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The Political Science Program has recently added the Writing Politics specialization to our curriculum.  The Writing Politics specialization will train students to write serious political analysis for an educated audience outside of the discipline.  This type of political writing, a form of literary journalism or creative non-fiction, can be found in many widely read publications like the New York Review of Books, Harper's, DISSENT Magazine or the New Yorker, or in books of trade.  This specialization, the first of its kind in the political science academy, helps political scientists reach a larger audience and become involved in the public sphere, where diverse sets of ideas and views are shared and debated.

This specialization is composed of two classes: the Writing Politics Seminar and the Writing Politics Workshop.


Peter Beinart

The Political Science Program is pleased to welcome Peter Beinart to our faculty as the anchor of our Writing Politics Specialization:

Peter Beinart is senior political writer at The Daily Beast and a contributor to Time. He is also senior fellow at the New America Foundation. From 1999 to 2006, he served as editor of The New Republic.

His second book, The Icarus Syndrome: How American Triumph Produces American Tragedy (HarperCollins), has been widely reviewed and highly acclaimed. His first book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals – and Only Liberals – Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, was published by HarperCollins in June 2006.

Beinart has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, Slate, Reader’s Digest, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Polity: the Journal of the Northeastern Political Science Studies Association. The Week magazine named him columnist of the year for 2004. He has appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” “Charlie Rose,” “The McLaughlin Group,” “The Colbert Report,” MTV, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and many other television programs.

He graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

Ruth OBrien

Past instructors have included:  

Liza Featherstone
A frequent contributor to The Nation, writing on topics such as labor and student activism.  Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone,, as well as many other newspapers and magazines.  Her latest book, Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart (Basic Books, 2004 ) examines the widespread discrimination and sexism targeting female employees at Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation. 

Andrew Hsiao
Andrew Hsiao is the executive editor of the non-profit publishing house The New Press, and was an editor and staff writer with The Village Voice. He’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Spin, and other publications, and is the author of a deck of cards, Regime Change Begins at Home. He’s been a labor organizer and a board member of groups including CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities and the Asian American Writers Workshop.

Leonard Kriegel
Author of Edmund Wilson, Falling into Life, Flying Solo, Of Men and Manhood, Roughing It, Stories of America, and Stories of the American Experience.  Kriegel's essays and stories have been published in Harper's, The Nation, Best American Essays, and American Scholar and he has received many grants and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an O'Henry Award.

Micah L. Sifry
A senior analyst with Public Campaign, a non-profit, non-partisan organization working on comprehensive campaign finance reform. Prior to joining Public Campaign in 1997, Sifry was an editor and writer with The Nation magazine for thirteen years. He is the author of Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America (Routledge, 2002) and co-edited The Iraq War Reader (Touchstone, 2003) and The Gulf War Reader (Times Books, 1991). He has also published articles and op-eds in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, The American Prospect, The Hill,,, and many smaller papers and magazines. His latest book, co-authored with Nancy Watzman, on how money in politics affects people in their everyday lives, is titled Is That a Politician in Your Pocket? (John Wiley & Sons, 2004). He is a founding member of the CUNY Graduate Center Independent Politics Group, and a co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum.

In addition, the department offers the Speaker Series, which gives students further exposure to political writing.