The Afrobarometer is a comparative series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, markets, and civil society in Africa.  Having recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, the project has accumulated over 100,000 interviews from 77 surveys in up to 20 countries.  Coordinated by MSU, surveys are implemented by a network of survey research institutions based mainly in Africa.  To date, the project has generated one book, over 30 refereed articles, a dozen book chapters, and over 100 working papers, along with an award (best data set in comparative politics, 2004), from the American Political Science Association. Between 1999 and 2009, the Afrobarometer attracted over $10 million in external funding, including over $7 million in grants directly to MSU.  See

Judicial Politics

The Department’s judicial politics program ranks among the most elite in the nation, as evidenced by a recent study analyzing the number of articles published from 1997 through 2008 in the top four general interest journals in political science (American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Political Research Quarterly). By this measure of outstanding scholarly achievement, the Department’s faculty ranked 8th nationwide.  Faculty who received their Ph.D.s from MSU fared even better, ranking 2nd.

Moreover, this recent study documents that the Department fares exceptionally well with National Science Foundation grants awarded to faculty and graduates. By this standard, MSU faculty ranked 2ndnationwide, and the Department’s graduates ranked 3rd.

In short, the Department’s faculty members in judicial politics / public law are highly skilled in producing top quality scholarship and in training Ph.D. students who go on to have very successful and productive research careers.

Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy/LeFrak Forum

Founded in 1989, The Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy and LeFrak Forum are internationally recognized centers for research and teaching on public policy within the larger framework of political philosophy. Together the Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy and LeFrak Forum sponsor public lectures, international conferences, publication, graduate study, and undergraduate teaching. In 2004 the Symposium and LeFrak Forum were awarded a “We The People” challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.