The controversies that grip our society and world make the study of politics more intriguing now than ever before. In response, over the last few years we have expanded our Department's focus, encompassing both the traditional examination of government structures and processes, as well as the broader politics influencing our society. Our objectives, which are consistent with the University's mission, are wide-ranging and ambitious.

We want our students to develop skills in critical thinking, modes of analysis and research that will last long after students have forgotten the details of our courses. We want to convey to our students a sense of civic responsibility. We want to provide students with opportunities for experiential learning outside the classroom. In the classroom, we want to expose students to both government and politics; that is, to formal institutions and processes and also the dynamics of the power and politics than run our system both inside and outside government structures. Consistent with the University's mission, we want our students to be concerned about issues of peace, economic development and human rights at home and abroad.

As a department, we try to do more than simply train our students for political or other professions. Rather, from our fairly broad perspective, we are instead providing an important ingredient in each student's overall liberal arts education. In other words, we hope to produce broadly educated men and women who graduate, among other things, with an appreciation for the role of politics in their lives.