Graduate Areas of Study

The women and politics program focuses on the approaches, concepts, and methods of women's and gender studies as they apply to the study of politics.  Through courses both inside and outside the Department of Political Science, students are challenged to consider the ways in which the theoretical prism of gender allows us to rethink traditional analyses of governing institutions, political processes, and theories of politics, thereby enriching the discipline of political science itself.

The program examines how gender relations structure the theory and practice of politics through a rigorous and diverse curriculum.  A core course entitled "Proseminar: Women and Politics" (790:587) is required of all students concentrating in this field and is recommended to other students as an introduction to the field of women and politics.  Students electing women and politics as a major field must take four additional gender-related courses -- three offered by Political Science and one offered by Women’s and Gender Studies or another department.                 

 Students electing women and politics as a minor field must take two gender-related courses in addition to the proseminar.  Both of these courses must be selected from the women and politics courses offered by the Department of Political Science. 

 Students may easily earn a graduate certificate in Women's and Gender Studies in conjunction with a graduate degree in Political Science.   A description of the Graduate Certificate Program can be found on the web site of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at


Susan Carroll

Drucilla Cornell

Cynthia Daniels

Mona Lena Krook

Kira Sanbonmatsu

Shatema Threadcraft

Nikol Alexander-Floyd (Women’s and Gender Studies)

Barbara Callaway (Emeritus)

Jocelyn Crowley (Bloustein School)

Mary Hawkesworth (Women’s and Gender Studies)

Ruth Mandel (Eagleton Institute)



16:790:587  Proseminar: Women and Politics

Introduction to  approaches, methods, and debates in interdisciplinary feminist scholarship which are useful in  analyzing politics.


16:790:578 Feminism in Postmodernity

This course examines diverse political strategies for achieving gender equality in the context of contemporary feminist debates about the category of women, foundationalism,  humanism, identity politics, and essentialism.

16:790:584 Themes in Feminist Theory

Focuses on a particular theme, school, or theorist within the tradition of feminist theory.  Topics vary. (Cross-listed with Political Theory)

 16:790:588  Gender and Mass Politics

Gender-related influences on political attitudes, voting behavior, and other forms of political participation.   Effects of feminist consciousness on attitudes and behavior.  (Cross-listed with American Politics)

16:790:589  Women and Political Leadership

Examines the history, background, recruitment, and performance of women in leadership positions.  Analyzes women leaders' relationship to power and their impact on public policy and public institutions. (Cross-listed with American Politics)

16:790:590 Gender and Political Theory

Analysis of political theory as a signifying practice.  The discursive uses of gender in delineating the  public sphere, constituting the citizen-subject, and articulating the relations of nation and class. (Cross-listed with Political Theory)

16:790:591 Gender and Public Policy

Addresses the theoretical and policy questions raised by issues related to gender inequality including: welfare and poverty, reproduction rights, violence against women, women and work, health policy and women and militarism. (Cross-listed with American Politics)

16:790:592 Politics, Development, and Women

Examines political, social and cultural impact of developmental processes on women.  Reviews theories of development with particular emphasis on feminist critiques.

16:790:593 Gender and Comparative Politics

This course will examine the major paradigms used in the study of comparative politics, followed by an examination of the major critiques of these paradigms put forward by feminist scholars working in the field. The course also focuses on systematic discussions of methodologies that have been used by scholars working in the intersections between comparative politics and women and politics. (Cross-listed with Comparative Politics)

 16:790:594  Women's Movements in Comparative Perspective

The development and impact of women's movements in cross-cultural perspective.  Analysis of the conditions and implications of women's participation in movements such as nationalist, labor, and independent women's movements.    (Cross-listed with Comparative Politics)

 16:790:596  Advanced Topics in Women and Politics

Seminar offered on occasion on topics of special interest to students of Women and Politics.

16:790:636 Research Design for Dissertations in Women and Politics

The primary objective of this course is for each student to produce a working draft of a dissertation proposal.  A secondary objective is to prepare student for the actual process of writing the dissertation.


The public law program at Rutgers focuses on the role of law, legal institutions, and judicial politics in governance.  In a methodologically diverse array of scholarship, members of the field examine the functioning, the effect, and the legitimacy of a wide variety of legal institutions.  Research focuses on the law itself; citizen mobilization and participation in legal forums; social reform movements’ use of legal language and institutions; policy development and implementation by and through the courts; criminal justice institutions; state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court; the processes and products of constitutional doctrinal development; and the jurisprudence of rights.  These investigations are tied together by a self-conscious effort to understand law and its relation to politics, and constitutionalism and its relation to democracy.

Strong links exist between the intellectual interests of the public law faculty and members of other fields within the Department, particularly American Politics, Political Theory, Women and Politics, and Comparative Politics.  Faculty encourage graduate students to explore a wide variety of approaches and methods and invite them to integrate normative and empirical research in the study of public law.  Likewise, faculty encourage graduate students to build on the strength of the different fields within the Rutgers Political Science Department by exploring our shared interests in federalism, democracy, citizen participation, identity construction, conflict resolution, institutional structures and efficacy, and regime legitimacy.

Looking beyond the department, Rutgers’ Public Law Program has links to the School of Law in Camden (by way of the Eagleton Institute) and to the School of Law in Newark (by way of joint research projects). Additional joint programs are not only possible but desirable in a graduate program committed to pedagogic breadth rather than narrow parochial attachments.  Members of the field also have established ties to the School of Criminal Justice in Newark and to the Administrative Office of the Courts of New Jersey.  The New Jersey Bar Association and the Institute for Continuing Legal Education are located adjacent to the Rutgers Campus on Ryders Lane, providing additional opportunities for collaborative work.


Milton Heumann

Susan Lawrence (Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education)

Lisa L. Miller 


Formal Requirements

Students majoring in public law are required to complete l5 credits in the area, including the proseminar.  Students who enter without having taken course work in basic case analysis will be encouraged to enroll in 790:40l and/or 790:406.

Students minoring in public law are required to complete the proseminar and two additional courses within the subfield, for a total of nine credits.



16:790:556  Proseminar in Public Law

An introduction to the major literature of the field; critical examination of recent theories and methods in the study of the judicial process.


16:790:505  Constitutionalism and Judicial Politics

An assessment of the role of the federal courts in the American system of democracy.  Normative and empirical assessments of the foundations of judicial review and the alleged counter-majoritarian problem; interactions between courts and the other electorally-accountable branches; the role of litigants and mobilization processes in the judicial development of doctrine and policy.

16:790:506 Contemporary Constitutional Issues

Current public policy questions explored in the judicial forum, both national and state.  A variety of research methods employed.

16:790:560 Seminar in Doctrinal Analysis

A critical survey of contemporary issues before the Supreme Court, the federal district courts, and the state supreme courts; modes of conflict resolution with a dual emphasis on substantive law findings and judicial craftsmanship; the interplay of forces at different stages in the adjudicatory process.

16:790:605  Philosophy of Law and Jurisprudence

The nature of law and its relation to other normative systems; major legal philosophies.  Other topics will include legal reasoning, the enforcement of morality, and the justification of punishment.

16:790:613 Law, Courts, and the Politics of Social Reform

This course examines the role of law and courts in the politics of social reform in the United States.  It surveys various ways of understanding and investigating the interplay of law and politics in reform projects, with an emphasis upon recent developments in the legal academy (e.g. feminist legal theory; critical race theory) as well as in political science.

Research Seminars:

16:790:612  Seminar in Law and Politics

Intensive study of selected problem areas that may include issues in criminal justice, law and society, and judicial decision making.

16:790:614  Advanced Topics in Public Law

An advanced research seminar for upper-level Ph.D. candidates in public law intended to provide an opportunity for the design of doctoral research projects and the investigation of their feasibility.   

16:790:623  Seminar in Constitutional Law

An advanced seminar with emphasis on individual research projects assessing judicial craftsmanship and doctrinal lines of inquiry.




The fundamental problem for international relations theorists since Thucydides is the dynamics of conflict and cooperation in a political system without a central administrative authority.  Although the end of the Cold War did not alter this basic problem, it did fundamentally change the political context; as a result, international relations as a field of study has been in a state of flux. The blurring of traditional interstate boundaries, as well as the rising importance of transnational processes like ethnic conflict, terrorism, and capital flows, have yielded new perspectives for the study of international relations. 

Rutgers offers a unique program of advanced study in international relations in the midst of a community of scholars engaged in cutting edge research.  Members of the IR field are committed to theoretical and methodological pluralism.  The Rutgers program offers students the opportunity to pursue studies in international relations theory, international security and conflict processes, international political economy, and foreign policy decision making.  Methodological approaches employed by faculty include comparative case studies, large N statistical studies, and game-theoretic analyses.

As they pursue their classroom studies, students are invited to participate in the many conferences and research programs organized by members of the faculty.  These include projects on political extremism and wanton mass killing,  diffusion of democratic ideals and practices, the causes of war, civil war termination, identity conflicts, theories of decision-making, domestic and cultural influences on foreign policy, and the political economy of international conflict.  Students also are invited to participate in the programs sponsored by the Center for Global Security and Democracy, the International Relations Colloquium Series, the International Relations/History Seminar, and the Citizenship and Service Education Program.

In order to fully experience the distinctive strengths of the department as a whole, students studying international relations at Rutgers are encouraged to take classes in other fields that focus on themes critical to international relations:  interstate war and intrastate political violence, international and comparative political economy, and American as well as comparative foreign policy.  An early research orientation is strongly encouraged.  Descriptions of seminars not listed in the IR curriculum section (see below) can be found in the Political Science Graduate Handbook or Website. 


Jack Levy

Roy Licklider

Manus I. Midlarsky


Formal Requirements

Majors and minors in International Relations must take the proseminar and a total of two seminars chosen from two of the following three categories:  1) interstate and intrastate warfare (522 or 001), 2) international political economy (630), and 3) foreign policy (530, 569, or 002).  All IR majors must take fifteen credits in the field, and either 790:633 Multivariate Techniques or 790:634 Game Theory for Political Scientists, or the equivalent approved by the field. IR minors must take nine credits in the field.  In addition, majors must have an IR field advisor; students planning to major or minor in IR should contact one of the faculty members affiliated with the IR field. 



16:790.521.Proseminar: Theories of International Politics

Core course for international relations. Contemporary approaches to the study of international politics.


16:790:522.Theories of War and Peace

A survey and critical analysis of the leading theories of the causes of war and the conditions of peace.

16:790:530.Theoretical Explanations of Foreign Policy

Systematic analysis of factors influencing the foreign policies of states, with an emphasis on decision making.

16:790:566Theories of Political Violence and Stability

A survey and critical analysis of the leading theories of the causes of intrastate violence, including ethnic conflict, revolutions, and civil wars.

16:790:569. American Foreign Policy

The institutions and events which have shaped American foreign policy in the postwar era. Roles of the president, Congress, the bureaucracy, the military, and public opinion. The influence of partisan, economic, and social pressures on the formulation and implementation of policy.

16:790:627. Topics in International Politics

Specialized studies and research in international politics.

16:790:630. International Political Economy

Comparative analysis of alternative theoretical approaches to the study of international political economy.

16:790:640 Research Seminar on War and Peace

Original research in the area of war and peace. Models in international politics and peace research methods and literature.

16:790:680 Advanced Topics in International Relations

Advanced research seminar in international relations, intended to provide an opportunity for the design of doctoral research projects and the investigation of their feasibility. Open only to upper-level Ph.D. students.


The theory faculty in both graduate courses and research have challenged students to confront the history of Western political thought text by text in order to sharpen and focus analytical skills and to develop for themselves standards of judgment through which they can assess the relative merits of political systems and public policies throughout the history of Western civilization including the contemporary world.  This focus requires careful textual analysis of the canons of Western political thought but always with an eye to the fundamental political problems that are addressed in those texts. 

The political theory curriculum involves both analytical and ethical/policy issues mentioned above.  To this end the proseminars 511-512 (in association with Political Science 371-372) are critical.  As it has evolved, this group of courses provides one of the most comprehensive introductions to the history of political thought in the country.  Graduate students generally have regular exposure to all four of the theorists in the course of the year.  Requiring graduate students to attend undergraduate lectures allows faculty the luxury of conducting seminar discussions that are, in the normal course of graduate education, simply not available in most other comprehensive introductory courses.

Political theory will continue to offer, depending upon demand, a range of historically based courses that will, in addition to the introductory sequence from Plato to Marx, include attention to the Roman political tradition, medieval political thought, the political thought of the Renaissance and the Reformation, the British tradition from Hobbes to J.S. Mill, the European Enlightenment, Rousseau, Hegel, the Marxist and neo-Marxist tradition, Existentialism, and contemporary political thought.

New doctoral students in political theory  are  required to demonstrate competence in a foreign language, by translating two short pieces (one page or less) from a political theory text with the aid of a dictionary.  The hour-and-a-half test will be given twice annually and must be passed before the oral examination in the field.  The language may be Latin, French, German, Spanish, Italian, or such other language as approved by the Field Chair for use in the student's research.


Dennis Bathory

Stephen Bronner

Drucilla Cornell

Andrew Murphy



16:790:511,512  Political Thought: Plato to Marx  (Combined with the aforementioned undergraduate lecture series on the same material, 790:371-372)

An intensive two-semester course in the history of political thought from Plato to J.S. Mill, issuing in a written examination administered and graded by the entire graduate political theory faculty.


16:790:513  Philosophy of Political Inquiry

Introduction to the major issues in political and social inquiry in the broad perspective of the philosophy of the social sciences.  Emphasis on the problems of epistemology, methodology, and historiography in political theory and political science.  The orientation is philosophic and not methodological.

16:790:514  American Political Thought

Prerequisites: 01:790:375,376 or permission of instructor.

Major themes in American political thought from the seventeenth century to the present; particular emphasis on contemporary movements and ideas including the new left, the new right, and black thought.

16:790:517  Democracy, Values and Public Policy:  Theoretical  Foundations

Theoretical foundations of public policy in a democracy.  Complementarity and conflict between such fundamental values as liberty, equality, justice, security, efficiency, quality (of life), planning, community, fraternity, individuality, and privacy; theoretical implications of distinctions between public and private goods, interests, and values.

16:790:540 Theories of Democratic Transitions

This course examines the conceptual framework surrounding the ideal of democratic transitions.

16:790:558  The British Tradition

Social contract theory, utilitarianism, and empiricism in English political thought, with emphasis on the political sources and meanings of works by Hobbes, Locke, Smith, Burke, Hume, and John Stuart Mill.

16:790:579 The Enlightenment: The Philosophers and Their Critics

The political thought of Kant, Rousseau, and their contemporaries. Emphasis on enlightenment      responses to the political, educational, and moral problems of modernity.

16:790:580 The 19th Century: Continental Political Thought from Hegel to Marx to Nietzsche

Topics in the political thought of selected theorists from sequences including Hegel, Herder, Marx, and Nietzsche;  and de Maistre, Bonald, Comte, and Fourier. 

16:790:590 Women and Political Theory

Examines role of women in the polity as addressed by major political philosophers.   Analyzes sex discrimination as a problem for theories of rights, justice, and equality.  Examples from historical and contemporary readings. (Cross-listed with Women & Politics)

16:790:605  The Philosophy of Law and Jurisprudence

The nature of law and its relation to other normative systems; major legal philosophies.  Other topics will include legal reasoning, the enforcement of morality, and the justification of punishment.

16:790:607  Contemporary Philosophy and Politics

Recent developments in philosophy and their implications for politics and political theory.

16:790:608 Critical Theory

This course will concentrate on those thinkers, usually associated with Western Marxism and the Frankfort School, who are the most important representatives of what has come to be know as “critical theory.”

Research Courses:

16:790:610 Research Topics in Political Theory

An  intensive research seminar for advanced students.  Topics vary from year to year.


Comparative politics engages in the systematic analysis and comparison of political activity, processes and behavior. The members of the comparative politics field at Rutgers are united by a common interest in explaining the dynamics of political change and in deploying and developing a wide range of conceptual and methodological tools in this endeavor. Members of the field have teaching and research interests that focus on the big questions that political scientists seek to explain and understand: What are the factors that facilitate or obstruct successful processes of democratization? What are the links between democratic and economic transitions?  How do institutions shape national and global political processes? What is the relationship between politics and culture? Members of the field address these questions through both in-depth area-based and cross-national research. Scholars in our field have drawn on original qualitative and quantitative research in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

The comparative politics field at Rutgers is distinctive in its interest and expertise in developing and bridging paradigms and theoretical orientations that address questions raised by such approaches as political culture, political economy, and new institutionalism.  Rutgers has a very strong group of scholars working with these conceptual frameworks, employing a variety of approaches and methodologies. Members of the field are also currently active in addressing the ways in which debates and concepts in comparative politics help to understand important recent political events and new political trends such as accelerating globalization, the rise of new transnational political formations (enlarged European Union) or the post-communist and post-authoritarian transformations.

The comparative politics field maintains active ties with other cognate sub-fields in the Department of Political Science. Members of the field have also taken a leading role in founding and directing Rutgers Area centers on the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South Asia.  They maintain active professional and intellectual linkages with a wide range of research institutions, domestic and overseas universities, and professional networks.


Xian Huang

Barbara Callaway

Eric Davis

Robert Kaufman

Daniel Kelemen

Jan Kubik

Harvey Waterman (Associate Dean, Graduate School)


Formal Requirements

Graduate courses offered in Comparative Politics are divided into a proseminar, a second tier of courses reflecting general comparative approaches, and a third tier of more specialized courses.  Majors in the field are required to take at least five courses, including the proseminar, at least two second tier courses, and a least one third tier course.  All majors must also pass a language competency test in the language most relevant to their field of interest.  Competence in advanced quantitative method or formal game theory may be substituted for the foreign language requirement with permission from the field chair.  All majors must have an adviser chosen from among the core faculty listed below.

Minors in Comparative are expected to take the proseminar and two second-tier courses.


Proseminar: (Tier 1) 

16:790:503  Approaches to Comparative Political Analysis   (required for majors and minors)

Scope and practice of the field:  nature of comparison; approaches to comparison; examples of current research on selected topics.

Theoretical Foundations: (Tier 2)

16:790:540 Theories of Democratic Transitions 

This course examines the conceptual framework surrounding the idea of democratic transitions. Topics covered include theoretical debates on the concepts of democracy and democratic transitions, conditions of democratic sustainability, the causes of authoritarianism, and methodological debates and approaches to the study of democratic transitions.

16:790:541  Political Culture

This course focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of different political culture approaches.  Attention is also given to the importance of cultural variables for understanding political change.

16:790:542  Political Anthropology

Comparative analysis of selected examples of several major theoretical approaches to the analysis of culture, e.g., semiotics, phenomenology, hermeneutics, post-structuralism, and critical theory; and the application of these conceptual approaches to a wide variety of empirical studies.  Examination of meaning in politics by focusing on the roles of symbol myth, metaphor, rhetoric, ritual, religion and performance in politics.

16:790:545 Theories of Political Economy

Survey of the classical and contemporary literature in the field from Smith and Marx to Lindblom and O'Connor.  Special emphasis on normative, theoretical and empirical implications of competing schools of thought.

16:790:547 Foundations of Capitalism and the Modern State

Comparative historical development of Euro-American capitalism and state structures, from 1450 through the industrial revolution.  The role of class relations, state elites, international economic and geopolitical forces.

16:790:630 International Political Economy

Topics which develop the theory of the structure and dynamic of the global political economy.  A current emphasis is on the development of the post-Depression World War II international economy, especially relations among OECD countries. (Cross listed with  International Relations)

Electives:  (Tier 3)

16:790:523 Politics of Africa

Problems particular to African political development; colonial experience, one-crop economies, traditional social arrangements, ethnic particularism, and party organization.           

16:790:539  Politics of the Middle East

The comparative analysis of nationalist movements, problems of social and cultural change, the Arab-Israeli dispute and inter-Arab politics.  Examples drawn from historical and contemporary perspectives.

 16:790:544 Collective Identity: Ethnicity & Nationalism

This seminar explores various approaches to the analysis of the ongoing political and cultural struggle to delineate the parameters of inclusion in, and exclusion from, social and political formations.  Ethnic revitalization and nationalism are explored from historical and cross-cultural perspectives.

16:790:553 Special Topics in Political Economy: New Institutionalism in American and Comparative Politics

Introduction to "new institutionalism" in political science.  Topics covered include neoinstitutionalist analyses of formal and informal political institutions, social movements, and interest groups, social policy and the welfare state, and state-society interactions.  (Cross-listed with American Politics.)

16:790:554  Collective Protest and Social Movements

Review of main theories of contentious politics, social movements and protest. The main theoretical issues to be explored are the relationship between structure and agency, the role of culture in protest,  and the transnationalization of contention.

16:790:555 Comparative Political Economy

Special reference to the Third World.  Major periods of socio-political transformation:  the breakdown of pre-capitalist social formations, imperialism, decolonization and revolutionary change.  Theories of political economy stemming from the developing world.

16:790:561 Political Economy of Latin America

Relation between models of capital accumulation and the development of democratic and authoritarian regimes.  Special reference to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.

16:790:593 Gender and Comparative Politics

This course will examine the major paradigms used in the study of comparative politics, followed by an examination of the major critiques of these paradigms put forward by feminist scholars working in the field. The course also focuses on systematic discussions of methodologies that have been used by scholars working in the intersections between comparative politics and women and politics (Cross-listed with Women and Politics)

16:790:594 Women’s Movements in Comparative Politics

Development and impact of women’s movements in cross-cultural perspective.  Analysis of the conditions and implications of women’s participation in movements such as nationalist, labor, and independent women’s movement.   (Cross-listed with Women and Politics)

16:790:686 Research in Comparative Politics.

Directed research for advanced students.  An advanced seminar for Ph.D. candidates who plan to offer the comparative government and politics field for their degree will be offered when sufficient numbers warrant.



Faculty Publications


MA Program

MA Program