News » Archives: 2012

Constitutional Scholar Donald Kommers Honored in Germany

December 07, 2012, Chris Milazzo

The American Academy in Berlin, Germany’s Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study), and other prestigious scholarly institutions in Germany recently hosted a symposium in honor of Donald P. Kommers, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and professor of law emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. The symposium, entitled The Curious Life of the Grundgesetz [German constitution] in America, was held in Berlin. The event celebrated Kommers’ extraordinary body of work in German constitutional scholarship during the year of his 80th birthday.

Four Scholars Join Political Science Faculty

November 21, 2012, Kate Cohorst

The Department of Political Science at Notre Dame welcomes four prominent scholars to its faculty this year, including professors Gary Goertz and Patrick Regan, both specialists in international relations, and associate professors Patrick Deneen in constitutional studies and Guillermo Trejo in comparative politics.

Faculty Employ Students in Research Apprenticeship

November 20, 2012, Chris Milazzo

Students in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science aren’t just reading about the latest research in the field—they are working alongside leading scholars to create it.

In the process, participants in the department’s Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program acquire invaluable experience and skills that will serve them no matter what path they choose after graduation, says Joshua Kaplan, the director of undergraduate studies.

Postdoctoral Fellow James Fetter Studies Virtues of Political Leadership

November 19, 2012, Mary Hendriksen

With the critical November elections now upon us, the work of political theorist James Fetter couldn’t be more timely. Fetter, who earned his Ph.D. from Notre Dame in Political Science in 2012, studies and writes about the virtues of political leadership.

Alumna Focuses on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

November 19, 2012, Renée LaReau

Jessica Scanlan Bailey ’01 is the sustainable development program officer for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York, where she focuses on climate change. Her position involves allocating funds for research, advocacy, communications, and other efforts to organizations focused on advancing clean energy policies at the state and federal level. Bailey graduated from Notre Dame with degrees in government and anthropology and a minor in peace studies.

Political Science Ph.D. Alumnus Wins Warren E. Burger Prize

November 19, 2012, Kate Cohorst

Derek A. Webb, who received his Ph.D. from Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science in 2008, was recently honored at the U.S. Supreme Court for his paper titled “The Original Meaning of Civility: Democratic Deliberation at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.” Webb’s essay won the American Inn of Court’s prestigious 2012 Warren E. Burger Prize, named for the late Chief Justice and the founder and first president of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Climate Change Course Draws on Real-Time Research

November 19, 2012, Chris Milazzo

Bringing her latest research into the classroom, Debra Javeline, associate professor in the Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, is helping undergraduate students make a connection between politics and biology.

Moreau Fellow Studies Impact of Student Loan Policies

November 19, 2012,

Today, most students in the United States must rely on some combination of loans and scholarships to attend college. Over the course of her own journey through the higher education system, Deondra Rose, who recently joined the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science this fall as a fellow in the Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Program, says she became fascinated with the complicated history and politics surrounding the development of student aid.

Alumnus Named Ambassador to Mozambique

November 14, 2012, Kevin Clarke

Douglas Griffiths ’86 has been a professional globetrotter for more than two decades—not collecting postcards but rather serving his country in U.S. diplomatic outposts all over the world. Griffiths, who received his B.A. in government from the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, was appointed U.S. ambassador to Mozambique in July.

Political Science Major Makes Mark at Summer Institute

November 13, 2012,

Hours of class each day and frenzied paper writing into the early dawn hours is practically a Notre Dame tradition during finals weeks in December and May. Less so in the middle of July, but this is exactly what senior political science major Angel Mira found himself doing this past summer.

Four Notre Dame Alumni Elected to House, One to Senate

November 13, 2012,

Three University of Notre Dame graduates were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election. College of Arts and Letters alumnus Joe Donnelly of Indiana is the second graduate to be elected to the Senate, but the fourth to serve.

Political Scientist Continues Research in Post-Doc at Brown

October 26, 2012, Mike Danahey

The European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize—despite current economic woes and social unrest—for transforming most of Europe from “a continent of war to a continent of peace.” But political scientist Joshua Bandoch, who received his Ph.D. at Notre Dame this year and is now a post-doctoral fellow at Brown University, argues that the 27-member-nation European Union is trying to form too close of a union. “This is problematic because the diverse peoples of this union are more different than their leaders seem to want to acknowledge.”

Political Scientist David Campbell Receives Research Grant

October 26, 2012, Joanna Basile

Notre Dame Political Science Professor David Campbell recently received a grant of more than $300,000 from the Spencer Foundation for a three-year project called “Family Matters: How Home and Family Life Affect Youth Civic Engagement.”

Political Scientist Michael Desch Previews Debate on Foreign Policy

October 24, 2012,

In an effort to differentiate himself from President Barack Obama on foreign policy in tonight’s debate, Mitt Romney may be forced to exaggerate what few differences actually exist, as he faces a formidable challenge in scoring points against the president, according to a University of Notre Dame political scientist.

Varieties of Democracy Project Awarded European Commission Funding

October 24, 2012, Elizabeth Rankin

The Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), an ambitious international research collaboration based at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, has been awarded €475,000 (about $616,500) in research support from the European Commission. Led by Notre Dame political scientist Michael Coppedge, Staffan Lindberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and John Gerring of Boston University, the multiyear project aims to produce better indicators of democracy, helping to illuminate why democracies around the world succeed or fail.

Netanyahu Needs to Back Off, Says Notre Dame Political Scientist

October 16, 2012,

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed outrage at the refusal of the Obama administration to set “red lines” for Iran’s progress on its nuclear program. But according to University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Desch, it is Americans who ought to be incensed with Netanyahu.

Alumnus Helps Shape U.S. Policy on Africa, Development

October 10, 2012, Renée LaReau

As a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff in Washington, D.C., Matthew Walsh ’06 conducts policy research, makes policy recommendations on Africa and development strategy, and contributes to speeches for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “One of our jobs is to provide the Secretary of State with second opinions on policy issues,” says Walsh, who majored in political science and peace studies at Notre Dame. “It’s an exciting job that goes to the heart of almost every foreign policy debate and can have a real influence on policy.”

Political Scientist Eileen Hunt Botting Wins Book Award

October 10, 2012, Kate Cohorst

Eileen Hunt Botting, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, and one of her former Ph.D. students, Sarah L. Houser, recently won the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Edition Award for their book Hannah Mather Crocker’s Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston. The triennial prize recognizes excellence in the recovery of American women writers.

In Memoriam: Edward A. Goerner, Professor Emeritus of Political Science

October 08, 2012, Michael O. Garvey

Edward A. Goerner, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Notre Dame, died October 2 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend. He was 82 years old. A political theorist with a particular interest in religion and politics, Goerner was one of the University’s most popular teachers, once described in a student publication as “one of those unique individuals you can build an education around.”

Chicago Shamrock Series Events to Include Four Academic Programs

October 02, 2012, Megan Zagger

As Fighting Irish fans descend upon Chicago for the Shamrock Series off-site home football game between the Notre Dame and Miami on Oct. 6 (Saturday), the University will present four academic events highlighting various topics of interest, including the national media, the economy, U.S. foreign policy, and the role of religion in politics today. All events are free and open to the public and will be held at the JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., Chicago.

Templeton Foundation Awards Notre Dame $1.58 million for Interdisciplinary Study

September 26, 2012,

Two scholars from the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study recently were awarded a $1.58 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a three-year program to promote dialogue across academic disciplines. Vittorio Hösle, Paul Kimball Chair of Arts and Letters and director of NDIAS, and Donald Stelluto, associate director of NDIAS, won the award for their proposal, “Pursuing the Unity of Knowledge: Integrating Religion, Science, and the Academic Disciplines.” The program will foster inquiry into the “great questions” in an environment that considers secular and spiritual knowledge as mutually beneficial ways of learning, rather than rivals in a winner-take-all competition.

Service Work Lands Notre Dame Senior on Magazine Cover

September 12, 2012, Claire Stephens

Lindsay Brown, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in political science, has won Seventeen magazine’s “Pretty Amazing” contest, which celebrates young women who have done something exceptional. Brown was recognized for her service work with girls in Nepal and other countries, her involvement in the nonprofit organization “She’s the First,” and the creation of her own nonprofit project. As the contest winner, Brown received a $20,000 scholarship and will be featured on the cover of the October issue of Seventeen.

Jaimie Bleck Wins Award for Best Dissertation in African Politics

September 07, 2012, Elizabeth Rankin

University of Notre Dame political scientist Jaimie Bleck has won the 2011 Lynne Rienner Award for Best Dissertation in African Politics from the American Political Science Association’s Africa Politics Conference Group (APCG). Bleck’s award-winning work, “Schooling Citizens: Education, Citizenship, and Democracy in Mali,” explores the political effect of education in the West African country.

Notre Dame Forum Events to Explore Future of American Democracy

August 30, 2012,

The 2012-13 Notre Dame Forum, “A More Perfect Union: The Future of America’s Democracy,” will present a series of events throughout the academic year that will explore profound questions about the state of the U.S. political system and its capacity to deal with the rapidly changing domestic and international challenges it faces.

Students are Encouraged to Apply for Student Conference on United States Affairs

August 29, 2012, Announcement

Dear Political Science Majors,

Each year the United States Military Academy invites the Department of Political Science to send one student as a delegate to the annual Student Conference on United States Affairs (SCUSA).  The SCUSA 64 conference will be held in West Point, New York from November 7 – 10, 2012.…

On the Path to the Foreign Service

August 28, 2012, Mary Kate Malone

While working as a national sales planner at Univision Television Group in 2009, Melissa Fisher ’07 began to feel restless. She wasn’t sure what direction to take next but knew she had to think more about what she wanted to do with her life, even if that meant taking a leap into the unknown. And so that’s exactly what she did: She quit her job and bought a one-way ticket to Cambodia. “I wanted to challenge myself and live in a developing country where I didn’t know the language,” says the former political science and Spanish double major. “I felt like I needed to do something challenging, to grow up and be on my own.”

New Book Proposes Reconciliation as Path to Peace

August 23, 2012, Renée LaReau

Daniel Philpott

A new book by political scientist and peace studies scholar Daniel Philpott makes the case for forgiveness and reconciliation as a way to achieve justice and lasting peace after violent conflict.

Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation, recently released by Oxford University Press, explores the concept of reconciliation, which is deeply rooted in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as in the secular restorative justice movement.…

Political Scientist Geoffrey Layman Wins APSA Article Award

August 23, 2012, Joanna Basile

Geoffrey Layman, professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, has won the 2012 Jack Walker Outstanding Article Award for “Activists and Conflict Extension in American Party Politics,” published by the American Political Science Review in 2010. Bestowed by the Political Organizations and Parties section of the American Political Science Association (APSA), the award recognizes an article published within the past two years that has made a significant contribution to research and scholarship on political organizations and parties.

Did Obama Break Mold of Dems as 'War Wimps'?

July 25, 2012,

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is banking on the traditional Republican advantage in defense to help him defeat Democratic President Barack Obama this November. This Republican strategy of painting Democrats as soft on defense has a long pedigree in American politics. It certainly seems to have worked in the past. But will it still? “In my view, Romney shouldn’t bet on it this time,” says University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Desch, who specializes in foreign and national defense policies.

Political Scientist Monika Nalepa Wins Leon D. Epstein Book Prize

July 24, 2012, Kate Cohorst

Notre Dame assistant professor Monika Nalepa has won the American Political Science Association’s 2012 Leon D. Epstein prize for Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe (Cambridge University Press). This is the second win in two years for Nalepa. Skeletons in the Closet also won the 2011 Best Book Award from the APSA’s Comparative Democratization section.