The Poligon

Our mission: the many-sided study of politics

Newsletter of the Carleton College Department of Political Science, December 2005

Resident Assistants Becca Stark and Alex Von Hagen-Jamar at Burg Blankenstein

Maastricht 2005 Program 'Intense'
by Becca Stark '05

What an adventure! The 2005 Maastricht Program was a whirlwind of study, research, travel, and new experiences. The trip was described by a number of students as "intense." Lilly Shields '05 remarked that the program was "once in a lifetime, un-duplicable;" Anne Cary '06 described the program as "indescribable," Jess Black '06 called it "enriching;" Kate Knutson '07 commented that it was simply "crazy." Tom Kleingarn '06 sums the program up as "quite an experience," and it's safe to say that is the general consensus.

Also in this issue:

The first half of the program focused on the European Union, with study of economic and political integration among member states. We looked closely at the principle of subsidiarity, the problems associated with the Common Agriculture Policy, and reform of competition policy. Program Director Professor Al Montero held day-long seminar-style classes in the historic Crowne Plaza hotel, located on bank of the Maas River in Maastricht. We all raced to finish the many readings in time for class so that we could participate in discussion and debate on various EU policies.

During this European Union component of the course the group traveled to Brussels, the hub of EU bureaucracies, for several days to speak with a variety of officials about various policies. Later we took a day trip to Luxembourg to observe the European Court of Justice in session.

The second half of the program focused on Europe as a composite of distinct regions. We looked specifically at differing economic development processes. The Europe of Regions course focused less on reading and discussion and more on field research and group work. Our group of twenty-six was divided into four research teams, each assigned to one of the following four regions: Malmo, Sweden; Bilbao, Spain; Bochum, Germany; and Valencia, Spain. Each research team then selected an additional region for the purposes of doing a comparative study. Groups formulated a research question, hypotheses, and methods for obtaining information on their research question in both regions. The four research teams did extensive preliminary work while in Maastricht, setting up contacts, reading materials on research topics, and making travel arrangements. During research week teams traveled together to their regions of interest to conduct interviews and piece together theories to answer research questions.

Professor Montero before the Committee of the Regions


Paul Sanderson-Cimino before the Royal Palace in Copenhagen


The Malmo Group traveled to Dublin, Ireland to compare high-tech development. The Bilbao group traveled to Northern Ireland, examining separatist movements. The Bochum group sent members to Scotland to investigate de-industrialization. Lastly, the Valencia group traveled together to Catalonia to study the relationship between the rise of regional nationalist movements and economic development.

During the month of May the group of twenty-six traveled to each of the four primary regions, while each research team played host and put together an itinerary for the full group. Research teams typically arranged for the group to meet with a series of speakers, experts in their fields, on the subject of the research question. This was quite an exercise in logistics and planning for each team. Moreover, we all became adept travelers, and spent many hours together navigating Europe's train systems. The often-present language barrier only made things all the more interesting.

During all of this travel, we remembered to have fun along the way. In Malmo, the group took a boat tour of the city. Some of us later jumped in the icy Baltic sea. We took a few days to catch our breath in Madrid, enjoying tapas and sangria. In Valencia, after academic work was completed, we all enjoyed a magnificent Paella dinner on the beach. Returning to Maastricht, each team worked on a research paper and Powerpoint presentation of their research findings, which they then presented to the large group.

This program was about much more than academics. While the academic aspects could be described as nothing less than rigorous, Professor Montero intended for us to learn and grow in so many other ways. Experiential learning was an enormous component of the program. There is nothing quite like trying to navigate a new city on your own, or figuring out how you will arrive in said country in time for the next speaker. Another extremely practical series of lessons took place in group work. Each research team experienced their ups and downs, and participated in a tremendous learning experience in interpersonal skills, group dynamics, and compromise.

The lessons learned in Maastricht are easily transferable. Becky Solem '06 writes, "The Maastricht program provided us with an amazing opportunity to travel all over Europe; not only were we able to experience and compare many cultures in several different European regions, but we were also able to contrast our cultural and political findings to those that exist in the United States." We will take our knowledge of the European Union and European political economy back to Carleton and elsewhere, and cannot forget our incredible experiences in travel and group work.

More pictures and information about the Maastricht off-campus program

At right: The ISS group before the Eiffel Tower


Award-Winning Students

Daniel O'Hara '05 was named for the Best Paper award at the Midwest Political Science Undergraduate Research Conference of March 3-5, 2005. His paper was entitled "Operational Codes and US-Sino Rapprochement."

Becca Stark '05 won a national award—Best Undergraduate Paper on the Presidency, given by the Presidency Research Group of the American Political Science Association—for her comps paper, "The Influence of Foreign Affairs in Presidential Elections 1992-2004." Professor Steven Schier accepted the award on Becca's behalf at the APSA annual meeting in September. He and Greg Marfleet were Becca's advisers for the research project.

Rebecca Farley '06 had her paper on "Parties, Coalitions, and Peace: Applying the Veto Player Theory to the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, 1992-2001" published in Illinois State University's on-line journal Critique, Spring 2005.

Nick Monsees '05 received a Fulbright Fellowship for graduate work abroad. Daniel O'Hara '05 received a Watson Fellowship to engage in a postgraduate year of independent study and travel abroad.

Elizabeth Morris '05 received the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota award, which funds an internship at Carleton for work experience with the Minnesota ACLU during the academic year. She worked on campus to develop an ACLU Club, establish a membership, and provide programming.

C.J. Griffiths '06 was awarded the Class of 1963 Fellowship. Anne Cary '06 and Emily Zoellner '06 received Independent Research Fellowships. Rebecca Herst and Andrew Navratil '07 were named for Initiative for Service Internships in International Development. Marie Marsman received the Pat Lamb Award for athletic excellence and a high level of academic achievement. Rebekah Solem '06 was awarded a Larson International Fellowship to fund an international summer experience.

The Richard Salisbury Fellowship was awarded to Eunice Ajambo '06 for independent research. Rachel Greenough received the Second Century Student Aware, recognizing outstanding contribution ot the College through significant service to others. The Stimson Prize, recognizing students who contribute most to the quality of public speaking at the College, was awarded to Even Pay '05 and Alexander Von Hagen-Jamar '05. Cailey Gibson '07 received the Morris K. Udall Scholarship for Excellence in National Environmental Policy. The program honors Rep. Udall's work to preserve the environment and public lands.

Mortarboard is a national honor society recognizes students who have combined distinguished scholarship, leadership, and service. Several department majors were named for membership:

Jared Hove '05
Amanda McRae '05
Jessica Black '06
Laura Grant '06
Bryan Kim '06

Carmen LeClair '06
Katherine Magoon '06
Taylore Valore '06
Morgan Weiland '06

The following majors were named to Phi Beta Kappa, national honorary scholastic fraternity recognizing students who rank in the highest 15 percent of their graduating class: Emma Davenport '05, Jared Hove '05 and Amanda McRae '05.


Konrad (and General MacArthur) in front of barracks at West Point

Student Conference at West Point
by Konrad Patterson '05

Last November I had the opportunity to travel to the United States Military Academy at West Point to attend the 56th annual Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA) - one of the largest student conferences in the world dealing with American foreign relations. As the lone representative from Carleton, and with more than 500 students from over 230 colleges and 25 countries, it was a great experience that allowed me to discuss important questions about the conduct of American foreign policy with bright students who - more often than not - did not share my own perspective. This theme of this year's conference was "Beyond Hegemony: The Goals and Consequences of American Action at Home and Abroad." The overarching issue of the entire conference revolved around the role of the United States as the world's preeminent political, economic, and military power. What are the implications of global U.S. hegemony? How should the U.S. best pursue its national interests? What is the relationship between America's interests and those of the rest of the world? These are some of the questions we were asked to tackle over the course of four long and arduous days.

Each day began bright and early at 7:00 am. After breakfast in an astonishingly immense dining hall (I later learned it was the largest in the entire U.S.) students went off to their respective roundtable groups at various venues dispersed across the labyrinthine, fortress-like campus that is West Point. I was part of the Central and Eastern European roundtable, co-chaired by Dr. Jiri Lach, a professor of Political and European Studies at the Palacky University in the Czech Republic, and Captain Amanda Gookins, an Air Force Intelligence Officer. Along with sixteen other students from the U.S, Poland, Slovakia, and the Ukraine we spent five hours each day discussing the goals of U.S. foreign policy in the region. In the end we produced a policy brief that outlined three main goals of U.S. policy in the region: strengthening security, military, and cultural cooperation; supporting transitions to democracy and democratic consolidation; and aiding in building strong and successful market economies throughout the region. (A full copy of our report with detailed policy prescriptions is available online.)

Outside of our roundtable deliberations, each evening all SCUSA participants gathered together in large plenary sessions to hear distinguished foreign policy experts discourse on contemporary issues facing American foreign relations. This year's keynote address was delivered by Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies in Singapore. Dr. Gunaratna spoke eloquently about the need to look beyond a military solution to terrorism by developing a nuanced counterterrorism policy aimed at addressing the underlying roots of terrorist activity.

Beyond the confines of the conference, one of the greatest benefits of SCUSA was simply the fact that it allowed me to experience and learn about the life of a cadet at West Point. Although here in Northfield we often like to talk about the confines of living in the "Carleton Bubble," there are a great deal of liberties that we take for granted - something I didn't quite realize until I talked with the cadets about the rigors of West Point. From curfews to waking up daily at 6 AM to severe punishments meted out for even the slightest infractions, I realized just how good we have it here at Carleton. Thus not only did I come away from SCUSA with new friends and new perspectives on American foreign relations, but also a newfound discovery and respect for our own little liberal arts institution here in Northfield, Minnesota.

At right: Konrad in his role as a corrupt Ukrainian border guard.

Faculty Recognized for Innovative Teaching

Professors Barbara Allen and Greg Marfleet won the 2005 Rowman and Littlefield Award for Innovation in Teaching in Political Science. This award was related to their fall 2005 (and on-going) project analyzing local news media coverage of the 2004 election. They accepted the award at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in September.

Faculty Activities

Laurence Cooper has been working on his book, a series of studies on Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on eros and politics. In March he presented part of this work in a paper, "Nietzsche's Politeia: Beyond Good and Evil and Plato's Republic," at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Political Science Association in New Orleans. He presented another paper on Nietzsche at the annual APSA meeting in Washington in September, where he also chaired a panel on Rousseau and the Problem of Evil.

Kimberly Smith was granted tenure by the Board of Trustees in January 2005. Her article "Black Agrarianism and the Foundations of Black Environmental Thought" appeared in Environmental Ethics, Fall 2004. "What is Africa to me? Wilderness in Black Thought, 1860-1930" was published in Environmental Ethics, Fall 2005. She also attended the Western Political Science Association conference in Oakland in March, where she delivered "The Canary in the Cottonfields: Slavery as a Paradigm Case of Environmental Pathology." She was invited to the Values in Nature Workshop, Princeton, New Jersey, in May, to present "Natural Subjects: Nature and Political Community."

Steven Schier edited two books for his series with Peter Lang Publishers—Lights, Camera, Campaign by David Schultz and State and National Parties and American Democracy by Joel Paddock. He coauthored a paper with Greg Marfleet that was nominated for best paper delivered at the annual meetings of the Southern Political Science Association. Professor Schier has become a consulting editor to M.E. Sharpe publishers and has agreed to write a book for them on the George W. Bush presidency. He was elected to the Board of the Presidency Research Group of the American Political Science Association.

Rich Keiser was awarded a Bush Writing Grant, along with Adriana Estill, for collaborative work on a guide for American Studies students to use as they prepare prospectuses for comps and a guide for comps writers in American Studies.

Greg Marfleet presented a paper coauthored with student Ben Parker '05 at the annual International Studies Association Mid-West conference in St. Louis in November, presented a paper coauthored with Steven Schier at the Southern Political Science Association annual meeting in New Orleans in January. He coauthored a paper with Barbara Allen, Julstin Holmes, John Sullivan and Daniel Stevens, which was presented at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C., in February. Professor Marfleet also presented a paper coauthored with Stephen G. Walker at the annual International Studies Association meeting in Honolulu in March, and published a paper coauthored with Brian Dille titled "Information Literacy and the Undergraduate Methods Curriculum" in the Journal of Political Science Education, Vol. 1, No. 2.

Al Montero's book Brazilian Politics: Reforming a Democratic State in a Changing World will be out soon from Polity Press (forthcoming in 2006). His article "The Politics of Decentralization in a Centralized Party System: The Case of Democratic Spain" was published in the October 2005 issue of Comparative Politics. He also recently published a book review essay, "From Democracy to Development: The Political Economy of Post-Neoliberal Reform in Latin America" in Latin American Research Review 40:2 (2005).

Norm Vig returned from retirement to teach a seminar on "Rethinking Environmental Policy" during winter term 2005. He has published two new books: Green Giants? Environmental Policies of the United States and the European Union and The Global Environment: Institutions, Law and Policy. A 6th edition of Vig and Kraft, Environmental Policy, was also published in July.

Noha Shawki presented "National Human Rights Institutions: A New Actor in International Human Rights Politics?" at the National Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago April 7-10.

Julian Westerhout presented "Development Sustainability, Capabilities, and Foreign Aid in Sub-Saharan Africa" at the National Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago April 7-10. On May 3 at Belmont University on Nashville, Tennessee, he also presented "African Development: Problems, Perils, and Possibilities."

Alumni News from Far and Wide

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

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Tricia Peterson, Editor
Department of Political Science
Carleton College
One North College Street
Northfield, MN 55057-4025
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Posted 12/15/05 by Tricia Peterson,