News » Archives: 2011

Political Scientist and Legal Scholar Donald Kommers Receives Mellon Fellowship

December 13, 2011, Joanna Basile

Can a newly minted constitution help revive a people devastated by war? Can it produce a deliberative democracy and respect for human rights? Can it provide a foundation for political loyalty and facilitate the reunification of a divided nation? These are questions University of Notre Dame political scientist and legal scholar Donald Kommers seeks to answer in his study of the creation, maintenance, and legitimacy of Germany’s postwar constitutional order, for which he has been awarded a yearlong Emeritus Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Notre Dame Survey of African American Catholics Offers Important Insights

December 13, 2011, William G. Gilroy

A new, unprecedented national survey of African American Catholics by University of Notre Dame researchers reveals several significant insights into individual religious engagement and identifies several notable demographic trends facing the church. Notre Dame social scientists Darren W. Davis and Donald B. Pope-Davis, who co-authored the report, set out to test the validity of anecdotal accounts that African American Catholics were becoming increasingly disengaged from their religion.

Political Science Ph.D. Candidate Studies Colonialism and Slavery

December 02, 2011, Mary Hendriksen

Political science graduate student and former Kellogg Dissertation Year Fellow Olukunle Owolabi has a unique personal connection with the subject of his research—the differences in development and governance between countries with a history of plantation slavery and those with a history of colonial occupation.

Senior political science major wins Marshall Scholarship

December 02, 2011, Erik Runyon

Peter Quaranto, a University of Notre Dame senior from Franklin, Mass., is one of 43 Marshall Scholarship winners for 2006, the British government announced this week.He was chosen from among some 800 candidates to receive one of the most competitive and prestigious merit scholarships available to undergraduates. p. The…

Notre Dame Political Scientist Guillermo O’Donnell Dies

December 01, 2011, Michael O. Garvey

Guillermo O’Donnell, professor emeritus of political science and senior fellow of the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, died November 29 in Buenos Aires after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75 years old. A native of Argentina, O’Donnell is internationally renowned for original and influential scholarship on Latin American authoritarian regimes, the democratic transitions undergone by many of them, and how modernization and democracy affect each other.

Political Science Majors Discover the World at Work

November 29, 2011, Eileen Lynch

Understanding the way the world works is important. But understanding the way you work is just as important, says Joshua Kaplan, director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science. And by majoring in political science, students come to know both.

Notre Dame Intensifies Focus on Constitutional Studies

November 28, 2011, Sara Burnett

The study of constitutions dates back to Aristotle, yet remains as relevant today as it was then. “It’s a perennial subject that I think is getting renewed attention, first with the fall of the Soviet Union and the constitution writing that went on with that, then the democratization movement in Latin America, and now the revolutions in the Arab world,” says Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame.

Political Science Faculty Mentors Next Generation of Scholars

November 23, 2011, Ted Fox

The graduate program in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science can boast many successful alumni, including high-profile leaders such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ’75 (M.A.) and former U.S. Ambassador to India Tim Roemer ’85 (Ph.D.). But as impressive as the achievements of these and other alumni may be, what prospective graduate students seek most is a program that will nurture and develop their own ambitions as scholars. And it’s in this regard, says Christina Wolbrecht, associate professor and director of graduate studies, that the department truly shines.

Scholars Explore Religion’s Role in International Relations

November 23, 2011, Kevin Clarke

From Cairo to Kabul to New York City, the events shaping our world are informed by the deeply held religious beliefs of contemporary history’s major protagonists. So why is the dynamic role of religion in world affairs still such a hard academic sell in political science and international relations programs around the country?

New Grants Fund Political Science Faculty Research

November 14, 2011, Joanna Basile

Five scholars in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science were recently awarded research grants and fellowships to study a range of issues that include national security policy, climate change, religion and politics, and legislative trends in post-Communist Europe.

Notre Dame Scholars Win Political Science Association Book Awards

November 14, 2011, Kate Cohorst

Four scholars from the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science received book prizes at the American Political Science Association (APSA) annual meeting this fall, recognizing important new insights on topics such as race, religion in politics, and comparative democratization.

Three Faculty Join Department of Political Science

November 14, 2011, Mike Danahey

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science recently hired three assistant professors: Jaimie Bleck, a scholar of African politics and development; Emilia Justyna Powell, an expert in international law; and Stefano Recchia, a specialist in international security organizations.

In Memoriam: Xavier Murphy

October 11, 2011, Dennis Brown

Xavier Murphy, a 2011 University of Notre Dame graduate who was on campus this semester completing one course and working as an intern with the football program, died October 11 of complications from leukemia. Murphy resided in Zahm Hall at Notre Dame and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science.

Notre Dame Forum to Reimagine K-12 Education

September 28, 2011, Julie Hail Flory

The 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: to Nurture the Soul of a Nation,” will present a number of events this fall, beginning this month with an address by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and a panel discussion featuring four leading figures in American education.

Conference to Focus on Liberty and Religion in American Politics

September 26, 2011,

The question of religion and freedom in American public life will be the topic of a conference at the University of Notre Dame September 29 and 30 (Thursday and Friday) at McKenna Hall on the University’s campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

Notre Dame to host conference on liberty and religion in American politics

September 21, 2011,

Alexis de Tocqueville

The question of religion and freedom in American public life will be the topic of a conference at the University of Notre Dame Sept. 29 and 30 (Thursday and Friday) at McKenna Hall on the University’s campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Tocqueville Program and the Liberty Fund of Indianapolis, “Combining the Spirit of Religion with the Spirit of Liberty: The Tocqueville Thesis Revisited” will address Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of the connection between freedom and religion in American democracy, two forces thought by Europeans to be opposed.

Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Authors and Arguments

September 14, 2011, Arts and Letters

Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century

Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Authors and Arguments

Edited by Catherine Zuckert

The Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science

Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre Honored for Book’s Lasting Influence

September 09, 2011, Kate Cohorst

The American Political Science Association recently honored University of Notre Dame philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre for his influential 1981 book After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (University of Notre Dame Press). MacIntyre, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Senior Research Professor of Philosophy (emeritus), received the association’s biennial Benjamin E. Lippincott Award, which recognizes “a work of exceptional quality by a living political theorist” that is still considered significant at least 15 years after its original publication.

Political scientist wins book prize

September 09, 2011, Kate Cohorst

Monika Nalepa

Monika Nalepa, assistant professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a winner of the 2011 Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association’s Comparative Democratization section for “Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe” (Cambridge University Press).

The book examines the strategies behind decisions on whether and how to penalize members of the former authoritarian regimes in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic as they transitioned to democracy.

Notre Dame political scientist receives Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award

September 09, 2011, Joanna Basile

David Campbell

David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, and Robert Putnam of Harvard University are the 2011 recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for their book “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.”

The American Political Science Association awards the prize annually to the best book from the past year on government, politics or international affairs.

Alumnus Applies Peace Studies to Naval Career

August 16, 2011, Joan Fallon

University of Notre Dame government and peace studies alumnus Stephen Fuller ’92 was recently appointed commanding officer of the USS Nicholas, the ship that captured the Somali pirates in spring 2010.

Alumnus Choreographs Own Career

August 16, 2011, Andrew Vanden Bossche

Jason Laws is a man who writes his own story. When the job he wanted didn’t exist, he created it. Since receiving his political science degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2007, Laws has built a successful career in Chicago as a commercial choreographer, creative director and producer. He’s also carved a niche for himself creating flash mobs—a concept that wasn’t even invented until 2003.

Christian Davenport receives political science book award

August 11, 2011, Kate Cohorst

Christian Davenport

University of Notre Dame Professor Christian Davenport has been awarded the American Political Science Association’s 2011 prize for best book on race, ethnicity and politics.

“Media Bias, Perspective and State Repression: The Black Panther Party” (Cambridge University Press) explores the “Rashomon effect”—the tendency for events to be perceived and reported in different ways, depending on who is telling the story and to whom—and its implications for violence, protest, repression and peace. The phenomenon is named after Akira Kurosowa’s 1950 mystery film “Rashomon,” in which a single event is recalled in four contradictory ways by different individuals.

Political Scientist Michael Desch on Solving Israel-Palestine Conflict

July 20, 2011,

The results of a recent Zogby poll confirm the growing anti-American attitude of most of the Arab world, and President Obama’s lack of meaningful action in the Israeli-Palestine conflict can be blamed for a good portion of it, according to Michael Desch, chair of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science and fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

ND Expert: U.S. attention to Israel-Palestine needed to cut Arab anti-Americanism

July 19, 2011,

Michael Desch

The results of a recent Zogby poll confirm the growing anti-American attitude of most of the Arab world, and President Obama’s lack of meaningful action in the Israeli-Palestine conflict can be blamed for a good portion of it, according to Michael Desch, a University of Notre Dame political scientist and fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

“Since 1967, U.S. policy toward the region has tilted decisively in favor of Isreal,” Desch explains. “The president needs to take a truly even-handed approach to dealing with the conflict, even though it may be risky and cut against the grain of historical U.S. policy.”

Political Scientist Vincent Phillip Muñoz Wins Book Award

July 18, 2011, Kate Cohorst

Vincent Phillip Muñoz has been named a winner of the 2011 American Political Science Association’s Hubert Morken Award for his book God and the Founders: Madison, Washington, and Jefferson (Cambridge University Press). Muñoz, the Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame, will receive this biennial prize for the best book in religion and politics at the association’s annual meeting in early September.

Political scientist Vincent Phillip Muñoz wins book award

July 18, 2011, Kate Cohorst

Vincent Phillip Muñoz

Vincent Phillip Muñoz, the Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a winner of the 2011 American Political Science Association’s Hubert Morken Award for his book “God and the Founders: Madison, Washington, and Jefferson” (Cambridge University Press).

Muñoz will receive this biennial prize for the best book in religion and politics at the association’s annual meeting in early September. He shares the award with Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, author of “The Politics of Secularism in International Relations” (Princeton University Press).

Graduate Students Honored With Teaching Awards

July 06, 2011, Kate Cohorst

The University of Notre Dame’s Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning and Graduate School are pleased to announce the 2010-2011 Kaneb Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award winners, including 31 from the College of Arts and Letters.

Summer in Taiwan Provides Cultural Immersion

July 06, 2011, Chris Milazzo

When Notre Dame political science major Jee Seun Choi wanted to understand Taiwanese national identity, she didn’t just go to the Hesburgh library on campus. Instead, she applied for a Summer Language Abroad (SLA) grant so she could absorb the island’s language and culture firsthand.

Political Scientist Sebastian Rosato Addresses Greek Crisis, EU Future

June 22, 2011,

In the midst of Greece’s first financial collapse that shook the European Union one year ago, University of Notre Dame political scientist Sebastian Rosato predicted then that the financial crisis was only a symptom of a much deeper issue.