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Department of Political Science

News and Events

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


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.


Dr. Louise CanikarDr. Louise Cainkar

Bio: The first speaker is Louise Cainkar from Marquette University. Professor Cainkar is a leading scholar in Arab-American studies and the current president of Arab-American Studies Association. She has published many articles on Arab-American Diasporas and identity as well as Arab-American migration. She is the author of “Homeland Insecurity: The Arab-American and Muslim-American Experience after 9/11 (New York: Russel Sage Foundation Press).” Dr. Cainkar’s work is directly related to study of diversity and tolerance. In the mini-symposium, she will talk about her most recent research on transnational Arab-American youth and issues of diversity.

Abstract: Acceptance and embrace of persons in our midst who are different, in some meaningful way, from who we are requires: 1) developing an understanding of the conditions in which they live and the world as they see it, and 2) understanding some of the reasons why we don’t already know these things. In other words, it requires stepping into someone else’s shoes for a while in order to expand our own perspectives. Her talk will focus on these two components of understanding and suggest, in light of them, some ways we might bring about positive change.

Dr. Mucahit Bilici


Dr. Mucahit Bilici

Bio: The second speaker is Mucahit Bilici, and he is an Associate Professor of Sociology at John Jay College and the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. He is the author of “Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2012).” Besides American Islam, his research interests include social theory, Islamophobia, Muslim societies (Turkey), Said Nursi, and Kurdish Studies. Bilici is a faculty fellow at CUNY Dispute Resolution Center.

Abstract: “Muslim Sacralization of the American Constitution” - The recent wave of Islamophobia in the United States is intensifying pressure on Muslims. In response, we see Muslims taking refuge in national symbols to legitimate their citizenship. They increasingly rely on the American Constitution as both a talisman for self-defense (as we saw with Khizr Khan) and a sacred text of citizenship. American Muslims have long cherished their First Amendment freedoms, but we now see a growing interest in the rest of the Constitution. This talk will capture the evolving pattern of American Muslim approaches to the Constitution and its connection with the notions of sovereignty and citizenship.


Dr. Mohamad Al-HakimDr. Mohamad Al-Hakim

Bio: The third speaker is Dr. Mohamad Al-Hakim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Philosophy at Florida Gulf Coast University. He holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from McMaster University and completed his Doctorate of Philosophy at York University (Toronto, Canada). His primary research focuses on political, legal, and moral theory, with special focus on issues of minority rights and justice. Dr. Al-Hakim has taught courses in legal and political theory, ethics, history of philosophy, logic, and Islamic philosophy. He has published on various topics, including multiculturalism and identity-politics, hate crime legislation, and government ethics.

Abstract: Focusing on the question of Muslim identity and democratic citizenship, this talk will provide a comparative analysis of Plato (c.427-c.347 BCE) and al-Farabi’s (c.870-c.951 CE) offered views on democracy. Typically, the issue of Islam and democracy is addressed from a technical theological standpoint, with various attempts at showing that Islam, as a religious comprehensive doctrine, is compatible with democratic institutions. Dr. Al-Hakim’s approach differs, in that it will center on a philosophical discussion of Islam and democratic rule. Through an analysis of these two figures, he traces some of the key reimagined positive features of democracy offered by al-Farabi and provides some insight to Islamic philosophy’s contribution to democratic ideals and citizenship.

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.


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 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 William L. 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." 


-          Catherine Caffera, senior in political science, German, public relations, and international studies,

               received the Don and Marian Button Political Science Scholarship.

-          Ellen Crocombe, junior in political science, received the Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for

              Outstanding Women in Political Science.

-          Sierra Lekie, senior in political science, economics and international studies, received the Louis H.

              Douglas Scholarship.

-          Mohri Exline, junior in political science and international studies, received the Joseph Hajda

              Student Scholarship.

-          Tera Terwilliger, junior in political science and women’s studies, received the Donald R. Hill

              Scholarship in Political Science.

-          Jessica Gittemeier, junior in political science, received the Orma Linford Scholarship.

-          Spencer Majka, junior in political science and criminology, received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr.

              Memorial Scholarship in Political Science.

-          Corinne Stratton, junior in political science, received the Edward Allen McCoy, Jr. Memorial

              Scholarshi[ in Political Science.

-          Victoria DeWeese, junior in economics and minor in political science, received the Barbara Meyer

              Memorial Scholarship.

-          Madison May, junior in political science, received the Richter Family “Beyond the Campus”


-          Kaitlin Stanley, senior in political science and international studies, received the Rieger-McCrery


-          Brett Sitts, senior in political science and communication studies, received the Dennis K. Tapsak

              Memorial Scholarship.

-          Heidee Prosser, junior in political science, received the Jon David Wagner Scholarship.

-          Bethany Schifferdecker, sophomore in political science received the Jon David Wagner


-          Matthew Parra, master of public administration student, received the John W. and Lynn L. Carlin

              Public Administration Scholarship.

-          Danae Daellenbach, master of public administration student, received the Tummala’s Master of

              Public Administration Fellowship.

-          MaKenzie Ruder, master of public administration student, received the Nicolas Salgo Political

              Science Scholarship.

-          Matthew Zayas, master of public administration student, received the Nicolas Salgo Political

              Science Scholarship.

-          Robert Satterwhite, master of arts in political science student, received the Raoul Wallenberg

              Scholarship in International Relations.

-          Jarred Stindt, master of arts in political science student, received the Raoul Wallenberg

              Scholarship in International Relations.

-          Morgan Wills, master of public administration student, received the Jon Wefald International

              Security Scholarship.


-          Robert Adams, master of arts in political science

-          Harris Sheikh, doctorate in security studies

-          Ghashia Kiyani, doctorate in security studies

-          Monica Macfarlane, master of public administration

-          Deanna Milligan, master of public administration

-          Katelyn Roush, master of arts in political science

-          Derek Shaw, master of public administration

-          Andrew Walker, master of public administration

-          Madushika  Nadeeshani Weerasinghe, master of public administration

Congratulations to all our award recipients!

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.

8:00 - 8:30am : Introduction and Welcome

Dean Amit Chakrabarti, Department Head Jeff Pickering, Sabri Ciftci

8:30 - 10:00 am : Gender and Politics in the Middle East

Discussant: Ali Stoyan, Kansas State University
Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University, benstead@pdx.edu
   "Why Do Islamist Parties Reduce the Gender Gap in Service Provision to Women?"
Marwa Shalaby, Rice University Baker Institute, mshalaby@rice.edu
   "Confronting the Governance Crisis in the MENA Region: Remale Politicians and Corruption in Lebanon"
Soumia Bardhan, Kansas State University, sbardhan@ksu.edu 
   "Revolutionary Graffiti and Cairene Women: Performing Agency through Gaze Aversion" 

10:00 - 10:30am : Coffee Break 

10:30 - 12:00pm : Neighbors of Syria

Discussant: Andrew Long, Kansas State University
Mike Wuthrich, Kansas University, mwuthrich@ku.edu
   "Turkey's Roreign Policy Nightmare - Syria" 
Mariya Omelicheva, Kansas University, omeliche@ku.edu
   "Critical Geopolitics on Russian Foreighn Policy in MENA"
Mohaned al-Hamdi, Kansas State University, alhamdi@ksu.edu
   "Military Spending and Economic Growth in Iraq after The Regime Change: 2004-2014"

1:30 - 3:30pm : Violence, Democracy, and Public Opinion in the MENA 

Discussant: Sam Bell, Kansas State University 
Ahmed Khanani, Earlham College, khanaah@earlham.edu 
   "De-Centering the Human: Moroccan Islamism and Rights" 
Ekrem Karakoc, SUNY Binghamton, ekarakoc@binghamton.edu 
   "How Foreign Policies of Other Nations Affect Domestic Policy Attitudes: The Case of Lebanon"
Michael Robbins, Princeton University, mdr7@princeton.edu 
   "Passive Support for the Islamic State in the Middle East and North Africa: Evidence from a Survey  
Steven Brooke, Harvard-Belfer Center, steven_brooke@hks.harvard.edu 
   "Elite Appeals, Social Expectations, and Sectarian Violence: Expiremental Evidence from Egypt" 

Sponsors: Michael W. Suleiman Chair of Arab and Arab-American Studies, Political Science Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, Office of International Programs, KAWSE

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.

Sponsored by the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation and coordinated through the Kansas State University Foundation, the awards include a $2,500 honorarium.

"Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation partnered with K-State nearly two decades ago to support undergraduate teaching excellence," said Tom Giller, community bank president of Commerce Bank,Manhattan. "We are pleased to continue the tradition with the university to honor these four exceptional educators for their dedication to teaching."

University President Kirk Schulz said that supporting excellent faculty will help the university achieve its goals for the future.

"It is a pleasure to recognize these extraordinary educators for their dedication to K-State students, which would not be possible without support from Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation," Schulz said. "The support we receive from community is an invaluable asset to K-State's goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

Birkhead's main area of teaching is American politics, focusing on Congress, the presidency and political participation. He was associate instructor of the year for the department of political science at Indiana University in 2011. He earned his bachelor's from the University of Colorado and a doctorate from Indiana University.


 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. 

Sierra LekieSierra Lekie, from Lenexa Kansas, is the sustainability director for the Student Governing Association, co-chair for the For Sophomores Only program and alumni chair for the College of Arts & Sciences Ambassadors. She also has been an intern for the Student Governing Association, Grad Bash co-chair for the Student Alumni Board, February event chair for Silver Key Sophomore Honorary, and a member of the Quest Freshman Honorary, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Model United Nations. In addition, she was a teaching assistant for the Political Inquiry and Analysis course taught by Sam Bell and an intern for Kansas Sen. Tom Holland and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran. Lekie has received several awards and honors, including a Cargill Global Scholarship, Putnam Scholarship, McKelvie Scholarship for Government Service, Reba L. Cobb Memorial Scholarship for Political Science, Douglas E. and Victoria D. Hill Economics Scholarship, Ethel L. and Joe D. Hubert Scholarship in Arts & Sciences, Arts and Sciences Fund for Excellence scholarship, Katherine G. Malone and Janet B. Hollis Leadership Scholarship and Richter Family Beyond the Campus Scholarship.

Jill ApplegateJill Applegate, from Shawnee, Kansas, is a Bill Snyder Leadership Legacy fellow, a research assistant in the sociology department, an English as a second language teacher, a lecture coordinator for K-State Presidential Lecture Series and a member of the K-State Student Foundation and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She was recruitment and marketing vice president for Alpha Delta Pi, project coordinator for K-State Proud, the Greek outreach coordinator for the Kays and Kennedy student body president and vice president campaign, and served on the 2015 International Leadership Association Case Study Competition Team. Applegate has received the Mortar Board Outstanding Junior Award, semester honors for seven consecutive semesters, the College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Award, Putnam Scholarship, Goss Discovery Study Abroad Scholarship and a Margaret E. Beeson Scholarship in Modern Languages. Applegate is working with Alisa Garni, assistant professor of sociology, to research migration and economic development in rural Kansas communities.

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