The goal of Hamilton's Government Department is to engage students in discussion pertaining to the political dynamics of human life through research and intensive writing. Students emerge prepared to shape, analyze and fully participate in civic life.
Societies are not just groups of individuals. Each has a political dimension — a collective identity, a structure of power and a system of public values. This dimension is the focus of the study of government at Hamilton. How do societies organize collective effort? Do they achieve the public good? Are individual citizens included in the decision-making process?
The study of politics and public affairs at Hamilton includes three academic tracks: government, world politics and public policy. Students may major in any of the three, or minor in government or public policy.
Government: The most general of the three, the government major provides a broad grounding in international relations, American politics, comparative politics and political theory.
World Politics: Students majoring in world politics can focus on either a particular region (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, or Western Europe) or a theme (poverty and inequality, democratization, international law and organization, international security, politics of the global economy, nationalism and identity). Students focusing on a geographical region should have or plan on four semesters of language preparation.
Public Policy: This interdisciplinary major directed by the Government Department also includes work in economics and philosophy.