The Poligon

Our mission: the many-sided study of politics

Newsletter of the Political Science Department, Carleton College, Summer 1998

In this issue:

New Classroom Methods
Teaching 'Outside the Box'

by Chad Fritz, '98

Carleton faculty members have long been known for their commitment to teaching excellence. Less well known, though, is their commitment to innovative teaching methods. In the Political Science Department, methods such as simulations, role-plays and service learning projects are changing the face of the liberal arts education by emphasizing the use of analytical tools acquired in traditional lecture classes. The use of these methods allows faculty members to capture, in the words of Professor Roy Grow, "the enormous amount of energy released in extra-curricular activities when students are not coached, but instead work independently."

Frank B. Kellogg Professor of International Relations Roy Grow recently used simulations and role-plays to examine the Asian economic crisis for a Minneapolis-based Fortune 500 company. Combining the forces of his Japan and Political Economy seminars, Prof. Grow coached students through their roles allowing them to work toward answers using their own energy. The consulting project's goals were to analyze the Asian economies to determine whether they are working out of the crisis, create a hierarchy of safe and unsafe economies, and make specific recommendations to the company about where it might locate.

...methods such as simulations, role-plays and service learning projects are changing the face of the liberal arts education by emphasizing the use of analytical tools....

Grow's classes were divided into task forces which examined specific aspects of policy and make recommendations to the classes. The classes then came together to "game it out," in other words, simulate the proposed policy to examine its consequences. The project culminated with a presentation to company executives. Grow said that the company has committed to the project for a number of years and he hopes that it can eventually grow to incorporate computer simulations. Computer simulations could allow his classes to harness the power of models combined with the resources of the Internet.

Professors Robert Packer and Steven Schier use role-plays to give students insights into deliberative political processes. Packer divided his Arab-Israeli Conflict class into the various factions that represent the peace process. Students representing Israeli, Arab, and international leadership groups negotiated for several hours and were unable to reach a consensus, not unlike reality.

Schier also uses role-plays in his introductory courses on American politics. Using a simulation developed by a Washington, D.C. budget group, Schier divides his classes into groups, each of which design a proposed federal budget. The groups then come together and vote on the best proposal. Other simulations create proposals for revision of the College Policy on Academic Freedom and Discrimination and act out scenarios in the state of nature. Like Grow, Schier hopes to extend group projects to the Internet next year.

Professor Barbara Allen will again promote service learning next year in her Topics in Political Science: Tocqueville. When Allen last taught the class in 1996, students looked at community involvement with respect to Northfield area middle and high school students. They also worked with students at the Red Wing Youth Correctional Facility. The idea was to compare Tocqueville's observations of America 200 years ago with present-day observations.

Department Picnic, May '98: Roy Grow, center, visits with Todd Applebaum '99 & Matt Allan '98, as Anna Schier bats

From the Chair
by Steven Schier

You are reading what we hope is the first in a series of annual newsletters to alumni and friends of the Carleton political science department. It seems a particularly appropriate time to send news of the department, because we are in the midst of much transition. The last two years produced many personnel changes. Gary Wynia, Kenan Professor of Political Science, retired from the college this year. He encountered many medical difficulties in recent years that precipitated this decision. Gary's former students and colleagues will miss greatly his warmth, wit, collegiality and keen intelligence. We recently hired as Gary's tenure-track replacement Alfred Montero, a Columbia Ph.D. who teaches Latin American politics, European politics and international relations (see the article on new faculty). Alfred is a former collegiate champion debater who will provide many impressive classroom performances for us.

Michael and Catherine Zuckert resigned their positions at Carleton this year to accept two tenured full professorships at Notre Dame University. Widely known in scholarly circles, the Zuckerts will find new opportunities in graduate school teaching at Notre Dame. The decision to leave Carleton was a difficult one, Mike reports, but Notre Dame presented them with "an offer they could not refuse." Our department will sorely miss Mike and Cathy, who ranked among the best scholars and teachers at Carleton.

At the time of their resignation, Mike and Cathy were on leaves of absences teaching at Fordham University. Fortunately, our department hired two very able young scholars to replace them during their leaves, Larry Cooper in political theory and Susan Cohen in constitutional law, political theory and American government (see the new faculty article for more information about them). They are scheduled to teach another year at Carleton while we begin hiring tenure-track replacements for the Zuckerts.

Many alumni will be sorry to learn that Hendrika Umbanhowar, our office manager for nineteen years, retired in January. Hendrika served us extremely well as an administrator, advisor, social director and-for many students-a "mother confessor." She is sorely missed by all of us. Her replacement is Tricia Peterson, a National Merit Scholar and graduate of Dana College who has worked for seventeen years in the private sector. Tricia, her husband Ted and son Cullen live in Northfield. Tricia is a very creative and productive worker and the prime mover behind the publication of this newsletter. Thanks, Tricia! We hope you'll be with us for many years.

Despite the changes in personnel, the articles here reveal a department heavily engaged in quality teaching and research. Norm Vig is completing three book projects and Robert Packer, Rich Keiser, Barbara Allen and I all have forthcoming books. Several faculty now employ innovative interactive techniques and technological applications in our teaching. Roy Grow just completed a highly ambitious simulation requiring the interaction of two different classes and a report to a corporate board (see the teaching article). Our recent programs in Beijing, Maastricht and Washington proved highly successful (see the article ).

You can find out more about us by visiting our web page at There you'll find information on faculty, recent course syllabi, and a description of the major requirements. You'll see there that we continue as a department featuring diverse teaching approaches, political views, theoretical perspectives and research directions.

In addition to the Poligon, another departmental tradition began this year. Many of you are familiar with the article "Bowling Alone" by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, in which he bemoans the decline of "social capital"-trust and good working relationships-in American society. To rectify this in our own small way, we hosted our first student-faculty bowling night this spring. At our senior banquet, we presented awards to Heather Tinguely '98, our student champion (bowling a 181) and Rich Keiser, the faculty champ (bowling a 166).

And what news of you? Please send us information about your lives and careers for inclusion in our next annual Poligon. We and fellow alumni are interested in your whereabouts. Send any news to Tricia Peterson, Political Science Department, Carleton College, One North College Street, Northfield, Minnesota 55057. We'd love to hear from you!

Faculty Active in Research
Adding to the Body of Knowledge
by Michael Campbell, '98

Members of the Political Science faculty complement their teaching with intensive research projects.

Professor Norm Vig is co-editing three books expected to come out next year. Environmental Policy, 4th ed. will evaluate the record of the Clinton administration on environmental policy. His second book, a companion volume to Environmental Policy, will pay particular attention to international environmental issues. Parliaments and Technology: The Development of Technology Assessment in Europe was supported by a grant from by the National Science Foundation and will be published by SUNY Press.

Following the completion of his current works, Professor Vig plans to conduct a comparative environmental policy study between the European Union and the United States during the Carleton political science program he directs in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Steven Schier's book, Activation in American Politics: Party, Interest Group and Campaign Strategies, is expected to be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in the spring of 2000. It examines the political system and interest groups and addresses the notion that Washington has developed weak parties and strong interest groups in the 20th century. Prof. Schier, department chair, argues that "instead of majority rule, American politics involves various elites activating fragments of the public in elections and policymaking." Research notwithstanding, he still makes time to entertain colleagues and students with his political wit.

When not teaching one of his international relations courses, Robert Packer can be found engaging in intense and intellectually stimulating discourse with his students. Professor Packer's forthcoming book Financial Liberalism & the Reconstruction of State-Market Relations will examine the "causes and political consequences of financial liberalization in advanced industrial states." Soon to be published by Garland Publishers, the book addresses the power that financial asset-holders' portfolio diversification has on the behavior of industrial states.

Professor Barbara Allen, a recipient of the prestigious Earhart and National Endowment for the Humanities Grants, is on leave until winter '98-'99. She is currently working on a book that will look at Tocqueville's thought as it relates to contemporary issues of diversity and gender. Her work will be published by Johns Hopkins University and is entitled Tocqueville on America's Covenantal Tradition.

Richard Keiser's Subordination or Empowerment? African American Leadership and the Struggle for Urban Political Power (Oxford University Press) was published last year. This book offers a rejoinder to Cornel West's renowned work, Race Matters, and discusses African American political empowerment in urban America. Professor Keiser is now at work on his ensuing book, which will examine efforts the Minneapolis metro region has made to create lower income housing in affluent suburbs.

New Faculty Bring Variety, Enthusiasm
by Gretchen Suechting, '00

The newest members of the Political Science faculty contribute to the diverse yet unified environment that Carleton students have come to expect.

Susan Cohen grew up in Northbrook, Illinois, and did her undergraduate work here at Carleton College. She earned her Ph.D. at Cornell. She is teaching Constitutional Law, Political Theory, American Politics and IGS. Her interests include the debate between liberals and communitarians, freedom of religion issues, and feminist ethics. Professor Cohen enjoys playing the piano, hiking, and spending time with her family. Of Carleton, she states, "It's wonderful to be back here!" She finds the students to be excited about ideas and the faculty very committed to teaching.

Laurence Cooper was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the south Jersey suburbs. He did his under-graduate work at the University of Virginia, earned a Masters in Psychology at NYU, and did his Ph.D. at Duke. His courses include Ancient and Modern Political Philosophy and Integrated General Studies (IGS). Philosophic psychology and modern political philosophy are areas of special interest. Professor Cooper enjoys spending time with his family, playing tennis, and reading. He and his wife Victoria appreciate Northfield as a good place for a young family. They have a 21-month-old son and another child on the way. Professor Cooper finds Carleton students bright, engaged, and self-confident (usually justifiably so) and describes the department as a group of likeable people whose sub-specialties interact well together.

Robert Packer studied Business Administration and majored in Marketing Management at Wayne State University in his native Detroit. He went to grad school at the University of Michigan, where he received a Masters in Applied Economics and Political Science and a Ph.D. in Political Science. At Carleton, he teaches courses on International Political Economy, National Security Affairs, and International Conflict and War. Professor Packer is a research associate with the Correlates of War Project and involved with the social security reform effort through the Humphrey School of Public Policy. His other interests include the stock market and baseball, especially the Yankees.

Alfred Montero is the newest member of the department, coming to Carleton from Florida International University. He grew up in Miami, attended the University of Miami and did his graduate work on Comparative Politics and International Relations at Columbia. Professor Montero will teach Introduction to Comparative Political Regimes and Latin American Politics beginning in fall 1998. He is particularly interested in the political economics of Latin America and Western Europe and the global resurgence of democracy. Professor Montero enjoys cooking, gangster films, reading, history, and listening to jazz and classical music. Having experienced urban life, he and his wife Maria look forward to the peaceful, relaxing, and friendly environment of Northfield. He sees Carleton as an exciting place to teach.

Off-Campus Programs
by Megan Heister, '99

Steven Schier, Dorothy H. and Edward C. Congdon Professor of Political Science, began the Carleton in Washington Seminar in 1983 "to improve on the other D.C. programs offered by other institutions." Professor Schier has led the seminar in D.C. eight times, most recently in the fall of 1997, and will take another group Winter Term 2001. Along with about twenty students, his wife Mary and their two daughters, Anna and Teresa, accompany Professor Schier.

Students take a reduced course load of sixteen credits, combining classroom learning and directed reading with hands-on learning. By the start of the seminar, students have already completed four credits of directed reading. While on the program

1997 D.C. program participants under the "Liberty Tree" at
St. John's College during a field trip to Annapolis.

Professor Schier teaches a seminar class in which he incorporates speakers on a wide range of political, economic, and social issues. Students must set up an internship where they will work during the program. Professor Schier considers the highlight of the seminar to be meeting with over sixty speakers including Supreme Court justices, senators, representatives, national and foreign press, foreign embassies, lobbyists, academics, pollsters and political consultants. Not surprisingly, fond memories center on the speakers. Over the course of the past eight programs, students have met with presidential and vice presidential candidates Geraldine Ferraro, Paul Wellstone, Bob Kerry, Pat Buchanan, Richard Lugar, and Dan Quayle. They have attended the inaugural addresses of Presidents Bush and Clinton, and participated in tapings of the McLaughlin Group and Inside Politics.

Maastricht students at the European
Court of Justice in Luxembourg

Norman Vig, Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, directs the Carleton Seminar in Maastricht: Political Economy and Environmental Policy of the European Union.

Professor Vig is one of several in the department to lead some version of this program. Retired Professor Hartley Clark developed the program because of his interest and knowledge of the European Common Market. "It has been continually updated because of the importance of the European Union as a model for political cooperation and as the department's principal offering on European politics," said Vig. For twenty years the department offered a summer program on European integration based in Geneva. In 1994, Professor Gary Wynia moved the program to its current location at the Center for European Studies at Maastricht. In 1996, Professor Vig assumed leadership of the seminar, which will return to Maastricht in Spring 1999.

Students take 15 credits including two classes (Political and Economic Integration of Europe and Environmental Policy of the European Union) and undertake an independent study project.

The 20 students travel around Europe individually and as a class. Two group trips are planned for the 1999 seminar: to the EU and NATO in Brussels and to Prague for briefings on the pending enlargement of these organizations to include the Czech Republic and other central and east European countries.

The program has been continually updated because of the importance of the European Union as a model for political cooperation....
Asked about his memories of the trip, Professor Vig said, "…a terrific group of students whom I got to know and appreciate …Everyone learned a lot, and had a great time. One student wrote after the last seminar, '… everyone is returning with the satisfaction of knowing that we have learned far more than we could have in classrooms at Carleton. It was fun to have Europe as a classroom!'"

The Political Economy Seminar in Beijing is the brainchild of former Carleton Economics Professor Penelope Prime (now an Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at Kennesaw State University) and Frank B. Kellogg Professor of International Relations Roy Grow. Together they combine their knowledge of the economics and politics of China to give 30 students a first-hand introduction to the country.

The program is something of a family affair. Professor Prime is accompanied by her husband John Garver (a professor at The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology) and their two children Vanessa and Alex. (Alex was less than a year old on the first program.) Professor Grow's wife Mary Lewis and their son Lewis accompany him on the trip.

Students begin the seminar with a one-week orientation in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan. From Tokyo they fly to Beijing, where the seminar is based at the University of International Business and Economics. The program ends with a few relaxing days in Hong Kong.

The 18-credit program includes Political Economy of China (Prof. Grow) and Chinese Economy in Transition (Prof. Prime). Both professors lead two three-credit courses in Chinese Social and Political Institutions and Chinese Decision-Making, a simulation exercise at the end of the program.

Beijing '97: Majors Alden Mahler '99
and Megan Heister '99 on the
Great Wall of China

Field trips are a significant component. Students visit a variety of businesses, from the government owned Yanjing Beer Factory to the Chinese-German Seimen's Joint Venture. A weeklong field trip takes students to Shanghai and other regions. During an extended midterm break students may travel independently.

The Poligon is a publication of the Political Science Department of Carleton College. Please submit contributions or comments to:
Tricia Peterson, Department Secretary
Political Science Department
Carleton College
One North College Street
Northfield, MN 55057-4025
Phone: 507-646-4117
Fax: 507-646-5615