Oct 20, 2020  
Course Catalog 2019-2020 
Course Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Stephen Crowley, Professor and Chair
Marc Jeremy Blecher, James Monroe Professor of Politics
Sarah El-Kazaz, Assistant Professor
Michael David Forrest, Assistant Professor
Joshua Freedman, Visiting Assistant Professor
Jennifer Garcia, Assistant Professor
Harry Hirsch, Professor
Adam Howat, Visiting Assistant Professor
Chris Howell, James Monroe Professor of Politics
Sonia Kruks, Robert S. Danforth Professor
Kristina Mani, Associate Professor
Michael Parkin, Professor
Eve Sandberg, Professor
Jade Schiff, Assistant Professor


The department encourages students to consult a faculty member when they begin to consider a major in Politics. When declaring a major, students work with a faculty advisor to develop a program that fits the student’s interest and goals.

The Politics Major requires completion of: (a) a minimum of 10 Courses (40 credits) in Politics, of which 7 Courses must be above the introductory level; (b) intermediate (200-level) courses in at least three of the Department’s four fields: American politics, comparative politics, international politics, and political theory; (c) a Politics research seminar (300-level) course. First Year Seminar courses taught by Politics faculty count towards the Politics major as introductory courses, as do Politics honors courses.  At least 5 Full Courses must be taken from the Oberlin Politics Department. Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.


A minor in Politics consists of 5 Courses in Politics, with at least two courses at the intermediate level or above. Courses must be in at least two fields. At least 3 Courses must be taken from the Oberlin Politics Department. Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the minor.

Advanced Placement

A student with a score of 5 on the American Politics, Comparative Politics, or General Politics AP exam will earn  one full course (within the maximum limit of five full courses of work accepted before matriculation) toward the Politics major and toward graduation requirements.


The honors program in Politics has three components: an honors thesis that involves a substantial piece of original research conducted over the course of the senior year; an oral thesis defense administered at the end of the senior year; enrollment in the Politics honors seminar in both the fall and spring of the senior year.

Students who are interested in the honors program submit a formal application to the department by the end of the spring semester of their junior year. The application includes a writing sample and statement of interest in honors  In deciding which applicants to accept into the honors program, the department considers the performance and number of courses taken in the Politics Major, as well as in broader College work, the quality of the writing sample, the coherence and thoughtfulness of the statement of interest, and the availability of faculty to serve as advisers for the proposed research projects in any given year. All senior honors students will work closely with a thesis advisor and will take POLT 403 in the fall and POLT 404 in the spring.

Winter Term

Department members who are participating in Winter Term sponsor projects including community service, off-campus internships, and other activities. Not all department members are available to sponsor Winter Term projects every year.   Areas of particular interest are: Mr. Blecher: readings in comparative politics, Chinese and Asian politics, socialism, political economy, Marxism. Mr. Crowley: issues in post-communist politics, international relations of the Soviet Union and the former Soviet Republics, political sociology, theoretical issues in comparative politics. Ms. El-Kazaz: Middle East politics, urban politics, political economy and the politics of science and technology. Mr. Forrest: US politics, interest groups and social movements, the politics of inequality, and political power. Ms Garcia: American Presidency, the U.S. Congress, American Politics, Race and Ethnic Politics, Political Parties, and Political Representation. Mr. Hirsch: Civil rights and civil liberties, including criminal law and the First Amendment; LGBT politics; American political thought, both historically and contemporarily. Mr. Howell: trade unions, political economy, left-wing parties, and readings in West European politics. Ms. Kruks: feminist theory, contemporary continental theory, and history of political thought. Ms. Mani: peaceful conflict resolution, Latin American politics, international security affairs. Mr. Parkin: campaigns and elections, mass political behavior (voting, public opinion), media and politics, political psychology, quantitative analysis. Ms. Sandberg: international development, African politics, U.S. foreign policy. Ms. Schiff: contemporary political theory; politics and literature; phenomenology and politics. 

In addition, the department annually sponsors a January Winter Term Congressional Internship program. Information may be obtained from the department office. The application deadline for the Congressional internship program is early in the Fall semester.

The Oberlin Initiative in Electoral Politics

The department oversees a program of course offerings (POLT 421, 422) and paid, eight-week summer internships designed to interest students in, and prepare them for, service in elective offices. Information is available from the department office, and the applicaton deadline is normally in late October.

Politics Online

For more information on the Politics Department, courses and instructors, please visit our home page at www.oberlin.edu/politics.

Cross-Referenced Courses

The following cross-referenced courses can be counted towards the Politics major or minor.

First Year Seminar Courses

Introductory Courses

Intermediate Courses


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