Message from the Chair
Aldo Vacs, Professor and ChairIt is my pleasure to welcome you to the Government department. You will quickly learn that while your fellow majors and the faculty constitute a disparate group, they all share an interest in politics. This interest manifests itself in forms as varied as a fascination with the delicate diplomacy necessary to hold together multinational organizations, with the voting rules and institutional structures devised by multi-ethnic societies to lessen the possibility of conflict, with the ways that developing countries cope with the threats and opportunities posed by globalization, with the fundamental political questions raised by classic works in political theory and philosophy, and with how partisan conflict influences policy outcomes in the American polity. The department's courses are designed to help you engage with political issues in an informed way by introducing you to analytical, conceptual, and theoretical tools that will allow you to understand better why political actors make the choices they do, why political institutions function (or malfunction) the way that they do, and why nation-states act and interact with each other in the ways that they do.
The following information is designed to acquaint you with the most important features of the department and the major. If you have questions that are not answered by the following, please do not hesitate to make an appointment to see me.