Honors Program

The Government and International Affairs honors program is designed for students who wish to accept academic challenges that go well beyond those required for graduation. It is an opportunity for students — especially those preparing for graduate school — to hone their critical thinking skills, achieve a fuller appreciation of political life, and familiarize themselves with a body of scholarly literature. Since the challenge is significant, it is appropriate for those who undertake it to be honored. Recognition of honors will appear in the commencement booklet and on students’ transcripts.

Students in the honors track are required to take 39 credits in Government, and must complete both Government 390 (Research Seminar) and Government 391 (Honors Seminar) with an A average. During the Research Seminar, students will design a thesis project, conduct research, and construct a comprehensive outline. During the Honors Seminar, students will write the thesis and present their results in a public defense before the Government Department faculty.

A full description and application form (.pdf) are available.

Recent Honors Projects

Students in the honors program have diverse interests, as shown by the following list of honors projects, either recently completed or in progress:

  • Challenges and Changes:  The Adaptability of the Scandinavian Welfare System
  • Speech, Inc.?  An Examination of Citizens United v. FEC
  • The Millenial Generation Tax Code:  A Proposal for a More Practical and Ethical Tax Code
  • Exploring "Waste Management" Techniques in Sustainable Development Policy:  A Case Study in Sioux Falls, SD
  • The Question of Felon Disenfranchisement:  Challenges to the Purity of the Ballot Box
  • Mediated Progress:  The Evolution of Racism in Cuba from Cane to Castro
  • Extending European Unity:  The Europeanization and Stabilization of the Former Yugoslavia
  • The FiIlibuster:  Antiquated or Fundamental?
  • Islam and Democracy: Sources of Compatibility and Lessons from the Early United States
  • In the Expanding Shadow of the Dragon:  China's Subtle Soft-Power Expansion
  • The Practical and Philosophical Wisdom of Good Humor
  • The Tale of Two Battlefields:  Northern Ireland and Chiapas, Mexico:  Lessons from Two Modern Conflicts
  • Too much Democracy:  Can 'We the People' Really Create a More Perfect Union?
  • How I Learned to Really Love the Bomb
  • The Long Forgotten War:  How the Cold War Policies of the Iran-Iraq War Affected the Middle East
  • Hugo Chavez:  An Emerging Dictator?
  • Leftward Bound:  The Life of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution
  • Ancient East Meets Modern West:  The War on Terror, Through the Eyes of Sun Tzu
  • The Perfect Enemy: Katrina Sheds Light on Poverty in America
  • Guilty until Proven Innocent: DNA Technology Reveals the Systematic Flaws in the Criminal Justice System
  • A Threat to Justice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere: The Slave Trade of the 21st Century
  • Immigration: A National Crisis
  • Has the Prospect of Military Humanitarian Intervention by the United States Come to an End? An In-Depth Look at the Answer in Light of the Darfur Conflict
  • The Court Unveiled
  • Ordinary Virtues
  • (Mis)Shaping Africa: The United States and the Berlin Conference of 1884
  • A Look at Griswold v. Connecticut and America
  • The Faith of the Left: The Clinton Model of Religious Rhetoric for Democratic Candidates
  • Answering the Silent Screams: The Abuse of Liberty in an Unaccountable Society
  • Dancing with the Dragon: A U.S. Policy Proposal Towards Taiwan.
  • Video Lottery and Tribal Gaming in South Dakota.
  • Ancient East Meets Modern West: The War on Terror Through the Eyes of Sun Tzu

For more information, please contact Dr. Joel Johnson at joel.johnson@augie.edu.