2023-2024 Pomona College Catalog 
    Sep 23, 2023  
2023-2024 Pomona College Catalog


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Associate Professor Amanda Hollis-Brusky, department chair

Professors McWilliams Barndt, Englebert, Hollis-Brusky, Menefee-Libey, Seery, Williams2
Associate Professors Boduszynski, Haddad3, Le
Assistant Professors Dobbs, Sadhwani2
Visiting Assistant Professors Diament, Ziff
Visiting Instructor Engelsma
Evelyn Khalili, academic coordinator


Aristotle wrote that politics is both the most comprehensive and most ennobling of disciplines. It is the most comprehensive because it contemplates the basic questions of power, conflict and structure that underlie all human experience; it is the most ennobling because it points us toward the highest ends of human life, including equality, freedom and justice.

In practice, politics is the art and the rough-and-tumble of diverse persons, groups and organizations attempting to live together in civil society. As an academic discipline, politics is equally challenging and provocative. It demands that we grapple with fundamental questions: How are we to act as citizens? Who is included in, and excluded from, public life? What is power, who has it, and how does it work? How do people and groups develop and struggle over institutions, governments and policies in pursuit of their interests and values? How do governments and other institutions actually function in the United States, other countries and internationally? What values inform, or should inform, political action? What forces shape and constrain change?

At Pomona, the politics curriculum is organized around four subfields: political theory, American politics, comparative politics and international relations. We encourage our students to take a pluralistic approach to their studies: to take courses in each subfield, study politics from a variety of perspectives and use a variety of rigorous methods. As befits a discipline that is both essential and extensive, our graduates have gone on to noteworthy careers in fields including (but not limited to) organizational leadership, social change advocacy, electoral politics, policymaking, law, journalism, education, finance and medicine.

Politics courses are numbered as follows: single-digit courses are introductory; double-digit courses are specialized but usually do not have prerequisites; triple-digit courses are advanced and may have pre-requisites. Courses are clustered by subfield: political theory (1, 2, 10s, 20s, 110s and 120s), American politics (3, 4, 30s, 40s, 130s and 140s), comparative politics (5, 6, 50s, 60s, 150s and 160s), international relations (7, 8, 70s, 80s with the exception of 89, 170s and 180s with the exception of 189) and special courses (90s and 190s). Courses numbered 89 and 189 are one-time course offerings; the subfields of those courses vary.”


1On leave Fall 2023 2On leave Spring 2024 3On leave 2023-24

Related Program

Washington Semester Program. The Claremont McKenna College Washington Semester Program is open to students from all The Claremont Colleges. Offered every semester, it provides an opportunity for first-hand study of American national politics.



Read more about our learning objectives:

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