Recent News

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
Peter May
With this newsletter, we reach out to our extensive alumni network and our many friends to tell just a part of the story about what makes our department exceptional. The vitality of what we do shines through each and every item that follows. This newsletter includes a cogent analysis of national politics, examples of our innovations in teaching, a retrospective about our State Legislative Intern Program, a description of a student research project, a tribute to some of our highly distinguished alumni, and a fond remembrance of some departed faculty colleagues. It is easy to speak in both... Read more
Graduate student Hind Ahmed Zaki and Prof. Angelina Godoy (Director of the Center for Human Rights, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science), were recognized last week as "Women of Courage" by the UW Women's Center for their advocacy of human rights.  Matt Barreto and The Washington Poll in... Read more