Recent News

John Wilkerson, Department Chair
Social scientists, including political scientists, study the world seeking to develop general lessons about institutions and behavior. These theories are intended to help society better understand and navigate a complex world. The main focus of our classes is to share and discuss leading theories of politics and the evidence for them.  In my U.S. Congress class, much of the focus is on theories that explain why the institution has such difficulty responding to visible societal problems. This exercise can be disheartening, so I frequently conclude by noting that “nothing is impossible in... Read more
On the Forbes web site, Prof. Aseem Prakash and Prof. Nives Dolšak state that implementing strict methods to prevent the CoronaVirus such as social distancing and lockdowns would cause an enormous depression to the economy of the United States.... Read more
UW Seattle Political Science Department has two faculty and a Ph.D. graduate publishing articles in quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal American Political Science Review: Jacob Grumbach, Race and Representation in Campaign Finance... Read more
What was the "Viking cradle of democracy"? How did Scandinavians before the modern era settle disputes? They had "tings". Take in this history lesson from UW Seattle Political Science Candidate Ellen Ahlness. Regional council assemblies called "tings" parlayed justice and settled disputes in the Viking Age. But they were not just regional. They were local, then regional and up to provincial and national. Read about this fascinating part of history that still resounds today in Scandinavian local and regional elections, as well as learn the origin of a... Read more
While Bernie Sanders says he wants "democratic socialism," what does that mean?, asks political science Prof. Victor Menaldo. For Sanders he holds up Nordic states like Sweden as examples of successful democracies and a well funded welfare state. Prof. Menaldo reminds that Sweden is not a democratic socialist state but very capitalist. Prof. Menaldo states that Sweden has a high standard of living but does it with a free market that is capitalist and a "social democracy" but uses the successful capitalist model to distribute assets alleviating poverty and still having a large middle class.... Read more
"The most effective way to mobilize African Americans, according to a survey, is appealing to race, not class." Prof. Christopher Parker and colleague Prof. Christopher Towler (CalState Sacramento and Ph.D. from UW Political Science) open with this warning and proceed to layout why Senator Bernie Sanders is now having trouble trying to get the Democratic nomination. The recent Super Tuesday revealed a clear lack of support from African Americans, a section of the voting population that any Democratic... Read more
Political Science Professor and Chair John Wilkerson's Legislative Explorer (LegEx) has been featured by UW News. This new data visualization tool helps voters and others curious to visually explore the lawmaking process. Prof. Wilkerson created the web site and tool along with undergraduate Rohnin Randles. "The site taps into data from LEG-TECH, the Washington State Legislature’s Legislative Service Center. Each night, a new batch of data is pulled and used to update the database running the visualization, to keep the site as current as possible.'LegEx doesn’t capture everything the... Read more
How can nonprofits recover after a scandal? Profs. Aseem Prakash and Nives Dolšak have found this question relevant to what Oxfam and Save the Children experienced in highly publicized harrassment and exploitation scandals in recent years. After Oxfam and Save the Children's problems were exposed, celebrities and donors severed ties and finances suffered. Scandals can also affect unrelated but similar-in-mission nonprofits, some seeing less support after the big splash of news for well known organizations. Profs. Prakash and Dolšak used Twitter to research approval ratings of nonprofit... Read more
The results of the 2016 presidential vote did not surprise everyone. UW political science Prof. Christopher Parker was one not surprised. His research told him that the Trump campaign could mobilize a lot of support from the recent Tea Party sentiment. How does this affect the 2020 election? Prof. Parker cites empirical evidence that black voters "...who believed Trump was an existential threat to the country were far more likely to say they would turn out than black voters who didn’t believe Trump is an existential threat." For the full read please... Read more
In an article written by Anthony Gill, a Political Science Professor at the University of Washington Seattle, he focused on tackling the idea that students have that they might not do as great as their parents did career wise, and he used an experiment from one of his classes to make his point. The experiment was about trade, and he assigned the class to start a trade with just a paperclip, The end product would be getting a $75 gift card after meeting all the requirements. The main goal of Prof. Gill was to show his students how easy it can be to make gains from trade, and that there are... Read more