|office: Johns Hall 111-R
hours: by appointment
phone: (864) 294-3329
fax: (864) 294-3513
Brent Nelsen was raised in Wisconsin and earned degrees from Wheaton College (Ill.) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in political science in 1989 and began teaching at Furman in January 1990.
Dr. Nelsen’s teaching and scholarship focus on Europe. He teaches courses on the politics of Europe and the European Union, as well as a course on the politics of the international economic system. His first book, entitled The State Offshore: Petroleum, Politics, and State Intervention on the British and Norwegian Continental Shelves (Praeger, 1991), explored oil policy in the North Sea. A subsequent edited volume—Norway and the European Community: The Political Economy of Integration
(Praeger, 1993)—examined the troubled relationship between Norway and an integrating Europe. More recently Dr. Nelsen has teamed up with one of his former students (Alexander Stubb, now foreign minister of Finland) to publish a textbook on the European Union called The European Union: Readings on the Theory and Practice of European Integration
(Lynne Rienner), now in its third edition.
Since 2001 Dr. Nelsen has shifted his research interests to the study of religion and politics in Europe. He and his Furman colleague Jim Guth have published several articles on how religion shapes the attitudes of Europeans toward the European. The two are currently working on a book entitled Religion and the Struggle for Europe: Catholicism, Protestantism and Politics in the European Union
to be published by Georgetown University Press.
In June 2010 Dr. Nelsen ran unsuccessfully for State Superintendent of Education. To learn more about the race, click here: http://www.brentnelsen.com
Following the 2010 political campaign, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appointed Dr. Nelsen chair of the Educational Television Commission. The Commission oversees SCETV, which is responsible for public broadcasting, educational services and emergency preparedness in South Carolina.
Dr. Nelsen married his wife Lori in 1981. They have three children: Kirsten, Evan and Derek. The family
helped start Redeemer Presbyterian Church
in 2001; Dr. Nelsen serves as an elder in the church. He loves to read, run, hike, garden, ski—and take students on travel-study tours to all of his favorite places in Europe!