Our department is committed to the interdisciplinary and critical study of politics and justice both nationally and in a global context. Our approach emphasizes questions of power and justice, policy and institutional transformation, equity and participation, diversity and democracy, sustainability and global change. Our work is passionately engaged with the important political and social justice issues of our times. We endeavor to critically question power relations and injustices, always embedding our analyzes within the broader historical, global, and institutional complexities of contemporary affairs.

We are dedicated to fostering interdisciplinary learning and research that is critically and ethically engages social, political, and global issues, proposing solutions and alternatives to the major challenges we face. Our academic model emphasizes theoretically sophisticated, historically situated, globally embedded, empirically grounded and methodologically rigorous teaching and research.

Our department’s faculty have strengths in various fields such as intersectional social justice, American government, including politics, policy and law, as well as international relations and interdisciplinary global studies. Our full time faculty members are Giancarlo Panagia, Mike Zarkin, and Connie Etter. We also work closely with faculty in related Departments who teach courses relevant to our three programs, and with whom we collaborate in mentorship and scholarship.

Our faculty members are actively involved in creating and innovating courses that address contemporary issues in ways that are grounded in rigorous academic engagement. They work closely with students to organize events, workshops and conferences, as well as to pursue faculty-student research partnerships. Our faculty are actively engaged in various areas of research, producing quality scholarly work in the fields of policy, law and government, human rights and social justice, power and diversity, environmental justice, global justice and planetary (“environmental”) politics.

Our students benefit from a close mentoring relationship with faculty, small class sizes, intensive discussion-based learning, student focused course design, a tight knit community of passionate students committed to change, and an overall challenging learning environment dedicated to critical thinking, academic excellence, and social, political, and global impact. We collaborate very closely with our students to tailor the learning experience to their skill set, personal backgrounds, passions, and career goals. Our Department offers various options to customize our learning and programs to our students needs and aspirations.

Our Department is actively engaged in organizing and leading initiatives concerning politics, justice and global affairs. We house a pre-law program, numerous internship opportunities in governmental and non-governmental fields, activities and relationships with organizations involved in social justice, and events concerning global issues, including the global studies conference on “Global Crises, Global Change”.

We invite you to look deeper into our programs, our faculty profiles, our various opportunities. We invite you to get involved in our events. We also invite you to contact our faculty and approach our students. We are always enthusiastic about the politics, justice and global issues, and open to talk about the learning opportunities we offer to engage with them.

For more information, please contact our Department Chair, Mike Zarkin at mzarkin@westminsteru.edu.

You can also find specific information on program requirements and courses through Westminster University's Academic Catalog.

Meet the Faculty