News » Archives: 2012

Political Scientist Michael Desch Evaluates Impact of Syrian Defections

July 13, 2012,

Despite the defections of two high-ranking Syrian officials in the past week and the apparent unraveling of Syria’s government, the fall of President Bashar al-Assad still is not imminent, according to University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Desch. “There’s no doubt that the Assad regime is under siege, as Wednesday’s defection of the Syrian Ambassador to Iraq once again ighlights,” says Desch, an expert on international relations and homeland security.“But we need to be cautious in overestimating how much trouble Assad is in.”

Sentencing of Former Congo Warlord Not Enough, Expert Says

July 11, 2012, Shannon Chapla

The International Criminal Court yesterday sentenced former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison for using children as soldiers in his rebel army—the first sentence handed down by the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. “The criminal prosecution of Lubanga does not go far enough for international justice,” according to Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Announces an Innovative Partnership With Indiana Department of Education

July 03, 2012, Michael O. Garvey

The University of Notre Dame has entered into a historic partnership with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) that aims to improve learning for Indiana children. Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., of the University of Notre Dame, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced the partnership at a press conference in South Bend. This new research partnership will allow scholars at Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and others from around the country to conduct independent research to inform policymakers as they seek strategies to improve educational quality in Indiana.

Voters’ Views of Mormonism Still Stumbling Block for Romney, New Study Shows

May 22, 2012,

Though the social barriers of race and gender were largely overcome during the last U.S. presidential campaign, religious affiliation (in this case, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism) is still a significant hurdle, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor David Campbell and colleagues from Brigham Young University and the University of Akron.

Graduate School Announces 2012 Shaheen Award Winners

May 18, 2012, Kevin Zeise

The Notre Dame Graduate School recently announced the winners of the 2012 Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Awards, the highest honors bestowed on Notre Dame graduate students. Nominated by their departments, Shaheen Award winners are chosen for their superior ability as exhibited by grades, research, and publication records, fellowships and other awards received during the course of study at Notre Dame, as well as teaching ability. English Ph.D. recipient Hilary Fox won in the humanities category and Carlos Gervasoni, who received his Ph.D. in political science, won in the social sciences category.

Graduating Seniors Receive National Fellowships

May 18, 2012, Arts and Letters

The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national and international organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 13 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2012, 10 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters. Two Arts and Letters graduates of earlier classes also received prestigious fellowships and scholarships this year.

A Full and Rich Notre Dame Experience: Q & A with 2012 Valedictorian Michael O'Brien

May 14, 2012, Rachel Hamilton

Michel O’Brien, the valedictorian for the class of 2012 has enjoyed a full and rich Notre Dame experience. He will graduate this month with a political science major, a philosophy minor, and an International Business Certificate. Originally from St. Charles, Ill., O’Brien lived in Keenan and Siegfried halls during his years at Notre Dame. In addition to copious research and many academic pursuits, O’Brien also served as the president of the College Democrats, a vice president of Circle K, and an editor of a journal, Beyond Politics. Here he answers a few questions and reflects on his time at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Student Discovers Rare Star

May 02, 2012, Marissa Gebhard

College of Arts and Letters alumnus and current Notre Dame law student Colin Littlefield’s late-night job at the Notre Dame Observatory has led to a one-in-a-billion discovery of a rare type of star—a Wolf-Rayet. Littlefield ’11 discovered the exceptional star, named WR 142b, this past summer, and he and his colleagues announced the discovery in a paper accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

Innovative Scholar, Mentor, and International Peace Advocate

May 01, 2012, Joan Fallon

Robert C. Johansen, who retired this year as professor of political science and peace studies and a founding faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, was recently honored with a conference titled “Global Governance and the Future of Strategic Peacebuilding.” It focused on a central theme of Johansen’s scholarship and teaching: the importance of strengthening ethical and legal norms and international institutions that contribute to peace and justice.

Political Science Major Michael O’Brien Named 2012 Valedictorian

April 30, 2012,

Michael J. O’Brien, a political science major in the College of Arts and Letters, has been named valedictorian of the 2012 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement ceremonies May 20 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium. O’Brien is editor-in-chief of Beyond Politics: Undergraduate Journal of Politics, and serves as president of the Notre Dame College Democrats, leading one of the most active College Democrats chapters in the nation.

Political Theorist Eileen Hunt Botting Studies Women’s Rights

April 18, 2012, Joan Fallon

“Ideas matter, and they can be a powerful force for global political change,” says Eileen Hunt Botting, a University of Notre Dame political theorist who charts early thinking on women’s rights in countries around the world. Botting and political science major Sean Kronewitter ‘13 cowrote an article on the subject which was recently accepted for publication in the academic journal Political Theory.

Dianne Pinderhughes Chairs Research Institute on Democratic Governance

February 20, 2012, Esther Terry

Dianne Pinderhughes, president’s distinguished professor in the departments of Africana studies and political science at the University of Notre Dame, has been named cochair of the new Civic Engagement and Governance Institute launched by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.

Political Scientist Michael Zuckert Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

February 13, 2012, Joanna Basile

University of Notre Dame political scientist Michael Zuckert has been awarded the 2011 Jack Miller Center (JMC) Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Academic Excellence. According to the prize committee, the honor recognizes Zuckert’s scholarship as well as “his extraordinary ability as a classroom teacher who has provided generations of undergraduates and graduate students a profound understanding of our constitutional heritage.”

Political Scientist Daniel Philpott Begins Research on Forgiveness in Uganda

February 09, 2012, Joan Fallon

What role, if any, does forgiveness play in the context of war, in the wake of unspeakable atrocities? Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies, recently returned from Uganda, where he is exploring the practice of forgiveness among survivors of the two-decades-long civil war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan government.


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Molly Kinder to Receive Kroc Institute 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

January 30, 2012, Renée LaReau

Molly Kinder ‘01, who majored in political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Kinder, a native of Buffalo, New York, is director of special programs for Development Innovation Ventures in Washington, D.C., a new initiative at the United States Agency for International Development that funds groundbreaking approaches to global development challenges.

Political Scientist Michael Desch Awarded Carnegie Planning Grant

January 30, 2012, Joanna Basile

Professor Michael Desch, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, has been awarded a second grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to expand his research on how American scholars can contribute to the formation of U.S. national security policy.

Political Scientist Ricardo Ramírez Assesses Romney’s Stance on the DREAM Act

January 26, 2012,

Even with the endorsements of three Latinos with strong name recognition in the Latino community, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney could alienate a good portion of Latino voters in Florida with his hardline position on immigration, according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Ricardo Ramírez.

Notre Dame Intensifies Focus on Constitutional Studies

January 25, 2012, 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 Majors Discover the World at Work

January 17, 2012,

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 political scientist analyzes new Pew survey on Mormons

January 12, 2012,


There are as many Mormons in America as there are Jews, yet there has been far less research into the Mormon community. A new survey released today (Jan. 12) by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life called “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society” is a “huge leap forward for what we know about Mormons,” according to David Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political scientist who researches religion and politics, and who himself is a Mormon.

Political Scientist Debra Javeline Researches Responses to “Russia’s 9/11”

January 11, 2012, Joan Fallon

On the morning of September 1, 2004, University of Notre Dame political scientist Debra Javeline found herself, like many people around the world, glued to the television, watching in horror as the Beslan school hostage crisis—widely known as “Russia’s 9/11”—unfolded. Dozens of militants from a Chechen separatist group had converged on a school in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia. For three days, the terrorists held hostage more than 1,200 children, teachers, and parents.

Scholars Explore Religion’s Role in International Relations

January 06, 2012, 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? “I think if the field were to be proportioned according to what you see in headlines, religion would deserve a much larger place in the study of international relations,” says Daniel Philpott, who is associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame and on the faculty of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies.