MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


The MIT Department of Political Science aims to offer a broad-based undergraduate curriculum in political science; provide graduate education and research training at the highest level of excellence; foster understanding and evaluation of political behavior, processes, and institutions by maintaining an environment in which faculty and advanced students can carry out original and outstanding research; 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; and create a community within the Department 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.


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 new subject that introduces them to the contexts of policymaking. To date, forty 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.

Many new subjects were developed this past year on both the graduate and undergraduate level. Professor Suzanne Berger developed a new subject: "Globalization." Lecturer Margaret Burnham offered a new course on "Gender, Race and American Law." Assistant Professor Susan Giaimo offered a new graduate seminar: "State vs. Market in the Western Welfare State," and next year will offer a new undergraduate course: "Politics of Germany." Associate Professor Dan Kryder has a project underway to integrate audiotapes (recorded in the White House during the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations) into an undergraduate course on the modern presidency. Associate Professor Kenneth Oye established the "Working Group on Chinese Environmental Issues," which is a biweekly research seminar integrating engineering and social science faculty and graduate students. Professor Richard Samuels offered a new graduate seminar on political change in Italy and Japan, and redesigned and offered the Junior Colloquium on Political Science. Professor Harvey 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 1998. Assistant Professor Frederic Schaffer offered a new undergraduate subject: "The Politics of Change in the Third World" and a new graduate seminar: "Introduction to Contemporary African Politics." Assistant Professor Stuart White developed two new undergraduate subjects, "Ethics, Economy, and Social Policy" and "Foundations of Modern Political Thought."

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


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 11 students who accepted our offer of admission, three are female, and seven are international students. The Department will also enroll eleven Masters students in September 1998.

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

Undergraduate enrollments declined very slightly in 1997-98 to 779 from 783 in 1996-97, while the number of undergraduate majors was 30. There were 28 minors, and 42 concentrators. Graduate student enrollment for 1997-98 was 120.


Two new Assistant Professors and one tenured Associate Professor joined the Department effective July 1, 1998. Assistant Professor Brandice Canes, from Stanford University, joined the Department in the field of American Politics and Public Policy. Assistant Professor Chappell Lawson, from Stanford University, works on comparative politics, with a particular interest in the effects of technology on regime change. Associate Professor Thomas Christensen, from Cornell University, is primarily interested in Security Studies/Asian Studies.

Professor Daniel Kryder, who specializes in American Politics, has been promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 1998.

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 455 applications for three open positions. Of those, 122 were women and 15 were minorities. Out of nine finalists invited to present seminars, six were women.

Search committees in the areas of Technology and Politics, Comparative Politics, and International 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 contributed four chapters in three forthcoming books: "Money and Office" in Continuity and Change in Congressional Elections, Stanford University Press; "Messages Forgotten: Misreporting in Surveys and the Mismeasure of Effects of Advertising" in Political Advertising in Election Campaigns; "Campaigns as Experiments" and "The Paradox of Minimal Effects" in Do Campaigns Matter? University of Michigan Press.

A Chinese edition of Professor Berger' book (with Richard Lester) Made by Hong Kong is forthcoming, as is an Italian edition of her book National Diversity and Global Capitalism, Il Mulino. Dr. Burnham contributed an article to the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. Professor Cohen has five edited collections forthcoming--Representing Us All, The New Inequality, MetroFutures, and Money/Politcs (all from Beacon Press, as part of the New Democracy Forum series), and Feminism and Multiculturalism (Princeton University Press); three of his articles have recently appeared, on "Democracy and Liberty," "Globalization and Equality," and "Directly-Deliberative Polyarchy." He has continued to serve as Associate Editor of Philosophy of Public Affairs and as Editor-in-Chief of Boston Review. Professor Giaimo co-authored a chapter for the book Comparative Political Studies (forthcoming), wrote a chapter for the book The New Politics of the Welfare State (forthcoming), and wrote "Cost Containment vs Solidarity in the Welfare State: the Case of German and American Health Care Reform," AICGS Working Paper #6.

Professor Locke co-authored articles forthcoming in the European Journal of Industrial Relations, and in APSA-CP, and co-authored chapters in the books The Changing Place of Labor in European Society (Berglahn Books) and Negotiating the New Germany (Ithaca: Lowell University Press), and wrote a chapter for Hedging Bets on Growth in a Globalizing Industrial Order (Seoul: Korea Development Institute). Professor Posen's work appeared in Migrants, Refugees, and Foreign Policy (Oxford: Berghahn Books), and he co-authored a chapter in America's Strategic Choices, an International Security reader.

Professor Samuels wrote a chapter for The Japan Handbook (London: Fitzroy Dearborn) and co-authored chapters in the forthcoming books The U.S.-Japan Alliance: Past, Present, and Future (Council on Foreign Relations) and Unipolar Politics: Realism and State Strategies after the Cold War (Columbia University Press). He also contributed an article to Journal of Modern Italian Studies. Professor Sapolsky wrote and co-authored several articles with several graduate students in the MIT Security Studies Program that appeared in the journals Submarine Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times. Professor Schaffer's Democracy in Translation: Understanding Politics in an Unfamiliar Culture has just appeared from Cornell University Press. Professor Eugene Skolnikoff co-authored The Implementation and Effectiveness of International Environmental Commitments: Theory and Practice (MIT Press).

Professor Van Evera completed Causes of War, Volume I: The Structure of Power and the Roots of War (forthcoming from Cornell University Press). He also contributed an article to the journal International Security, co-authored an article for Security Studies and co-authored a chapter for the Oxford Companion to Military History.

Professor Myron Weiner is co-editor of the books Temporary Workers or Future Citizens: Japanese and U.S. Migration Policies (NYU Press) and People on the Move: International experiences of migration and refugee policies, and a South African case study (Cassell Academic Press), and wrote a chapter for Business and Democracy: Cohabitation or Contradiction (Cassell Academic Press). He also authored articles that will be forthcoming in the Journal of Policy Reform and the Journal of Refugee Studies. Professor White's articles appeared in The Journal of Political Philosophy, The British Journal of Political Science, and Renewal. He also contributed a chapter to Freedom of Association (forthcoming, Princeton University Press, Fall 1998).

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 Berger completed her term as APSA Vice President. Professor Berger also, along with Professor Samuels, received a $6 million gift endowment from the Starr Foundation for Asian Studies at MIT. Professor Locke was appointed Associate Director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center. Professor Oye received the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award. He is also a Trustee of the World Peace Foundation. Professor Samuels has been invited to be a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo, Spring 2000. Professor Weiner was re-appointed chair of the External Research and Advisory Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. Professor Weiner also continued to serve as a delegate of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to the American Council of Learned Societies.

Joshua Cohen

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98