Politics

Our program explores many dimensions of political life, ranging from small groups to citizens’ organizations, to cities, countries, and the international system, and involves examination of broad issues of power, conflict, peace, citizenship, representation, and justice.

Faculty

Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through writing and research. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses. We present a variety of approaches to politics, combining conceptual and theoretical analyses with historical, policy, and practical orientations. We are politically diverse and encourage students to bring their own perspectives and critical capacities to bear in class.

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Department Overview

Politics at Oberlin encompasses a broad field of study and includes topics sometimes described as political science or government elsewhere. Our program explores many dimensions of political life, ranging from small groups to citizens’ organizations, to cities, countries, and the international system, and involves examination of broad issues of power, conflict, peace, citizenship, representation, and justice.

A major in politics can provide a focus for a liberal arts program in the social sciences, and help you understand and act more effectively in the world.

Our faculty present a variety of approaches to politics, combining conceptual and theoretical analyses with historical, policy and practical orientations. We are politically diverse and encourage you to bring your own perspectives and critical capacities to bear in class. We strive to maintain the highest intellectual standards, to stimulate political discussion from the abstract and theoretical to the immediately practical, and to encourage you to incorporate critical political viewpoints into your everyday lives and careers.

Our program prepares students for graduate studies in law, public policy, business administration, public administration, and political science. Our department is a national leader among liberal arts colleges in providing undergraduate training for those who go on to doctorates and then research and teaching careers in political science. Graduates enjoy success in government, law, public or private nonprofit agencies, journalism, and teaching.

Politics News

The Transition From Student Senate to Washington, D.C.

December 8, 2020

When he was growing up, Machmud Makhmudov ’15 noticed how communities from different parts of the world created lives that struggled, grew, and thrived alongside one another. That insight served him well as a policy advisor for the presidential campaign and stands to be an impression in his new role with the incoming Biden Administration.
A man student sitting on a couch.

The Perfect Career Sweet Spot

November 20, 2020

When she was a student at Oberlin, Rosemary Boeglin ’14 thought a career in journalism was in her future. Today, instead of writing the news Boeglin helps to create it in her role as a rapid response spokesperson for President-elect Joe Biden.
A girl wearing glasses sitting in an audience.

Politics Facilities

Rice Hall

Rice Hall holds faculty and academic department offices for the social sciences and the humanities.
Rice Hall