Political Science


Faculty Research

book cover- Judicial Politics in the United StatesPolitical Science Professor Mark C. Miller's book, Judicial Politics in the United States, examines the role of courts as policymaking institutions and their interactions with the other branches of government and other political actors in the U.S. political system. Not only does this book cover the nuts and bolts of the functions, structures and processes of our courts and legal system, it goes beyond other judicial process books by exploring how the courts interact with executives, legislatures, and state and federal bureaucracies. It also includes a chapter devoted to the courts' interactions with interest groups, the media, and general public opinion and a chapter that looks at how American courts and judges interact with other judiciaries around the world. (Other books by Professor Miller)

book cover - Selling a Just War Political Science Professor Michael Butler's book Selling a 'Just' War: Framing, Legitimacy, and U.S. Military Intervention sheds light on how American political leaders sell the decision to intervene with military force to the public and how a just war frame is employed in US foreign policy. He provides three post-Cold War examples of foreign policy crises: the Persian Gulf War (1990-91), Kosovo (1999), and Afghanistan (2001).
News Releases (Other books by Professor Butler)

book coverPolitical Science Professor Robert Boatright’s book Getting Primaried: The Changing Politics of Congressional Primary Challenges is the first exploration of the phenomenon of “primarying.” Political activists on the left and right frequently call for the “primarying” of incumbent members of Congress who are not sufficiently partisan. Media accounts of recent high profile challenges to moderate members of Congress frequently allege that “primarying” has become far more common today than it was in the past.

Boatright’s book takes issue with such claims. The book shows that primary challenges are not becoming more frequent; they wax and wane in accordance with partisan turnover in Congress. Recent primary challenges, however, have drawn support from national fundraising bases and new types of partisan organizations. Getting Primaried presents a history of congressional primary challenges over the past forty years, a correction to accounts of the link between primary competition and political polarization, and a new theoretical understanding of the role of interest groups in congressional primary elections. (Other books by Professor Boatright)

State Participation in International Treaty Regimes Political Science Professor Srini Sitaraman's book State Participation in International Treaty Regimes uses U.N. treaty ratification data on arms control, environment and human rights to investigate whether domestic factors may ultimately be responsible for influencing why a state resists or joins international treaty regimes.

Political science professor Valerie Sperling's book Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia takes an in-depth look at the political factors contributing to Russia's increasingly hostile environment for women and those outside of prevailing gender norms. Through three case studies, Sperling charts the ways that both pro- and anti-Kremlin political parties and activists partake in ideologies of machismo and misogyny. Learn more in this press release, Top 10 books on Russia for 2014, Dr. Sperling's blog post at the Oxford University Press website and a blog entry by Alexander J. Motly for World Affairs Journal. Listen to an interview with Professor Sperling on New Hampshire Public Radio.

Altered States: The Globalization of Accountability Professor Valerie Sperling's book Altered States: The Globalization of Accountability tackles questions such as: Is globalization good for democracy? Or has it made our governing institutions less accountable to citizens?

Sperling traces the impact of economic, political, military, judicial, and civic globalization on state accountability and investigates the degree to which transnational institutions are themselves responsible to the people whose lives they alter.

Interviews with Prof. Sperling at New Hampshire Public Radio and KOPN Radio (Other books by Professor Sperling)

book cover Political Science Professor Kristen Williams' book Ethnic Conflict: A Systematic Approach to Cases of Conflict bridges the subfields of international relations and comparative politics.

As ethnic groups clash, the international community faces the challenge of understanding the multiple causes of violence and formulating solutions that will bring about peace. Never losing sight of their analytical framework, the authors provide richly detailed case studies that help students understand both the unique and shared causes of each conflict. (Other books by Professor Williams)

book cover Political Science professor Paul W. Posner released his first book, State, Market, and Democracy in Chile (Palgrave Macmillan).

State, Market, and Democracy in Chile assesses the quality of Chilean democracy by examining the impact of free market reforms on the urban poor's incentives for political participation and capacity for collective action. Using in-depth analysis of labor market, social welfare, and state reforms, along with extensive interviews with party officials and shantytown residents, Posner's study reveals the manner in which neoliberal reform has undermined the urban poor's incentives and ability to hold public officials accountable. In so doing, he demonstrates how economic liberalization has negatively affected the quality of Chilean democracy.