The interdisciplinary PhD program in Political Science focuses on the development of political institutions over time and the ways in which they facilitate or impede adaptation to rapidly changing circumstances under the impact of globalization. The formation of political institutions, their evolution, their sources of change, their distributional effects, how they organize cooperation, and how they resolve or fail to resolve conflict have stimulated some of the most prominent theorizing in the study of politics. The emphasis on the development of political institutions invites multidisciplinary approaches. By their very nature political institutions affect the organization of the economy, the distribution of life chances in society, and cultural values; which are, of course, the concern of economics, sociology and anthropology. Because the development of political institutions occurs over time, while the conceptualization and normative orientation of these processes are contested, the dynamics are of interest to historians and philosophers.
Based on the strengths of the faculty in the Department of Political Science, and in collaboration with faculty from other units, the PhD in Political Science will train students in two broad, integrally connected areas of research: the quality of government institutions and the policy process more generally in the search for solutions to pressing public policy issues; and the design of political institutions for the protection and exercise of rights and the politics that go into their making, including pressure from civil society.
The program will develop these skills in two core substantive fields: (1) the political economy of political development; (2) the politics of the institutionalization of rights.
Collaboration with Other Tulane Programs
The PhD in Political Science offers rich opportunities for collaboration with faculty from other units. They will be critical resources for the specialization of students in this program.
The PhD in Political Science builds on Tulane’s outstanding resources and tradition of scholarship on Latin America, embodied in the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research. The Murphy Institute's seminars with an emphasis on political economy, rights and policy will enrich our student's experience and vice versa. Students interested in urban politics can draw on the interdisciplinary PhD program in City, Culture and Community (CCC) with its focus upon “interdisciplinary research aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of urban social problems, relationships between global processes and local change, and the challenges of sustainable development” as well as its concern with urban policy and the post-Katrina recovery of New Orleans. Students interested in global community health and global environmental health may work with faculty from the Institute for Global Health. The PhD in Political Science's concern with political institutions for rule of law and institutional organization offer opportunities for interaction with the Law School and the Business School.
To advance to candidacy, students need to complete 48 credits of coursework, pass two qualifying exams, and successfully defend a dissertation prospectus. Of the 48 credits of coursework, 30 credits consist of required courses in the Political Science department. The remaining 18 credits will consist of electives taken in the Political Science department and in other departments that offer relevant courses. Independent-study courses, worked out between individual students and a faculty member, may count as elective credit and may under certain circumstances be undertaken over the summer. At least 9 credits of coursework must be completed outside the Political Science department. Foreign language courses will count as elective credit only with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.
|POLS 7111||Scope & Methods for Poli Sci||3|
|POLS 7112||Research Methods I||3|
|POLS 7210||Political Development I||3|
|POLS 7211||Political Development II||3|
|POLS 7113||Research Methods II||3|
|POLS 7311||Sem Political Economy||3|
|POLS 7950||Special Projects (Democracy & Democratization )||3|
|POLS 7114||Qualitative Methods||3|
|POLS 7312||Pol Inst of Rights (Specialization Elective if not offered.)||3|
|POLS 7910||Research (Critical Debates in Comp. Poli)||3|
|Dissertation Prospectus Defense|
|POLS 7116||Graduate Professional Skills||3|
|Total Credit Hours||48|
During their fifth semester, students will take qualifying exams in the two areas of substantive concentration. Each exam will consist of two parts: a “field exam”; and an interdisciplinary “substantive concentration exam.” Exams will be written and by the end of the sixth semester both exams must be passed.
During their graduate training, students may be required to teach for at least two semesters, at least one of which will be an introductory course on Political Development.
Dissertation committees will include three or, at most, four professors, with a chairperson from Political Science and at least one member outside of the Political Science Department. Students are required to take seminars on grant writing (the Professional Skills Seminar) and dissertation prospectus preparation during their fifth semester; and, by the end of their third year, students will present a written prospectus for dissertation research and conduct an oral defense before their committee. On defending their prospectus, students will advance to candidacy, and will have three years in which to complete their dissertation.