The Department of Political Science at Tulane University, the site of the founding of the American Political Science Association in 1903, is one of the oldest departments of its kind in the nation. Its mission is to contribute to a deeper understanding of politics, government, and international affairs through faculty research and publication; to serve as a source of expertise to the public; and to educate students about the principal questions and debates in the discipline. The department is committed to teaching students to analyze politics from a variety of perspectives, identify key concepts, research effectively, and communicate persuasively. Through service learning and internship programs, we provide students with the opportunity to be active and informed participants in politics. The department also engages in inter- and multidisciplinary teaching and research through involvement in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.
While programs in the study of government and politics, and of world politics and international relations, are the disciplinary origins of political science, international development, as a field of study, is relatively new. It emerged from critiques of post-World War II programs designed to alleviate poverty and promote economic, democratic and social development in second and third world countries after independence. International development embraces the theory and practice of improving the quality of life of people in the developing world, utilizing a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of global issues that draws from political science as well as economics, sociology, anthropology, languages, and law. Faculty in the Political Science Department address in their research and teaching the broad range of political processes, institutions, and phenomena that constitute political systems and political development—nationally, comparatively, and globally.