You will emerge from your government major grounded in international relations, American politics, comparative politics and political theory. If you are accepted into Hamilton’s program in Washington, D.C., you will get a front-line perspective on U.S. government, including working in a Congressional or executive office.

About the Major

The study of politics and public affairs at Hamilton has three tracks: government, world politics and public policy. The government major provides a broad grounding in international relations, American politics, comparative politics and political theory. World politics focuses on either a region or theme, for instance, poverty and inequality, democratization or international law and organization. Public policy is interdisciplinary and includes economics and philosophy.

While it’s hard to pinpoint exact things, the sense of community, the professors, and the campus all come to mind as the three largest reasons that Hamilton has been so great. It’s a very inclusive and supportive environment, and this strengthens the relationships that are created at Hamilton.

Thomas Funk ’15 — World politics major

Careers After Hamilton

  • Program Analyst, Department of Homeland Security
  • Strategic Marketing Coordinator, NBC Universal Media
  • Writer, Comedy Central
  • Coordinator for Communications & Outreach, U.S. Department of State
  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Advisor & Associate Counsel, Republican National Committee
  • Maynard-Knox Professor of Government, Hamilton College
  • Founder/Executive Director/President, New England Center for Children
  • Director, Foreign Exchange Distribution, UBS Securities LLC
  • President & CEO, Texas International Education Consortium
  • Senior Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of the Interior

Contact Information

Government Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4450 315-859-4477 government@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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International Relations 114FS

Introduction to the theory and practice of world politics. Emphasis on the changing structure of the international system; the role of the nation-state and non-state actors; patterns of conflict and cooperation; the use of force, diplomacy and ideology; the interplay between politics and economics. Writing-intensive. Proseminar.

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The Organization and Politics of American Policing 359F

Review of the history of public safety provision in the U.S.; the impact on the local police function of the wars on drugs and terror, with attention to police relations with ethnic and racial minorities. Analytic approaches to include theories of organizational behavior and criminology. Prerequisite, Government 116 or consent of the instructor Oral Presentations. Proseminar.

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Violence, Justice and the State in Latin America 368S

This class explores contemporary issues in Latin American politics, focusing on the ways that the capacity of Latin American states impact people’s everyday lives. The course will consider the role of the state in controlling and contributing to violence and in enhancing and impeding struggles for social justice. Emphasis will be placed on critically reading the theoretical and empirical literature in order to understand and assess the relationship between states and citizens in Latin America. Writing-intensive.

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Government Failure?:The American Administrative State 376S

Federal administrative activity gains the most attention when the federal government seemingly fails to meet the public’s expectations of good and efficient governance. Examples include the failure to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks, FEMA’s sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, and the various crises facing the Department of Veterans Affairs. This course examines the politics of agency design, delegation, political oversight, and internal agency processes. We will discuss the structure and practices of the federal executive branch and potential reforms to help government work effectively Writing-intensive.

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Capitalism, Democracy, and the Workplace 389S

What is the relationship between capitalism and democracy? Do the claims of democracy extend into the workplace? This course examines the development of a market society, the division of labor, and contemporary working conditions, exploring the challenges and possibilities each presents democratic life. It emphasizes critical reading of historical, empirical, and normative texts in order to define and assess the mutual obligations between democratic societies and their citizens and workers. Readings include Adam Smith, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, C. Wright Mills, and Karl Polanyi. Writing-intensive. Proseminar.

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Social Movements and Political Protest 394F

Why do people protest sometimes but more often not? How do social movements work, and why do some succeed while others fail?Examines the origins, dynamics, and consequences of social movements and political protest, exploring both nonviolent and violent movements that have attempted to reshape politics in countries across the globe. Emphasis on critical reading of the theoretical and empirical literature in order to gain an understanding of how political differences across countries shape and are shaped by protest. Writing-intensive.

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