The goal of the 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.
About the Major
The study of politics and public affairs at Hamilton has three tracks: government, world politics, and public policy. Government majors are grounded in international relations, American politics, comparative politics, and political theory. Many participate in Hamilton’s program in Washington, D.C., where they get a front-line perspective on the U.S. government, including work in a Congressional or executive office. World politics focuses on a region or theme such as poverty and inequality, democratization, or international law. Public policy is interdisciplinary and includes economics and philosophy.
Students Will Learn To:
- Make reasonable inferences from data and evidence in order to draw logical conclusions about historical and contemporary political phenomena
- Effectively communicate ideas in clear writing
- Use foundational principles of political science to plan and carry out independent research
- Consider alternative perspectives in order to respond to counter-arguments
A Sampling of Courses
The American Founding: Ideals and Reality
An intensive analysis of the philosophical ideals of the Founding Era (1763-1800) and their uneven realization. Social histories of various races, genders and classes will help illuminate the inherent ambiguities, weaknesses, strengths and legacies of the social and political philosophies of late 18th-century America.
Explore these select courses:
This course examines the ways war and processes of militarization impact women in the Global North and the Global South. Discussion will be accompanied by an analysis of categories such as “women,” “gender” and “sexuality” in relation to the “state” and “nation” during periods of warfare and armed conflict. We will engage with a range of interdisciplinary texts on gender and militarism. These narratives will be grounded by theoretical readings that explore the ongoing debates and tensions among feminists regarding nationalism, violence, war and militarization.
Meet Our Faculty
Sidney Wertimer Professor for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring, Professor of Government
post-communist democratization, the composition of the Russian elite, elite survey research, and the diffusion of ideas
Visiting Assistant Professor of Government
contemporary political philosophy, history of political thought, political economy, theories of social justice, American Transcendentalism, American political thought and development, American political institutions
Distinguished Lecturer in American Public Policy and Practice
urban sociology with a focus urban poverty; homelessness and social policy; neighborhood collective efficacy; the intersection of housing, addiction and recovery
Explore Hamilton Stories
Alan Cafruny, the Henry Bristol Professor of International Affairs, gave a paper at the Allied Social Sciences Association on Jan. 7 in New Orleans. Cafruny’s paper, titled "Ukraine, Multipolarity, and the Crisis of Grand Strategies," was presented as part of the panel "War in Ukraine: Implications for U.S. Hegemony and Alternatives." The event was sponsored by the Union of Radical Political Economists Section
Who do people turn to for help? Many turn to family, close friends, or sometimes, they may even seek out state authorities. But what happens when these options are no longer available—when you have left behind your families and friends, and state authorities will sooner detain you than offer you help? This is the reality for thousands of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the driving question to Nick Cackett’s ’24 and Quinn Jones’ 23 summer research projects.
Careers After Hamilton
Hamilton graduates who concentrated in government are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:
- Program Analyst, Department of Homeland Security
- Strategic Marketing Coordinator, NBC Universal Media
- Writer, Comedy Central
- Coordinator for Communications & Outreach, U.S. Department of State
- Orthopedic Surgeon
- Advisor & Associate Counsel, Republican National Committee
- Maynard-Knox Professor of Government, Hamilton College
- Founder/Executive Director/President, New England Center for Children
- Director, Foreign Exchange Distribution, UBS Securities LLC
- President & CEO, Texas International Education Consortium
- Senior Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of the Interior