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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 2018 Events

  • Political science graduation & Alumni celebration,
     may 7th (monday), 2018; 6  to 8 pm @ USU ballroom

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 USU Ballroom,  May 7th, 2018 from 6 to 8 pm. 

Fall 2017 Events

  • Tukwut Talk, September 21, 2017; Noon - 1 pm @ USU 3400

Dr. Cynthia Chavez Metoyer will be giving a Tukwut Talk: "212˚ The Extra Degree: From First Generation College Student to Professor" at the Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400) on September 21st from Noon to 1 pm.

  • National Voter Registraiton Day, September 26, 2017; noon - 1 pm @ Kellogg Plaza

Stop by Kellogg Plaza on September 26th from noon to 1 pm for ASI event National Voter Registraiton Day!

  • Movie screening, September 27, 2017; 5:30 - 8 pm @ USU Ballroom

Movie screening and panel discussion on “H2Omx”, brought to you by the CHABSS Global Commitment Initiative (GCI), will be held at the USU Ballroom on September 27th from 5:30 to 8 pm.

  • Speaking of Democracy, October 5, 2017; noon - 12.50 pm @ USU 2310B

Drs. Stephen Nichols and Ruoxi Li will be facilitating a discussion on Does Your Vote Matter? as part of the Speaking of Democracy Conversation Series at USU2310B on October 5th 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 availble. 

The campus application deadline for the 2018 Sacramento Semester Program is Friday, November 3, 2017.


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.