The Department of Political Science at Grove City College offers students the academic freedom to conduct meaningful, relevant research alongside experienced and accomplished faculty. Research opportunities are an integral component to an excellent undergraduate education and help prepare students for top graduate and professional programs and successful careers in professional sectors.
Professor Michael Coulter chaired an eight member Independent Election Commission appointed by the Mercer County Commissioners after some electronic voting machines used in the county failed to record votes in a presidential election. Student Emily Shaheen served as research assistant for the committee. Data that Professor Coulter and Shaheen collected about the performance of the machine compared to the performance of other electronic voting machines led to a state agency decertifying the voting machines and prohibiting the use of those machines in future elections.
“A Better Way Forward? An Analysis of Chinese and World Bank Loans to Sub-Saharan Africa and Democratization in the Region” presented by David Calhoun ‘20
Since 2000 China has developed a loan apparatus that is consistently giving state an alternative to the IMF and World Bank. Based on poor quality of governance being a poverty trap and greater levels of democracy leading to greater attainment of human rights, Calhoun tests whether loans from China had a more negative effect on democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa than World Bank loans from 2000-2017.
“When Will the United States Say No?” presented by Ian McGrew ‘20
This paper addresses past and contemporary relations of China and the U.S. analyzing how China seeks to become a great power and potentially to surpass the U.S. as the most powerful state in the international system. Attention is paid to understanding what circumstances and changes in China’ relative position would potentially force the U.S. to confront China in an effort for the U.S. to maintain its status as the greatest power in the international system.
“Great Powers and Nuclear Weapons: An Examination of the Relationship between Nuclear Warhead Stockpiles and Militarized Interstate Disputes” presented by Jonathan Skee ‘21
Does an increase in nuclear stockpiles cause an increase in militarized interstate disputes involving great powers? Preliminary research shows that great powers appear more willing to engage in militarized interstate disputes as their stockpiles of nuclear weapons increase. Skee concludes though this research that minimal deterrence is the better nuclear policy option.
“China’s Rising Power and Possible Conflict with the U.S. in the Pacific Ocean” presented by Zachary Wilson ‘21
This paper seeks to observe China’s rise in power and the U.S. response in the Pacific Ocean. Using consideration of the rise in power by Japan in the inter-war years, a comparison with contemporary Chinese foreign policy is made to consider whether conflict between China and the U.S. is more likely to be caused and engaged in through economic or military factors.
“Public Opinion and the War on Terror: An Empirical Study of the Effects of Income and Education on Public Opinion during the Presidency of George W. Bush” presented by Wyatt Kriebel ‘21
The focus of this research paper is to analyze the effects of income and education on public opinion regarding George W. Bush during the War on Terror. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the multiple causes of change in public opinion and the effect of that opinion on the decision-making of George W. Bush.
Benjamin Allison ’18 (national security studies minor) presented research at the 2017 annual meeting and conference of the Midwest Political Science Association. He was one of approximately 25 undergraduates selected to present research on international relations and security. His research focused on understanding patterns and likelihood of terrorist attacks on bridges and tunnels in the U.S. Among his findings are that counter-terrorism efforts are effective in diminishing the value of bridges and tunnels as targets, and that terrorist organizations do not highly value bridges and tunnels as a means of targeting large numbers of people in a single attack.
Kyle Niehoff ’17 (political science major/national security studies minor) presented research at the 2016 annual meeting and conference of the Midwest Political Science Association. He was one of approximately 25 undergraduates selected to present research on international relations and security.His research focused on political conditions that breed so-called right-wing radicals in the young adult population of the U.S. His findings showed moderate causality between perception of liberal policy agendas and the rise in this population.
Kyra Rumble ’16 (political science major/national security studies minor) presented research at the 2016 annual meeting and conference of the Midwest Political Science Association. She was one of approximately 25 students selected to present research on U.S. foreign policy.Her research focused on the application of negative foreign policy pressure resulting in increased oppression of minority populations. Increased negative pressure in U.S. foreign policy was found to increase oppression of minority groups in sub-Saharan Africa and Southwest Asia.
Danielle DiQuattro '18 (political science major/economics minor) recently presented a paper "Racial Tensions, Discrimination, and Relations and Their Effects on Political Participation" at the 2017 annual Pennsylvania Political Science Association Conference.