The Department supports organized programs in American Politics and The Cross-National Study of Politics, as well as Political Theory Convocation and The Project for Equity, Representation and Governance. Each of these programs provides an opportunity for intellectual exchange between faculty and graduate students on topics of mutual interest. The programs bring speakers to the Department as well host seminars and conferences throughout the year.
American Politics includes the study of American national institutions, political behavior, and sub-national politics. American national institutions include the constitutionally specified institutions (the presidency, Congress, and the courts) and the interactions among institutions such as the president and Congress; constitutional, statutory, and administrative law; and extra-constitutional institutions such as political parties. (Students interested primarily in bureaucratic institutions should see the public administration/public policy field statement.)
Cross-National Study of Politics
The Cross-National Study promotes the cross-national research and activities of the Comparative Politics faculty and graduate students. The primary vehicle is workshops, organized by faculty around their research interests or broader interests of concern to comparativists generally, and drawing participants both from other U.S. institutions and often internationally. The Program provides logistical and other in-kind support to events and activities co-sponsored with the European Union Center of Excellence and with the China initiatives of the college and the university. The Program also maintains a portion of the Department’s website, with sections on future and past events, subsequent publications associated with past events, and links to important data sets.
International Relations deals with the study of all aspects of the relations between nation-states, including political, diplomatic, military, economic, and environmental relations, among others. It also deals with the relations between non-state actors across national boundaries, and with international organizations that facilitate relations between countries. The International Relations faculty at Texas A&M have considerable expertise in several major subfields of International Relations, including International Conflict, International Political Economy, and Foreign Policy Decision-making. The predominant orientation of the International Relations faculty is to contribute to the accumulation of social scientific knowledge on international relations by using cutting-edge formal, statistical, and/or experimental methods to produce rigorous theoretical and empirical research on important substantive questions. As a consequence, students selecting International Relations as a major field must develop methodological skills sufficient to pursue rigorous mainstream theoretical and empirical research in the field.
The Program on International Conflict and Cooperation (PICC) organizes and sponsors internal and external speakers, workshops, and theme conferences. It also provides research support for faculty and graduate student members.
Political theory offers the opportunity to study from a broad variety of perspectives while working closely with nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Faculty have written prize-winning books, published articles in major U.S. and international journals, won major research fellowships, and held important editorships and other positions in the profession. Among faculty strengths is the visibility of our research abroad and to regular appearances at major international scholarly gatherings. Faculty have research strengths in global and comparative political theory, the history of political thought, democratic theory, feminist theory, the philosophy of social science, contemporary political philosophy, the history and theory of tolerance, and the enlightenment. The program hosts an annual conference on the practice of political theory, a monthly Convocation in Political Theory, and occasional meetings of the Texas (Lone Star) chapter of the Conference for the Study of Political Thought.
Public Policy and Public Administration
Public Policy/Public Administration is the scientific study of the politics of institutions, structures and organizations. The study of public policy focuses on the analysis and explanation of government and non-government responses to public problems. It seeks to explain how institutions, organizations, and the public interact within various governance structures to develop the policies that they do. It is also concerned with the evaluation and impact of these policies on citizens, governing institutions, and organized interests. Public administration is concerned with the organization, activities, and behavior of administrative agencies and officials in the conduct of government. Public administration includes the study of how bureaucracies interact with other political institutions, the political and legal context of administration, and how organization structures and governance structures affect the actions of government. Both Public Policy and Public Administration cut across the traditional fields of American politics and comparative politics. PERG (The Project for Equity, Representation and Governance) is the official research program for Public Policy and Public Administration.
Race and Ethnic Politics
The program in Race and Ethnic Politics cuts across all other substantive subfields of political science. It has relevance for the study of American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Public Administration/Public Policy. Research for Race and Ethnic Politics is carried out by PERG (The Project for Equity, Representation and Governance). Accordingly, the race and politics subfield minor requires students to take courses on race and ethnicity in a minimum of two of the above five subfields.
The methods faculty of Texas A&M is nationally acclaimed, and active in developing, publishing, and teaching cutting edge techniques of political analysis. The breadth of Political methodology training at Texas A&M covers the diverse scientific methods used in Political Science. We require students who take methods as a minor field to demonstrate an understanding of statistical and formal approaches to research questions, but we allow students to specialize in the particular areas most appropriate for the student’s substantive interests.