Politics as a Field of Study

Politics is the study of the processes that define, produce, and distribute power, authority, and values.

Political studies inherently subvert the naturalness and inevitability of what is, by looking historically and cross-culturally at what has been in other times or places, and what might be.

Politics is a heterogeneous scholarly field that utilizes a range of research methods and a variety of diverse forms of evidence, both qualitative and quantitative. The discipline analyzes political processes at individual, local, national, and international levels. Students study topics such as states, political institutions, social movements, political ideologies, identities, cooperation, conflict, war, and diplomacy.

Our courses engage multiple disciplinary approaches and cultural perspectives, stressing the importance of the diversity of political experience, including a global range of politics that address the roles of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender in political life.

Department Chair: John Baughman, Associate Professor of Politics (jbaughma@bates.edu)

Associate Chair: Jim Richter, Professor of Politics (jrichter@bates.edu)