WelcomeEvan Head

From the Office of the Department Head…

Hello and welcome back to our Political Science students, faculty and staff!

In spite of budget delays and budget cuts, our Political Science student enrollment has grown by 10% over Fall of 2015.  Political Science undergraduate and graduate students have more than forty courses to choose from this fall as they pursue degrees for the major or minor.  The study of Political Science is exciting and relevant to the lives of our students, and our courses this semester are especially interesting because they are informed by major events that we read about in the media every day. In domestic politics, the 2016 presidential campaign is heating up as the general election draws close. If you look to the left of this page, you will see a "Register to Vote Here" button that will take you directly to the Illinois State Board of Elections Online Voter Registration site. If you are not registered yet, this is your opportunity!

In addition to course work, our students make time for student organizations, internships, study abroad, student employment and much more.  Our alumni choose careers that include employment with government agencies; working for interest groups and research organizations; joining the corporate world in marketing, public relations, journalism, and other specialties; and taking positions on the staffs of elected and appointed political officials.  Many of our students go on to law school and have successful careers practicing law.We the People 2016 UIC News ad

 Our department is a national leader in teaching civic engagement and connecting our students with the real world of politics and government.  We have several major events planned, either on our own or co-sponsored with other organizations:  

· September 19: National Constitution Day, a national event that commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. We will have a speaker who will address an important topic of constitutional law.  

· September 27: Rock the Vote Day, which will feature a voter registration drive. We will also have early voting events and election day voting on campus.  

· September 22-24:  A conference entitled, “Fortress Europe or E Pluribus Unum? Multilivel governance, migration and asylum policy in the European Union,” co-sponsored by UIC and Rutgers University and held here on the UIC campus.

· October 7: The National Student Issues Convention, in which students meet in groups to discuss the issues that matter to them and discuss their perspectives with candidates public policy makers

· Presidential and Vice-Presidential debate watch parties, co-sponsored with student organizations

·  The Political Science Department Lecture Series, featuring speakers on a variety of topics, including:

  •  September 21: Deirdre McCloskey, UIC, “Why Inequality Does Not Matter”
  •  October 5: Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago, “Provincialism and Internationalism in American Foreign Relations”
  •  October 19: Dianne Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame, “Race in American Politics”
  •  November 2: Janet Smith, UIC, “Neighborhoods and Urban Change”
  •  November 16: Deniel Galvin, Northwestern University, “ US elections 2016”

As faculty, it is our goal to enhance the student experience inside and outside the classroom.  All of us are active scholars who publish books and articles in our specialties, and we also love to teach and spend time with our students.  We make opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students to engage side-by-side in faculty research, using a variety of methods and new technologies.

Wishing you a successful school year,

Professor Evan C. McKenzie


National Constitution Day 2016

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An early morning email announcement from the Office of the Chancellor, kicked off the UIC Votes campaign by welcoming Attorney G. Flint Taylor to UIC as our National Constitution Day speaker.  Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, J. Rex Tolliver was there to greet and welcome our students, and encouraged them to  participate in the civic engagement programs hosted on our campus this Fall.  The Office of Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services helped interested students register to vote on-site!

Flint Taylor, a civil rights attorney, spoke to a silent, crowded room of students who shook their heads as he cited one incident after another of police violence, and make shift prisons in Chicago.   He spoke further about constitutional violations, corruption, and cover ups.  Afterwards, students asked lots of questions and talked one-on-one with Attorney Taylor.

Other vendor information tables were set up to let students know about volunteer and internship opportunities!

National Constitution Day 2016  Co-Sponsors

Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement
UIC Department of Political Science
Office of Public and Government Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Office of Student Leadership Development and Volunteer Services
UIC Undergraduate Student Government
Political Science Student Union
UIAA Illinois Connection



Political Science celebrates Pi Sigma Alpha new members and student awards!


New members of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society were inducted into the UIC Mu Alpha Chapter on Thursday afternoon, April 28, 2016.

Department Head Evan McKenzie, Director of Undergraduate Studies Professor Kevin Lyles, Director of Graduate Studies Professor Alexandra Filindra, and Faculty Advisor of the Chapter Professor Robert Bruhl, were all on hand for the induction ceremony to hand out awards and honor cords.  The new inductees into the Class of 2016 Mu Alpha Chapter include. 

Alberto Alejandro Barraza*
Brian Geiger*
Michael P. Halpin*
Maria Hartas*
Eden Nissani (not shown)
Justyna Pietryk*
Humaa Siddiqi*
Shameka Thompson

graduating seniors

In addition, our undergraduate and graduate end-of-the-school-year contest and prize winners were announced.   Students submitted papers, research proposals, and nominations were made by several faculty members for the selection of the department’s Best Graduating Senior award.  This year there were four faculty committees formed to decide the most deserving winners.  The recipients of the 2016 prizes are, 


Milton Rakove Memorial Award Prize  - Best paper on a topic of International Relations

Winner(s) Shameka Thompson and Justyna Pietrzyk.  “Globalization and the Diminishing Working Class.” 

Milton Rakove Memorial Award Prize  - Best paper on a topic of Urban Politics

Winner:  Tierra Bradford. “Urban Politics and Natural Disasters: A Case Study on New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.”

Ron Brown Memorial Award:  2016 Best Overall Graduating Senior Award

Brian Geiger – Overall outstanding academic achievement, civic engagement, and student service.


Milton Rakove Memorial Award Prize - Best research projects

Aviral Pathak:  “The Art of Governing Well:  Freedon and the Practice of Modern Government in India”

Mine Tafolar:  “Electoral Rules or Undecided Voters:  Challengers and Guardians of Democracies”

Beyza Buyuker:  “U.S. response to the Religion of Refugees”

Congratulations to our new Pi Sigma Alpha inductees, our contests winners, and ALL of our graduating seniors!



Fortress Europe or E Pluribus Unum? :
Multilevel Governance and the Governance
of Migration and Asylum in the EU

Conference to be held on September 22-24, 2016 in Chicago, IL
Submission deadline: March 5th, 2016


The European Union (EU) is facing an unprecedented crisis as hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants are risking their lives attempting to reach destinations across Europe. The crisis has demonstrated that the EU’s existing system of governance for asylum and migration is inadequate and fundamentally flawed. As member states - from Greece to Finland to Hungary to Germany – adopt divergent responses, European policy frameworks from the Dublin Regulations to the Schengen system are unraveling. The crisis is straining all levels of European governance, from local authorities to the EU. Ill-equipped and underfunded municipalities have transformed into tent cities, while regional and national governments are struggling to document and process thousands of applicants.

At the EU level, intense normative and economic conflicts have arisen concerning the appropriate response to the inflow of refugees. Coming on the back of a long period of economic crisis and austerity, the refugee crisis is sparking a battle over resources and a struggle over competing visions of Europe: one that is accepting and tolerant and the other xenophobic and ethnocentric. These clashes are testing the political foundations of the European Union as they reveal powerful centrifugal trends that favor closed borders and narrowly defined ethnic and national identities.

This academic symposium, a joint effort between the University of Illinois and Rutgers University, will bring together scholars working of questions of EU governance as well as migration policy to present their most recent research. The symposium is supported by a generous grant from the European Union Studies Association (EUSA).  We are currently soliciting proposals, further information can be found Here.