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G. Calvin Mackenzie
Major in Government
The Government Department at Colby is a community of teachers and students dedicated to the study of politics. Colby’s department, which now counts nearly 140 majors, is recognized as one of the best in its field at any liberal arts college in the country. We are proud of that reputation and work hard to maintain it.... More »
•We feature a faculty of actively publishing scholars who are also deeply committed to teaching and advising. Our works appear regularly in the leading journals in the fields of political science, international relations, and public policy.
•We do more than just study politics. Several of us are active in real-world political affairs, serving as consultants to various governmental entities within the United States, and to foreign governments as well.
•We don’t just write for other academics. Our political commentaries and analyses appear regularly in local, national, and international media outlets.
•We offer a comprehensive curriculum. We cover all four of the principal subfields of political science: political theory, comparative politics (of Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and Latin America), international relations (including international environmental politics), and American politics.
•We don’t all think alike. The department presents a diversity of ideological orientations and methodological approaches that expose students to a wide variety of viewpoints and perspectives on political and public-policy issues.
•We make you think—and work—hard. The major in government requires rigorous courses taught by demanding instructors and provides a challenging and stimulating intellectual experience. It also presents students with the opportunity to undertake independent study under the supervision of a faculty member or to write an honors thesis in the senior year.
•We involve students in our research. Our faculty regularly collaborate with students on scholarly projects that culminate in presentations at academic conferences and publications in scholarly and popular venues.
• Our students put learning into practice. We encourage our majors to take on political and government-related internships at the state, federal, and international levels. Some work with government agencies or international organizations; others become involved in political campaigns or with both domestic or foreign-based nongovernment organizations (NGOs). Internships are facilitated through the January Program as well as through the Colby Career Center.
•We put many resources at your disposal. Our curriculum is complemented by Colby’s vibrant interdisciplinary programs, including global studies, Latin American studies, East Asian studies, American studies, and Jewish studies. In addition, Colby’s Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights, together with the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, provide opportunities for students to hear from and work with policy-makers and political activists. Grants and other funds are also available to support student research and internships.
•We keep in touch with our alumni. Government Department alumni include outstanding lawyers, political leaders, businesspersons, diplomats, journalists, academics, and community-concerned citizens, many of whom return to Colby to attend our spring departmental lecture and other campus events. Many more stand ready to help us as we counsel majors applying to graduate school or looking for that important first job.