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BU Political Science Department ranks 19th in world

By : Sarah Lifshin

As the United States prepares for the upcoming presidential election, Binghamton University’s Political Science Department has been marked as a leader in preparing the world’s future political leaders.

The department has been named 19th leading political science department in the world based on the number of scholarly publications in scientific journals, according to a published report by the London School of Economics and Political Science, released in January.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Patrick Regan, professor and director of graduate studies in the political science department. “What they are pointing out is that you can be a good department and not have a large faculty. This really makes Binghamton University stand out among the other leading academic institutions in the world.”

The report, which also ranks schools on a five-year rolling average, uses the content and quantity of publications in scientific journals to determine the rankings. More than 200 academic institutions worldwide were part of the ranking.

Binghamton’s current ranking proves that the department has improved throughout the past decade, while the number of faculty in the department has decreased. The University ranked 21st over the five-year period from 1997-2001 and 117th based on the five-year average between 1993-1997.

In the current ranking, Binghamton tied with Australian National University and the University of Oxford. Columbia University’s political science department ranked first, followed by Harvard University second and Stanford University at third.

Two main methods have been used to rank the colleges and universities — the importance of the placement of a department’s publications and the number of publications. The ranks were produced by measuring the research output of institutions in the main journals in the field in a given period and controlling for the number of full-time staff in the department.

With the small size of the department, Regan said the ranking is an accomplishment since it means that the faculty regularly produces high-quality publications. “We might be the smallest-size faculty for a PhD granting department,” he said. “What this study tells us is that we are also maintaining a high standard that is recognized by our intellectual community.”

Regan credited the publications by the department’s faculty for helping it receive the prestigious ranking. Among recent publications in top journals are “Insider-Outsider Politics in Industrialized Democracies: the Challenge to Social Democratic Parties,” by David Rueda, which will appear in a forthcoming American Political Science Review.

Other publications include, “The Sum of the Parts Can Violate the Whole,” by Donald G. Saari and Katri K. Sieberg, which appeared in American Science Political Review, along with Regan’s “Choosing to Intervene: Outside Interventions into Internal Conflicts as a Policy Choice,” which appeared in the Journal of Politics.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08