MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The MIT Department of Political Science offers a broad-based undergraduate curriculum in political science; provides graduate education and research training at the highest level of excellence; maintains an environment in which faculty and advanced students can carry out original and outstanding research on political behavior, processes, and institutions; and contributes 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. Throughout, the Department aims to create a community of men and women–senior and junior scholars, students and staff–that is rich and diverse in terms of gender, race, and national origin.

Each of these goals is important, but the key to success in all lies in recruiting, keeping, and nurturing an outstanding faculty, devoted both to research and teaching. Success in such recruitment will also play an essential role in restoring the Department to the very top ranks of the profession. In this connection, I am pleased to report that we have, in the past two years, successfully recruited five outstanding new faculty (four assistant professors, one tenured associate professor).


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 provided 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 subject that introduces them to the contexts of policymaking. Associate Professor Charles Stewart, who directs the program, also teaches this subject. To date, fifty students have been placed in such organizations as: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, The U.S. Department of Energy, the Institute of Medicine's Board on Global Health, the U.S. General Accounting Office's Office of Transportation Issues, the World Bank, The Economic Policy Institute, the American Association for World Health and the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee. The program, which allows MIT's technically-oriented students to experience how institutions vital to their later success operate, also gives the federal government and other policymakers early access to the best young scientists and engineers in America.

This year the Political Science Department and the Department of Economics collaborated to initiate a joint Political Science/Economics Washington Summer Internship Program. Two Political Science students and three Economics students were selected to join the Science and Technology interns in Washington, D.C. this summer. Political Science students Douglas Kriner and Gillian Deutch are working at the Senate Leadership Steering Committee and the MIT Washington Office. Economics students Benjamin Ho, David Matsa and Jolene Saul are working at the Office of Management and Budget, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Professor Suzanne Berger and Professor Richard Samuels created a new framework organization–MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives–to coordinate the MIT-Japan, MIT-China, MIT-Germany, MIT-India, and MIT-Italy Programs. Through these programs, the Department has placed nearly 1000 students in internships over the past 20 years.

Professor Nazli Choucri has presented a proposal to the Department for an Internship program in International Institutions. The educational strategy includes course work, supervised field experience, research and writing and student presentations of individual internship experience and outcomes.

Jointly with DUSP and Economics, the Department established a new minor in public policy. Evidence suggests that a large number of science and engineering majors have serious public policy interests. The minor provides an opportunity for them to pursue those interests in a sustained and coherent way, without taking on the burden of a second major. The minor was initiated this past year, with a joint DUSP-Political Science course, "Fundamentals of Public Policy," taught by Professor Stephen Meyer and David Laws. The course enrollment was near 50, suggesting great promise for the program.

Under the direction of the Undergraduate Program Committee, Professor Meyer redesigned the undergraduate Prethesis Reading Seminar and renamed it "Thesis Research Design." Political Science majors are expected to register for this class in the spring semester of their junior year. In this class students develop their research topics, review relevant research and scholarship, frame their research questions and arguments, choose an appropriate methodology for analysis, draft the introductory and methodology sections of their theses, and write a complete prospectus of the project. With this redesign the undergraduate theses have improved dramatically. This year the department awarded a $1,000 prize for the "Best Political Science Undergraduate Thesis."

Many new subjects were developed this past year on both the graduate and undergraduate level. Associate Professor Daniel Kryder designed a new undergraduate class, 17.197, "Introduction to Political Analysis," which will present a survey of the field of political science for undergraduates. He will be inviting faculty members in different areas of the field to present their research to the class. In collaboration with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Professor Meyer developed the new class, "Fundamentals of Public Policy" as part of the new Public Policy Minor. Assistant Professor Brandice Canes-Wrone taught two new subjects, "Business, Government and Public Policy," and "Bureaucracy." She will introduce a new graduate class, "Methods of Policy Analysis," in the coming academic year. Associate Professor Thomas Christensen is teaching a new joint graduate/undergraduate class, "International Relations of East Asia." Assistant Professor Chappell Lawson will teach two new graduate classes, "Latin American Politics," and "Regime Change." Assistant Professor Jonathan Rodden plans to introduce two new classes, an undergraduate class "Politics, Economics and Democracy," and a graduate class, "The Political Economy of Institutions."

Assistant Professor Susan Giaimo will introduce her course "Methods of Policy Analysis" in Spring 2000. This year Associate Professor Richard Locke introduced his new course, 17.188J, "Labor and Politics," a joint Political Science/Sloan research seminar for graduate students specializing in Comparative Politics. Professor Locke also developed and taught a new freshman seminar, 17.A06, "The Changing World of Work," and Professor Joshua Cohen introduced a new seminar entitled "Is Inequality Unfair?" Associate Professor Kenneth Oye helped form a study and discussion group on uncertainty and regulatory decision making. Professor Harvey Sapolsky has started an inter-service, inter-university network of military innovation that seeks to improve the curriculum for courses on military innovation here and at various senior military colleges.

In the spring, the Department initiated discussions of a complete overhaul of our undergraduate curriculum, with an eye to making it more coherent, with better-defined portals into the program and clearer tracks through it. And we have also begun discussions of a more crisply defined graduate track in political economy. I expect both discussions to result in Fall term proposals.

Professor Cohen is experimenting with strategies for making his Justice course a large-enrollment, communication-intensive subject–to see how to combine writing instruction with a large-enrollment course.


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, including six of the top ten students we admitted. Of the 14 students who accepted our offer of admission, five are female, and four are international students. The Department will also enroll six Masters students in September 1999.

Our graduating doctoral students continued to find positions at leading research universities and institutions such as University of California at Berkeley, University of Notre Dame, Rutgers University, Rockefeller Foundation, European University Institute in Florence, Italy, Rand Corporation, and American University in Washington, D.C.

Undergraduate enrollments remained constant (777 in 1998—99, compared to 779 in 1997—98), while the number of undergraduate majors rose from 31 to 35. There were 28 minors (Classes of 1999, 2000, and 2001), and 58 concentrators from the Class of 1999. Graduate student enrollment for 1998—99 was 120.


The Department successfully recruited two new junior faculty from a search in comparative politics: Jonathan Rodden, from Yale University, will be teaching in the area of comparative political economy beginning this fall; Kanchan Chandra, from Harvard University, will be teaching in the field of ethnicity and ethnic conflict. Chandra, who has a prestigious American Academy Fellowship at Harvard for next year, will start teaching in Fall 2000.

Associate Professors Stephen Ansolabehere and Stewart, who specialize in American Politics, have been promoted to Professor, effective July 1, 1999. Assistant Professors Melissa Nobles and Frederic Schaffer have been promoted to untenured Associate Professor, also effective July 1, 1999.

Increasing the presence of minorities and women in the Department remains a major concern. All three search committees this past year made special efforts to identify outstanding women and minority candidates. The Department received and reviewed a total of 307 applications for three open positions. Of those, 86 were women and 7 were minorities. Out of four finalists invited to present seminars, one was a woman.

Search committees in the areas of International Relations/Political Economy and Political Theory have formed and will evaluate potential candidates at both the junior and senior level during the coming academic year.

We also have an outstanding senior offer out to Professor Donald Horowitz of Duke University.

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 contributed "Money and Institutional Power" in Texas Law Review (with Professor Snyder); "Old Voters, New Voters: Using Redistricting to Estimate the Incumbency Advantage" in American Journal of Political Science (with Professors Snyder and Stewart); "Replicating Experiments Using Aggregate and Survey Data" in American Political

Science Review (with S. Iyengar and Adam Simon); and he contributed the chapter "Money and

Office," in Brady and Cogan, eds., Continuity and Change in Congressional Elections, Stanford University Press (with Professor Snyder). Professor Berger's lecture "Globalization and the Future of Work" presented in the Volkswagen Stiftung series in Hannover will appear in an edited volume. Professor Canes-Wrone contributed the chapter "Out of Step, Out of Office: Legislative Voting Behavior and House Election Outcomes," to the Brady and Cogan, eds., book Continuity and Change in Congressional Elections.

Professor Christensen wrote "China, the US-Japan Alliance and the Security Dilemma in East Asia" for the Spring 1999 issue of the journal International Security. He also contributed the chapter "Pride, Pressure and Politics: The Roots of China's Worldview" in Deng Yong and Feiling Wang, eds., In the Eyes of the Dragon: China Views the World (Rowman and Littlefield, 1999).

Professor Cohen edited five collections–Representing All of Us, The New Inequality, A Community of Equals, and Money and Politics (all from Beacon Press, as part of the New Democracy Forum series), and Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? (Princeton University Press); he also wrote "Can Egalitarianism Survive Internationalization?" (with Joel Rogers) in Globalization, edited by Wolfgang Streeck. Professor Cohen has continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Boston Review. Professor Giaimo wrote "Cost Containment vs Solidarity in the Welfare State: the Case of German and American Health Care Reform," AICGS Working Paper #6.

Professor Kryder's book Divided Arsenal: Race and the American State in World War II is forthcoming (Cambridge University Press), as is the chapter "Reconsidering An American Dilemma: War, Statebuilding, and the Politics of Black Militancy in the Twentieth Century" in Total War and the Law: New Perspectives on World War II, Victor Jew and Daniel Ernst, eds. (Michigan State University Press).

Professor Locke co-authored the article "Problems of Equivalence in Comparative Politics: Apples and Oranges, Again" in the Winter 1998 issue of American Political Science Association's Comparative Politics Newsletter (with Kathleen Thelen); his article "Mirror Images?: Political Strategies for Economic Development in east Germany and Southern Italy" is forthcoming in Stato e Mercato (co-authored with Carlo Trigilia). Professor Nobles' book, Shades of Citizenship: Race and Censuses in Modern Politics, is forthcoming from Stanford University Press.

Professor Oye's co-authored article "Coal Utilization in Industrial Boilers in China–A Prospect for Mitigating CO2 Emissions" is forthcoming in Journal of Applied Energy; and the CIS/CEI working paper "Contingent Spirals: Transaction Costs and Rents as Incentives for Cooperation" (co-authored with David Reiner) is also forthcoming. Professor Posen wrote "Grand Strategy and Naval Force Structure" in P. G. Boyer and Robert S. Wood, eds., Strategic Transformation and Naval Power in the 21st Century (Naval War College Press) his chapter "U.S. Security Policy in a Nuclear-Armed World, or What if Iraq had Nuclear Weapons?" is forthcoming in The Coming Crisis: Nuclear Proliferation, U.S. Interests, and World Order, Victor Utgoff, ed. (MIT Press).

Professor Samuels' co-authored chapter "The Eagle Eyes the Pacific: American Foreign Policy Options in East Asia After the Cold War" is forthcoming in The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Past, Present, and Future (Council on Foreign Relations); the co-authored chapter "Mercantile Realism and Japanese Foreign Policy During and After the Cold War" is forthcoming in Unipolar Politics: Realism and State Strategies after the Cold War (Columbia University Press). Professor Sapolsky wrote the forthcoming articles "Security Lessons from the Cold War" (co-authored with Eugene Gholz and Allen Kaufman) in the journal Foreign Affairs; and "Restructuring the Defense Industry" for International Security (co-authored with Eugene Gholz). He also contributed the chapter "Private Arsenals: American Post Cold War Burden" (with Eugene Gholz) in Arming the Future (forthcoming, Council on Foreign Relations). Professor Schaffer's "Comparer la democracy americaine et la demokaraasi senegalaise: comment les ideaux varient suivant les cultures" appeared in Revue Internationale de Politique Comparee. Professor Eugene Skolnikoff wrote "The Role of Science in Policy: The Climate Change Debate in the U.S." for the June 1999 issue of Environment.

Professor Snyder's article "An Inflation Index for ADA Scores" (with Tim Groseclose and Steven Levitt) appeared in the March 1999 issue of American Political Science Review, and his article "Old Voters, New Voters, and the Personal Vote: Using Redistricting to Estimate the Incumbency Advantage" (with Professors Ansolabehere and Stewart) is forthcoming. His article "Majority Rule and the Under-Provision of Public Investment" (with William LeBlanc and Mickey Tripathi) is forthcoming in the Journal of Public Economics; and "Valence Politics and Equilibrium in Spatial Election Models" (with Professor Ansolabehere) is forthcoming in Public Choice.

Professor Woodruff published his book Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism (Cornell University Press). He also wrote "It's Value that's Virtual: Bartles Rubles, and the Place of Gazprom in the Russian Economy, forthcoming in Post-Soviet Affairs; and "Why Market Liberalism and the Ruble's Value are Sinking Together" appeared in the Fall issue of the East European Constitutional Review.

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 Ansolabehere, with Professors Skolnikoff and Canizares, organizes the Senior Congressional Staff Seminar. Professor Ansolabehere will also head the Department's effort to create a Center for Political Economy. Professor Choucri's research group has obtained the first patent in the history of MIT from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; the patent is for an invention of process and product in the domain of internet-based distributed knowledge networking through multidimensional representation of conceptual meanings. Professor Cohen was the Carlyle Professor at Oxford University, and also lectured at Tufts, McGill, Brown, the European University Institute. Professor Posen was an invited commentator on the crises in Iraq and Kosovo for Boston and Chicago radio and television news programs.

Professor Samuels chaired the inaugural meeting of the Study Group on Japanese Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations; he was also an invited panelist to the National Science Foundation's Workshop on East Asia Science and Technology. Professor Samuels will be a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bologna, Italy, Fall 1999; and will hold a Visiting Professorship at the University of Tokyo, Spring 2000. Professor Sapolsky co-directed the new Environmental Policy Initiative at the Center for Interational Studies. Professor Woodruff received a Fulbright Scholarship, and was the Fulbright Scholarship Lecturer at European University in St. Petersburg, Russia.

More information about this department can be found on the World Wide Web at

Joshua Cohen

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99