The Government Department Honors Program provides qualified undergraduates with an opportunity to complete independent research under the supervision of members of the Department.

Applying to the Honors Program

Participants define and analyze a specific issue or hypothesis in the field of political science and write a thesis. The Program is completed within the framework of a three-course sequence during the senior year: Government 97 (fall), and Government 98 (winter) and Government 99 (spring). Government 97 will count as a seminar level course and 98 as a midlevel. Government 99 is required to complete the program but will not count toward the Government major or minor. Students meet weekly with the Directors of the Honors Program at the 3B hour during the fall term. Students also meet regularly with individual thesis advisors at times convenient to both.

If you are considering applying to next year's Honors Program, this is the ideal time to start thinking ahead about a thesis topic and advisor. It's also important to remember that a seminar must be completed before enrolling in the Honors Program. If you have an interest in pursuing the Honors Program, please review the informational materials and the application above. For additional information on writing an Honors thesis, feel free to talk with the co-directors of the Honors Program, Lisa Baldez and Benjamin Valentino, or any of the Government faculty.


Honors Students and Their Advisors

Program Directors

  • John Carey
  • Benjamin Valentino

Carter E. Brace

  • Title: "The Wage-Centric Life and its Discontents"
  • Advisor: Lucas Swaine

Dominic D. Carrese

  • Title: "Wilderness Subjugation in American Political Thought: The Dilemma of Technology”
  • Advisor: Russ Muirhead

John A. Davidson

  • Title: "Continental Chess Match: The NATO-Russia Airpower Balance over the Baltic States"
  • Advisor: Daryl Press

Jaclyn R. Eagle

  • Title: “Explaining Wartime Sexual Violence: Cross National Evidence Contradicts Common Beliefs”
  • Advisor: Benjamin Valentino

Jacob Gordon

  • Title: "Do Voters Like Choice?: The Impact of Electoral Complexity on Satisfaction with Democracy"
  • Advisor: Dean Lacy

Joshua L. Kauderer

  • Title: “'War By Other Means:' Russian Interference in Great Power Politics"
  • Advisor: William Wohlforth

Drew N. Leonard

  • Title: "The Persuasive Effects of Information Operations: Analyzing Russia's 2014-17 Disinformation Campaign"
  • Advisor: Sean Westwood

Alexander W. Petros

  • Title: "Live and Let Spy: Why Rival States Cooperate to Preserve Espionage in Outer Space, Cyberspace, and the Open Skies"
  • Advisor: William Wohlforth

Priya Sankar

  • Title: "Redefining the Fourth Amendment’s Protection of Privacy – What is a “Search or Seizure” in the Age of Technology?"
  • Advisor: Sonu Bedi

Ryan E. Spector

  • Title: "From Exile to Enemy: Dispersion as a Cause of Refugee Militarization"
  • Advisor: Jeffrey Friedman

Samantha M. Stern

  • Title: "The Accidental Terrorist: Examining the Structural and Individual Causes of Jihadist Homegrown Violent Extremism in the West"
  • Advisor: Benjamin Valentino