Robert Paul Musgrave

Robert Paul Musgrave

Assistant Professor
Commonwealth Honors College Professor in Political Science

What is your field of study, and what drew you to this field?
I study political science and international relations. I've always been interested in politics, and studying political science’s applications to the past, present, and future of world order seemed like a natural progression.

On what topic was your dissertation? What do you see as the potential or value of your research?
My dissertation studied how presidents and Congress bargain over foreign policy. In an era of increased partisan polarization, figuring out why it's so hard to adjust foreign policy commitments seemed like a pressing issue. I want to change how people think about the U.S. role in the world and be more understanding about how the 18th century institutions of the U.S. Constitution affect world politics. 

What honors courses are you teaching?
I teach a yearlong seminar on energy and global politics. I'm also teaching a lecture course on American Foreign Policy. I'm looking forward to extending my research and sharing it with students, my colleagues around the world, and the general public.

What does honors teaching mean to you?
In many ways, the honors education represents the chance to return to the best part of the "traditional" classroom--closeness to students, engaging with them, and seeing them develop as people and scholars. What's most impressive isn't honors students' uniqueness but what they share with each other and their colleagues: a commitment to serious learning and an emphasis on working hard. 

Department: 
Political Science