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The PoliSci Newsletter

Women in the House: Political Stories

Boise State Public Radio and the Boise State Women’s Center are presenting, Women in the House: Political Stories.

The event will feature a panel of some of the most influential women from politics who will share some of their inspiring experiences, from their motivations to overcoming adversity.


Kathy Kustra
Jana Kemp
Patricia Kempthorne
Lauren McLean
Cathy Silak
Emily Walton

You’re invited to join us for an engaging evening of storytelling.  Seating is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible.  You may RSVP on the BSU Public Radio website.

Event Information:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Simplot Ballroom: 2nd Floor Student Union Building
Free parking is in the Liberal Arts Lot

This article was originally posted on Boise State Public Radio’s website.

Canada Week 2012

Canadian Maple LeafCanada Week 2012 is March 19 – 21.  Be sure to mark your calendars to join us for the fun!

MONDAY March 19th, 10:00AM-1:15PM
, Students Union Building
Canadian Trivia Contest (with Canadian chocolate bars for all participants!)

MONDAY, MARCH 19th 6:00PM-7:30PM, Barnwell Room of the SUB
Why Sovereignty? Why Quebec has Considered Leaving Canada and Where the Movement Stands Today

Dr. Guy Lachapelle, Professor, Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec

In 1995, the province of Quebec held a referendum on whether to leave Canada and pursue sovereignty. The measure failed but the vote was extremely close — 50.6% voted to remain in Canada while 49.4% were in favor of sovereignty. Professor Lachapelle will address the growth of the sovereignty movement and where it stands today. In doing so he will illuminate for the audience what it means to be francophone in Canada.

TUESDAY MARCH 20th, 6:00PM-7:30PM, Barnwell Room of the SUB
The Keystone XL Pipeline: The Issues Behind Bringing More Canadian Energy Down to the United States

Scott Farris, Director, Government Relations, TransCanada
Moderated by Dr. John Freemuth, Department of Political Science, Boise State University

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline has become a hot political issue. One side argues it will bring much needed energy down from a friendly country and create jobs in the process, while the other side worries about the environmental impact of such a project and contests the benefits that are touted. Scott Farris has been at the forefront of this issue as TransCanada’s Director of Government Relations. He will address the company’s pipeline proposal, its advantages, its drawbacks and the issues that have arisen with it.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21st, 2:30-4:00PM Simplot B Room of the SUB
The New ‘Beyond the Border’ Agreement: Modernizing US-Canada Borders and What it Means for Americans
Dr. Geoffrey Hale, Associate Professor, Political Science, University of Lethbridge

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper signed an extensive bi-national border agreement in December 2011. With $1.6 billion in trade happening every day between Canada and the United States, the “Beyond the Border” agreement seeks to ease trade impediments and implement a more uniform regulatory environment between the two countries while dealing with post 9/11 security concerns. Professor Hale will address the content and importance of the Beyond the Border agreement, explaining what Americans should know and why the agreement is important to understand.


Scholarships applications due March 15

The Political Science department is accepting scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic period.  Information and the application are available in the “scholarships” section of this website.  The deadline for submitting applications is March 15.

Beyond the Blue: Congressional Redistricting: How the Process Works

Reapportionment and redistricting are an integral, and often controversial, component of the American political process. In the “Congressional Redistricting” podcast, Boise State Political Science professor Gary Moncrief discusses the important terminology and theories involved, as well as the history of redistricting in the United States, and how redistricting issues are different in various regions of the country. He also analyzes the difference between having the legislature do the redistricting work and having an independent commission in charge of the task. Utilizing his research and expertise in the field, Dr. Moncrief sheds significant light on a sometimes complicated and contentious part of our political structure.

Read More About Gary Moncrief in Beyond the Blue.

Panel Looks at Climate Change and Policy March 5

The Department of Public Policy and Administration presents the second panel event in its Science-Policy Interaction Series. “Connecting Science to Policy: The Issue of Climate Change” is at 6 p.m. Monday, March 5, in the Student Union Bishop Barnwell Room. This event is free and open to the public.

Three Boise State professors will discuss issues of climate change, including why scientists and policymakers have difficulty communicating on the topic, how policy should be formed based on scientific research, and the impacts on designing cities and informing the public. The panel will include Les Alm, professor of public policy and administration; Jen Pierce, associate professor of geosciences, and Venkataramana Sridhar, assistant professor of civil engineering.

The series explores the role of scientific research in public policymaking, as inspired by the Environmental Research Building on campus (pictured above). In May 2011, the departments of Public Policy and Administration, Political Science, Civil Engineering and Geosciences moved into the building, creating an opportunity to explore the interaction and relationship of their respective disciplines.

For more information, contact Lesley Krone at

Read Panel Looks at Climate Change and Policy March 5 in Update

Redistricting in the West

Idaho has new political boundaries this year. That means you could be voting in a new district come the May primaries. So far the latest map detailing these lines hasn’t been challenged although earlier versions were.  Boise State political science professor Gary Moncrief has watched this process unfold in Idaho over the years. Now he’s the editor of a new book “Reapportionment and Redistricting in the West.”  He told Samantha Wright redistricting happens every ten years and it’s important for a number of reasons.  Listen to the interview on BSU Public Radio.  Monday marked the start of filing for state legislative offices in Idaho.  Find out who has filed here.

This article originally appeared on Boise State Public Radio.

Copyright 2012 BSPR

Ready to Lead event to be held this Saturday

The College of Social Sciences & Public Affairs is among the sponsors for this years Ready to Lead event being held on March 3rd at Concordia Law School in downtown Boise. Professor Gary Moncrief, Political Science will be among the speakers at this years event.  Professor Moncrief will be speaking on the Nuts & Bolts of Government & Political Party Structure.


Ready to Lead is Go Lead Idaho’s 2nd annual leadership development conference focused on empowering and inspiring Idaho women to take on leadership roles in the public, private and non-profit sectors. The event features two tracks, Ready to Serve, for those interested in serving on community, non-profit and business boards and Ready to Run, for those interested in running for office.


Political Science Alumni Group Spring Event!

Make your plans to attend the Political Science Alumni Group Spring Event!


The Political Science Alumni Association of Boise State University invites you to attend a very special event

 When:  Monday, March 19th, 6-8pm

 What:   An Evening with author Scott Farris, “Almost President:  The Men Who Lost the Race but Changed the Nation.”

 Where:  Rediscovered Books and the Grape Escape.

           6pm – Rediscovered Books (180 N. 8th St., Boise) – hear about the “also rans” who lost the election but whose impact on the political landscape may have been greater than the accomplishments of the candidate who won.

 Rediscovered Books will have a limited number of books available after February 24th with an additional shipment (20 copies) arriving on March 14th

           7pm – The Grape Escape (800 W. Idaho St., Boise) – join with other Political Science Alumni Association members and Mr. Farris for some social time and book signing opportunities.

Wampler to give talk in South Africa

Brian Wampler, Department of Political Science, was invited by the the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Johannesburg, South Africa, to give a talk on citizen participation in policymaking.  The talk on March 1 will be given to 300 elected officials and civil society leaders from South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.


Beyond the Blue Podcast: Marriage and the Limits of Modern Political Thought

What is a family?  In the “Marriage and the Limits of Modern Political Thought “podcast, Scott Yenor, Professor and the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Boise State and author of Family Politics: The Idea of Marriage in Modern Political Thought,  discusses how family and marriage are viewed through the prism of political and cultural beliefs. Many modern thinkers see marriage and family life as defined by the principle of consent and are not averse to reforming the family as part of their larger efforts to reform society. Others feel that these modern principles tend to be imperial and to cloud our vision to the detriment of marriage and family life. Consent is not adequate to explain most of the reality of marriage and family life, and there are important limits (including the nature of love and the importance of the body) on our ability to reform this central human institution.  

Listen to Yenor’s Podcast at Beyond the Blue.