Theory at UNC

The political theory program at UNC is small but vibrant, with four core faculty in the department, and several more faculty with strong political theory interests in other UNC departments.  We aim to admit two graduate students a year in political theory; with 10 to 15 students altogether in the program at any one time, our graduate courses are small, and our students get the attention they need from the faculty. Yet the political community here is large enough to sustain a lively intellectual environment. Political theory students must take at least four political theory courses, and one relevant course in a different department; a language is required if it is germane to the dissertation.  Statistical methods are optional for theory students. The full requirements for the degree can be found here.

The Political Theory Workshop brings in four or five political theorists each year. The speaker’s paper is circulated beforehand, and a small gathering of graduate students and faculty discuss the paper with the author. Graduate students also have a separate meeting with each speaker.

In addition to myself, other political theorists in the Department include Susan Bickford, Steve Leonard,  Mike Lienesch and Hollie Mann. Political theory often moves beyond disciplinary boundaries, and other UNC faculty with strong theory interests include Inger Brodey in Comparative Literature, Maxine Eichner in the Law School,John McGowan in English, and Andy Perrin in Sociology. All are participants in the political theory community here at UNC.