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Department of Political Science

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Why Study Political Science?

 Political Science Professor and Alum Win Conflict Management and Peace Science's Article of the Year Award


Carla Martinez Machain and alum Leo Rosenberg (2015 MA in Political Science) have been selected as the recipients of the 2018 Glenn Palmer Prize for the best article in Conflict Management and Peace Science (CMPS). Martinez Machain and Rosenberg’s paper “Domestic diversion and strategic behavior by minority groups” and was published in 35(5) issue of CMPS.  

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Political Science Professor Receives Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award


Jeff Pickering is the 2019 recipient of the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Studies Association.

The award is given annually to a scholar who has significantly influenced the association's Midwest region. The recipient is recognized for having an exceptional record of scholarship in international studies, a distinguished record of service to the International Studies Association and other international affairs organizations, and a record of service within the region.

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 Political Science Department Honors Students at Recognition Reception


The department held its annual scholarship reception on Friday April 20, 2018.  Family, guests, donors, and faculty members joined our scholarship recipients to recognize the academic achievements of students within the political science, public administration, and security studies programs.  The department awarded $15,750 in scholarship funds to undergraduate students, $3,500 for graduate scholarships, and $139,000 for graduate assistantships for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Graduate assistantships also include over $86,963 in total tuition support.

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Political Science Researchers Receive 1.2 Million Grant to Study Effects of U.S. Military's Overseas Presence 


The United States has maintained a large overseas military presence since World War II. The strategic advantages of such installations may be clear, but how troop deployments affect host nations is not.
Martinez Machain and Flynn
Two Kansas State University political science researchers have been awarded $1.2 million by the U.S. Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative to study the political, economic and social effects of the United States' overseas military presence. Carla Martinez Machain, associate professor, and Michael Flynn, assistant professor, will work with a team to engage in a large data collection effort to explore public attitudes and beliefs about American activities and installations abroad at the national, regional and local levels.

Both Martinez Machain and Flynn have longstanding interest in international conflict and security, with a specific interest in military deployments.

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Sierra Lekie Receives Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship


Sierra LekieKansas State University's Sierra Lekie, senior in economics and political science is one of 20 students selected nationally for a 2017 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship with the U.S. State Department.

The fellowship, administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, provides up to $37,500 annually for a two-year master's degree in foreign service-related fields.

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(Re)Imagining Tolerance, Diversity, and Justice: The Impact of a Post-Truth USA on the Arab-American and Muslim-American Experience

 Monday, April 10 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Hale Library, Hemisphere Room

This event is open to all—students, faculty, staff, and members of the public. “(Re)Imagining Tolerance, Diversity, and Justice” will explore the issues of tolerance and diversity from the Muslim-American and Arab American perspectives, featuring the work of three separate speakers. Following 15-20 minute presentations by each speaker, there will be a question and answer session. Then, participants will break into groups and meet with a speaker and a group of facilitators to engage in deep conversations about each presentation topic as it relates to civic action at the individual, community, and societal levels. These small group conversations will focus on issues of integration, acceptance, tolerance, and diversity from the Arab-American and Muslim American perspectives. This is an opportunity to learn about important scholarly perspectives and connect cutting-edge research to your civic practice.

RSVP to the event here

Event Conveners: Sabri Ciftci (ciftci@ksu.edu), associate professor of political science and Brandon Kliewer (bkliewer@ksu.edu), assistant professor of civic leadership

This event is sponsored by: Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies, Department of Political Science; Staley School of Leadership Studies; College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Committee; K-State Libraries; and the Division of Student Life.

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Political Science Faculty Publish Twenty Top 30 Ranked Journal Articles


K-State Political Science faculty members had a remarkably productive year when it comes to highly ranked, visible scholarship.  Department faculty members had 9 articles published or accepted in journals ranked in the top ten in their field over the past year.  They had an additional 11 articles published or accepted in journals ranked in the top 30.  Beyond that, political science faculty gave invited talks at workshops and other venues at Stanford, Princeton, Rice University, USC, Rutgers, UNLV, NC State, CIDE in Mexico City, UC-Davis, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Oklahoma. View the full list of publications for the academic year 2015 -2016 here.


Notable Alumnus Speaks to KSU Master of Public Administration Course


Don_DresslerDon Dressler, BA (1966) in Political Science, recently spoke to Master of Public Administration students in their Public Personnel Administration course.  Don is a nationally recognized consultant on insurance and risk management issues and has had a distinguished career working as a labor and employment law attorney. He is also currently serving as the Chairman of the Finance Commission for the City of Irvine. Don was kind enough to offer his experience with the MPA students and answer their questions related to personnel administration and local governance.  This is just one more example of an alumnus giving back to K-State by sharing their insight and knowledge.


K-State Ranked #1 Political Science Graduate Program in 2016


2016 Top DegreesKansas State University’s Political Science graduate program is ranked #1 in the nation by graduateprograms.com.  The data used for the ranking comes directly from surveys of current students and recent graduates.  K-State earned an overall score of 4.85 out of 5 and exemplary scores in campus safety, advising, and instruction quality.  

K-State also stands out for being an excellent program for the budget-conscious student.  Graduateprograms.com notes the cost of a degree at “Kansas State University should stand out…average out-of-state annual tuition costs of less than $20,000 and less than $10,000 for state residents.” 

Our faculty’s dedication to graduate student education is earning well deserved recognition!


Sabri Ciftci Wins 2016 Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching


Ciftci_SabriThe College of Arts & Sciences has selected the 2016 Stamey Awards for Undergraduate Teaching and Advising. William L. Stamey is a mathematician and served as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences for seventeen years from 1970-1987. In recognition of Dean Stamey's outstanding record in recruiting excellent faculty to Kansas State University and in recognition of the continuing need to foster excellence in teaching and advising, the College of Arts & Sciences has established the William L. Stamey Award.

Sabri Ciftci, Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies in the Department of Political Science. Ciftci received his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2005. He specializes in the Middle Eastern and Turkish politics. His research focuses on Islam and democracy, Arab public opinion, and Turkish foreign policy. His most recent projects examine anti-Americanism in the Middle East and religious tolerance. Ciftci published widely in journals like Comparative Political Studies, Political Research Quarterly, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Foreign Policy Analysis. He is the principal investigator of Turkish Parliamentarians Survey and Youth Attitudes about Turkish Foreign Policy project. He teaches courses in Middle East Politics, Political Islam, Comparative Politics, and Research Methods. Ciftci uses active learning methods and enjoys teaching about intercultural tolerance in his courses.

 Political Science Honors Students at Scholarship Reception


The department held its annual scholarship reception on Friday, April 22, at the Manhattan Country Club.  Family, guests, donors, and faculty members joined our scholarship recipients and students for a lovely afternoon.  The department awarded $17,800 in scholarship funds to undergraduate students, $5,700 for graduate scholarships, and $87,450 for graduate assistantships for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Graduate assistantships also include over $76,433 in total tuition support.

The scholarships awarded recognize students for their academic achievements and support their continuing education. Ellen Crocombe, winner of the Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Women in Political Science, expressed her thanks at being honored at the reception.  She remarked, “After the semesters of dedication I have put into the program, I can honestly say that I do not know a major that would fit my needs and passions better than Political Science. This scholarship will not only ease the burden of having to alter my attention away from school due to financial restrictions my senior year, but will bring my education into a new perspective.” A similar sentiment is expressed by Monica Macfarlane, an incoming graduate teaching assistant in the master of public administration program, who stated "I know that the Master of Public Administration Program here at Kansas State University is the best path to take toward my professional goals of working to resolve community issues. I am truly grateful to be awarded the opportunity to continue my educational journey at Kansas State University, as it will be an honor to work with the faculty that I have come to admire and respect." 

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After the Uprisings: Public Opinion, Gender, and Conflict in the Middle East


After the UprisingsThis conference hosted by Michael W. Suleiman Chair and Political Science Professor, Sabri Ciftci, will focus on the culture and politics of Middle Eastern society.  It will consist of three panels including: Gender and Politics in the Middle East, Neighbors of Syria, and Violence, Democracy, and Public Opinion in the Middle East and North Africa.  We are excited to be hosting some distinguished experts from universities around the country.  The conference will take place Thursday May 5th in the Hemisphere Room of Hale Library.  This conference is open to the public and we encourage you to attend any or all of the panels to learn more about the complex nature of Middle Eastern culture and politics.

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Nathaniel Birkhead Wins 2016 Commerce Bank and William T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award


Nathaniel BirkheadFour Kansas State University faculty members are being recognized with the 2016 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award for making a difference in the classroom.

The 2016 award recipients are Nathaniel Birkhead,assistant professor of political science; Huston Gibson, assistant professor in landscape architecture and regional & community planning; Chad Jackson, director of the university's Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship; and Kevin Wanklyn, instructor of mechanical and nuclear engineering.

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Kansas State University Nominates Two Political Science Majors for Truman Scholarship


Sierra Lekie, a junior in political science and economics, and Jill Applegate, senior in political science and Spanish, have been nominated for the 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship recognizes students with exceptional leadership potential and that will pursue careers in public service, government, or the nonprofit sector.  If awarded, the scholarship provides up to $30,000 in financial support for graduate school.  Four students from K-State were nominated, and we are extremely proud that Sierra and Jill are in that number. Six hundred students are nominated from across the nation and 60 scholarships are awarded in April. 

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Waters Wins 2015 KSU Young Alumni Award


Dr. Jeff Pickering and David E. WatersDavid E. Waters, BA 1999, received the Kansas State University College of Arts and Sciences Young Alumni Award at the Eisenhower Circle Celebration at KSU on October 15, 2015.  After graduating from KSU, David attended the University of Kansas School of Law on scholarship and also clerked for Kansas State Supreme Court Justice Robert E. Davis.  He joined the law firm Lathrop & Gage LLP, in Kansas City and Johnson County, Kansas, following completion of his law degree and quickly made his mark on the greater Kansas City legal community.  Now a partner at Lathrop & Gage, he was named a Super Lawyers Missouri and Kansas “Rising Star” from 2012 to 2015 and one of The Best Lawyers in America in Real Estate for 2013-2016.  David has also published a number of articles for professional legal publications and regularly speaks on legal issues for various professional associations. 

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Sabri Ciftci Appointed Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies

Sabri CiftciSabri Ciftci has been appointed the Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University.

With a tradition of success in the study of Arab and Arab-American issues at K-State, the Suleiman Chair was established to help the university remain at the forefront of Middle Eastern studies. The Suleiman Chair and the activities that will be associated with it, including talks and workshops, will help to expand knowledge on issues that are currently significant and will remain relevant in the coming years.

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Political Science Junior Receives National Fellowship to Become 
a U.S. Foreign Service Officer

Shai Washington

Shai Washington, junior in political science and international studies, is one of 10 students nationally to receive a 2015 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship with the U.S. State Department.

The fellowship, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, provides financial support for students; senior year as an undergraduate and first year of graduate school. In addition, students participate in one domestic internship and one overseas internship; receive mentoring from foreign service officers in the U.S. State Department; and after completing a master's degree, are expected to become foreign service officers.

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Master of Public Administration Student Awarded Prestigious Scholarship

Jared WasingerJared Wasinger, a student in our Master of Public Administration program, has been awarded one of two scholarships awarded annually by the Kansas Association of City/County Management. Jared is a Kansas native who received his undergraduate degree from K-State. 

The Kansas Association of City/County Management (KACM) is an organization of local government management officials working together since 1951 to support and promote professional management and high ethical standards for effective democracy in local city and county governments in Kansas.

This is the second year in a row that one of our MPA students has won one of these prestigious awards.

Kansas State University Nominates Two Political Science Students for Truman Scholarship

Eleanor DickensCiara Chambers and Eleanor Dickens, both juniors in political science, are two of four students nominated by Kansas State University for the 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship recognizes college students with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service, government or the nonprofit sector. If awarded, it provides up to $30,000 in financial support for graduate education. 

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Political Science Graduate Wins 2015 Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Matt King, BA Political Science (2007), is the recipient of the K-State Alumni Association Student Alumni Board's 2015 Distinguished Young Alumni Award. This award recognizes K-State graduates who are younger than 35 and are using the scholarship, leadership and service experience they acquired at K-State to excel in their professions and contribute to their communities.

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Concurrent Degree Launched

NASPAA LOGOThe Political Science Department is pleased to announce the new BA-BS/MPA concurrent degree program. This program allows students to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Political Science as well as a Master of Public Administration in five and a half years. Earning both a BA or BS and a Master's degree typically takes six years to complete. The concurrent degree program saves both time and money. A Master of Public Administration trains students for a wide variety of careers in the public sector and non-profit organizations. Please be advised that careful academic planning is required beginning in your sophomore year. Interested students should contact Dr. Jim Franke, Director of Graduate Studies.

Concurrent Bachelor/Master of Public Administration Degree Website

Patricia A. Seitz Named Alumni Fellow

Judge Seitz

Senior US District Judge Patricia Seitz, BA 1968, was honored as a University Alumni Fellow in April. Judge Seitz spent two days on campus, and shared her insights and experiences with students in John Fliter's Constitutional Law course and with pre-law students on campus. She also met with two Seitz scholarship recipients on campus, and with student veterans.

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Model UN Team Re-Launched

model un

Kansas State University's Model United Nations team has successfully returned to competition. The team won three awards at the 54th Midwest Model UN Conference in St. Louis in February and four awards at the American Model UN International in Chicago in November. These were the first Kansas State University teams to compete at Model UN competitions in over 30 years.

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Political Science Graduate Programs 
Ranked Among Best in the Country

According to GraduatePrograms.com, the graduate education experience offered by KSU's Political Science department is among the best in the country. The GraduatePrograms.com website surveys recent and current graduate students on the quality and value of their graduate education, and then evaluates programs across fifteen categories. Overall, the graduate programs housed in KSU's Department of Political Science were ranked the 13th best in the country. We had good company in this ranking — sandwiched between Harvard University (ranked 12th) and Yale University (ranked 14th). KSU's graduate programs were ranked #1 in the country for both career support and faculty support.

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Earhart Foundation to Sponsor Mini-Conference in Department

The Earhart Foundation, a charitable foundation founded in 1929 by Harry Boyd Earhart, has provided a $7,500 grant to the Department of Political Science for a Mini-Conference featuring the authors contributing to Perspectives on Modern Honor, an edited volume that will be published by Lexington Press. The Mini-Conference, co-hosted by Dr. Laurie M. Johnson (Political Science, KSU) and Dan Demetriou (Philosophy, University of Minnesota-Morris) will be held Friday, March 27, 2015 in KSU's Hale Library (Hemisphere Room, 5th Floor). It is open to the public, and we encourage those with an interest to attend. To view talks given at the Mini-Conference, click here.

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2019 - 2010



Jared Wiesner

 Jared Wiesner

Throughout my legal education and career, the development of critical thinking skills that I underwent in the political science department at K-State has proven indispensable.  Although I learned a great deal about the structure of political systems and our place in the world in Manhattan, it has been the intangible lessons I learned that prove beneficial to this day:  work hard to understand opposing views; put in the effort to have a comprehensive understanding of a problem you face; resist immediate shortcuts during analysis to achieve a better long-term result.

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Fall 2015 Second Installment
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Fall 2013 Second Installment
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