Department of Political Science

428 Old Main
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Office Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Phone: (479) 575-3356
Fax: (479) 575-6432

Admin Supervisor
Kathy Rice

Admin Specialist
Marisa Grippo


News and Newsletters

Energy Efficiency, Renewability, and Sustainability Priorities for Arkansas Community Leaders

A team of faculty and post-graduate researchers at the University of Arkansas recently surveyed over 200 local policymakers and business leaders in Northwest Arkansas to gauge their opinions, attitudes and preferences toward energy policies and issues.

The 2014 Arkansas Energy Policy Survey was conducted by Geoboo Song, assistant professor of political science and public policy in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and John Kester III and Rachael Moyer, graduate students in the environmental dynamics doctoral program and department of political science, respectively. The survey found that the majority of local policymakers and business leaders felt confident that Arkansas has adequate energy sources to meet future energy needs and were relatively satisfied with current overall state energy policies.

With regard to sustainable energy policies, which were one of the primary concerns of this study, local policymakers and business leaders believed that there is public support for such policies, which can lead to better land use and economic opportunities, though they were concerned about local government administrative and fiscal capacity to fully implement such policy options in their communities. In particular, the majority of local policy makers and business leaders supported sustainable energy policies such as tax credit programs, home energy affordability loans, and updated energy conservation codes, as well as energy saving goals and standards for renewable energy.

As for the proposed installation of high voltage power lines in the Ozark Mountain area, another key concern of this research, local community leaders recognized a variety of benefits relating to energy reliability and efficient power transmission, but generally indicated that the risks associated with the installation outweigh such benefits. Energy supply and reliability, efficient energy transmission and the maintenance of necessary services during post-disaster or high energy demand periods are considered the most beneficial, whereas economic risk derived from a decrease in property values near high voltage power line installations and potential environmental degradation were among their deepest concerns.

When prompted to identify trusted sources for information relating to energy policy issues, local leaders expressed the most confidence in scientists and academics, while they rated religious leaders, energy companies, and mainstream news media as less dependable.

Song said, “The ramifications of this survey study are manifold. This research not only serves as a foundation for quality scholarly work in public policy studies, but also contributes to Arkansas communities by providing important policy information relevant to key stakeholders in the energy policy subsystem, which is the primary mission of the Fulbright College and the University of Arkansas. In fact, we are very excited to note that survey reports summarizing the results have been shared with more than 1,400 local policymakers and business leaders in Northwest Arkansas.”

The research team completed the first phase of the survey, which was administered to legislators, city council representatives, and professional organization members in 15 major cities in Northwest Arkansas, between March 17 and April 8. Phase 2 of the 2014 Arkansas Energy Policy Survey will be conducted this summer and will cover areas of the state outside of the northwest region.

 Graduating Seniors Receive Senior Honor Citation

SHC2University of Arkansas graduating seniors Austin Axley Cole of Conway and Autumn Lewis of Joplin, Missouri, were recognized with the 2014 Senior Honor Citation during the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors luncheon on May 9.

The Arkansas Alumni Association established the award 49 years ago to honor a senior male and female who exhibit outstanding academic achievement, campus and community involvement, and leadership. Students were required to be a member of the graduating class of 2014 (finishing degree requirements in August or December 2013 or May 2014.) The citation includes a personal memento, a $500 cash award, life membership in the Arkansas Alumni Association and permanent recognition on the student honor wall at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House.

Lewis, the daughter of Steve and Kathy Lewis, said she always knew she would pursue a career in politics, but it was her time at the University of Arkansas that convinced her that she specifically wanted to work on improving the United States education system. Through experiences inside and outside the classroom, she has developed a desire to ensure that every child is afforded an equal opportunity for a thorough and quality education. Ultimately, she hopes to serve in a leadership position at the U.S. Department of Education or an education-related nonprofit organization.

Her passion to work in education policy was sparked during her involvement with the Volunteer Action Center Literacy Program, which began when she volunteered at Leverett Elementary School as a reading mentor. As chair of the Literacy Program, she developed presentations for grants that led to the Literacy Program receiving more than $10,000 to implement the Scholastic R.E.A.L. Program, which allowed students to receive one book per month.

Lewis is an honors political science and economics major. She studied abroad in Japan for five weeks, where she noted the differences in education system structure between the United States and Japan. This experience further encouraged her to pursue changes to the current U.S. system, as she found initiatives proposed by education reformers in this country are being successfully employed in other nations.

The capstone of her collegiate experience was serving as an intern for Sen. Mark Pryor in Washington, D.C. During the internship, she applied her knowledge of education policy and politics to projects including representing the senator at briefings about after-school care and special education, tracking the progress of reauthorization proposals for No Child Left Behind and researching the economic impact of proposed education legislation. She will now return to Washington, D.C., to work for Pryor as a congressional assistant.

Both Cole and Lewis were chosen to serve on the 2013 U of A homecoming court and were active in the Associated Student Government throughout college. Most recently, Lewis served as chief of staff, while Cole served as secretary and director of athletic relations.

To read more about Axley Cole...

Dr. Ka ZengKa Zeng, Asian Studies Director Wins International Peace, Governance, Development Fellowship

Ka Zeng, a professor of political science and director of the Asian studies program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the Fellows Program on Peace, Governance and Development in East Asia.

"The Fellows Program on Peace, Governance and Development in East Asia promotes scholarly exchange among established and next-generation East Asia specialists from all over the world,” said Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College. “We’re thrilled that professor Zeng has been chosen for a program that fits so clearly with Sen. Fulbright’s legacy of peace through education.” Read more...

Disgusting Odors Make People Less Supportive of Gay Marriage, New Republic, Psychology by Alice Robb

Most people attribute Northern Ireland’s repeated rejections of same-sex marriage to its strong Catholic tradition and conservative values. But could the real culprit be sewage problems or air pollution?

A team of psychologists and political scientists from the University of Arkansas have found that people are less likely to support gay marriage if they’re in an odorous environment. For a study whose results were published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, political science professor Patrick Stewart and his colleagues recruited 57 participants and assigned them to take questionnaires on their social and political views in either an odorless room or a disgusting-smelling one. For the unlucky volunteers assigned to the “disgusting odor” group, the researchers added drops of butyric acid—the chemical best known for giving human vomit its smell—on cotton pads and hid them around the room.

Participants in the disgusting condition were far less tolerant of gay marriage and even gay relationships:

They also took a more conservative stance toward premarital sex, pornography, and abortion. Older participants’ views were particularly affected by the foul smell. “It is possible,” the authors hypothesize, “that exposure to a disgusting odorant caused increased feelings of disgust, which in turn activated the harm avoidance system and motivated a desire for purity (cleanliness).” If all those arguments about love and equality aren’t convincing people, maybe gay rights activists should focus on perfuming the air around voting booths.

Two Students Awarded ASG Presidents' Council Scholarship

Toni Jankovski of Kriva Palanka, Republic of Macedonia, and Thanh Le of Fort Smith were awarded the Associated Student Government’s Presidents’ Council Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year.

Le is a junior within the William J. Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and Walton College of Business studying political science and marketing. He serves as associate justice for the Associated Student Government, is a member of the Order of Omega Honor Society, and is an active member in his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order all while maintaining a 3.3 grade point average. Le wrote, “All my experiences here at the University of Arkansas have given me many opportunities that I would have not been able to achieve alone, which includes an internship in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas and another internship with Teach For America in New York City. I plan to continue bringing all my experiences to help make a difference around our campus and community.”

The ASG Presidents’ Council Scholarship was established in the 2010-11 academic year by then-ASG President Billy Fleming. Former ASG presidents contribute to the scholarship and serve as judges in determining recipients of the award. Associated Student Government, the office of student activities, and the Division of Student Affairs are working collaboratively on endowing the scholarship at the $25,000 level.

“The Associated Student Government is proud to award two exceptional students with a scholarship,” said Bo Renner, ASG president. “We look for individuals who have been leaders within the campus community and have contributed through service to benefit the Razorback family. We have found this in both Toni and Thanh.”

Jankovski and Le will be presented with their award at the start of the fall semester.

 Two Political Science Seniors Win Henry Woods Leadership Award

style=Two graduating seniors in the Fulbright College of Arts  and Sciences – Cameron Washington Woods and Autumn Lewis — were recently honored with the annual Henry Woods Student Leadership Award.

The leadership award is named for a former student, Henry Woods, who was heavily involved in campus activities during his time at the University of Arkansas.

“One way for students to make this community their own is to be engaged and take advantage of the opportunities available to them, “ said Danny Pugh, vice provost for student affairs. “Both of these outstanding students recognized and embraced this philosophy during their time as undergraduates at the University of Arkansas.”

Woods, an Arkansas native and a senior political science major also majoring in journalism and African-American studies, received the Henry Woods Student Leadership Award for his work and effort on the University of Arkansas campus. Woods currently serves as president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which under his leadership was named the Outstanding Undergraduate Council by the National NPHC.

“I think a great trait of being a leader is to lift someone as you climb,” said Woods. “As I matriculate, I should be helping others achieve their own goals by challenging their thinking and ensuring that we are all making a positive impact in the community.”

Woods is also a Silas Hunt Scholar and active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, he has received acceptances from three different and prestigious law schools to continue his education after his graduation in May.

Lewis, Associated Student Government chief of staff, was also given the Henry Woods Student Leadership Award for her active role in the University of Arkansas. Along with her ASG position, Lewis also interns in the chancellor’s office, and is the chair of the Volunteer Action Committee Literary Program.

“In all things in life, you get out of them what you put in,” Lewis said. “Once you identify that one thing that is most important to you, put in the long hours to make your dream become a reality.”

Lewis is also an active member in the Chi Omega Sorority and an Honors College Fellow. She will graduate in May with a degree in political science and economics.

Henry Woods was involved in a variety of student organizations and edited the Razorback yearbook during his undergraduate career. Following graduation in 1973 from the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, Woods worked in Washington, D.C., on the staffs of Congressman Bill Alexander, and Senators David Pryor, Dale Bumpers and Blanche Lincoln. Woods strived to advocate and improve the quality of life for Arkansans during his 25 years of civic service at our nation’s capital.

Friends and associates of Henry Woods established the award to honor his lasting impact at the University of Arkansas and the state of Arkansas.

Dr. Angie Maxwell, the Diane D. Blair professor southern studies and assistant professor of political science in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, will be a guest on MSNBC's The Cycle Monday, April 28, 2 pm (CDT).

Dr. Maxwell will discuss her new book, The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness which examines and connects three key 20th-centry moments in which the South was exposed to intense public criticism, identifying in white southerners’ responses a pattern of defensiveness that shaped the region’s political and cultural conservatism.

Maxwell will also be featured author at the Arkansas Literary Festival. Her session is hosted by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and will be held at the school at noon, Friday, April 25.

Dr. Angie Maxwell, assistant professor in Political Science and Diane D. Blair Professor of Southern Studies has a new book The Indicted South, due to publish on April 15 by the University of North Carolina Press. Maxwell received her bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Arkansas in 2000.

By the 1920s, the sectional reconciliation that had seemed achievable after Reconstruction was foundering, and the South was increasingly perceived and portrayed as impoverished, uneducated and backward. In this interdisciplinary study, Maxwell examines and connects three key 20th-century moments in which the South was exposed to intense public criticism, identifying in white southerners' responses a pattern of defensiveness that shaped the region's political and cultural conservatism.

Maxwell exposes the way the perception of regional inferiority confronted all types of southerners, focusing on the 1925 Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee, and the birth of the anti-evolution movement; the publication of I'll Take My Stand and the turn to New Criticism by the Southern Agrarians; and Virginia's campaign of Massive Resistance and Interposition in response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Tracing the effects of media scrutiny and the ridicule that characterized national discourse in each of these cases, Maxwell reveals the reactionary responses that linked modern southern whiteness with anti-elitism, states' rights, fundamentalism, and majoritarianism.

Dr. Patrick Stewart, Associate Professor joined Dr. Erik Bucy from Texas Tech to speak about Russian president Vladimir's body language on Gregg R. Murray, Ph.D., "Caveman Politics" blog on Psychology Today.

How evolution impacts politics Two experts "read" politicians' body language. Can you? About 10% of communication is spoken words. What are politicians' bodies saying? Published on March 20, 2014.

Dr. Angie Maxwell, assistant professor in Political Science and Diane D. Blair professor of Southern Studies has been honored with the 2014 Young Alumni Award.

The University of Arkansas Alumni Association bestows this award on individuals who must be a graduate or former student of the University of Arkansas and who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in career, public service and/or volunteer activities. The award has been in existence since 2000.

Margaret Watermann is a political science, history (honors), French, an Honors College major who is the recipient of the 2014-15 Presidential Scholar. 

Dr. Patrick Stewart, Associate Professor featured in New Republic. Body language experts analyze Vladimir Putin, by Alice Robb.

Patrick Stewart researches politicians' nonverbal communication:  "The decision to give a press conference while sitting in a chair without barriers and at the same height level as the press corps appears to be similar to that of someone who signals his formidability when trying to start a fight by sticking his chin out: It is a subtle indicator that he has nothing to fear."

"Displacement activities—touching the head or face, fidgeting with an item such as a ring or a pen, combing the hands through the hair—tend to indicate a level of stress. Putin touches his nose when discussing the legality of removing the president under Ukrainian law and again when talking about the Paralympics. There were also head scratches."  

Dr. Patrick Stewart
Dr. Stewart presented a chapter of his book project at the University of Central Florida, 2/21/14: Red Tide, Blue Skies, or Purple Reign: Partisan donations during the 2012 Florida, presidential preprimary.

As Republicans and Democrats jockey to select their candidate for upcoming presidential elections, it is the year before the primaries that has the greatest influence on electoral outcomes. Donations during this period indicate the strength of the respective political parties and the geographic partisan strongholds.

In this presentation we consider the geographic distribution of campaign contributions in one of the four major electoral states, Florida. This will give us an overview of the nature of Florida partisanship during the 2012 election, when the Republican party was searching for a viable candidate and the Democratic Party rallied behind President Obama. We will then focus on implications this will have in future elections.



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525 Old Main
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701