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Letter from the Chair

Department of Political Science
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7109

Visitors and Deliveries
11201 Euclid Avenue, Room 111

Phone 216.368.2424
Fax 216.368.4681

August 29, 2016

Welcome – and welcome back – to the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University.  This past year the Department established two new programs for our undergraduates:  a Careers Colloquium and an undergraduate Research Mentoring Assistantship Program.  In the fall semester, we will hold our second Careers Colloquium for Political Science Majors (September 23 and 24).  Last year we experimented with, and this year we will evaluate, our program of funded research assistantships for undergraduate political science majors.  We continue to offer the Wellman Hill Internship Grants Competition, our public service internship program, now entering its second decade.  Throughout the year, the Department sponsors or co-sponsors lectures, workshops, and conferences open to the CWRU community.  We hope to have several events related to the US presidential elections, one of which is our Election Night Watch Party, on November 8.  Last February, the Department launched our weekly Newsletter, which shares information about the department, internships and volunteer opportunities, career and job notices, and grants and scholarship opportunities and deadlines.  If you would like to receive this Newsletter, please send an email to Ms. Jessica Jurcak ( and she will add you to our emailing list.

We continue offer a range of introductory and upper-division political science courses, taught by our outstanding faculty, and we underscore the Department’s particular strengths in course offerings in comparative politics; US and international political economy; and political movements, protests, and revolutions.  Our faculty members also contribute to several interdisciplinary programs related to political science, including the Center for Policy Studies, International Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Our faculty continue to thrive and to produce scholarship at the highest levels of our discipline.  Kathryn Lavelle won a Baker Nord Grant for her project on  Crises and the Global Governance of Finance.  Her essay “Foreign Policy and Sovereign Wealth Funds” will be included in the Oxford Handbook of Sovereign Wealth Funds.  She completed her second year as a Global Fellow in the Global Europe Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC.

Joseph White’s work in the past year, with the OECD’s DELSA/GOV Joint Network on Fiscal Sustainability of Health Systems, resulted in several articles, including “What Are Budgeting’s Purposes,” in the OECD Journal of Budgeting, “From an Illusion to Confusion:  Comments on the Concept of ‘Unsustainable’ Health Care Funding,” in Politique de Santé, and “The Challenge of Budgeting for Health Care Programmes,” in the OECD publication, Fiscal Sustainability of Health Care Systems.  He continues his work directing the Center for Policy Studies.

Kelly McMann’s book Corruption as a Last Resort: Adapting to the Market in Central Asia, published in 2014 by Cornell University Press, won Honorable Mention for the Ed A Hewett Book Prize, awarded for outstanding publication on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia, and/or Eastern Europe.  The prize is awarded by The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.  Her book was further honored by a special roundtable in the journal Central Asian Affairs.  Professor McMann continues her work with the international research group Varieties of Democracy

Pete Moore continues his field research in the Middle East and advances his work on a book manuscript comparing the politics of war economies in Lebanon, Algeria, and Iraq.  He presented this work as “Political Economies of Uprising and After in the Arab World” to the Maxwell School’s Executive Education Program at Syracuse University in April.

Elliot Posner published two new articles this past year:  “Transnational Feedbacks, Soft Law, and Preferences in Global Financial Regulation,” Review of           International      Political Economy, November 17, 2015, DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2015.1104375, and “Putting the EU in Its Place: Policy Strategies and the Global Regulatory Context,” Journal of European   Public Policy 22, 9 (October 2015): 1316-1354, both with his coauthor Abraham Newman (Georgetown University).  He and Professor Newman continue their work on their book manuscript, Global Financial Regulation: Politics, Soft Law and Power

Justin Buchler continues to post political insights on major disciplinary websites, including Mischiefs of Faction and The Monkey Cage (published in the Washington Post), and on his own blog,  The Unmutual Political Blog (  His book manuscript Incremental Polarization is under review at a major press, and he continues his work on strategic mistakes with Irrational Choice Theory, a book manuscript in progress. 

Karen Beckwith continued her research on women’s access to cabinet ministries, with colleagues at the Universities of Calgary (Canada) and of Sussex (UK); their manuscript, Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender, will be work-shopped by a team of eight international scholars at the University of Uppsala in September.  She also continues her work on women’s access to party leadership positions.  Some of that project has been published as “Before Prime Minister:  Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, and Gendered Leadership Contests” in Politics & Gender (11 (4), December 2015: 718–745).  Her work has also appeared in The Monkey Cage and other venues, reflecting on the rise of Theresa May to Conservative Party Leader and hence Prime Minister in the UK.

This is a just small subset of the various research and scholarly work that our faculty members are producing; please see our individual websites for further details of our ongoing research, professional commitments, and other published work.

As always, I welcome comments and insights from our students, alumni, colleagues, and friends from around the world.  I can be reached by email at  I look forward to hearing from you.

With all best wishes,

Karen Beckwith
Flora Stone Mather Professor and Chair of Department
Political Science
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio   USA


Page last modified: February 9, 2017