The Poligon

Our mission: the many-sided study of politics

Newsletter of the Carleton College Department of Political Science, July 2000

In this issue:


President Clinton, speaking at Commencement on June 10, reveals plans to take Schiller with him on Air Force One. (Photo courtesy Carleton College News Bureau.)

Election 2000

The Political Science Department is weaving the upcoming presidential election into courses, panel discussions, and presentations by featured guest speakers.

Classes to study media effects

Professors Barbara Allen and John Sullivan will work with the students in two special election edition classes on a joint project. POSC 312 American Political Culture & Values and POSC 204 Media & American Politics will do a real-time study of the effects of campaign advertising and other media effects on the 2000 election. Professor Allen has published several pieces on media and politics. She will cover the effects of television on public opinion related to electoral politics. Professor Sullivan, visiting professor from the University of Minnesota, is one of America’s leading political scientists and one of the foremost authorities on political psychology. He will cover the psychological aspects of media portrayals of election issues. An extensive research component in the classes will be guided by both faculty members.

Ginsberg will lecture

Benjamin Ginsberg, Bernstein Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, will give a campus lecture on the election and address political science classes November 1. Dr. Ginsberg is the author, co-author or editor of twelve books, including the acclaimed Politics by Other Means. He directs Hopkins’ Washington Center for the Study of Government.

His books include three major works on American elections — The Consequences of Consent, Do Elections Matter? and The Captive Public.

“Dr. Ginsberg argues that elections serve to routinize and limit public participation in government; that they constrain the public as much as they constrain elected officials,” characterized Steven Schier, department chair and political analyst.

Steven Schier to speak

Prof. Schier will talk about the 2000 elections at Convocation on Friday, Oct. 27 in Skinner Memorial Chapel.

The day after Super Tuesday . . . What next?

Approximately 35 people attended a March 8 panel discussion about presidential politics in the year 2000. “The Race Is On: Prospects for the Presidency in 2000,” featured panelists including;


New faculty members appointed

By Nathan Gin ‘02

 The Political Science Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Laurence Cooper as an Assistant Professor. He has taught political philosophy courses at Carleton since 1996. Future plans include courses on Politics and Ambition and the political philosophy of international relations: Justice Among Nations.

Born and raised in Philadelphia and its environs, Professor Cooper received a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia. After attaining a Master’s degree in psychology from New York University, he earned his Ph.D. in political philosophy at Duke University.

Professor Cooper’s appreciation for the works of such thinkers as Aristotle, Tocqueville and Rousseau is combined with a keen awareness of psychological and political issues of ancient and modern times. As a psychologist turned political philosopher, he helps his students encounter the world of political philosophy with respect for the psychological aspects of the great works. He noted that “some of the greatest psychologists that ever lived were Plato, Nietzsche, Rousseau and Hobbes.” Whether you call them psychologists, philosophers or perhaps both, Cooper notes that their works helped to unveil many questions regarding human nature, the soul and the good life.

Of all political philosophers, Cooper says that Rousseau particularly compels him because he “writes beautifully about the most intensely personal things as well as the most important political matters…and only a handful of thinkers reach his depth and height.” Cooper’s book, Rousseau, Nature, and the Problem of the Good Life (Penn State Press, 1999) provides a new interpretation of Rousseau’s thought that focuses on his concept of nature as a major key to understanding his legacy to modern political philosophy.

On his approach to political philosophy, Cooper said he “tries to understand the writers as they understood themselves,” which requires that one become naïve again. He asks students to leave aside prior “knowledge” and prejudice so they won’t prevent us from exploring new concepts and ideas.

Prof. Cooper chaired a panel and presented a paper, “Emile, or On Philosophy?,” at the APSA Meeting in Atlanta last August, and will present another paper, on Rousseau and Conscience, at next month’s APSA Meeting in Washington, D.C. He also has completed a book review which will appear later this year in the European Journal of Philosophy and is writing a chapter on Irving Kristol for inclusion in History of American Political Thought (forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield).

Outside of Carleton, Professor Cooper enjoys spending time with his wife Vicki and sons Ben and Aaron, ages 4 and 1½.

Kanishkan Sathasivam has received a two-year appointment to teach international relations and methodology beginning September 1. He will teach American Foreign Policy and National Security Policy this fall.

He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Texas A & M University. His dissertation was on Modeling Arms Races as N-adic Processes. He also has an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from St. Louis University.

His research interests also include strategic rivalry and military competition between India and Pakistan; ethnic group identity, group political mobilization, and conflict; and political risk analysis/assessment.

Dr. Sathasivam will move to Northfield from Bryan, Texas, in late August.


Course compares effects of globalization in Mexico and China

Professors Roy Grow and Al Montero will teach a new and innovative course this fall and winter. POSC 386 Comparing Mexico and China will look at the consequences of economic globalization on two very different societies—China and Mexico. The course will ask questions about the impact of economic change, the responses of local communities, the role of governments in regulating or moderating this change, and the importance of international institutions (e.g., NAFTA, WTO) in shaping local responses.

The analysis of the impact of globalization on different regions of the world is one of the most exciting new trends in both political science and political economy. New research is bringing together economists and political scientists in a comparative study of institutions, government regulation, and macro-economic trends.

This course will take students to the heart of this emerging research. The new literature and research methodology will be covered during the first term. On the field trip in December, the group will be split into two sections—one working in Mexico under the direction of Al Montero, the other working China with Roy Grow. Each group will work on a “real-world problem,” using analytic techniques to devise solutions, and will pursue parallel research while on site. In addition, each group will visit three different areas, talk to government officials, examine factory operations, look into local conditions, and chart demographic phenomena. In the winter term, the two groups will come back together on campus, share results, write reports, and make formal presentations.

For more information on POSC 386, go to Comparing Mexico and China.


Beijing Seminar studies China and WTO

The department’s Beijing Seminar crisscrossed Asia and traveled to 15 cities in 4 countries during spring term. Led by Prof. Roy Grow, 35 Carleton students examined the impact of trends in economic globalization and evaluated the role of Asian political institutions in shaping these trends.


Melinda Laine, Chris Heurlin, Noah Rozman and Professor Roy Grow on the Yangzi River in China (More photos on Beijing Seminar page.)

The group traveled first to Vietnam and Thailand. In Bangkok, students evaluated the continuing impact of the 1997 financial crisis and looked for evidence of social and economic restructuring. In Hanoi, they saw a system that was just beginning a difficult emergence from one of the world’s most bureaucratic forms of planned economic development. Then the students spent several days in rural Vietnam and traveled to the MaiChau minority area and Halong Bay.

In the following nine weeks, the seminar traveled across China and framed their observations about Chinese political economy with their Thai and Vietnam experiences. The seminar group anchored itself in Beijing and then quickly set out to explore other parts of China. For example, in the second week of the China part of the program, the group traveled south to Wuhan and then to Shashih where it boarded a ship for a 5-day cruise up the Yangzi River. During cruise stops, the group toured the 3 Gorges construction sites, walked through a series of villages that were being moved, and saw the impressive scenery that will soon be submerged by the rising waters.

On the river cruise, the Beijing Seminar students were joined by 60 Carleton alumni in the midst of their own 19-day trip across China. Cruise director Rachel Core (’98) is also an alum of the seminar program.

The seminar group traveled to cities such as Chongqing and Chengdu, stayed two weeks in Shanghai, journeyed on to Suzhou and spent a week in Hong Kong. During the seminar’s eleven-day spring break, each of the students traveled on their own to other parts of China. As in past seminars, the students were divided into 17 sub-groups that approximated the sector division used by the State Planning Commission in the formulation of China’s five-year plans (i.e., heavy industry, environment, health care, etc.). During the program, each group focused on the impact of economic globalization by examining each sector’s debate on joining the WTO. At the end of the program, as the groups compared their insights, the seminar concluded that the impact of WTO membership on China would be diverse and varied, depending on the sector in question. Heavy industry and agriculture will be hard hit by WTO membership, as will China’s interior provinces. The more modern and capital-intensive parts of the economy will benefit most.

Most importantly, the students concluded that this different impact from sector to sector will generate an important political competition in China and, as in the case of the US and Europe, set the stage for an emotional Chinese debate over the costs and consequences of economic globalization.

For photos of the seminar, see the “photo albums” on the Beijing Seminar Web page.

Carleton students commended at World Model UN Conference

by Elizabeth Marquez, ‘01

March 25th marked the beginning of the Harvard University World Model United Nations Conference in Athens, Greece. Among the 500 delegates from around the globe were five Carleton students (Britt Ackerman ’00, Malcolm Dort ’00, Justin Hurie ’00, Jessica Hennessey ’01, and Liz Marquez ’01) representing the Kingdom of Spain.

Each member of the team worked very hard throughout the four-day conference, writing resolutions, giving speeches, and working with other delegates to reach constructive solutions for the topic areas they were assigned. At the end of the conference, Britt was given a verbal commendation for her performance in the Special, Political and Decolonization Committee and Jessica was given a commendation for her work in the European Union Council of Ministers. Also, Liz received an award of honorable mention for her accomplishments in the World Health Organization.

The conference was not all work, however. During their stay in Greece, the team visited a number of ancient sites such as the Acropolis and the Agora. Also, Britt, Jess, and Liz went on an island-hopping excursion to Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. In the evenings the team frequented traditional Greek tavernas, sampling all sorts of Greek cuisine, and roamed around the Plaka (the historical section of Athens), enjoying the night life.

Students awarded fellowships

Shanna Kirschner ’01 was awarded a Class of 1963 Fellowship to do field work in the Middle East to investigate the connection between public opinion and governmental policy with regards to the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations.

Laura Clise ’01 received a Freeman Fellowship to replicate the pilgrimage made by Red Guard youth during the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, traveling from Chengdu to Beijing and examining the present day significance of the journey in terms of Chinese politics.

Meghan Simpson ‘01 and Max Oidtmann ’01 also were awarded a Freeman Fellowship. They are traveling to Central Asia and Mongolia to study the influence of Western culture and tourism on nomadic societies in the area.


William F. Buckley, Jr. spoke at Carleton on March 29. The event was sponsored by the Carleton Conservative Union.

Pictured l to r: Luke Peterson ‘02, Erik Keto ‘03, Marie Hill ‘00, Jeff Antonson ‘00, Buckley, Chad Bayse ‘02, Alex Cook ‘03, Eric Wong ‘02 and Dave Strandness ‘01.


Faculty Activities

Barbara Allen had a book review published in Publius:The Journal of Federalism (Spring 1999). She covered the following books: The Covenant Tradition in Politics by Daniel J. Elazar. New Brunswick NJ. Transaction Publishers.

Vol 1. Covenant & Polity in Biblical Israel: Biblical Foundations & Jewish Expressions 1995.

Vol 2. Covenant & Commonwealth: From Christian Separation through the Protestant Reformation. 1996.

Vol 3. Covenant & Constitutionalism: The Great Frontier and the Matrix of Federal Democracy. 1998

Vol 4. Covenant & Civil Society: The Constitutional Matrix of Modern Democracy. 1998.

Prof. Allen taught constitutional development in the US State Department Fulbright American Studies Summer Institute on the US Constitution at Temple University in Philadelphia this summer. The institute was attended by lawyers and judges from all over the world.

Roy Grow is completing a research project on the Chinese automotive industry, sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Business Administration. He has made academic presentations at USC and Harvard, and made a presentation at a Wall Street investment firm. He has been involved in several meetings with Twin Cities businesses on China and the Asian financial crisis. Prof. Grow is now beginning work on a new project at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry in Vietnam, comparing technology transfers to Vietnam and China.

Rich Keiser participated in a panel entitled “Urban Political Change and the Challenges of Governance: Lessons from Atlanta” at the American Political Science Association meetings, September 1999. A volume that he coedited, Minority Politics at the Millennium, was published by Garland Press in January, 2000. Professor Keiser was a panelist on a forum on political prisoners presented by the Social Justice Movement at Carleton. Other panelists included Ward Churchill, Jean-Ann Day, and Ramona Africa. He also was a panelist during Parents Weekend for a forum on “Remembering Malcolm X.”

Al Montero’s article “Decentralizing Democracy: Spain and Brazil in Comparative Perspective” will appear in Comparative Politics (Oct. 2000). “Devolving Democracy? Political Decentralization and the New Brazilian Federalism” will be published in Democratic Brazil: Actors, Institutions, and Processes, eds. Peter R. Kingstone and Timothy J. Power, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. He also had an article accepted for publication (in Portuguese) in Governando a Economia: Competitividade e Equidade em Nível Local e Regional, ed. Nadya Castro. São Paulo: Cebrap/Senac, 2000.

Prof. Montero presented his paper, “After Decentralization: Patterns of Institutional Change in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, and Mexico,” at the annual meeting of the Latin American Studies Association in Miami, FL, March 16-18, 2000. He will present “The Delegative Dilemma: Subnational Industrial Policy in Spain and Brazil,” at the Third Meeting of the International Working Group on Subnational Economic Governance in Latin America and Southern Europe, San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 27-29, 2000.

Prof. Montero was awarded a grant from the Keith Clark Memorial Fund for Faculty Development, Carleton College, Winter 2000. These monies support field research in Argentina on state reform and privatization to be completed in November 2000. This summer he is visiting the European Union offices and regional sites to support the off-campus program in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Steven Schier chaired a panel on party politics at the Midwest Political Science Association Meetings. His new book, By Invitation Only: How American Politics Became Exclusive was published by University of Pittsburgh Press. He was appointed editor of a new book series, “Popular Politics and Governance in America,” by Peter Lang Publishers. Prof. Schier was also quoted widely in the local and national media on political topics.


Kimberly Smith presented “Ain’t What It Used To Be: Notes on the Political History of Nostalgia” at APSA in Atlanta last August. She also presented a paper at the University of Minnesota Law School faculty workshop in March.

Three of Prof. Smith’s articles were accepted for publication this year. “Wendell Berry’s Feminist Agrarianism” will appear in Women’s Studies next year. “Mere Nostalgia: Notes on a Progressive Paratheory” will appear in Rhetoric and Public Affairs this winter. “Mere Taste: Democracy and the Politics of Beauty” will appear in the Wisconsin Journal of Environmental Law this summer.

Norm Vig was on sabbatical spring term. He delivered a lecture on “The Environmental Presidency in the Regulatory State” at the Fifth Annual Wallace Stegner Symposium at the University of Utah Law School in late March; the proceedings will be published by University of Utah Press. Prof. Vig went to Europe in May and June to begin a project on conflicts between environmental policy in the US and the European Union.

Honors for the Class of 2000

Six seniors were awarded Distinction for their Political Science and International Relations comprehensive integrative exercises this spring.

Jeff Antonson was awarded Distinction for his comprehensive exam and subsequent oral defense. He focused on the fields of international relations and political theory.

Shaunna Barnhart’s comps paper, “Students as Protagonists of Democratization (Nepal)” was advised by Alfred Montero. Shaunna conducted interviews in Kathmandu for her work which argues that Nepali students’ role as successful protagonists of democratization was facilitated by previous experience, student organization and student interaction with political society. She compared the success of the Nepal case to the failure of the 1988 student movement in Burma. Shaunna was awarded Distinction from the Department for this project and also received the James S. Berglund Prize, which recognizes the best essay or research paper in the social sciences. In addition, Honors in Independent Study was awarded to Shaunna at the Honors Convocation.

Brent Cusher received Distinction for his paper, “The Strength of a Philosopher’s Virtue: Nietzsche on Courage,” advised by Laurence Cooper.

Malcolm Dort wrote on “Social Currents and Institutional Change: Using Tocqueville’s Theoretical Method of Observation as Comparative Political Analysis.” His project was advised by Barbara Allen.

Zachary Pruitt’s paper was called “A Collective Action Success Story: An examination of why individuals participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” advised by Richard Keiser.

Jessica Rich researched “An Electoral Incentives Approach to Fiscal Decentralization in Argentina” and was advised by Al Montero.

Malcolm Dort and Leah Epstein were named to Mortar Board. This national honor society recognizes students who have combined distinguished scholarship, leadership, and service to their colleagues and the college community.

Jeffrey Antonson, Shaunna Barnhart, Brent Cusher, Malcolm Dort, Ben Hron, Brad Orschel, and Zachary Pruitt were named to Phi Beta Kappa. Members are among students who rank in the highest 15 percent of their graduating class and meet other prescribed criteria.

Zachary Pruitt was honored with the Dana Award for Personal Achievement, given annually to a senior who achieves “a balance of high scholarship, exceptional leadership abilities, and outstanding Christian character.” Zach also won the Jean Schmidt Prize, which recognizes a graduating senior who best exemplifies “enthusiasm for learning and love of people.”


Class of 2000 begins to turn plans & dreams into reality

This year’s 37 graduating seniors in Political Science and Political Science/International Relations are moving on to a variety of career and educational plans. Here’s a sampling:

Benjamin Hron will start law school at Harvard and Jeff Antonson will attend the University of Virginia School of Law this fall.

Asheley Van Ness will work at The Urban Institute in the Human Resource Policy area, which deals with the labor market, welfare problems and violence against women.

Mandy Eckhoff is moving to Boston to work as a management consultant for the next two years, then plans on law school. Blair Cook will work for Champion Air (a small airline in Bloomington, MN) as a financial analyst. Shaunna Barnhart is moving to Chicago to work for McMaster-Carr (while pondering whether or not to attend grad school in South Asian Studies). Lindsay Francis has accepted a position at General Mills in Minneapolis.

Bonita Leung is moving to Washington, D.C. and will work as a paralegal for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. Leah Epstein will be working in international capital markets at the law firm of Davis, Polk and Wardwell in New York City.

Brent Cusher plans to spend a few years in New York City, both working and taking language classes in ancient Greek, Latin, and German at Columbia University. After three or four years, he intends to enroll in a Ph.D. program in Political Philosophy with a goal of teaching and writing.

Melinda Laine is now the executive director of the Student Pledge Against Gun Violence.

Zachary Pruitt is the new youth development coordinator for the Northfield Public Schools. His job will involve coordinating enrichment and community service opportunities for young people.

Jessica Rich will be working at the Center for Strategic International Studies, as program coordinator for the Americas Program. Eventually (next year or the year after) she plans to enter grad school.

Katie Elderkin will work in Claremont, CA (LA area) this coming year and apply to law school for the following year.

Some graduates also plan to travel.


If they could see me now…

Alumni News from Far and Wide

1960s Alumni Responses
1970s Alumni Responses
1980s Alumni Responses
1990s Alumni Responses
2000s Alumni Responses

The Poligon is a publication of the Carleton College Department of Political Science. Please submit contributions or comments on the Alumni Response Form.

or send to:
Tricia Peterson, Editor
Department of Political Science
Carleton College
One North College Street
Northfield, MN 55057-4025
Phone: 507-646-4117
Fax: 507-646-5615

Welcome | Academic Programs | Admissions & Visitors | Alumni | Bald Spot | Events | Hot Spot

Posted 7/18/00 by Tricia Peterson,