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About the Department

Chair: Alice Hearst

The Department of Government at Smith College seeks to educate students about the nature and scope of political power, and to place an understanding of that power in its social, cultural and historical context.

Our faculty members, each a committed teacher and scholar, lead wide-ranging and lively conversations about politics and government as it is experienced here in the United States and around the world.

We study public opinion, political development and political economy. We address the concerns of ethnic, racial and political minorities, the role of gender in politics, campaigns and elections, and foreign policy. We examine such fundamental and controversial concepts as justice, democracy, revolution and equality. The depth and breadth of our course offerings reflect Aristotle's claim (which we examine carefully and critically) that the most sovereign and inclusive association is the political association.

We believe the study of politics, like the political association, aims at the highest good, helping each of us to make better sense of the world around us, even as we seek to improve that world for ourselves and for others.