The courage to dissent

Sarah C. Baldwin MIT News

For graduate student Amanda Rothschild, political science meets personal history in her studies of how the United States responds to genocide.

Electing to vote or not

Sarah C. Baldwin

Ariel White: Understanding how government, policies, and people affect voting behavior

Fotini Christia and Ali Jadbabaie on researching the dynamics of sociopolitcal change

Leda Zimmerman School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Borders between disciplines at MIT have proven increasingly permeable in recent years. Now, with the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), researchers in the social sciences have a powerful platform for collaborating with peers in engineering and the natural sciences. Fotini Christia, associate professor of political science, and the grant’s principal investigator Ali Jadbabaie, recently named JR East Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, associate director of IDSS, and director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center (SSRC), discuss one such shared collaboration.

From Babylon to Baudelaire and Back: A scholar heeds the call of family history

Sarah C. Baldwin MIT Political Science

When Marsin Alshamary arrived at Wellesley, in 2009, she had several years of French under her belt and a burning love of literature. Four years later she graduated — with honors — with a BA not only in French, but in international relations as well. The following year, she joined MIT’s political science department as a PhD candidate in comparative politics and international relations. She was in the process, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche, of becoming who she was.

Examining Accountability Through the Lens of Local Politics

Sarah C. Baldwin

“All politics is local,” Thomas “Tip” O’Neill famously said. If the former Speaker of the House were alive today, chances are he would approve of the work of Justin de Benedictis-Kessner. Not only does the doctoral candidate in political science focus on local politics, he does it in the very city O’Neill represented for more than three decades.

MIT Political Science celebrates 50th anniversary: rigor, relevance, and impact

Kathryn O'Neill SHASS Communications

“At MIT, we aim to produce not just scientists and engineers, but citizens and educated human beings who appreciate the complexities of the world around them and are committed to making a difference. That is MIT and achieving that vision depends on MIT Political Science.” -MIT President L. Rafael Reif

Mapping the history of U.S. state politics

Peter Dizikes MIT News

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, in a 1932 opinion, wrote that a state could be a “laboratory” for policy, and “try novel social and economic experiments” on its own. We have since turned those words into today’s common political phrase that the 50 U.S. states are “laboratories of democracy.”

3Q: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf PhD '81 on the role of political science in solving global issues

Kathryn O'Neill SHASS Communications

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf received his PhD from MIT’s Department of Political Science in 1981. He spent the next 25 years running his family’s kitchen cabinet business, and then, in 2007 he was appointed Pennsylvania’s secretary of revenue. In that job, he instituted reforms that strengthened the state’s lottery and laid the foundation for additional benefits for seniors. In 2014, Wolf ran for election for the first time and made history as the first person in four decades to defeat a sitting Pennsylvania governor. Inaugurated in January 2015, Wolf will be on campus this November for events to honor the 50th anniversary of the Department of Political Science, which is housed within the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. SHASS Communications took the occasion to ask the governor to share his views on political science at MIT, and on the role of the social sciences in addressing the global challenges of our time.