Currently in Political Science

Model UN team meets with success at regional competition – K-State Media, February 26, 2014

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Model United Nations team has successfully returned to competition.

The team won three awards at the 54th Midwest Model U.N. Conference in St. Louis, Feb. 19-22. It was the first Kansas State University team to compete at a regional Model U.N. event in more than 30 years.

The team was relaunched by John Fliter Jr., associate professor of political science, as part of the activities associated with his term as the university's 2013-2014 Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars. Carla Martinez Machain, assistant professor of political science, is the team's co-adviser.

In Model U.N. competitions, teams typically role-play delegates to the U.N. Each team is assigned certain countries to represent, and awards are given for team members who excel in their delegate roles.

The Kansas State University team represented the Philippines, Czech Republic, Senegal and Ecuador at the competition. The 28-member team was one of the largest delegations present and included eight international students from China, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Paraguay. Team members earned the prestigious delegate's choice award as well as two position paper awards.

Hot News: Political Science Graduate Programs Ranked Among Top 25

MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University graduate programs have received recognition by, a student-rated guide.


The website ranks the College of Arts and Sciences' sociology graduate program No. 20 and the political science graduate program No. 23. The College of Veterinary Medicine's graduate program is No. 24 in the nation.

"We are very excited that two of the graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences are recognized by students as not only among the best in Kansas, but also in the nation," said Peter Dorhout, college dean. "Raising the profile of the university's largest college will benefit the K-State 2025 strategic plan to promote academics, creative endeavors and scholarship."

"It's nice to see students' evaluation of the College of Veterinary Medicine," said Ralph Richardson, dean of the college. "We look forward to continuing to elevate the college's ranking and helping K-State be named a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

Program rankings were compiled using more than 40,000 student reviews from more than 1,300 graduate programs nationwide between Sept. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013. Ratings are based on a 10-star system with 10 stars being the best.

"I'm proud of our talented sociology faculty who have helped develop and maintain one of the best graduate-level sociology programs in the nation," said Betsy Cauble, sociology, anthropology and social work department head. "I am delighted that students see that and have recognized these efforts."

The guide gave the whole university 8.2 stars out of 10. The sociology program received 7.8 stars, the political science program received 6.854 stars and the veterinary medicine program received 7.083 stars.

"The ranking calls further attention to the outstanding quality of our graduate programs, and that students appreciate the many benefits they derive from our graduate curriculum and the value it represents," said Jeffrey Pickering, political science department head.

Internationally Recognized Speakers visit Department

Four internationally recognized speakers will visit the department this academic year.

A. Cooper DruryA. Cooper Drury, chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri, will give a talk on April 11. Drury is the editor of the International Studies Association (ISA) journal Foreign Policy Analysis and was named a Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar by the International Studies Association-Midwest in 2013. He has published widely on the foreign policy process and economic sanctions and has served on numerous journal editorial boards, including those for International Studies Quarterly and International Interactions.

Amaney JamalAmaney Jamal, a professor of political science at Princeton University, gave a talk on February 27, 2014 on US foreign policy and democratization in the Middle East. Jamal has a forthcoming book on the subject entitled "Of Empires and Citizens: Pro-American Democracy or No Democracy at All?" Named a Carnegie Scholar in 2005, Jamal is a well-known expert on the democratization process across the Middle East and the issues encountered by Arab Americans. Her book Barriers to Democracy won the Best Book Award in Comparative Democratization at the American Political Science Association.

Patrick James, Dornsife Dean's Professor and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Southern California, gave a talk on succeeding in graduate study and academia on September 17 2013. Among a long list of awards, Dr. James has been honored as a Distinguished Professor by two separate sections of the ISA; he has been Vice President of the ISA, and President of the International Council of Canadian Studies. James served a term as editor of the prominent journal International Studies Quarterly, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Political Science Review, Foreign Policy Analysis, and International Interactions among other journals.

Mark Tessler, the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan, gave a public lecture on November 4 2013. Dr. Tessler is a well-known expert on public opinion and behavior in the Arab world and the Middle East, and is a founder and co-director of the influential Arab Barometer Survey Project. He has been President of the American Institute for Maghreb Studies, President of the Association for Israel Studies, and on the Board of Directors of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University and Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Professors win Prominent Teaching Awards

Brianne HeidbrederDr. Brianne Heidbreder has received a William L. Stamey Award from KSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The Stamey Award is the highest teaching honor given in our college. Dr. Heidbreder is known for her engaging and effective instruction style and her outstanding teaching in all types of classes, from large lecture halls to small seminars. We anticipate that Dr. Heidbreder will receive a number of additional teaching accolades in the years to come.John Flilter

Dr. John Fliter, Jr. has received the foremost teaching honor given across all of Kansas State. He will serve as KSU's Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars during the 2013-2014 academic year. Dr. Fliter has long been known as a dedicated and passionate professor, and has a well-deserved reputation for teaching excellence among students. His hard work and commitment to teaching have been recognized with this endowed chair, which honors him with the title University Distinguished Teaching Scholar for the remainder of his career. During his year in residence as the Coffman Chair, Dr. Fliter will share his ideas on the art of teaching to the K-State community in a widely publicized lecture as well as in a series of workshops.

Congratulations to Dr. Heidbreder and Dr. Fliter for adding to our department's rich history of excellence in the classroom.

Department Launches Online Graduate Certificate

Students in classroomThe Department of Political Science recently introduced a new graduate certificate in public administration. The certificate is designed to provide a high quality educational experience to public servants interested in furthering their credentials as well as other students who may have difficulty attending graduate classes on traditional “brick and mortar” college campuses. It provides the most fundamental courses that those in public service administration need to master in a widely accessible, interactive format. Busy professionals and those with a range of other time constraints are able to complete weekly coursework in the setting and at the time they choose in our new online courses while still being able to draw from valuable interaction with student peers and the course professor.  We believe that the online graduate certificate in public administration will provide valuable knowledge for current and future public servants, and a worthwhile credential.

We are also developing non-credit course modules that will provide training on the legal issues that local government employees and administrators often encounter. Similar to our Public Administration Certificate courses, these non-credit course modules are also designed for busy professionals and will be offered as interactive, online courses. The modules have been endorsed by the Kansas League of Municipalities and will be included in their 2014 Municipal Leadership Academy. In the future, particular modules will allow practicing attorneys to earn Continuing Legal Education credit.

New Courses Offered in the DepartmentSabri Ciftci

Department faculty have recently developed new courses that should be of wide interest. A course entitled Political Islam will be offered by Assistant Professor Sabri Ciftci in spring 2014. The course will explore the role that Islam may play in governance in Muslim societies and the extent to which the religion is compatible with democratization. Since it explores the philosophical foundations of Islamic views of governance as well as modern challenges, it will count toward either the comparative politics or a political thought upper level course requirement for majors.   The course will be offered as a 600 level topics course in spring 2014, and will become a regular online course option the following year.

Katie JacksonAdvisor and Instructor Katharine Jackson has developed a new course entitled Local Government Law which will also be offered online in spring 2014 as a topics course. Local government law touches every aspect of our lives. Actions as simple as purchasing a latte from your local Starbucks’ drive-thru have been defined, shaped, and regulated by myriad local laws. At the same time, local government is the easiest point of access for citizens in a democracy. A recent City Attorney for the City of Manhattan, Dr. Jackson knows the intricacies of local government law extremely well. This course will also soon become a regular online option in our course catalog.

Zhiwei ZhangNew courses have also been developed for our MPA students. Two of these new offerings are available this year as pro-seminar topics courses. Public Finance, offered by Assistant Professor Zhiwei Zhang this fall, examines the role and impact of governmental policy in a market economy. Schafer classroom


Assistant Professor Josephine Schafer will offer a new course on Strategic Management of Public Organizations in spring 2014. It will examine how public managers identify, plan and accomplish public purposes in a sustainable fashion. Both of these courses will soon become part of our standard rotation of public administration courses. 




A Talk by Jack S. Levy, Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers University, Theory

and Practice of Preventive War, 27 September 2012.

Levy Lecture Part 1        Levy Lecture Part 2