The Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics supports research and honors teaching that develop a critical understanding of national and international politics. Its distinguished faculty members seek to instill in their students a theoretical and practical appreciation of the ideas, institutions, and history that shape political life. The Department celebrates methodological pluralism: it seeks to promote an awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies so that students can evaluate and select the approaches most suited to exploring the research questions in which they are interested. The faculty and students approach these questions through a rich variety of topics, including democratization; liberalism and its critics; race, gender, and ethnicity; political economy; and the role of human rights international affairs.
The Department is comprised of five subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Methodology, and Political Theory. Although individual faculty members usually specialize in a particular area of research, empirical and theoretical interests are frequently shared across subfields.
Bolstering the Department's standing as a locus of rigorous empirical and theoretical research is its close affiliation with a number of research centers and institutions, including The Miller Center of Public Affairs, the Center for Politics, the Center for Survey Research, the Center for South Asian Studies, the East Asia Center, The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, The Program in Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS), the Media Studies Program, the Center for Middle-East Studies, the Department of Latin American Studies, and the Center for Russian and East European Studies (CRESS).