black and white view of the U.S. Capitol building

Welcome to the Department of Political Science at The University of Alabama

Research Interests


Gain insight into politics and power from a variety of perspectives across many time periods. Study the theory and practice of government as you prepare for graduate school, professional school, or a career in politics, international affairs, or the media.

Graduate Studies

Our graduate programs are designed to bridge the gap between your undergrad program and your professional life as a political scientist or public administrator. With four traditional graduate degree programs and three joint programs with the UA School of Law, our department is an excellent place to grow professionally, supported by leading scholars in the field.

UA Mock Trial Wins Super-Regional, Earns Bid to National Championship

UA Mock Trial’s A team won the American Mock Trial Association Super-Regional tournament held in Greenville, South Carolina the weekend of March 16-17. This super-regional field is comprised of teams that all had to win their regionals, so it is a tournament full of proven teams, and it is predictably tough to advance to the National Championship Tournament. Alabama’s squad came out on top of a field comprised of teams from Duke (x2), Emory (x2), Furman (x2), Georgia Tech (x2), […]

Undergraduate Political Science Research Collaborator Awarded Mitchell Scholarship

Honors College student Owen Emerson was selected as one of only 12 students nationally (out of 350 applicants) to receive the U.S.-Ireland Alliance’s George J. Mitchell Scholarship. Owen is a double major in economics and music and a member of the University Fellows Experience, directed by Dr. Dana Patton. In 2022/23, Owen was Dr. Alessandro Del Ponte’s undergraduate research collaborator. In the spring of 2023, Owen presented a research poster on a vignette experiment with Dr. Del Ponte at the UA Undergraduate Research […]

Dr. Lina Benabdallah to Speak at UA Feb. 16

Dr. Lina Benabdallah of Wake Forest University will visit the department on Friday, February 16, 2024 from Noon to 1:30pm in ten Hoor 346. The event is co-sponsored by the Program for Middle East Studies and the Department of Political Science. Infrastructures of Feeling: Imperial Nostalgia and Landmark Restoration Projects States and state actors often engage in infrastructure and landmark restoration, construction, and reconstruction abroad for a variety of strategic reasons, including reviving imperial nostalgias. This presentation examines the power […]

Congratulations to Dr. Drew Cagle!

Congratulations to our newest PhD, Dr. Drew Cagle! Dr. Cagle is a new tenure-track professor at the College of Coastal Georgia. Congratulations also to Professor Nick Davis, Drew’s dissertation advisor.

Dr. Waleed Hazbun “China, the United States, and the Reconfiguration of Middle East Geopolitics: New Possibilities for Conflict and Order”

Abstract: In the past two decades China has expanded its influence in the Middle East, working towards what I call “soft integration,” focused on building economic ties through trade and infrastructure development. In contrast, the United States has continued to prioritize what I call “hard integration,” focused on strategic alliances with security commitments, basing of military assets, and the integration of regional defense systems. An ongoing challenge is that the two integration processes are increasingly encountering points of conflict leading […]

Dr. Karl DeRouen “Are Non-Inclusive Peace Agreements Effective Counter-Insurgency Strategies”

Abstract: Civil wars are complex in ways that challenge effective resolution. Civil war actors tend to be dynamic in nature and often splinter then coalesce over time potentially evolving into multiple dyads pitted against their government. Previous work has demonstrated that when multiple rebel factions emerge, civil wars tend to be longer in duration as satisfying multiple factions tends to be more challenging. However, governments may choose to pursue dyadic agreements hoping to end the conflict either through subsequent dyadic […]

“US Military Strategy in the Middle East and the Challenge of Demilitarization”

Abstract: With its troop withdrawals from Iraq in 2011 and Afghanistan in 2021, the US exhibits a much smaller military footprint in the Middle East than it did in the mid to late 2000s. US regional strategy, however, remains structured around the capacity to deploy military force as a means maintain regional influence, contain Iran, and compete against China and Russia. For many analysts, political leaders, and much of the US public, a reduced military posture in the Middle East […]

“Revisiting the (lack of) association between objective and subjective measures of local fiscal condition”

  Abstract: Recent fiscal condition literature has been attentive to the consistency between subjective measures of local fiscal condition based on public officials’ perceptions and their objective counterparts measured using financial data. Studies have found little evidence of a relationship between them, leading scholars to speculate flaws in measurement or intentional lack of association. This study reevaluates the issue by investigating intervening explanations for the absence of connection. Analyzing survey and audited financial data from 185 municipalities across 31 states, […]