Faculty Research

Political Science is a branch of social science. Historically, political science was closely related to the study of law, philosophy and history. After World War II,  the field of political science was part of the "behavioral revolution" that  aligned modern political science more closely with other social sciences such as psychology and economics.  Contemporary political science is a diverse field and our faculty are active researchers in across many important areas. 

Our faculty has published over:

  • 28 books
  • 245 articles and book chapters
  • 322 professional conference papers
  • 100 governmental and corporate reports

 Dr. Daniel Coffey’s research focuses on the intersection of social science methodology, text mining and political psychology. His early work helped extend automated content analysis of political texts by coding the ideology of state governors by analyzing their state of the state speeches. He is active as in the field of survey research, participating on numerous state and national surveys. His recent work has focused on state party platforms. His blog, statepartyplatforms, provides ongoing analysis of how political parties discuss controversial political issues, providing insight into the ideological and psychological underpinnings of political polarization. Dr. Coffey also enjoys the intersection of art and science through data visualization.

Dr. David Cohen conducts research on the American presidency, Congress, and homeland security. Dr. Cohen has studied White House staffing and organization for over two decades and is currently co-authoring a manuscript to be published by the University Press of Kansas titled The President's Chief of Staff: Evolution of a White House Institution. 

Dr. Ron Gelleny's research expertise focuses on human rights, political economy, and US-Canadian security issues. His work has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, Political Research Quarterly, and the Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology.   Presently he is examining the relationship between the exportation of dual-use weapons to countries with poor human rights records and US-Canadian criminal justice policy.   

Dr. Karl Kaltenthaler’s research focuses on the factors that drive some individuals into anti-system political behavior in the United States, the Middle East/North Africa, and South Asia. Dr. Kaltenthaler also researches why some political extremist groups have been more successful than others in using narratives to build support and motivate behavior. Finally, Dr. Kaltenthaler researches how economic, political, and social change in the Middle East affects how citizens in that region view their place in their countries. All these research programs are conducted for academic audiences, U.S. government customers, as well as international organizations, such as the World Bank and others.  

Dr. Phil Marcin investigates the intersection between law and politics. His research interests include judicial selection, federalism, and how the Supreme Court influences policy in a variety of areas including abortion, gun control, LGBTQ issues, freedom of speech, and religious liberty. This line of research includes current issues such as same-sex marriage, the president’s power to pardon, the constitutionality of hate speech, the death penalty, President Trump’s executive orders on travel, the scope of the Second Amendment, religious freedom, sanctuary cities, flag burning, and the Affordable Care Act. Recently, Dr. Marcin has been quoted in news articles concerning judicial elections in Ohio, recent Supreme Court Nominations, the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Travel Ban, and how changes in the composition of the Supreme Court will influence their decisions. 

Dr. Nancy Marion researches in the area of criminal justice policy and the interplay of politics and criminal justice. Her most recent research involved the public's perception of police through human figure drawing; judicial agenda setting; perceptions of court fairness in Jamaica; and presidential rhetoric on crime issues. Her recent books covered a variety of topics such as marijuana legalization, drug policy, critical infrastructure protection, cybercrime, and political scandals.

 Dr. Jim McHugh’s most recent book, The Senate and the People of Canada, focuses one of the most controversial areas of political institutional reform within that country. His recently served as President of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States and as Fulbright Distinguished Chair of North American Integration at Carleton University in Ottawa. He is currently working on an essay entitled "A Charter of Rights for North America," which he began as Associate Director of the Center for North American Studies at American University and continued to pursue while I was a Public Research Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. His research area also includes Western Europe and he will be conducting research on renegotiating the British Act of Union at the University of Edinburgh in August. Finally, his research in political theory includes a long-term project on the political philosophy of terror, which he eventually hopes to turn into a book.