Message from the Chair
Welcome to the Department of Political Science at Duke University. Comprised of 32 permanent faculty members as well as a number of distinguished research, adjunct, and visiting faculty, our department consistently ranks among the best in the nation. We take particular pride in our ability to combine outstanding classroom instruction at the undergraduate level with cutting-edge research and a truly innovative program of graduate training.
Founded in 1934, the department offers students a broad intellectual approach to the discipline. The interests of the faculty not only span the full gamut of the traditional subfields of political science, but also extend into other areas of research, including economics, philosophy, law, and public policy. Interdisciplinarity, methodological pluralism, and organizational flexibility distinguish our approach to research and education at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Departing from the conventions of the discipline, the department is organized around subfields that address meaningful questions about political life, encourage collaboration across intellectual boundaries, and place us at the frontiers of the discipline.
Undergraduate education is an historic strength in the department. Our program affords students an unmatched opportunity to develop an understanding of political institutions, identities, and behavior; question the ends and principles of political life; explore the role of human agency within the framework of society's political institutions and processes; and analyze the causes of insecurity and political conflict within and across countries. The undergraduate curriculum includes an honors program and advanced seminars designed to provide students with opportunities to work closely with faculty members.
We recognize that most Duke political science undergraduates will not pursue professional careers in academia. Our curriculum develops both an understanding of political life and an ability to evaluate critically political developments from normative, theoretical, and observational standpoints. Our undergraduates have excelled in widely varied fields of endeavor, including business, public service, and the professions.
At the graduate level, we value the intellectual rigor and academic excellence of our program as well as the achievements of our students. With an innovative approach to fields and workshops oriented around student research, the department is at the forefront of efforts to place our discipline at the heart of the social sciences in the 21st century. Former Duke graduate students have been placed at the world's leading universities, including Stanford, Harvard, Chicago, Cornell, Berkeley, and San Diego. The department also ranked second nationally in overall graduate student satisfaction in the last NAGPS National Doctoral Program Survey, reflecting our commitment to close faculty mentoring and the maintenance of a vibrant and collegial intellectual community.
In these pages, you will be able to access considerable information about our faculty, programs, research, course offerings, and affiliated institutes. If you have questions that remain unanswered, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Karen L. Remmer, Chair