Purpose: To support teaching and research on the undergraduate level, the graduate level through the Ph.D., and post-doctoral and faculty research. The Political Science Department offers three undergraduate tracks: general political science, pre-law, and global politics. The terminal M.A. is in political science with an emphasis on global justice and security studies (the program is also a graduate certificate program). Ph.D. students' Preliminary Examination Fields include American Institutions and Processes, Comparative and International Politics, and Public Policy and Public Administration. Methodology is emphasized at all levels. The department also is the locus of the Criminal Justice Program, offering courses of study leading to the BA, MA, and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice (see separate Collection Development Policy).
While the primary interest in these fields is centered in the Political Science Department itself, faculty and students in other university departments and colleges such as Sociology, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Communications, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Economics, and Business have specific and overlapping interests in one or more areas of political science. The trend toward studying the relationship of political science to the above allied disciplines has resulted in the extension of the discipline's traditional fields into further subdivisions such as: political geography, political anthropology, political psychology, political sociology, and political economics. Thus, there are a number of courses such as social science research methodology, statistics and quantitative analysis, law, diplomacy, theory, development politics, media politics, gender politics, environmental politics, and policy analysis which are shared by all social science disciplines and are served by the same library resources.
The programs and classes of the Political Science Department are enhanced by relationships with three research units: the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy & Public Service (the Foley Institute), the Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS), and the Institute for the Study of Intercommunal Conflict (ISIC). The Foley Institute was established at Washington State University in 1995. The mission of the Institute is to foster Congressional studies, civic education, public service, and public policy research in a non-partisan, cross disciplinary setting. DGSS extends the resources represented in the department's teaching and research personnel beyond the classroom and into public service. ISIC promotes research and outreach activities that provide an understanding of the causes, escalation pathways, and consequences of intercommunal conflicts, as well as their resolution.General Collection Guidelines:
- Languages: English is the most commonly collected language. Materials in German, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian and selected other European languages may be purchased for some aspects of comparative government, international politics and organization and political theory. The intensity of collection in these languages should roughly reflect the geographical divisions inherent in the field and the departmental emphasis on specific areas or countries. Works published in other languages are ordinarily purchased in English translation only, except for official publications (Government Documents) which are purchased regardless of language, if appropriate.
- Chronological Guidelines: Emphasis is on contemporary affairs. Certain areas such as political theory, comparative government, and international politics may require acquisition of resources dealing with earlier periods.
- Geographical Guidelines: There is a strong emphasis on American government and politics from the national to the local level. Strong interests also exist for Western Europe and Latin America. The department’s emphasis on comparative and global politics requires a broad geographic perspective.
- Treatment of the Subject: Juvenile materials and introductory texts are not ordinarily purchased. Upper level texts and popular materials are purchased on a selective basis. Biographies of political figures are collected broadly.
- Types of Material: Most materials acquired are in the form of reference works, bibliographic databases, media, monographs and periodicals. Materials may be in print or electronic format. Publications of official local, national and international bodies are collected. Proceedings of conferences and congresses, society transactions and reports, statistical compendia, directories, and handbooks are of importance. Microform material are very selectively purchased for primary source material that is either unavailable or too expensive in print form, such as the papers of important political figures, political parties, government documents, periodical backfiles, etc. Machine-readable datasets are made available through the Libraries' membership in ICPSR (The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research).
- Date of Publication: The emphasis is on current materials. No preference is given to original printings over reprints in retrospective buying.
- Other General Considerations: Political Science students and faculty also have at their disposal the primary resources located in the Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections division and the vast array of non-print materials available through the Media Materials collection. The Libraries' membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance allows WSU students, faculty and staff to borrow books from 35 other academic libraries through the Summit WorldCat online catalog; the broader WorldCat system allows easy discovery and interlibrary loan of items not available through WSU or Summit. In addition, the University's reciprocal agreement with the University of Idaho enables faculty, staff and students to make use of their Law Library and their main library.