+ Research and Honors – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha is the national Political Science Honor Society. It has chapters in approved colleges and universities. Hobart and William Smith applied to start a local chapter and our request was granted in 1999.

Each spring we induct political science majors who meet the academic criteria. Those inducted in their junior year must have a 3.7 grade point average, while the gpa for senior inductees is 3.5. National rules require that inducted students have had six political science classes.

National Chapter information is available here.

Research Projects

Some of our Political Science majors choose to complete an Honors project on a topic of their interest. Most or all of the work associated with an Honors project is done in the senior year, though it may be begun earlier, and culminates in a research or critical paper or its counterpart in the creative arts.

Here’s a recent sampling of honors projects completed by Political Science majors:

  • Isaac DuBois ’19: “Hauntology, Depressed Subjectivity, and the Politics of Hope,”
    Paul Passavant, Adviser
  • Pamela Icyeza ’19: “Sino-African Relations: Evaluating China’s Second Engagement with Africa Using Neocolonialism and Neopatrimonialism Frameworks”
    Kevin Dunn, Adviser
  • Elizabeth Dieter ’18: “Control, Negotiation, Sousveillance: Control Societies, Afro-Pessimism, and #BlackLivesMatter”
    Paul Passavant, Adviser