DR. KIRSTEN RODINE-HARDY
JULY MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Department of Political Science
Member since 1998
WHY DID YOU BECOME A POLITICAL SCIENTIST?
I always wanted to travel around the world and learn more about people in different countries and cultures. I chose political science because I care about power, purpose and justice, which affect people's freedoms, opportunities, lives and health. I spent time in France, West Africa, and several years in Central Europe and I learned about many challenges to politics and economies. Political Science provides a very big tent to ask questions and analyze issues of power, freedom and justice. I chose to focus on comparative and international political economy to ask some of these questions, especially in areas of new technologies.
WHY DID YOU JOIN APSA AND WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO STAY INVOLVED?
I joined APSA to become part of an important group of people who study politics and policies, and to learn even more about the big tent. As I have grown as a scholar, I have become even more excited about my subfield and the Science, Technology and Environmental Politics (STEP) section. Some of the most innovative theoretical, empirical and policy-relevant work starts with conversations among scholars, and I encourage junior faculty and graduate students to join the STEP section!
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF BEING A POLITICAL SCIENTIST? HOW?
When people learn that I am a political scientist, I am expected to provide expertise and opinions on all things related to any kind of politics. And this year I have been challenged in professional and personal ways to rethink concepts and theories of "freedom and justice for all," as we Americans say in our Pledge of Allegiance. I have found that I need to learn even more from scholars and students from other parts of the world, who have experience in different regime types.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE IN THEIR GRADUATE/UNDERGRADUATE YEARS, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I learned so much from my research professors in school, and they encouraged me to read widely, travel, and ask my own questions. I agree - and I would add that we as political scientists need as many voices as possible from people in all parts of the world. These times call for all hands on deck, and each person has something amazing to contribute to the study in our world - so join us! And write!
OUTSIDE OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOURSELF.
I sang in a punk band in Prague for several years, and now I sing Anglican choral music in my choir - we even got to sing at St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London! I also have two fun kids and a big black Labrador who just attended his first vigil for peace.