Prof. Will McGuire To Join Taiwan Delegation

Professor Will McGuire will be joining an academic delegation to Taiwan this summer organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Will’s participation in this high-level delegation is the result of an invitation from the Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle. The trip brings American scholars of Taiwan or Mainland China together with Taiwanese government officials and scholars. This year’s delegation includes American academics from Harvard University, UCLA, Emory University, Brigham Young University, the US Air Force Academy, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the Jamestown Foundation. It begins July 15th and ends July 21st.
Professor McGuire will be sharing his experiences in Taiwan during an upcoming Travel Talk organized by World Affairs Council Tacoma on November 15th.  The event will at held at Tacoma Community College from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Bowling and McMinimee To Discuss Constitutional Rights in Criminal System

Nate Bowling

This Tuesday evening, Prof. Shannon McMinimee and Lincoln High School’s Nate Bowling (Washington State Teacher of the Year, and National Teacher of the Year finalist) will lead the discussion “Beyond Law and Order: Understanding Your Rights in the Criminal Justice System.”  Designed for both high school and UWT students, the conversation will focus on individuals’ constitutional rights from initial interactions with police through a trial.

Date and Time:  April 25th 6:30 p.m.

Location:  UWT’s Science 309

Shannon McMinime

Mr. Bowling teaches AP Government and Politics and AP Human Geography at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School.  He is a 2016 National Teacher of the Year Finalist, as well as a 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year.  In 2014 he won the Milken National Teaching Award; he is also the Co-Founder of Teachers United.  Prof. McMinimee is an attorney specializing in school and employment law, providing her clients with guidance on their Constitutional rights and liberties.  She represented the Seattle School District before the United States Supreme Court.  She teaches Constitutional Law at UWT this quarter.

Professor Sarah Hampson Publishes New Book “The Balance Gap”

Assistant Professor of Public Law Sarah Hampson’s new book is fresh off the press. Published by Stanford Press, The Balance Gap contrasts the way that “family friendly” policies and laws play out in the university versus the military. Prof. Hampson does this by tracing the paths of individual women to examine how they understand and make use of work/life balance laws and policies.

Prof. Hampson research leads her to some surprising conclusions. She argues that the growing trend toward family-friendly policies are “only a Band-Aid for what really afflicts American women in the workplace—a culture that expects them to be both ideal caregivers and ideal workers. Not only do work/life balance policies such as paid family leave not address this expectation head-on, they can actually serve to reinforce these cultural expectations.”

Sarah’s book is now available online or in bookstores like the UWT Bookstore.  You can also read her recent opinion piece on paid family leave.  Keep an eye out for an upcoming event to celebrate Sarah’s milestone.


PP&E Students Showcase Experience at Regional Meeting

On Thursday December 1st, two students and military veterans, Paul Howell and Joshua Rios, accompanied Professor Ben Meiches to Evergreen State College to participate in a discussion on The Rise of Drone Warfare and the Social Transformation of War. Led by Evergreen professor Steve Niva, Joshua and Paul related stories about their encounters with drones as service members and as Politics, Philosophy, and Economics majors studying armed conflict. The presentation and Q&A were conducted with an Evergreen class studying the transformation of war over the past few decades. The event was a tremendous success, bringing together students’ personal experience, their critical thinking, and academic skills into a collaborative project with another regional institution.
The sessions with Evergreen students brought a number of pressing issues to the fore, including the future of armed conflict, the pressures and ethical questions that face contemporary service members, and the impact of technology on the business of soldiering. The event showcased the strength of PPE students as both scholars and community members. Evergreen students posed rich, engaging questions in a fantastic dialogue which hopefully sets the stage for future collaboration about major political issues moving forward.

Is Voting for a Third Party a Wasted Vote?

Are you considering voting for a third party candidate in the 2016 Presidential election, but aren’t sure if its the right choice to make? Come listen to seasoned debaters take on the topic.  Members of the Pacific Lutheran University Speech and Debate team will partner with local policy experts, including our own Prof. Ben Meiches (left) to publicly debate the question “Is a vote for a third party a wasted vote?” on. Oct. 4.

Democratic Communication Specialist Aaron Sherman and student debater Mariah Collier will speak for the yes side of that proposition, while Prof. Meiches and student debater Tate Adams, will argue for the no side.

“I think that the viability of a third-party vote is one of the most important problems that we face, as Americans, in the context of this upcoming election,” Adams said. Prof. Meiches commented that he is “looking forward to this opportunity since the debate format encourages members of the audience to participate.  We rarely get the opportunity to openly discuss different strategies of voting and party support in this kind of competitive, but inclusive forum.”

Event Details:  7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 at Eastvold, Karen Hille Phillips, Pacific Lutheran University.  Admission is free, and the program also will be streamed live online via

Postscript:  Read about the debate in the News Tribune!

Introducing New Assistant Professor Justin Beaudoin

New faculty member Justijustinn Beaudoin is coming to PPPA from Colgate University, where he spent the 2015-16 academic year as a visiting faculty member after completing his PhD at the University of California, Davis in 2015. Justin obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of British Columbia. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies at UC Davis, he worked for two years as an economic consultant in Toronto, Canada, with an emphasis on projects relating to transportation issues for the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments.

Justin’s research primarily focuses on regional economic issues related to transportation and the environment. His dissertation focused on evaluating the effect of public transit investments on traffic congestion and air quality. One theme of this line of research is how public infrastructure investment decisions are affected by other related government policies and regulations that are in place. In the future, Justin plans to continue researching transportation and the associated environmental aspects, while also integrating other urban economic issues such as housing markets and land-use effects. Justin is particularly excited about UWT’s role as an urban-serving university and the potential for integrating his research with questions of interest to local residents and policymakers.

Founding Faculty Member Rob Crawford Retires

By David Morris (Emeritus Professor)

IMG_20160603_202601I’m sure that legions of students hold Rob Crawford in the highest regard as a teacher whose dedication to their learning was truly remarkable. Rob put an enormous amount of time and energy into making his classes work. He did not shy away from assigning difficult reading and holding students accountable for making a good faith effort to confront tough political, philosophical and moral questions. As a scholar, Rob produced innovative and influential work on the politics and philosophy of health care delivery. He helped show that the definition of “health” is a contested one, often grounded not in simple biological measures but in the arena of conflicting and changing cultural values.

In addition to being one of 13 faculty members who started UWT in 1990, here are some
less well-known facts about Rob. As a track star in IMG_20160603_190156high school he was a member of mile-relay team which for a time held the national record. When he graduated from college he rode a motorcycle from California to Illinois to attend graduate school at the University of Chicago. He taught for a while at Chicago State University, a school located in the heart of the South Side with a predominantly African-American student body. As an avid backpacker Rob has made several IMG_20160603_191534excursions into the Grand Canyon and has multiple times camped solo in off-trail sites on Mt. Rainier. For the last fifteen years, Rob has pursued his love of jazz by taking piano lessons from a well-known musician in Seattle. (I can attest to the fact that Rob’s pretty darn good.)
It is privilege for me to have been a friend and colleague of Rob’s over the last 26 years. He is a deeply reflective, generous-spirited, conscientious man–who is also a lot of fun to be around.
More about Rob can be found in this feature article from two years ago.  We’ll miss him, and wish him the best in his next adventure.

Learning the Middle East from Japanese Scholars


Turan Kayaoglu, Associate Professor of International Relations, PPPA

On March 18, 2016, I chaired a side-event panel in New York during CSW60—the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The panel’s title was “Women’s Social Lives and Changing Values in the Middle East: Beyond the Framework of Religion, Culture, and Tradition.” Organized by the Tokyo-based Turkey-Japan Cultural Dialog Society and the New York-based Peace Islands Institute, the panel featured three ethnically Japanese scholars affiliated with Japanese universities. These scholars had much insight to offer about the Middle East; they also had many astute observations about the process of studying the Middle East.

The dominant view in the US public sphere is that, grounded in Islam, Middle Eastern values are fairly stable and uniformly hostile on the subject of women’s lives and rights. This view both neglects how the socio-economic and politics status of Middle Eastern women has experienced dramatic changes and ignores the voice and agency of women in these changes. Focusing on women’s voices and agency, the panelists discussed examples from three issue areas and countries across the Middle East: religious reinterpretation in Egypt, reconstruction of the notion of honor (namus) in Turkey, and political participation during and after the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Continue reading

New faculty joining PPPA this fall: Ben Meiches


Meiches Portrait StyleI recently completed my doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Political Science and International Relations. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on armed conflict, humanitarian intervention, and mass atrocities. My current work investigates the historical development of the concept of genocide as part of international law and explores how the word ‘genocide’ gets used in contemporary humanitarian politics. Beyond international relations, I am also interested in political theory, philosophy and complexity theory. I believe strongly in the importance of learning about political problems from a variety of different sources, methods and resources. In my classes, I encourage my students to experiment with ideas and to think about issues from a number of angles. During the coming year, I will be teaching Introduction to International Politics, Theories of Violence, Human Rights and the Use of Force among other courses.  I am very excited to join the UW-T community.