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Greetings from the Chair

The Department is an exciting place to work and study. Take a close look at our webpage and you will find scholars with established reputations hard at work pressing forward with new ideas, younger scholars whose ideas are fast-establishing reputations, graduate students who are exploring ideas in creative ways, and undergraduate students who are high achievers by any standards.

The thing that everyone who knows this Department likes best about it is that good ideas are the valued currency. We are committed to generating ideas, exploring their implications, and using evidence to put them to the test. Sharing all of this with students in the classroom and with colleagues at conferences and through publications is what excites us professionally. The faculty and graduate students have particular strength in the study of democratic processes and institutions, the umbrella concept that we like to think holds us together intellectually. Individual strengths include the study of individual political choice and behavior, political representation, human rights practices, domestic and interstate conflicts and their resolution, and the roles of economic and cultural forces in shaping politics and policy. A good part of the fun when studying politics comes from diverse and often conflicting arguments developed to explain why the world is as it is and is not as it could and, arguably, should be. Students come to understand politics by learning what these diverse perspectives say and by asking how well the facts of the world square with the possible explanations. Understanding in this form requires disciplined and open minds. Toward that end, we value systematic theorizing, careful observation, and on-point analysis. This website provides information on our faculty, graduate students, research programs, and course curriculum. Do some exploring. You will see what gives rise to my enthusiasm for working and studying in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University. Please get in touch if you need any additional information about us.

Dave Clark, Chair

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Last Updated: 6/16/09