Education & Social Sciences

Political Science


The Department of Political Science is one of the oldest and most prestigious programs at Manchester University, housing the University's rigorous political science major, as well as its demanding Mock Trial and Model United Nations organizations. Our well-known graduates include G. John Ikenberry '76 and Steven Shull '65, University Research Professor at the University of New Orleans.

Our distinguished faculty have included such luminaries as Professor of Political Science Robert Johansen '62 (Faculty 1967-74), founder of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and President of the World Policy Institute (1978-1982); and Professor of Medieval History Andrew Cordier '22 (Faculty 1926-1944), one of the co-founders of the United Nations and President of Columbia University (1968-1970).

Manchester University benefited from Cordier's faculty position and, through his relationship with the United Nations, Manchester's Peace Studies Institute was awarded NGO status with the UN, a distinction we still hold. This has allowed Manchester to attract a number of renowned public figures and policy makers to our campus, among them: Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Barry Goldwater, Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson. These speakers, in turn, have helped provide perspective, depth, and experience to those at the University interested in history and politics.

Our political science program provides a systematic study of politics, that is, of collective decision-making and the interactions between power and interest. Political scientists seek to explain human behavior by focusing on people's preferences, resources, and interests; on institutional rules and norms; and on socio-economic conditions.

Students taking courses in the field explore such common topics as the bases of political behavior; the world's major political philosophies; the ethical dimensions of politics and policy; the cultures, institutions, and processes of contemporary political systems; and the relations between and among nations.