By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities will present the 2011 Bale Boone Symposium in the Humanities Oct. 10-12 on the topic of religion. The free public symposium, "Religion in the 21st Century," will give the public an opportunity to explore the connections between religion and such topics as history, science and politics.            

Three presentations on religion are scheduled for the 2011 Bale Boone Symposium. The event will open with the session "Are Faith and History Compatible?" featuring speakers Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Professor at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and David G. Hunter, Cottrill-Rolfes Chair of


by Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences has chosen the following professors as new department chairs: associate professor Deborah Crooks, Department of Anthropology; associate professor Jeff Clymer, Department


Given the appalling consequences of civil wars, why are the competing actors within a state unable to come to a settlement to avoid the costs of conflict? How might external parties affect the likelihood that a civil war begins? How do their actions affect the duration and outcome of civil conflicts that are already underway? How International Relations Affect Civil Conflict draws on three main approaches—bargaining theory, signaling theory, and rational expectations—to examine how external actors might affect the onset, duration and outcome of civil wars.

Signals from external actors are important because they represent a potential increase (or decrease) in fighting capabilities for the government or the opposition if a war were to begin. Costly signals should not affect the probability of civil war onset because they are readily observable ex ante, which


UK professor of Political Science Mark Peffley's most recent publication, "Justice in America: The Separate Realities of Blacks and Whites" was awarded the Robert Lane Award from the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Association. Available from Cambridge University Press, the book is co-authored by Professor Jon Hurwtiz of the University of Pittsburgh.

Peffley & Hurwitz's research uses innovative survey experiments to uncover how whites and blacks formulate and use their widely differing views of the fairness of the


Richard Waterman, professor in the Department of Political Science, has penned a novel entitled "The Oracle: The Succession War." The novel is a science-fiction take on politics, ambition, and the complex relationships that arise in the context of


The University of Kentucky Arts Administration Program is issuing a call for proposals for the Social Theory, Politics and the Arts (STPA) Conference to be held Oct. 13-15 at the university. The theme of the conference is "


Thanks to the University of Kentucky Women and Philanthropy Network, three students will be traveling to South Africa this summer. Krista Osmundson, Joseph Mann, and Zach Rose will travel to Capetown May 18 for a two-month study and work abroad trip. The journey marks the culmination of UK Arts & Sciences year-long initiative with South Africa.

While in Capetown, the students will intern at various non-governmental organizations and bring their skills and assets to the South African organizations. They will also take a course on South African politics and history in


If you want to improve quality of life in the world or the Commonwealth, quantitative policy research at the University of Kentucky is a great place to start, according to political science professor Mark Peffley.   Want to delve further? See UK's 

Ph.D. Student

by Stephanie Lang

On the evening news, it is not uncommon to see polls charting public opinion on a variety of topics. The number of polls tends to spike around presidential elections, especially with topics surrounding approval ratings, national issues, and the economy. The degree of voter anger, angst, or contentment prominently posted in the polls is often a barometer of the larger political climate. And as you can imagine, those polls and resulting nightly news conversations can spark heated, informative, and oddly entertaining debates on the state of national politics.

But what trends can be found in poll numbers gathered in an increasingly media-saturated world? How do these poll numbers and nightly news conversations, for example, impact the way voters respond in presidential elections and how do voters react to pressing issues such as



Justin Wedeking's research shows following the norm can be detrimental to success in the Supreme Court  

By Rebekah Tilley
photos by Mark Cornelison

When it comes to complex legal issues before the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s all about how you look at it. And as Dr. Justin Wedeking discovered, a fresh approach usually results in a winning case.

In an article that will be published later this year in the prestigiousAmerican Journal of Political Science, the associate professor in the UK Department of Political Science found that when petitioners emphasized alternative ways of arguing about an issue before the Supreme Court, they


The recent presidential election not only captivated the nation, but also opened up a whole new dialogue on politics.The sense of excitement surrounding the election mobilized the younger generations, who in turn supported their candidate by using social networking and video sharing sites and in some cases hitting the campaign trail.

This increase in participation was also noted by UK political science alum Paul Brewer. Currently an associate professor and chair of the

Madison Young

Political Science Senior

by Lisa L. Beeler

Madison Lee Young, a junior in political science, bled blue before she even moved to UK from Ft. Lauderdale, FL her freshman year of college. Her father played football at UK from 1977 - 1981. He shared a dorm with UK’s current assistant football coach, Chuck Smith. Young was bred to love UK. “When I was born, I didn’t have a normal mobile over my crib. Instead, my mobile was made of tiny UK wildcats,” said Young.

Young is currently studying for the law school entrance exam and will be applying to law schools soon. She was recently invited to take part in an internship in Washington, D.C. this summer at The Washington Center. She will be interning at America’s Most Wanted in Washington, D.C..

Young graduated from the Citizens’ Police Academy last year and it sparked her interests in working

Political Science Ph.D. Student

by Rebekah Tilley

Third-year political science graduate student Jonathan Powell is an early riser. By 6:30 each morning the Kentucky native is usually hiking up to Patterson Office Tower to start his day. Yet political science professor Dr. Daniel Morey always manages to beat him there.

“Dan is literally here at 5:00 AM every day. When I’m walking up I can see where his office is and the light’s always on. One day I hope I’ll be here before him but it’s probably never going to happen,” Powell said, shaking his head.

The hard working habits of both professor and student paid off recently when Powell’s paper titled “Determinants of the Occurrence and Outcome of Coups d’etat” was the grand prize winner of the graduate student paper competition at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association – South.


For over 100 years, the College of Arts & Sciences has been fertile ground for aspiring political leaders, from former Kentucky governors Edward T. Breathitt and Martha Layne Collins to current U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter, and even Lexington’s own mayor Jim Newberry.

In 1978, as a senior political science major, Newberry might not have known that he would lead Lexington, but seeing that he served as Student Government President and received a diverse Arts & Sciences education, he was certainly well-prepared for just such an endeavor.

Patrick Murphy Conlon

Linguistics and Political Science Senior

A native of Cincinnati and a graduate of Tates Creek High School, Patrick Conlon liked the idea of going to college, but he and his family were unsure of his prospects.

Conlon wasn’t concerned about grades or entrance exams. He needed to find a school that had the appropriate accommodations and services for disabled students. And he found that in the University of Kentucky.

“I was not the first in my family to attend college, but there was a worry before I started at UK that college would not be possible for me personally because of debilitating illness,” Conlon said. “As this is my fourth year at the university, it is pretty safe to say that I have survived.”

What also attracted Conlon to UK and helped him survive was the wide range of course offerings available. His interest in a