The 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 comprises five subfields: American PoliticsComparative PoliticsInternational RelationsPolitical Methodology, and Political Theory. In addition, the Department has a formal working group focused on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender, made up of scholars from across the traditional 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 CenterThe Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, ​the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS), the Department of Media Studies , the Department of Middle-East & South Asian Languages & Cultures, the Department of Latin American Studies, and the Center for Russian and East European Studies (CRESS).

Respect for the Learning Environment

The University of Virginia strives towards an inclusive learning, research, and work environment. The University offers school-wide resources to support a welcoming climate for persons of all genders, sexualities, races, religions, ethnicities, and abilities.

The Department of Politics is committed to a learning environment that is respectful to all students and open to a full range of viewpoints.  If any student has a concern about the conduct of an instructor within or outside the classroom, they are  / she or he is welcome to raise this concern, with or without a chosen faculty advisor, with any of the following people: the Department’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, its Director of Graduate Studies, its Director of Undergraduate Programs, and/or the Department Chair.  Please see the Department Leadership page for contact information.

The aim is to create a safe and confidential meeting environment. But in cases that may involve a violation of the University’s policies on sexual or gender-based harassment, students should be aware of reporting procedures and requirements (set out under Federal Law and known in shorthand as Title IX). These policies can be found at this site: https://eocr.virginia.edu/appendixb.



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