admiration, frustration, or inspiration.  Five such individuals who were powerful forces in the Department have passed away in the last decade:  James R. Townsend in 2004, Daniel Lev in 2006, Donald R. Matthews in 2007, Stuart Scheingold in 2010, and David J. Olson in 2012.  We remember these individuals and honor them in special ways.  Our programs would not be of the quality they are today without the enormous contributions of Professors Jim Townsend, Dan Lev,... Read more
Several Department of Political Science Alumni were recipients of College of Arts & Sciences Timeless Awards, including Bobbe J. Bridge, Christine Charobonneau, Dow Constantine, Robert Dahl, Norm Dicks, Carver Gayton, Gary Gayton, Byron Gray, Bruce Harrell, Lawrence M. Knopp, Jr., Robert Kocher, Andrew Lewis, Barbara Madsen, John McKay, Heather Pool, Dixie Jo Porter, Travis J. Sullivan, and William Thompson.  See this PDF for photos and bios: Political Science... Read more
Student using laptop
It's 9:30 am. A student shifts her books aside, flips open her laptop, and gets ready for another stimulating lecture on political economy.  As the professor winds through the topic of rent-seeking, the student finds herself a bit confused.  No problem.  She simply hits the pause key and rewinds to listen for a second time.  As you might guess, this is not the traditional classroom.  Welcome, instead, to the world of online learning at the University of Washington. A college education has always involved the transference of knowledge from one generation to the next.  Along the way, students... Read more
Architect of the Capitol Professors Mark A. Smith and Rebecca Thorpe The budget deficit is once again a prominent item on the political agenda. The fiscal cliff deal signed on January 2 included tax increases for the highest earners. The “sequestration” process, which began on March 1, implemented cuts in discretionary spending that Congress and the President initially agreed to in 2011.  For now, at least, the sequestration is taking effect.  What is the likelihood of a follow-up deal with significant cuts in entitlement spending?  Not very. One of the fundamental... Read more
Political Science students and faculty have teamed up to document the role of universities in securing labor rights for apparel workers. The Brand Responsibility Project addresses the relationship between multinational corporations—including Nike Inc. and Russell Athletics—and workers in Central America, looking at cases in which subcontractors have violated the labor rights of their employees. In each case, workers, activists, and consumers succeeded in pressuring global brands to take responsibility for violations committed by their subcontractors. In January of 2009, two apparel... Read more
Since 1955, UW undergraduates have learned about lawmaking by devoting winter quarter to working full time in Olympia for members of the Washington State House of Representatives or Senate.  As part of this enriching experience, interns also meet with state officials, participate in academic seminars, and engage in mock floor debates on current issues. For more than 50 years the Washington State Legislative Internship program has been an important catalyst for careers in politics and public policy. What do King County Executive Dow Constantine, gubernatorial candidate and KIRO Radio host... Read more