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Investigating Power, Economies, and Institutions from Global to Local

Resolving today’s transnational crises requires a global perspective that unites pioneering research with a foundational understanding of economics, politics, and governance. In SIS’s Department of Politics, Governance, and Economics (PGE), our faculty of political scientists, economists, and top regional specialists investigate longstanding and emerging questions related to power, identity, and institutions. Our courses train students with the foundational knowledge and data analysis skills to resolve pressing international, regional, and local issues—from democratic backsliding and trade competition to humanitarian assistance, state building, and financial cooperation. Our students contribute to innovative policy and practice and graduate prepared for immediate placement in impactful careers in international organizations, government, nonprofit organizations, and private corporations. 

Putin Issues Warning to the West

On Feburary 2024, the PGE Department Chair, Professor Darden, was invited to a CNN interview to discuss Putin's threats of nuclear war as he warns the West not to escalate involvement in Ukraine's defense. 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

International ·

Five Questions After Russia’s Presidential Election

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Decoding India's 2024 Elections, Global Elections Initiative.

Global Elections Initiative

4/18, 4:15pm: In the lead up to November 2024, SIS is exploring global elections in a series of events with faculty experts and guests.

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Research ·

Carl LeVan, Varieties of Mistrust and American Epistemic Fragility

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PGE Bulletin Board 

Our Programs

The graduate programs and undergraduate thematic areas of the Department of Politics, Governance, and Economics prepare students with the knowledge and data analysis skills to resolve international, regional, and local issues spanning politics and state building, economics, and humanitarian assistance. 

Master's degrees

The Comparative and Regional Studies (CRS) program prepares students to be regional experts who understand key global issues through comparative analysis across regions and countries. Unlike traditional regional studies, CRS combines study of the comparative method with regional expertise. In this way, CRS regional concentrations serve as laboratories for knowledge, allowing students to draw lessons from experiences within a region to inform their understanding of the local context and, importantly, of how and why the local context shapes outcomes of global interest.

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The Global Governance, Politics, and Security program takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding relations among states and societies. Our graduates find careers in multilateral organizations, government agencies, the private sector, and NGOs. In the program, you will apply global historical, political, and economic dynamics to contemporary policy problems and learn analytical techniques and professional competencies in order to make sense of data and turn rigorous analysis into policy innovation and practical action.

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This degree provides training in International Economics and Political Economy for professional careers in government, international institutions, private business and nonprofit sector. Students develop skills in quantitative analysis and knowledge in international trade and financial policy, development and environmental economics, and emerging fields such as climate change and the digital revolution as they impact those core areas. One of two degrees administered by the International Economic Relations Program.

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MAIER:QM is one of two degrees administered by the International Economic Relations program. The MAIER:QM degree emphasizes Advanced Quantitative Analysis to a greater degree than our policy-oriented MAIER degree. However, MAIER:QM provides similar training in International Economics and Political Economy for professional careers in government, international institutions, private business, and the nonprofit sector. Students develop quantitative analysis skills that qualify this as a STEM degree. They also gain and grow knowledge in international trade and financial policy, development and environmental economics, and the intersections of climate change and digital technology with those core areas.

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Undergraduate thematic areas

The Global and Comparative Governance Thematic Area is designed for students who are interested in how a range of actors—local, national, global—seek to understand and solve the compelling security, development, environmental, and economic problems of our time. This thematic area focuses on the role that states, regional and global institutions (the United Nations, EU, World Bank, etc.), civil society, and the private sector play in addressing regional and global problems. Students also have the option of specializing in a geographical region. Students will take a multidisciplinary approach and will acquire the skills to empirically evaluate phenomena, anticipate emerging trends, and interpret data through an innovative curriculum that emphasizes theory and applied knowledge.

Gateway Course

SISU 280 Ruling the World: Global and Comparative Governance (multiple sections available)

Thematic Area Courses

*Course offerings vary by semester. Alternative and/or additional options may be available.

  • SISU 329 Global Economic Governance
  • SISU 380 Empire and Imperialism
  • SISU 380 International Law
  • SISU 380 Conquest, Cold War, Globalization 
  • SISU 386 Contemporary Africa

A more integrated world has raised the living standards of millions of people, yet it is blamed for causing all sorts of damages to societies, the environment, national cultures, and domestic sovereignty. In the Global Economy Thematic Area, students will study the political economy of this evolving international landscape and analyze economic growth, winners and losers, and the legitimacy of these changes. They explore how globalization changes the world and alters the political, economic, and social prospects of nations and their citizens. They also consider how international organizations struggle to manage this complex process and create governance structures to adapt to these changes, and how national governments attempt to balance their sovereign mandate to govern and protect their people with the frequently disrupting financial and trade-related impacts of global competition.

Gateway Course

SISU 220 International Political Economy (multiple sections available)

Thematic Area Courses

*Course offerings vary by semester. Alternative and/or additional options may be available.

  • SISU 320 International Money and Finance
  • SISU 320 International Trade Relations
  • SISU 321 Political Economy of Africa
  • SISU 324 Breakfast in the Americas
  • SISU 324 Political Economy of Latin America
  • SISU 329 Global Economic Governance