About MIT Political Science

Societies in all regions of the world face unprecedented challenges. Globalization and economic uncertainty, immigration, asymmetric security threats, energy dependence and the environment, health care provision, poverty, and polarization of electorates are among the issues that test our understanding of how human communities function.

In the MIT Department of Political Science, we see in these challenges the opportunity to conduct innovative, high-impact research. We believe that the strongest theoretical models emerge through observations in the field. From voting booths in the U.S. to the villages of Afghanistan and China to town forums in Liberia and Bangladesh, our goal is to advance the dialogue of political science by comparing empirical phenomena with scholarly insights into how societies work. In the process, we are developing alternative uses for existing methodologies and inventing new ones.