MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


The principal goals of the Department of Political Science are to provide a broad-based undergraduate curriculum in political science, while offering graduate education and research training at a level of excellence equal to or superior to that offered by any political science department in the country; to advance understanding of political behavior, processes, and institutions, in both domestic and international contexts, by maintaining an environment in which faculty and advanced students can carry out research of the highest quality; to contribute to the capacity of governmental and private organizations at the local, national, or international level to deal effectively and humanely with the issues they confront; to create a community within the Department of men and women - senior and junior scholars, students, and staff - which is as rich and diverse in terms of gender, race, color, and national origin as can be achieved. The essential task for the future is to pursue these objectives at the highest level of excellence, while striking a proper balance among them. The key to superior performance in all these respects lies in the recruiting, keeping, and nurturing an outstanding faculty and graduate student body.


Washington Internship Program: MIT stands in a unique place in American higher education to combine the concerns of science and engineering with public service. The Department is helping MIT take the lead nationally in enhancing the education of technologically sophisticated undergraduates by exposing them to the practical world of politics and policymaking, while maintaining a high degree of academic rigor. Since 1994-95, we have designed and administered a summer internship in Washington, DC for MIT students from across all disciplines. The internship's purpose is not to enhance job skills, like many internships, but rather to provide a closer and more realistic look at policymaking than is possible in classroom settings. Students are required to enroll in a new subject that introduces them to the contexts of policymaking. To date, thirty students have been placed in such organizations as: the U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Fossil Energy, the U.S. Department of Commerce - Office of Technical Competitiveness, The White House - Office of Science and Technology, American Enterprise Institute - Economic Policy Division, The Heritage Foundation, and the American Association for World Health. Associate Professor Charles Stewart directs the program and teaches the substance of the spring semester material. That faculty member continues to be responsible for the seminar in the fall, but it is best if the weekly sessions focus on material presented with the help of an invited speaker drawn from the MIT faculty, in the area of that faculty member's expertise. This program allows MIT's technically-oriented students to see up close how institutions vital to their later success operate. And, it gives the federal government and other policymakers early access to the best young scientists and engineers in America. It is a unique contribution to Federal policy by a unique institution of science and engineering.

Asia-Pacific Crisis Simulation: Every second year the Department of Political Science and the MIT Japan Program organize an "Asia-Pacific Political Crisis Simulation." The exercise brings together scholars and practitioners from seven nations in the region, and is the culmination of a graduate seminar entitled "Japan and East Asian Security" taught by Professor Richard Samuels. The principal goal of this exercise is to examine Japan's future international role in light of recent domestic, regional, and global changes and to trace possible paths along which this role might develop over the next dozen years. In addition, careful attention is paid to the foreign policy choices and domestic political dynamics in China, Korea, and the United States. Participants are assigned to teams representing constituencies and leaders from a number of regional actors including Japan, the United States, the People's Republic of China, (a unified) Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Australia. Through role playing and negotiations, each team develops plans and policies over the course of three four-year "moves." A central control team guides the game and plays the role of countries, regions, and other actors not represented by an independent team. Principal players, drawn from among former government officials, business executives, and academics, were assigned roles as key policy makers of each of the country teams. The exercise receives considerable attention in Japan: it was the topic of a three-hour television show in 1995, and of a series of debates in the Japanese Diet in 1997.

New Subjects: Many new subjects were developed this past year on both the graduate and undergraduate level. Assistant Professor Delia Boylan developed two new subjects: "Introduction to Latin American Politics," and "Comparative Political Economy." Assistant Professor Susan Giaimo offered two new subjects: "Comparative Social Policy: Challenges to the Welfare State," and "Comparative Public Policy: The United States and Western Europe." Next year, Assistant Professor Melissa Nobles will offer a new subject "Retribution and Reparations" which will examine the various political instruments used to deal with the perpetrators of abuses and their victims after the dissolution of politically repressive regimes. Associate Professor Kenneth Oye established, with Professor Myron Weiner and Associate Stephen Van Evera, a joint Training and Research Program on Transnational Security Issues at the Center for International Studies and the Harvard Center for International Affairs. Professor Barry Posen co-offered, with Professor Harvey Sapolsky, "War on Film," a popular IAP mini-course. Professor Sapolsky has developed two summer professional institute subjects - one on security studies, the other on innovation - both of which will be offered during the summer session 1997. Assistant Professor Frederic Schaffer offered two new undergraduate subjects: "What is Politics?" and "Introduction to Comparative Politics: Paths of Development." Assistant Professor Stuart White developed an undergraduate subject, "Liberty," exploring the nature, value, and legitimate scope of liberty, and a graduate subject, "Normative Political Economy." He also established the MIT Political Theory Workshop, which draws faculty and student participants from MIT, Tufts University, and Harvard University in the fields of philosophy, political science, and economics. Finally, Assistant Professor David Woodruff offered two new graduate seminars, "Field Seminar in Comparative Politics: Intellectual Origins and Current Trends," and "Institutional Economics, Intellectual History and Applications to Comparative Politics."


The Department continues to compete successfully with other major departments in the recruitment of graduate students. We attracted an excellent class of incoming Ph.D. students. Of the 18 students who accepted our offer of admission, nine (50%) are female, and six are international students. The Department will also enroll seven Masters students in September 1997.

Our graduating doctoral students continued to find positions at leading research universities and institutions such as Princeton University, Harvard University, University of Maryland, Rand Corporation, and leading institutions in Europe and Asia.

Undergraduate enrollments went down slightly in 1996-97 to 783 from 808 in 1995-96, while the number of undergraduate majors remained constant at 31. There were 28 minors, and 45 concentrators. Graduate student enrollment for 1996-97 was 123.


Three new Assistant Professors joined the Department effective July 1, 1996. Professor Boylan, from Stanford University, is mainly interested in Comparative Politics and International Relations, especially Latin America. Professor Giaimo, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, works on German politics, comparative social policy, and health policy. Professor White, from Oxford and Princeton Universities, joined the Department in the field of Political Theory.

Professor Nobles was awarded the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professorship. Associate Professor James Snyder, who specializes in American Politics, will be promoted to Full Professor, effective July 1, 1997. Professor Joshua Cohen, who specializes in Political Philosophy, will succeed Professor Samuels as Department Head.

Increasing the presence of minorities and women in the Department remains a major concern. All four search committees made special efforts to identify outstanding women and minority candidates as an integral part of their searches. The Department received and reviewed a total of 383 applications for four open positions. Of those, 91 were women and 10 were minorities. Out of 16 finalists invited to present seminars, 4 were women.

Search committees in the areas of Comparative Politics/Development, American Politics and Public Policy, International Relations/Political Economy, and Comparative Politics/Political Economy have formed and will evaluate potential candidates at both the junior and senior level during the coming academic year.

Faculty research activities include:

Political Science faculty continue to be prolific publishers of books and articles. Here we can list only a few. Professor Ansolabehere co-authored articles that appeared in American Journal of Political Science, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. He also contributed a chapter in the book Do the Media Govern? Sage. Professor Berger wrote (with Richard Lester) the book Made by Hong Kong, Oxford University Press. Professor Boylan's work appeared in Latin American Research Review, and she contributed a chapter to the book Technopols: The Role of Ideas and Leaders in Freeing Politics and Freeing Markets, Penn State Press. Professor Cui wrote a book Institutional Innovation and the Second Thought Liberation Movement, Oxford University Press (in Chinese). He also wrote an article for the Journal of International Affairs. Professor Giaimo co-authored a chapter for the book Health Policy Reform, National Variations and Globalization, St. Martin's Press.

Professor Kryder has two books forthcoming: Divided Arsenal: War Mobilization, the American State and the Management of Race Conflict, 1941-1945, Cambridge University Press, and Jim Crow, Ambushed: The June 9, 1943 Black Troop Insurrection at Camp Stewart, Louisiana State University Press. He also wrote an article that appeared in Studies in American Political Development. Professor Locke wrote and co-authored several articles and co-authored a chapter in the book Negotiating the New Germany, Cornell University Press. Professor Posen's work appeared in International Security, Security Studies, and Strategic Review. A Japanese edition of Professor Samuels' book Rich Nation Strong Army (originally published by Cornell University Press) was published this year. He also co-authored a book chapter Eagle Eyes the Pacific.

Professor Sapolsky wrote and co-authored several articles with several graduate students in the MIT Security Studies Program that appeared in the journals Joint Forces Quarterly, International Security, Breakthroughs, Issues in Science and Technology, and Parameters. Professor Schaffer's article "Political Concepts in the Study of Democracy: The Case of Demokaraasi in Senegal" appeared in Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Professor Snyder published several articles in Journal of Political Economy, Rand Journal of Economics, Public Choice, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Journal of Public Economics, and American Political Science Review. Professor Stewart has an article forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science. Professor Van Evera wrote the Guide to Methods for Students in Political Science, Cornell University Press (forthcoming), and had an op-ed published in The New York Times. Professor Weiner is co-editor of several forthcoming books, and is the author of two reports: German and American Migration and Refugee Policies: Recommendations of the Joint German-American Project of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, and People on the Move: Lessons from International Migration Policies, Johannesburg: Center for Development and Enterprise Migration Series. Professor White's articles appeared in Equality, a journal published by the Institute of Public Policy Research in London, and in Political Studies earlier this year. Professor Woodruff's work entitled "Barter of the Bankrupt: The Politics of Demonetization in Russia's Federal State" will be published in Burawoy and Verdery, eds., Ethnographies of Transition.

The Department's faculty continue to give many invited lectures, appear at conferences, serve on boards of professional organizations and editorial boards, in addition to serving as advisors for government, private, and international organizations and agencies. Professor Oye is a Trustee of the World Peace Foundation. Professor Weiner was appointed chair of the newly formed External Research and Advisory Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva.

Richard J. Samuels

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97