The Government and International Politics bachelor's degree at George Mason University's Schar School offers students the opportunity to tailor their studies and pursue a concentration within their major.
The Schar School offers the following concentrations within this major:
American Institutions and Processes
Study the branches, agencies, and institutions in the American system of government. This subfield provides concrete information on the institutions, those who operate in them, and those who try to affect them. Think of this as studying the boxes of government, including what goes into them, what comes out of them, and how they’re all connected.
This subfield focuses on government in other nations and leverages the analytical advantages of studying units of government in comparison to one another. This field examines specific forms of government in and in-depth manner, but also seeks to understand government systems, international systems, and apply techniques to understand them all better by making targeted comparisons.
International Political Economy
This subfield marries a focus on political institutions with an understanding of economic systems to better understand both. Government and economics are natural cousins and work in conjunction with one other. This subfield helps us understand these intricacies, and answer questions about economics with an appreciation for the institutions in which they operate (and vice versa).
This subfield is focused on the relationships between state actors (other governments, countries, or international entities). Governments interact with one another in a variety of ways in the modern world (e.g., trade, war, treaties, agreements, human rights, etc.) and this subfield helps us understand these interactions.
Law, Philosophy, and Governance
This subfield explores the basis for government and its foundational roots. Providing an entrée into the philosophical purpose for humans to form governments and the constraints and implications of doing so, this subfield explores the logic, history, and means by which people create governments.
This subfield arms students with the tools necessary to study politics and government from an analytical perspective. Using sophisticated and cutting edge technology, methodology, and techniques, students gain hands-on experience with specific platforms that can be applied to a variety of political questions and problems.
Political Behavior and Identity Politics
This subfield explores the various ways in which people participate in politics and the many barriers we face to participation. Exploring both the means by which people contribute to formal and informal politics and policy making, and the realities that not all people have equal means to do so, this subfield provides historical, philosophical, and practical background on these challenges.
Public Policy and Administration
This subfield focuses on the specific means and challenges associated with creating and implementing a public policy. By examining the processes and institutions at the ground level of policy formation, this subfield uses an applied approach to understanding the generation and maintenance of public policy from the local to international levels.
In addition to the above list of opportunities, students majoring in Government and International Politics may also pursue a unique cross-disciplinary concentration in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). This concentration program is jointly hosted by the Department of Philosophy, Department of Economics, and the Schar School.