Institute of Government and Politics

The Institute of Government and Politics in the Department of Political Science at Western Michigan University introduces students, faculty and the greater Kalamazoo community to scholars of politics and political actors from outside the University and to the current research of departmental faculty and students. The institute teams with student groups throughout the University to arrange these campus visits and is an outreach arm of the Department of Political Science.

Focus of institute events

Dr. Darren Davis, Notre Dame

  • American politics and government
  • International and comparative politics
  • Political theory

Expert speakers

  • Diplomatic and consular officials
  • Federal policymakers
  • State and local elected officials

Featured series

Past lectures

  • April 2022: "State Supreme Courts: The Effect of Audiences"
    Dr. Todd Curry, University of Texas, El Paso and Dr. Michael Romano, Shenandoah University
  • November 2021: "Beyond Ideal Theory: Foundations for a Critical Rawlsian Theory of Climate Justice"
    Dr. Paul Clements, Western Michigan University
  • January 2020: "Civic Engagement Pedagogy"
    Dr. J. Cherie Strachan, Civic Engagement Division, College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Central Michigan University
  • September 26, 2018: "The International Criminal Courts and their Contribution to Peace and Reconciliation in Yugoslavia"
    Judge Vagn Joensen, International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
  • September 11, 2018: "China's Belt and Road Initiative"
    Dr. ZHANG Shubin, Hebei University of Economics and Business
  • March 13 2018: “Korea's Crisis, China's Problem"
    Dr. REN Xiao, Fudan University, Shanghai
  • Nov. 2, 2017: “At the Precipice: The International Political Economy of Capitalist Crisis and Climate Change"
    Christian Parenti, John Jay College, CUNY
  • Oct. 19, 2017: “Keeping the 'Public Option' for Low Income Housing"
    Dr. Susan Hoffmann, Western Michigan University
  • Sept. 27, 2017: “Organizations that Participate in Local Politics"
    Derek Nofz, Director of Public Policy, Southwest Michigan First
  • Sept. 25, 2017: "Organizations that Participate in Local Politics"
    Matt Lager, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services & Steve Walsh, Executive Director, Vine Neighborhood Association
  • Sept. 19, 2017: Constitution Day Lecture: "When Women Won the Vote: Did the 19th Amendment Change Politics?"
    Dr. Keven Corder, Western Michigan University
  • Sept. 13, 2017: “Organizations that Participate in Local Politics"
    Portage Mayor Peter Strazdas
  • April 13, 2017: “Hungary and the New Financial Nationalism in Europe"
    Dr. Juliet Johnson, McGill University
  • April 13, 2017: “Monumental Politics’ in the Post-Communist World”
    Dr. Juliet Johnson, McGill University
  • April 4, 2017: “Micro-Finance and Social Inclusion: A Bottom-up Approach in Nepal"
    Dr. Man Bahadur Bishwakarma, Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Bradeis University
  • March 31, 2017: “Roman Catholic African-American Politics"
    Dr. Darren Davis, University of Notre Dame
  • March 30, 2017: "Is there really a 'Gap' between Political Science and Policy?"
    Dr. Ido Oren, University of Florida
  • March 30, 2017: "WMD, WMD, WMD: How the Incantation of Ambiguous Phrases Creates Foreign Threats"
    Dr. Ido Oren, University of Florida
  • Nov. 15, 2016: “What the Heck Just Happened? Where Do We Go From Here?" Panel Discussion on the 2016 Elections and their Consequences
    Drs. John Clark and Peter Wielhouwer, Western Michigan University, Thomas Bradley Kent, Western Michigan University
  • April 5, 2016: "Changing Brazil: A Glass Half Full?"
    Dr. David Samuels, University of Minnesota
  • April 5, 2016: "Inequality and Democratic Survival"
    Dr. David Samuels, University of Minnesota
  • March 31, 2016: "Meritocracy and Democracy: China and the United States"
    Dr. William Keech, Duke University
  • Oct. 20, 2015: "A Brief but Useful Guide to the 2016 Elections"
    Dr. Daron R. Shaw, University of Texas at Austin
  • Oct. 20, 2015: "But That's Not How the Pros Do It! Testing the Effects of Multiple Forms of Practioner-Designed Campaign Out-Reach"
    Dr. Daron R. Shaw, University of Texas at Austin
  • Sept. 29, 2015: "Safeguarding the Constitution: What You Can Do to Improve the American Criminal Justice System"
    Marla Mitchell-Cichon, WMU-Cooley Law School
  • Sept. 17, 2015: "When Do Foreign Banks Cut and Run? Evidence from West European Bail-Outs and East European Markets"
    Rachel Epstein, University of Denver
  • Sept. 17, 2015: "Catching Up in the Global Economy: Good and Bad Banks in East Central Europe"
    Rachel Epstein, University of Denver
  • April 21, 2015: "Truth Justice and Reconciliation on the Ground: Normative Divergence in the Western Balkans"
    Jelena Subotic, Georgia State University
  • April 21, 2015: "Crisis at The Hague: What Has Gone Wrong with International War Crimes Trials?"
    Jelena Subotic, Georgia State University
  • April 7, 2015: "Expecting Poverty and Violence: How Expectations Shape Underclass Youth"
    John M. Bolland, University of Alabama
  • Feb. 4, 2015: "Careers in Local Government Management in Michigan"
    Rebecca Fleury, Battle Creek City Manager and Mike Seldon, Wayland City Manager


For more information, contact Peter Wielhouwer.