Department of Political Science

111 Mather House
Phone: 216.368.2424; Fax: 216.368.4681
Elliot Posner, Department Chair

The study of political science is primarily concerned with political power, governance, and the state, broadly understood.  Our department offers courses that explore political behavior, institutions of government, international relations and international finance, policy-making, and protest and revolution. Our political science faculty employ a range of research methods and approaches, including game theory, elite interviewing, survey research, field and archival research, and comparative case study analysis.

Faculty specialties in the Department of Political Science include US political institutions; elections and political parties both in the United States and abroad; legislative politics and public policy; international relations with an emphasis on international political economy; the development and decline of nation-states; the politics of gender; constitutional law; public policy and public organizations; research methods; and comparative politics with regional concentrations including China, Central Asia and the Middle East, and Europe. The department offers degree programs leading to the BA, MA, and PhD.

The study of political science can build a foundation for many types of future employment. Many political science majors go on to graduate study or law school. Others pursue careers in journalism, nonprofit groups, public policy, government, or business.

Washington Study Program

The Washington Study Program provides students with the opportunity to complete a full-time, research-intensive internship in Washington, D.C. By participating in a semester-length program during the fall or spring (WASH 2A Washington Center Internship), students earn 9 credit hours; for a summer internship (WASH 2D Washington Center Summer Internship), they earn 3 credit hours. In addition, students earn 3 credit hours by developing a portfolio based on their internship experiences (WASH 2C Washington Center - Portfolio). The credits earned can be counted as general electives or applied to a student’s major or minor, with the prior consent of the individual department(s). Finally, as part of the Washington Study Program, students participate in a seminar and attend a weekly lecture/discussion group (WASH 2B Washington Center - Politics and Public Policy Course).

To be eligible for the program, a student is expected to be a junior or senior and have at least a 3.0 GPA. The program director, the student’s major advisor, and the appropriate dean must approve each application. Students must ensure that their participation will not prevent them from meeting on-campus residency or other university requirements.

Students should contact the director for updated information about the program's operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Department Faculty

Elliot Posner, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Professor and Chair
International relations; international and comparative political economy; politics of finance; international organizations; European Union

Karen Beckwith, PhD
(Syracuse University)
Flora Stone Mather Professor
Politics of gender; mass political participation; comparative political movements; democracy and representation

Justin Buchler, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Associate Professor
Congress; redistricting; political strategy; parties and elections

Kathryn C. Lavelle, PhD
(Northwestern University)
Ellen and Dixon Long Professor in World Affairs
International relations; international organizations; Congress in world politics; politics of stock markets; governing institutions of national and international finance; U.S. foreign economic policy; Congress and banking policy

Kelly M. McMann, PhD
(University of Michigan)
Professor; Director, International Studies Program
Comparative politics; Central Asia; Russia and former East Bloc; democratization

Peter W. Moore, PhD
(McGill University)
M. A. Hanna Professor of Political Science; Associate Professor
Comparative politics and political economy of the Middle East and Africa

Laura Y. Tartakoff, JD, MA
(Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Tufts University)
Senior Instructor
Constitutional law; civil liberties; comparative constitutionalism

Joseph White, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Luxenberg Family Professor in Public Policy; Director, Center for Policy Studies and Public Policy Program; Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine
American government; Congress; public policy; health and welfare policy; comparative politics of rich democracies

Visiting Faculty

Matthew Hodgetts, PhD
(Brown University)
Visiting Assistant Professor
Politics of climate change; environmental policy; contemporary political theory

Girma Parris, PhD
(Johns Hopkins University)
Visiting Assistant Professor
Politics of race, ethnic relations, issues of race and immigration in education, and comparative immigrant integration

Secondary Faculty

Juscelino Colares, JD, PhD
(Cornell Law School)
Professor, School of Law
International law; civil procedure

Adjunct Faculty

Karl Kaltenthaler, PhD
(Washington University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Comparative politics, political behavior/public opinion, political extremism and violence, political economy, Europe

Andrew M. Lucker, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
American government; state politics and government; history of political science

Howard Maier, MS
(Case Western Reserve University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Paul E. Schroeder, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Politics of China, environment, foreign

Michael Wager, JD
(New York University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor