Recent News

UW grad waving
What do the American dream in 1920s literature, the evolution of America’s policy of constructive engagement with South Africa, and India’s educational programming have in common? They are all topics of departmental honors theses authored this past year by participants in the Department of Political Science’s Honors Program. Created in 1979 by Professor Daniel S. Lev the program provides a unique educational opportunity for both faculty and students characterized by individual attention and in-depth scholarship. Each year, after a rigorous application and interview process, a committee of... Read more
Peter May
With the start of another academic year, we are reminded of the remarkable talents of our faculty, graduate students, and staff that make for exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs.  This newsletter highlights some of these with features about the department's Honors Program, innovative graduate student research, insights from a new faculty book about the Tea Party, and a profile of our newest faculty member. Although the academic world is often portrayed as slow moving, this is far from the case for the Political Science Department.  In recent months there have been a number of... Read more
Chris Parker
Christopher Parker talked about the book he co-wrote, Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America, in which he says that it is a mistake to argue that the tea party movement is driven by ideology or racism. Instead, he argues that the movement is part of a long tradition of American reactionary movements, like the No Nothing Party or the John Birch Society, that are driven by the fear that the traditional American way of life is under siege. This event was held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  See... Read more
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