Periodically throughout the academic year, departmental faculty organize roundtables on contemporary issues in public & international affairs. Sometimes these are offered through the annual symposium of JMU's School of Public & International Affairs, sometimes through the JMU Washington Center, and at times they are sponsored directly by the Department of Political Science. In recent years, roundtable topics have included: racial justice; Europe and the United Kingdom after the Brexit vote; U.S. foreign policy; refugees & human migration; political corruption; wartime sexual violence; President Trump's relationship with the media; the future of information sharing in the intelligence community; the role & nature of expertise in governance; gender & political representation in Brazil; and youth & voting in 2018.

Watch this space for information about roundtables during the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Prior roundtables include:

Symposium: Teaching and Learning the Politics of Racial Justice

Co-hosted by JMU Department of Political Science and African, African American and Diaspora Studies Center


Kwame Dixon (Howard University), Terri Givens (Brighter Higher Ed), & Kelebogile Zvobgo (William & Mary) explore race, ethnicity, and intersectionality in the global context, including comparative perspectives, foreign policy, and international security.


Dr. Kerry Haynie (Duke University) discusses Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Politics and Policy.

Dr. Nadia E. Brown (Purdue University) discusses her new book, Sister Style: The Politics of Appearance for Black Women Political Elites

Dr. Alexandra Filindra (University of Illinois, Chicago) discusses her research on race, rights and rifles.


This panel focused on the relationship between race, ethnicity, and intersectionality and public policy processes such as social movements, state building, agenda setting, and policy feedback.

Megan Ming Francis (University of Washington & Harvard Kennedy School), Jamila Michener (Cornell University), & Justin Zimmerman (Northwestern University)

On 3/4/20 from 6:30-8pm, Dr. Manal A. Jamal, associate professor of political science at James Madison University will talk about why efforts to promote democracy succeed in some countries but fail in others. The talk will be held at the JMU Washington Center at 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 320. To attend, please register by clicking here.

On 11/21/19 from 6-7:30pm,  U.S. Representative Ben Cline, representing Virginia's 6th Congressional District (which includes James Madison University and Harrisonburg) will discuss contemporary public affairs in an informal, roundtable format. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Rep. Cline serves on the Judiciary Committee and on the Education & Labor Committee.

On 10/17/19 from 6-7:30pm, Walter Shaub, senior advisor with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) will talk about the contemporary challenges and opportunities for improving government ethics at the JMU Washington Center. Mr. Shaub graduated in 1993 from JMU with a degree in history.


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