The roster of Hamilton graduates who have gone to distinguished public service is a long one, including statesman and Nobel laureate Elihu Root, Ambassador Sol Linowitz, Governor Michael Castle of Delaware, and many others. The Government Department furthers this tradition through its course offerings and special programs. In all of them, the department seeks to encourage students to think carefully about political actions, values and institutions. The development of these skills of critical thinking is an integral part of a liberal arts education and serves to prepare students for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors.
The department offers a broad range of courses in five areas: American politics, international relations, comparitive politics, political theory, and public law and policy. These courses provide general education in public affairs as well as instruction in depth for those students with more specific interests in politics and public policy. Three concentrations are available through the department -- one in Government, one in International and Comparative Political Studies, and an interdisciplinary concentration in Public Policy which integrates political science with courses in economics and philosophy. In each of these majors, students are encouraged to engage in independent research, and in recent years students have worked collaboratively with faculty members in a local stud of polic consolidation and in original research on politcal action committees.
Students and faculty members meet regularly at colloquia, lectures and other programs. The Arthur Levitt Public Policy Center, for example, has sponsored conferences and lecture series on such topics as acid rain, defense policy, and educational reform.