Political Science

Political Science is the study of political behavior and the groups and institutions through which power is exercised. Marietta's versatile faculty offer courses in such wide-ranging fields as American politics, public policy, comparative and international politics, and political theory.

Throughout the program, students examine the purposes and problems of politics and evaluate many of the controversial issues of political life. They also assess different viewpoints about the world community, analyzing political issues and relating them to ethical decisions.

All Political Science majors complete internships, a study abroad program, or a Washington Semester program. These opportunities help students apply what is learned in their formal studies and prepare for law school, graduate studies in public policy, or careers in business, government, or education.

Marietta College offers many co-curricular activities in areas related to Political Science. Campus organizations include College Democrats and Republicans, Model UN, and Moot Court. In addition, many of our students participate in state and local political campaigns and volunteer in community projects. Marietta's chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, recognizes students for outstanding achievement in political science. Marietta College offers many co-curricular activities in areas related to Political Science.

2015 Political Science and McDonough Center Leader-in-Residence Program

This was a big program for POLS and for MC, so I hope that it can have some high visibility coverage. The program began with a pairing of Kathleen Reddy-Smith, our current Leader In Residence with myself. We created a program that would teach a group of MC students strategic writing skills and strategic thinking through the use of the US State Department's writing style. Kathleen spent a month in my POLS 325, Middle East Politics, class teaching writing, thinking, and style. Early in the class we used case studies on the 1979 fall of the Shah of Iran to give students writing assignments and a context for their strategic analysis. We saw it as a boot camp for moving from academic writing to professional writing. I then taught Middle East politics using Kathleen's writing style. Out of the POLS 325 we selected 8 students for the Spring DC portion class. During the spring each student was assigned a new country to research. They researched the political, economic, and social background of their assigned countries. They also completed a memo on the United States' national interests with their target country. Finally, each student completed a decision memo recommending a change or addition to US public diplomacy with their target country. This work prepared students for their DC oral examinations. Each student had a one hour examination conducted by a former US ambassador or foreign service officer with a high amount of knowledge on each student's respective country. These oral exams were something to watch, as each student was challenged and pushed by their examiner on a host of issues. While in DC the group also met with the Ambassador John Beale. Beyond being an MC alum and this year's commencement speaker, he is also the Ambassador of Barbados to the United States, Canada, and Barbados' Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States. We met with him in Barbados' Embassy. He spoke with students about the trials of diplomacy, running an embassy, and the life of a diplomat. The group had a luncheon at the DACOR Bacon House where they met some distinguished MC alums and two former Iranian Hostages, Ambassador Bruce Laingen and Michael Metrinko. Metrinko also served as the keynote speaker for the lunch. He spoke about US-Iranian relations, his experiences as a hostage for 444 days, and how anger can frustrate the policies of countries. The group also visited with the DC Alumni chapter for an evening event on Tuesday, April 21. The trip culminated with a tour the US State Department's Operations Center. This was the most significant academic and experiential program that I have had the honor to participate with while a faculty member at Marietta. It would not have been possible without support from the Administration, the Schwartz Leader in Residence program, Paula Lewis, our volunteer examiners, and especially Kathleen Reddy-Smith. Her knowledge, determination, and friendships in the diplomatic world made this all possible.

Faculty Publications

Dr. Schaefer’s book, The Formation of the BRICS and its Implication for the United States: Emerging Together, co-authored with Dr. John Poffenbarger, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in their “Pivot” series, which is devoted to important recent political developments. The book is available on Amazon.com. Dr. Schaefer and his co-author first presented their analysis of the BRICS as a series of papers given at Political Science conferences. To help finish the book last year, he received research assistance from five Political Science students: Josh Counselman (14), CJ Englert (14), Michael Fahy, Kurt Fire and Sean Kuhn.

According to the publisher’s summary on the Amazon webpage, Dr. Schaefer and his co-author argue that “while still considered a world political and economic superpower, the United States is becoming increasingly well-matched by five emerging economies known as the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Together, these countries would have the clout to limit the United States' ability to engage in its preferred foreign policies, thereby reducing US power abroad. In anticipation of this potential alliance, they analyze the foreign policies of individual BRICS members for common goals and approaches as well as bilateral problems that may exist between member states. With particular attention paid to the BRICS' Africa strategy and founding of the New Development Bank, the book explores joint actions of the BRICS body and suggests policy recommendations the US might adopt in response.”

Congratulations to Dr. Schaefer for this very significant scholarly accomplishment!

Dr. Tager had an article titled “Apologies to Indigenous Peoples in Comparative Perspective” published in The International Indigenous Policy Journal.