News and updates from The Ohio State University Department of Political Science.


Working in Washington to Advance Democracy Worldwide

Erik Leiden, a third year in Political Science, spent his summer as an intern at the International Republican Institute (IRI) in their Latin America and Caribbean division. Whether he was developing a brief on a new Cuban Labor Law or Security in Central America, or explaining the rules of Baseball at a Nationals game to a group of Peruvian congressmen, his internship gave him insight both into how DC organizations operate and also into the political realities facing many Latin American countries. To find out more about Erik's experience visit his page

Student travels to Russia

Alex Pantich, a fourth year political science major, spent the summer studying Russian language and culture through a program at Moscow International University. He had the opportunity to meet the leader of the main opposition in Russia, Alexei Navalny as well as get an insider’s view of Russian politics and further understand his Serbian background. After graduation, he hopes to return to Russia and continue expanding his understanding of the Russian way of life. To read more on Alex's story visit his page.


In Gun Politics (PS 4139), students examine gun control through historical, legal, sociological, and public health issues; the views of different people as to what degree of control should be enforced upon the private ownership and use of firearms; to what extent firearms ownership influences crime; and how best to achieve a balance of power between the individual and the state.


Looking for news and exciting opportunities on campus or downtown? Visit our Upcoming Events page where you can find the latest list of experiences awaiting you!

September 6

Study Abroad Expo; 10-2pm, Buckeye Reading Room Thompson Library

September 11

An Evening with Dr. Reza Aslan; 7:30pm, Mershon Auditorium Wexner Center

September 12

National Security Speaker Series - Jack Donnelly; 12-2pm, Mershon Center

September 16

"Efforts to Control Terrorism in the Middle East" - Laura Dugan; 12:30pm, Mershon Center


Dr. Benjamin McKean

Professor McKean is a political theorist whose research considers the role of dispositions in the achievement and maintenance of political freedom and social justice, particularly with respect to international politics. His research concerns questions of theory and practice, the relationship between aesthetics and power, and how natural and political catastrophes change our understanding of the meaning of human action. He received his PhD from the Princeton University Department of Politics in 2010 and received a Harper-Schmidt fellowship in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago from 2010-2013. For more about Professor McKean visit his page.


Dr. Amanda Robinson

Dr. Robinson's research interests are in the field of comparative politics, and include African politics, the micro-foundations of nationalism, political identities in trans-border ethnic groups, and the role of group identity in cooperation, collective action, and conflict. Dr. Robinson received her PhD in political science from Stanford University in 2013. Dr. Robinson is excited to share her passion for the study of African politics and group identity with OSU students. This fall she will be teaching an introductory course on African politics (POLITSC 4597.02), and in the spring she will offer an honors seminar on identity politics (POLITSC 4597.02H). She looks forward to building relationships across disciplinary boundaries and to taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge among faculty and students at OSU. To learn more about Professor Robinson visit her page.


Dr. Inés Valdez

Professor Valdez’s research is on the politics of immigration, Latino politics, and critical race theory.  Her courses, Feminist Political Theory, Introduction to Human Rights, and Immigration Politics Through Film all incorporate inter-disciplinary content and address the politics of race and unequal power. She received her PhD in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011 and was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence during the 2011-2012 academic year. Click here to learn more about Professor Valdez.
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September 4, 2013


Pranav Reddy, AIF Clinton Fellow
"After graduating, I worked in India as an AIF Clinton Fellow for Calcutta Kids, a maternal and child health nonprofit organization that works with a migrant population living in slums near Calcutta, West Bengal. Now, I am currently attending Alpert Medical School at Brown University. My experience studying political science and then working in Calcutta has given me the understanding to be a physician that not only seeks to alleviate the individual, biomedical problems that a patient brings, but also the deeper societal and systematic causes." To read more on Pranav's story


Francis R. Aumann Award for Distinguished Senior Achievement (Academic Excellence and Service to the Community and the University)
2013 Award Recipient:
Mr. Alexander Chaitoff

Lawrence J.R. Herson Award for Academic Excellence
2013 Junior Political Science Majors:
Ms. Amanda R. Merritt
Mr. Zachary F. Karabatak
2013 Senior Political Science Majors:
Mr. Cameron G. DeHart
Ms. Marie C. Rehg

William Jennings Bryan Prize for Best Paper in American Politics / Political Theory
2013 Award Recipient:

Mr. Jeffrey DeSalu

Jacobina Aman Award for Best Paper in Comparative Politics / International Relations
2013 Award Recipients:
Mr. Paul Filippelli
Mr. Andrew Iammarino

Henry R. Spencer Award for Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science
2013 Award Recipient:

Mr. Cameron G. DeHart
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