The Department of Government—like political science—is an umbrella for a remarkable range of political subjects and approaches to studying them. It stands at the cross-roads of history, law, economics, sociology, philosophy, and ethics, borrowing from these disciplines as well as constructing theories and methods of its own. Like our faculty, students who choose to concentrate in Government are inspired by many things. Some are passionate about contemporary American politics; some are fascinated by models that explain, measure, or predict political outcomes; some are interested in the civic philosophy of the ancient Greeks, some in the moral challenges of contemporary global citizenship; some focus on the political culture of a particular region of the world; some want to grasp the more general interrelationships of ethnicity and civil war, or human rights and emerging democracy.
A very flexible concentration, Government allows students to explore and define their particular interests through the courses they choose to meet their requirements as concentrators or to fulfill the requirements of Government as a secondary field. With their Concentration Advisers, students should seek a coherent program of study that shows both a general familiarity with political science and an understanding of that field or combination of fields that captures their interests. Click here for brief descriptions of the subfields that make up political science.