Politics & Public Policy

Politics & Public Policy is a broad category that encapsulates everything from social justice advocacy to law to political campaigns and community organizing. It is the critical way in which communities can engage with their government and their fellow constituents. Through participating in politics and political discourse, as well as by helping shape and formulate public policy, individuals can help set and carry out agendas on a local, state, and national level. In this way, Politics & Public Policy describes a powerful method of facilitating change and progress across a variety of issue areas; this category can encompass engagement in the form of advocacy, awareness, education, internships, projects, employment, public service, and more.


Engaged Scholarship Opportunities 

  • SOCI 056C — This course will cover the role of people and political organizations in Philadelphia in the 2020 Election. Students will work together to understand how people understand politics, and how political campaigns, PACs, and non-profit organizations work to persuade and mobilize potential voters.
  • POLS 031 — This course explores the causes and impact of migration and the refugee crisis, as well as the impact of foreign and domestic policies. This course’s field component includes observations of immigration hearings as well as meetings with prominent NGOs in the Philadelphia area.
  • SwatVotes — SwatVotes is a student group dedicated to increasing voter education, providing tools and guides to better understand registration, and curating resources on how to vote by mail with the goal of fostering democratic engagement at Swarthmore.



Lang Center Associates

Sam Winickoff '23 Satchel Tsai '23

Sign up for an appointment with them on the LCA appointment calendar.

Key Faculty and Staff

  • Ben Berger, Associate Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Lang Center 
  • Nina Johnson, Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Daniel Laurson '00, Assistant Professor of Sociology 
  • Keith Reeves '88, Professor of Political Science and Department Chair; Director of the Urban Inequality and Incarceration program
  • Krista Thomason, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Coordinator for Peace and Conflict Studies Program


Student Groups



Relevant Courses 



Off-Campus Opportunities



Student Engagements Summer 2021