Affiliated Research Centers
Nine major centers are closely associated with the department and led by department faculty. Each of these centers has a different substantive focus, is funded in different ways, is uniquely organized, and is connected to varying constituencies in the department, on campus, in the profession, and in the community. Together these centers demonstrate the high degree of collaborative scholarly activity - both through intellectual clusters cutting across fields within the department and through interdisciplinary linkages across the campus - that is a trademark of the political science faculty.
The Center for American Politics and Public Policy, established at the University of Washington in 1996 and directed by Professor John Wilkerson, is a focal point for the study of politics and public policy processes in the United States. The primary intellectual objectives of CAPP include: (1) fostering internationally recognized research by faculty and students on American politics and public policy; (2) providing education, training, and hands-on experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels for the next generation of American politics and public policy scholars; and (3) serving as a repository for data and other forms of information that can be used to study the policy choices made in the United States, especially information reflecting the evolution of policy choices. CAPP fosters an intellectually vibrant setting for such study through research, seminars, visiting speakers, graduate training and fellowships, and undergraduate education programs and fellowships. Faculty affiliated with the center have generated numerous research grants from NSF and other sources as well as published essays in the top political science and policy journals. As such, CAPPP is integral to the Department's future.
The Center for Labor Studies was created in 1992 as a joint program in the Departments of Political Science and History at the University of Washington. The center, and the endowed chair who directs it (recent political science faculty holders David Olson and Margaret Levi) are funded by over 1,000 donors whose contributions honor the legacy of the late Harry Bridges, the outstanding founder and leader of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for over 40 years. The Center for Labor Studies supports research, teaching, and community outreach, all focusing on labor's contribution to society. Within the university, the center promotes the study of labor in all of its facets, locally, nationally, and worldwide. The Center for Labor Studies coordinates the efforts of faculty members throughout the University of Washington to develop and expand labor-related components of the university's curriculum. It provides encouragement and assistance to young scholars studying work and workers. The Center for Labor Studies also provides a meeting place where people from the academic world and the labor movement can exchange ideas and insights. It sponsors activities in the community so that issues of concern to labor can reach the widest possible audience. It offers an undergraduate minor as well as prizes, scholarships, and research grants to students and faculty alike. Visit the CLS website.
The CLASS Center grew out of a multi-unit social science effort, led by Professor Michael McCann, to develop an interdisciplinary law and society program on the UW campus. Over twenty scholars in the social sciences, including eight political scientists, and the law school are affiliated with the Center. The center's intellectual agenda focuses on the study of socio-legal practices in comparative perspective across national, sub-national, and transnational settings, emphasizing in particular the growing role of law in shaping and responding to processes of globalization,democratization, and neo-liberalism. The CLASS Center houses and administers the new Law, Societies, and Justice undergraduate major, which will serve as an attractive second major (or minor) and curricular resource for many of the Political Science Department's students. An interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in legal studies is available for CLASS Graduate Fellows, which include many political science graduate students. The CLASS Center also organizes workshops, conferences, ongoing seminar groups, distinguished visiting lectureships, and research grant generation from NSF, the Ford Foundation, and other sources.
The Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, directed by Professor Lance Bennett, is dedicated to understanding and facilitating the uses of both traditional and new media systems and communication practices to promote citizen engagement in local, national, and global affairs. Faculty and student affiliates of the center engage in research, policy analyses, educational programs, and the development of Web-based information and network resources for citizens, scholars, and journalists. This is an important historical period in which to develop communication models aimed at creating opportunities for citizens to find voice for new experiences and social concerns. The activities of the center seek to identify and promote these new forms of engagement while studying their relationships to traditional aspects of communication, politics, and group life. The center has a broad range of research capabilities drawn from faculty affiliates and aided by the technology laboratories of participating departments. Primary responsibilities for coordinating the research, learning, and outreach activities of the center are shared by faculty and students in political science along with other departments, centers, and schools.
Center for Human Rights (CHR)
Founded by an act of the Washington State Legislature in 2009, the University of Washington Center for Human Rights is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in the education of undergraduate and graduate students in the field of human rights; promoting human rights as a core area of faculty and graduate research; and engaging productively with local, regional, national, and international organizations and policymakers to advance respect for human rights. The Center is directed by Professor Angelina Godoy, who holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Political Science.
The European Union Center of Seattle, established in 1998 with a grant from the European Union and matching funds from the University of Washington, is one of ten official EUCs in the United States designed to promote the study of EU and trans-Atlantic relations. The EUC provides research grants for faculty and graduate students, funds scholarly conferences, hosts an annual Marshall-Monnet Visiting Scholar (a distinguished European professor who teaches a quarter-long seminar) and a European Union Fellow (an official on leave from the EU commission or parliament who teaches one or two seminars), administers the Certificate in Trans-Atlantic Studies program, and organizes outreach events ranging from a summer program for secondary school teachers to a fall workshop for Washington state legislators. The EUC has vastly enhanced the resources available for international relations, comparative politics, and comparative public policy specialists with an interest in European affairs.
The Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality (WISER)
The University of Washington's Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality (WISER), established in 2006. Professor Matt Barreto serves as the director. WISER is an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to bringing the tools of contemporary social science inquiry to the careful examination of issues of social, economic, and political exclusion and disadvantage of marginalized minority populations in the United States, and their potential solutions. The principle goals of WISER are to establish the University of Washington as a recognized center of excellence for minority-related research and graduate training in the social sciences, by:
Creating an institute that facilitates minority focused research through grant-seeking, intellectual exchange, and on-campus activities;
Raising the profile on-campus of questions and issues related to minority life in the United States;
Creating connections to the wider community;
Providing an enlarging research community to faculty and graduate students working on questions of disadvantage; and
Assisting the College and Departments in attracting and retaining faculty and graduate students from diverse backgrounds or whose work addresses questions in inequality or difference.