Note from the Chair
Illinois Wesleyan University's Department of Political Science and our Pi Sigma Alpha
Chapter are pleased to publish Volume III of Res Publica, a journal of original undergraduate research. Paper nominations require a faculty
sponsor from within the Department. The Editorial Board selects, from among the nominations,
those which appear to make the most substantive contributions to the discipline.
This publication reflects the department's increasing emphasis upon developing students'
analytical and research skills. We have made great strides toward these ends in recent
years by restructuring our curriculum generally, and Research Methods and Senior Seminar,
in particular. The latter course, for example, requires all students to apply what
they learned in Methods by completing an original research project. The research design
and final product are publicly presented to their classroom peers for evaluation and
Other important indicators of the development of research skills include student participation
in professional conferences and collaborative work with department faculty. In recent
years, for example, students have participated in a wide variety of regional and local
political science meetings. This year, two students have presented their work in professional
forums. These include Angela Burnette (Midwest Political Science Association) and
Meg Bergin (The John Wesley Powell Research Conference). We are pleased with our recent
progress and look forward to the continued development of an outstanding and innovative
undergraduate political science program.
The Department wishes to dedicate this volume of Res Publica to Dr. Robert Leh, a retiring member who has made significant contributions to the
program and the University at large for over thirty years. We will all greatly miss
his gregarious nature, unparalleled dedication to students and encyclopedic knowledge
of politics and history.
Now in its third year of publication, Res Publica has come into its own. As co editors, we are very pleased with the high caliber of
this year's submissions and the diverse range of subject matter. As the department
has grown in strength and depth, so has the quality of student work. We believe these
developments are reflected in Volume III. Papers ranged in topic from American to
comparative and addressed both theoretical and empirical questions.
This year's volume also diverges from past issues by including a section aimed at
helping students prepare for life after graduation. Matt Sebek discusses his experiences
seeking employment in public policy in the Washington D.C. area. Angela Burnette and
Jarod Bona, in addition to editing responsibilities, also contributed sections on
preparing for graduate school and law school, respectively.
As graduating seniors, working to produce Res Publica has been the last of many challenging and rewarding academic endeavors during our
undergraduate careers. We hope, on behalf of ourselves and all of the contributors,
that the vast amount of time and effort invested in this volume will inspire future
Wesleyan students to continue the legacy of Res Publica.
Jarod Bona and Angela Burnette
Editors in Chief