On Purpose: Portrait of Political Science

To commemorate our 150th anniversary in 2018, the College of Liberal Arts commissioned 60 photographs taken by Xavier Tavera. Departments and programs partnered with Tavera to envision their images and to write the narratives that accompany each photograph. View On Purpose: Portrait of the Liberal Arts.

Kathryn Pearson standing in front of a staircase

Today the United States faces multiple challenges: the dramatic and disorienting effects of globalization; increasing polarization among elected officials and the mass public; rising racial tension; wage stagnation; increasing income inequality; and deep concerns over the health and viability of our political institutions.

As a leader in the study of democratic politics, the University of Minnesota’s Department of Political Science has addressed challenging issues like these for nearly 150 years. Ours is a rich history of advancing knowledge about the interplay among economics, politics, and society; of deep engagement with the community; and of delivering outstanding instruction to students at all levels.

We prepare our undergraduates for productive and actively engaged careers in civic life and a wide range of other sectors. Our PhD students have become leading scholars and teachers at major universities and colleges around the globe. We’ve advanced the cause of democracy through a combination of cutting-edge research and sustained efforts to engage with the citizens of Minnesota and beyond. We look forward to continuing and building on these traditions in the future.

Kathryn Pearson (pictured) is an associate professor specializing in American politics. Her research and teaching focuses on the United States Congress, congressional elections, and women and politics. Pearson has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and a book, Party Discipline in the House of Representatives. Her current research analyzes how women in Congress pursue power in a partisan era. A recipient of the Morse Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, Pearson meets frequently with community groups to share her political insight.

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