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Political Science Department

The mission of the Political Science Department is to foster the goals and concerns of the CSUSM Mission Statement by providing innovative and interdisciplinary undergraduate education in the field of political science to a student body across a variety of diversities and experiences. The Political Science Department seeks to produce informed, empowered citizens who will contribute to their national and global communities.


Spring 2019 Events

Political Science Graduation & Alumni celebration

  • May 8th (Wednesday), 2019; 6  to 8 pm @ McMahon House

Graduating in the spring? Come and join our graduates, alumni, and faculty at the department's annual graduation and alumni celebration! The celebration takes place at McMahon House,  May 8th, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm.


Fall 2018 Events

Movie screening 

  • October 2nd (Tuesday), 2018; 5:30 - 8 pm @ USU Ballroom

CHABSS Global Commitment Initiative (GCI) brings you movie screening and panel discussion on documentray “Which Way Home” at the USU Ballroom on October 2nd from 5:30 to 8 pm.

Candidate Forum

  • October 9th (Tuesday), 2018; 6 - 8:30 PM @ USU ballroom

ASI and CSUSM Office of Government Relations brings you Candidate Forum where you can meet political candidates running for U.S. Congress and California State Legislature at the  USU Ballroom on October 9th from 6 to 8:30 pm.

Speaking of Democracy

  • October 16th (Tuesday), 2018; noon - 12.50 pm @ USU 2310 a&b

Dr. Stephen Nichols will be facilitating a discussion on Political Parties: Are they letting us down? as part of the Speaking of Democracy Conversation Series at USU 2310 A&B on October 16th from noon to 12.50 pm.


Internship in Politics

Interested in working as an intern for the California state government in Sacramento? Check out the Sacramento Semester Program to learn how you can get course credits while gaining political experience! Financial assistance is available. 

The campus application deadline for the 2019 Sacramento Semester Program is mid-October 2019.

Faculty Spotlight


Dr. Elizabeth Matthews's new book, International Relations Theory: A Primer , covers the main definitions, concepts, arguments, and criticisms regarding the five predominant IR theories and approaches used in the field today: realism, liberalism, constructivism, economic structuralism, and feminism. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, it helps students understand and critique the theories and apply them to real-world issues.  The book applies each theory to the same two case studies: one on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and the other on the World Trade Organization (WTO). In the concluding chapter, it ties the theories together, demonstrating their overlapping nature and highlighting each one's strengths and weaknesses as explanatory tools in international relations.   


Dr. Kent Bolton's new book, The Rise of the American Security State, traces the rise of the American Security State from 1947 through the Cold War. In 1947 the U.S. Passed the National Security Act, which created a unified Defense Department with a civilian secretary of defense, what became the intelligence community (now 17 disparate yet sometimes redundant entities), and the National Security Council inside the presidency. In the book, Dr. Bolton used 14 case studies with structured, comparative questions to assess how this change has led to the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, and raised issues about the opportunity costs of the American Security State.