The Poligon

Our mission: the many-sided study of politics

Newsletter of the Carleton College Department of Political Science, September 2003


Professor Vig honored at his retirement

Featured in this issue:

Norm Vig retired at the end of the 2002-2003 academic year and was named Professor Emeritus. A lecture and reception were given at Carleton in his honor in February. Susan Baker of Cardiff University (pictured above with Professor Vig) presented "Environmental Policy in the European Union: Toward Sustainable Development?" He was also toasted at a department dinner at Pazzaluna in St. Paul in honor of his career.

Professor Vig's illustrious career had its humble beginnings in Belgrade, Minnesota, where he grew up. He received a scholarship to Philips Exeter Academy, and went on to Carleton, where he served on the staff of the Carletonian and was catcher for the baseball team. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in 1961.

At right: Political Science Department, 1960. Professors Fjelstad, Lang and Clark (who taught Norm Vig during his undergraduate years at Carleton).


Carleton Baseball Team, 1961 - Norm Vig is second from right.

The Carletonian Staff (Photo from 1960 Algol) - Norm Vig is second from left, standing.

Prof. Vig during his first year teaching at Carleton.


Professor Vig went on to earn his Ph.D. in Public Law and Government from Columbia University in 1966, and returned to Carleton as an assistant professor. He has taught comparative politics, political economy, and environmental courses for 37 years, setting a record for length of tenure in the department. He has served several terms as Chair of the Department of Political Science and also as Director of the ENTS program. During these years, Norm has been a major force in shaping a department that ranks among the top small political science departments in the United States. Norm has made cross-disciplinary research and teaching the hallmark of Carleton political science.

Developing and leading the off-campus program on the European Union in Maastricht, the Netherlands, has been one of the highlights of his career. He also helped hatch Paul Wellstone's first campaign for the Senate while out on noontime runs in the Arboretum, and then working with the Senator in Washington.

Most of Professor Vig's work in recent years has been on environmental policy and law, and on the relationships between technology and government. His scholarly contributions include dozens of books, book chapters, and articles. Environmental Policy and Politics, co-authored with Michael Kraft and now in its 4th edition, is used as the standard text in environmental policy courses nationwide. His most recent work, Green Giants? Environmental Policies of the United States and the European Union, will soon be released.

At Carleton, we know that stewardship means not just an engaged alumni body, but also the stewardship we owe to the earth. And we know that we owe much of that stewardship to Norm.

- Robert Oden, President, Carleton College

In the 80s, Norm Vig helped develop a new program which became the forerunner of Carleton's current Environmental and Technology Studies. He was the director of the ENTS concentration, which looks at just and sustainable environmental solutions. According to his students, "Stormin' Norman" gained his nickname not with ranting or volume, but because of his obvious passion for teaching, political justice, and environmental policy.

Even though he is retiring, Professor Vig and his wife, Carol Oliver, will continue to live in Northfield. They plan to spend more time hiking and fishing at their cabin on Lake Superior, and Norm plans to continue writing. We will miss him in the department, and wish him the very best.

Political Science Department, 1981: Catherine Zuckert, Roy Grow, Paul Wellstone, Norm Vig, Michael Zuckert (seated)

2003 graduates pursue varied goals

This year's 46 graduating seniors in Political Science and Political Science/International Relations are moving on to a variety of career and educational plans. Here are a few:

Law degrees are the next goal for several graduates. Heidi Manschreck will be attending law school at the University of Michigan and Taylor Page will be at the University of Pennsylvania this fall. Molly Russell will pursue her law degree at Washington University in St. Louis.

Cecilia Schrader is going to Washington, DC, to work for the Federal Trade Commission in their honors paralegal program. Kristine Kolarich will be working as a legal assistant at Ingber and Aronson, an immigration law firm in Minneapolis. Justin Kwong will be with a Milwaukee law firm, Quarles & Brady, LLP, as a legal secretary while he studies for the LSAT.

Brett Bolin will begin a doctoral program in international relations at Washington State, with a graduate teaching fellowship and a dean's scholarship. First, though, he will enjoy the summer "bumming around" and finishing a vintage sports car restoration.

Several grads plan to gain some firsthand political experience: Dan Farmer plans to work on John Kerry's campaign for president. After summer travel to England, India, Thailand and Australia, Asha Spencer will be working for the Illinois State Legislature in Springfield, Illinois. She will serve on House Speaker Michael Madigan's research and appropriations staff. Jonathan Davey will be in Washington, DC, working as a staffer with Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

Sarah Brennan will be a research fellow at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan DC watchdog group whose goal is to limit wasteful government spending and subsidies.

Pamela Ritger will be teaching English in Japan (probably Tokyo) with the Nova Group, and Maria Davidsmeier will teach English in Madrid, Spain. James Backlund has tentative plans to teach English in Brazil and do an internship, before pursuing a degree in international law. Maya Lagana will be participating in the New York City Teaching Fellows program (two years working as a NYC elementary school teacher while pursuing a Masters of Education degree).

Christine Lee will be a business analyst for Target Corporation in Minneapolis.

Joel Schlosser will travel in Europe for two months before going to New York City to work at one of the Columbia University libraries and study ancient Greek and Latin. Molly Bruder will be pursuing her year-long Watson Fellowship, "Understanding the Stitches: Applique in an Era of Marginalization" in the Arctic of Canada, Panama, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam. (See more details under "Students Honored.")

Alumni teach at Carleton

Alumni Paul Dosh '96 and Bert Johnson '94, have recently taught in the Department of Political Science. Paul is completing his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley, and Bert is finishing his Ph.D. at Harvard. We asked them to tell us what it's been like to return as an instructor, what they learned at Carleton that has made a difference, or that they wish they had learned sooner, and give a retrospective view of decisions regarding further formal education beyond Carleton. Below are their insights.

Paul Dosh

Teaching at Carleton this year has been an absolute delight. It has been especially fun teaching alongside former classmate Bert Johnson and my Carleton mentors Rich Keiser, Roy Grow, and Bev Nagel. It was surprisingly easy to step into this role, which was a departure from the rocky starts that characterized my first years in junior high, high school, college, and graduate school. I tend to invest so deeply in whatever community I am a part of that transitions challenge me, since I have trouble extricating myself from my previous community.


But teaching my very first course, Latin American Politics, during Winter Term was incredibly fun and came naturally to me. There are lots of things I'm still learning to do and will continue to improve, but my six semesters as a teaching assistant at UC Berkeley, as well as experience teaching all ages from toddlers to adult felons, really did make things come together.

Looking back on my career path, from Carleton to graduate school at Berkeley, and back to Carleton to teach, two regrets come to mind. The first regret is that it never occurred to me that I could pursue a Ph.D. in a field other than my undergraduate major (political science). I was excited about politics, but at Berkeley I had a rude awakening that the political science of Carleton College was not the political science of major research universities. I was unhappy and wondered if I would have been better off in the sociology department, which seemed better suited to my social justice activism. I can't know if I would have chosen differently, but the fact is it never occurred to me that I could get a Ph.D. in some other field, such as sociology, geography, or history.

In applying to graduate schools, I regret not having applied to a "backup school" that would have offered me a full-ride, even though I had no intention of attending This backup school. I applied only to Berkeley, Stanford, and Yale (clearly Carleton nurtures ego if nothing else). I was accepted only at my first choice, Berkeley, which left me with no bargaining power. I was totally unprepared for the Berkeley admission chair to call me and say: "I'm calling to see what we need to do to bring you to Berkeley." What I needed at that moment was a second offer of admission to bargain with: "Well, sir, Berkeley is my first choice, but the University of Minnesota is offering me a full ride. Even if you can't match that, could you at least offer me....." Still, the universe takes good care of me. Had I received a better financial offer, I would not have gotten such strong teaching preparation through teaching assistantships.

I had an outstanding year of work and travel after Carleton, and I wish I had made this period last two years before diving back into school. I would have had a great additional year, and I would have been hungrier for school when I returned.

One thing I did well at Carleton was identify faculty early on that I thought would make good mentors for me. Professors love creating strong relationships with students, but it's a two-way street and sometimes the first step has to come from the student, who needs to signal their interest. I then took three or four classes from each of these three professors, creating a really lasting connection. We all need mentors in life, but you have to work to create it.

Bert Johnson

One of the main advantages of a Carleton education is that one learns how to write well. In my first job after graduation, I quickly realized that my writing skills gave me clear advantages over my peers, many of whom had attended elite colleges, but had not received the personalized training that Carleton students receive.

The Carleton political science department stands apart from political science departments in other institutions in that it requires all majors to take a statistics course and a course on research methodology. These might be students' least favorite courses, but Carleton graduates have a big head start if they decide to pursue political science in graduate school. For those who do not attend graduate school, my sense is that these courses are still useful, because they cultivate intellectual discipline and analytical skills that are broadly applicable in other fields.

Teaching is terrific; graduate school is, to paraphrase Dostoevsky, the "great furnace of doubt" that one has to get through first. I'd advise people who are going on to graduate school that to get the most out of it, they should maintain a positive attitude, keep a regular schedule involving exercise and sleep, and have plenty of non-graduate student friends.

Returning to Carleton to teach gave me a new appreciation for Carleton students. The quality that most distinguishes them from students elsewhere is their intellectual curiosity; their enthusiasm is contagious. I've also learned a great deal about the art of teaching from the Carleton faculty.

The overall job market is pretty poor right now, but I have great confidence that graduating seniors will land on their feet. A liberal arts education affords people the flexibility to head in a variety of different career directions. I've told my students stories about my alumni friends, one of whom was an English major and is now a physician, and another of whom is a financial analyst-poet. My unimaginative political science monomania makes me an exception to the rule.

Students honored

The political science department hosted a dinner May 29 to honor and bid farewell to the senior majors in Political Science and International Relations. Professor Schier recognized the many members of the Class of 2003 who received awards. A group of seniors presented a skit based on "reality" TV: "Faculty Survivor." Deftly portraying faculty members whose task was to build a raft to get off the island, they skewered each subfield of political science and showed they've learned a lot about their professors as well as their classes. (Needless to say, a few of the faculty are still on the island!)

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

Sarah Brennan received Distinction for her paper, "Is Using Rational Choice Rational? Evidence on the Applicability of Prospect Theory and Evolutionary Psychology to Political Science Models," advised by Prof. Bert Johnson. She posits that rational choice is a partially inadequate model for decision making. Examining the results of tests that she conducted at Carleton testing alternative theories, she concludes that "evidence from other disciplines, particularly those of cognitive psychology and evolutionary biology, should be incorporated into the political science decision making literature."

Molly Bruder was honored for her paper, "Organizing in the Political Vacuum: A Revitalization of American Labor? An Analysis of New York City and L.A.," advised by Prof. Richard Keiser. Her paper reconciles the view of labor unions as "dinosaurs of the past" with the recent successes of organized labor in the United States. She examines the causes of unions' political power and their roles in urban politics, concluding that "social movement unionism and the absence of strong formal political structures allow for the resurgence of a politically influential American union movement and the incorporation of previously marginalized individuals into the political process."

Molly Bruder has also been awarded the Watson Fellowship. It will fund her year-long study, "Understanding the Stitches: Applique in an Era of Marginalization" in the Arctic of Canada, Panama, Peru, South Africa and Vietnam. The Watson Fellowship Program seeks to give exceptional college graduates the freedom to engage in a year of independent study and travel abroad in order to thoroughly explore a particular interest, test aspirations and abilities, view their lives and American society in greater perspective, and develop a more informed sense of international concern. The Foundation selects individuals who demonstrate integrity, strong ethical character, intelligence, the capacity for vision and leadership, and potential for humane and effective participation in the world community.

Lewis Grow's paper, "Hobbes Revisited: A Critical Analysis of Realist Theories of International Relations," advised by Prof. Laurence Cooper, also was awarded Distinction. Grow states that realist international relations theory is influenced by a few chapters of Hobbes' work, rather than the whole body of his thought. He argues that "many of the predictive failures of realist theory can be explained by realists' misinterpretation of Hobbes' work" and that a reexamination of Hobbes' work, including its pacific elements, the manner in which he describes states as complex entities, and his description of elite actors and irrational passions would enrich realist theory.

Distinction was awarded to Teague Lyons for his paper, "The Rise of Internet News Media: The End of an Era of Consensus-Building in Public Opinion?" advised by Prof. Bert Johnson. His analysis of marketing data shows that, "contrary to the fears of many observers and to what many media theories imply about the impact of the internet, the results so far have been far from catastrophic.," showing instead "a small decrease in polarization and no discernable change in fragmentation among intensive internet users."

Greg Martin received Distinction for his paper, "Crises in the Dark: Crises and Asymmetric Information," advised by Prof. Roy Grow. He addresses the question, "How does the open nature of decision making in a democratic state effect the outcome of a crisis situation when a democracy is the target of a challenge, particularly in iterated crises?"

Distinction was awarded to Lea Newfarmer for her paper, "Coalitions or Corruption? Domestic Political Explanations for the Diverging Economic Paths of Chile and Argentina," advised by Prof. Paul Dosh. She examines the difference between the ways the countries confronted the global economic recession in the 1990s, and states that "Chile's ability to enact critical budget stabilization in the late 1990s is explained by the ways that its stakeholders changed during its process of state autonomy and prior economic reform. In contrast, stakeholder dynamics in Argentina were not fundamentally altered during these processes, so that the Argentine government was unable to come together to implement new economic policy in the face of changed global economic circumstances."

Joel Schlosser received Distinction for his thesis, "Plato on Alcibiades: Educating the Ambitious," advised by Prof. Laurence Cooper. His paper examines Alcibiades, the famous Athenian statesman whom Socrates had tried to educate, in order to determine Plato's teaching about approaching ambitious individuals in politics, their educability, and the method of this education. He discusses the paradox of greatness, in that "those individuals capable of the greatest things are so often distrusted and cast into ignominy by their regime."

Sarah Brennan was selected for membership in Mortarboard, is a national honor society recognizing students who have combined distinguished scholarship, leadership, and service to their colleagues and the college community.

Phi Beta Kappa has selected Molly Bruder and Joel Schlosser for membership this year. The national honorary scholastic fraternity elects its membership from students who rank in the highest 15 percent of their graduating class and meet other prescribed criteria.

The Stimson Prize was awarded to Heidi Manschreck. The prize is awarded to the student who contributes most to the quality of debate or public speaking at Carleton College.

The Maria Wiese Endowed Prize was awarded to Pamela Ritger. The prize established in 1992 to honor the memory of Maria Eugenia Wiese to honor her respect for education, her profound love for students and her understanding of the place of education in their futures. Each year it is given to a graduating senior who embodies the qualities of cultural pride, kindness, perseverance, self-reliance, discipline, and respect and care for other people.

The Music Department faculty selected Joel Schlosser for Honors in Music Performance, awarded for excellence in performance and significant contributions as a performer.

Daniel Diskin won honors on the Chess Team, with 1st place at the Midwest Amateur Team Championship.

Heidi Manschreck received the Diplomacy Award at the World Model United Nations in Heidelberg, Germany.

he department extended thanks to Greg Martin and Sarah Brennan for serving as Student Departmental Advisors, and to the outgoing members of the Departmental Curriculum Committee: Lewis Grow and Marisol Ponce de Leon.

Bowling awards for "Bowling (Not Alone)" night in February: David Gold was the student champion with a score of 196, and Larry Cooper was recognized as faculty champion with a score of 132.

Faculty activities

Barbara Allen has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to work on her book on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s political thought. She published "American Sign Language and End-of-Life Care: Research in the Deaf Community" in the Health Ethics Committee Forum (written with John Sullivan, Nancy Meyers, and Melissa Sullivan). The research team (faculty and students) on election 2000 presented their paper "Local News Coverage in a Social Capital Capital: Election 2000 on Minnesota's Local News Stations" at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago and at the APSA meeting in Philadelphia. It will be published in the journal Political Communication. Professor Allen also served on the selection committee for the first Hubert H. Humphrey Public Service Awards (from the University of Minnesota HHH Institute).

Laurence Cooper gave a paper on Platonic eros as a possible basis for ethical and political naturalism At last year's annual meeting of the APSA in Boston. At the upcoming APSA annual meeting in Philadelphia he will be giving a paper on Plato's Symposium. He also took part recently in the Rousseau Association's biennial colloquium; the theme was fanaticism; the colloquium was in Oxford England.

Professor Cooper contributed a chapter to "History of American Political Thought" (recently published by Lexington Books). The title of his chapter is "Irving Kristol and the Reinvigoration of Bourgeois Republicanism." He continues to work on a book examining the thought of Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche regarding aspects of what they called, respectively, "eros," "the desire to extend our being," and "will to power."

Roy Grow - In addition to his duties as the International Relations program coordinator, Professor Grow has been busy with many other college duties:

• Advisor for the Watson Fellowship
• Member of fellowship committees for the Chang-Lan, Freeman, Larson and Salisbury Fellowships
• Member of the Asian Studies Committee and the Russian Studies Committee
• Chair of Admissions Financial Aid Committee
• Member of Admissions Task Force
• Chair, Faculty Phonathon

He is working on a research project at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry in Vietnam, comparing technology transfers to Vietnam and China. He presented a paper on "New Perspectives on Chinese Foreign Policy" at the University of Arizona, and is coordinating a research team from the USA, Europe, Hong Kong and China that will study the impact of the WTO on Chinese firms.


Rich Keiser published an article entitled "Ya Don't Have to Get Snippy About It: Sports Stadium Politics in Minnesota," in the fifth edition of Perspectives on Minnesota Government and Politics. This is part of a larger project on local initiatives and referenda in which he is engaged.

Kelly Kollman presented a papers at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association in Portland in February, the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago in April and the International Meeting of the International Studies Association in Budapest in June ("Marketing Good Behavior: The Role of Transnational Business Networks in Promoting Corporate Responsibility"). Two of her articles were accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals, both co-authored with Aseem Prakash of the University of Washington: “Biopolitics in the EU and the US: A Race to the Bottom or Convergence to the Top?” International Studies Quarterly, and “ Policy Modes, Firms and the Natural Environment” Business Strategy and the Environment, both forthcoming.


Professor Kollman has been in Germany from the end of June through August in Hamburg and Berlin. She is editing and reworking parts of her dissertation for publication in the coming years. She has also started a new research project on same-sex union legislation in European Union countries and is interviewing NGOs for this project. She hopes to be able to interview party and government officials on this trip as well.

Alfred Montero spent most of his year-long sabbatical engaged in primary fieldwork in Spain for his project on decentralization and federalism in that country. His research was supported by a grant from the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports and United States Universities and monies from the Bush and Class of '49 funds. Based in Madrid, Professor Montero was a visiting scholar at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Sociales (CEACS) at the Juan March Foundation, the best social science center in Spain. In Madrid he collected primary biographical data for his study of the career trajectories of Spanish parliamentarians as part of his focus on the effects of decentralization on the party system. He also traveled to several Spanish regions, including Catalonia, the Basque Country, Valencia, Andalusia, Galicia, and Asturias, to conduct interviews with more than thirty-five political party officials and regional cabinet officers and to do library research.

During the year he also found time to present his book, Shifting States in Global Markets (Penn State University Press, 2002) which focuses on comparative subnational political economy, at the seminar, "Structural Change in the Ruhr Area As an July 22-26, 2002. Prof. Montero also presented his work on Brazilian federalism at the First Latinamericanist Congress of Political Science, held at the Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain, during July 9-11, 2002. He also completed the copyediting and index for his forthcoming edited volume, Decentralization and Democracy in Latin America (co-edited w/ David Samuels, U. of Minnesota) (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004).


Robert Packer spent the year on sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research, at The University of Michigan. He conducted research on casualties of war, and made a presentation on formal bargaining models and war for the Correlates of War Project. He is co-authoring a paper on demography and war with J. David Singer, Director of COW, to be presented at APSA.

Professor Packer has written a review article for the Review of International Studies, and was keynote speaker at the University of Minnesota Model UN conference. In addition, he has attended numerous presentations sponsored by CPS on such topics as international political economy and the Iraq war. He is also pursuing research explaining financial liberalization as a means of solving the 'commitment problem' facing governments in their dealings with transnational financial markets.

Steven Schier is currently writing a book on the problems of the American electoral system for Georgetown University Press. His book series for Peter Lang has issued its first two volumes. He also continues as political analyst at KSTP television and spent last fall as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at York University in Toronto, Canada, where he had a wonderful time enjoying fabulous Canadian coffee and raised maple donuts. Professor Schier also delivered a paper and chaired a panel at the Midwest Political Science Association meetings in Chicago in April. He chaired the department until July 1.

Kimberly Smith's book Wendell Berry and the Agrarian Tradition: A Common Grace was released by the University of Kansas Press in March. She attended three conferences: APSA in August; the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in December, where she presented "Black Agrarianism and the Foundations of Black Environmental Thought"; and the Western Political Science Association Meeting in March, where she presented "Modern Man-Made Jungles: The City in African American Environmental Thought."

Pu Shan Dies in Beijing

Dr. Pu Shan, one of the pre-eminent members of China's economic reform movement, died in Beijing this past January. Dr. Pu was a senior director of China's prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a several time visiting professor at Carleton, and a mentor to a number of faculty at the college.

Pu Shan was born in Beijing and educated as an economist. He was completing his doctoral dissertation under the direction of Joseph Schumpeter at Harvard when he accepted a job at Carleton College in 1947 as an instructor in the Economics Department.

Pu Shan returned to China in 1948 and with his wife Alice Chen joined the Revolution. He became part of the new Foreign Ministry when the People's Republic of China was established in October 1949. He was one of the primary negotiators for the Chinese side in the Cease Fire talks of 1952-53 that ended the Korean War. He became known as the "people's mule" for his long and tireless work during this mission.

Pu Shan (right) at banquet during Spring 2000 Beijing Seminar

In the years that followed, Pu Shan became the private secretary for Premier Zhou Enlai and traveled on official missions with the premier to Moscow, Europe and Africa. He also was a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and became the director of the Institute of International Economics. He remained in that position until his retirement, except for several years during the Cultural Revolution when, in his words, "I learned a lot about growing tomatoes." He was also the Deputy Director of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee.

Pu Shan returned to Carleton in 1979-80 and was the first person from the People's Republic of China to teach full-time at any American institution of higher education. While teaching at Carleton, he also made frequent trips to Washington, D.C. and New York where he worked on behalf of China at the World Bank. He returned to Carleton for another year of teaching in the mid 1990's and was the Veblen-Clark Lecturer in 1995.

Shan met frequently with Carls who went to China. He spoke to each of the first five of Roy Grow's Beijing Seminars on China's economic development, and became a mentor to Professor George Lamson. In China and in Northfield his frequent conversations with Carleton students through the years helped them understand China's economic and political bureaucracies and influenced many of their research projects.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Carleton in 1981.

Roy and Mary-Lewis Grow met with Shan's wife, Alice Chen, this past spring. Alice remembered with real fondness their times at Carleton over a fifty-year period and expressed her deep gratitude for all of the letters and notes she has received over the past months.

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

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Posted 9/29/03 by Tricia Peterson,