Elizabeth S. Smith currently serves as chair of the Department of Politics and International Affairs.  Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota where she was a National Science Foundation fellow. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill graduating with highest distinction as a Morehead Scholar. In 2007, Dr. Smith was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. She does research on women and politics, political socialization, and public opinion and political science education. She and her colleague, Akan Malici, recently published a book with Routledge Press entitled "Political Science Research in Practice." She has also published articles in such journals as Polity, the Journal of Political Science Education and Political Psychology. She has been a professor at Furman for 15 years and she works actively to engage students in the critical political questions of our time and in considering their role as citizens in a democracy.


Name Title Description


Intro to Amer Government

The basic political science course focusing on American politics. Emphasis on the principles, institutions and politics of the federal government. Topics include: the U.S. Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court, political parties and interest groups, and the federal bureaucracy.


Political Psychology

Examination of how political psychologists explain political behavior and how it is manifested in the political world. The psychological, social and political underpinnings of terrorism, genocide, torture and mass killings, will be studied, as will the factors contributing to heroic and altruistic political behavior. Consideration of the ethical and moral requirements for human behavior.


Intro to Amer Government

The basic political science course focusing on American politics. Emphasis on the principles, institutions and politics of the federal government. Topics include: the U.S. Constitution, the presidency, Congress, the Supreme Court, political parties and interest groups, and the federal bureaucracy.


Intro to Political Analysis

The methodology of contemporary political science, including research techniques for studying political behavior.


Women and Politics

Examination of the experience and role of women in the political arena, including such topics as campaigns and elections, political leadership, social movement participation, media coverage, public policy formation and public opinion.


Political Behavior

Formation, organization and change of attitudes about American politics; study of political participation and its correlates. Methods of survey design and analysis including computer adaptations.


Senior Research Seminar

Guided research and writing on a topic in any field of political science proposed by the student and approved by the instructor.


U.S. Gvrmnt in Action for Educ

An intensive week long program for high school and middle school teachers of government. Participants will spend a week in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., teachers will meet with government officials, politicians, non-governmental activists, and members of the education policy making arena. The combination of intensive learning, networking, and exposure to decision makers is designed to increase the knowledge of teachers, expand useful contacts, and to promote effective teaching.

  • Anderson, Christopher, Avery, Patricia G., Pederson, Patricia V., Smith, Elizabeth S., and Sullivan, John L. (1997). "Divergent Perspectives on Citizenship Education: A Q-Method Study and Survey of Social Studies Teachers." American Educational Research Journal 34 (2): 333-364.
  • Avery, Patricia G., Sullivan, John L., Smith, Elizabeth S., & Sandell, Stephen. (1996). "Issues-Centered Approaches to Teaching Civics and Government." In Evans, R., & Saxe, D. (Eds.), The Handbook for Teaching Social Issues. Washington, DC: National Council for the Social Studies.
  • Malici, Akan and Smith, Elizabeth S. (eds.) (2013). Political Science Research Methods In Practice. New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (Winter 2001). "John Stuart Mill's The Subjection of Women: A Re-Examination." Polity. 34 (2): 181-203.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (1999, September). "The Effects of Investments in the Social Capital of Youth on Political and Civic Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Analysis." Political Psychology. 20(3): 553-580.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2009). "Dreaming Dreams, Living Life." In William E. Rogers (ed.) Dreaming Dreams Living Lives. Furman University: Center for Theological Exploration of Vocation.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2009). "Gender and Politics: How the Competitive Paradigm Determines Who Governs and How." In Worthen, W., Henderson, S., Rasmussen, P., and T.L. Benson (eds.) Competition in Theory and Practice: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2012). "Incorporating Sustainability into an American Government Course: The Problems, the Progress, the Promise." Journal of Political Science Education. 8,1 20-34.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2006). "Learning about Power through Service: Qualitative and Quantitative Assessments of a Service-Learning Approach to American Government." The Journal of Political Science Education. 2:1-24.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. and Alison Bressler. (in press, expected September 2013). "Who Taught You to Talk Like That? The University and Online Political Discourse." Journal of Political Science Education.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S., Smith Ashleigh, and Gus Suarez. (2005, February). "If Bill Clinton Were a Woman: The Effectiveness of Account Strategies following Alleged Transgressions." Political Psychology. 26: 115-134.
  • Greenville Literacy Association 2007-2008 Community Service Award, recognizing an individual in the community for their appreciation and respect for support of their literacy efforts
  • 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) organization
  • YWCA of Greenville Dream Achiever Award 2007, recognizing women who make a difference and whose work has in some way changed or improved the lives of others
  • Furman Research and Professional Growth Grant to support research on young women’s political ambition, 2006
  • Furman Faculty Development Grant to support travel and presentation for the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference, February 2005, Washington, D.C., $525
  • Improving Teacher Quality Higher Education Grant, FY 2002-2003, Primary Author, Awarded by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, $37, 815.75 to help fund the Riley Summer Institute for Teachers of Government and the participation of six teachers from high needs schools in South Carolina
  • Liberty Fund Participant, Fall 2003 and Summer 2004, Fall 2008 $2500;
    Furman Faculty Summer Research Stipend, Summer 1999
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota, $11,800 plus tuition and fringe benefits, 1996-1997
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Grant-In-Aid for Dissertation Research, 1996, $1,350
  • National Science Foundation Fellowship, 1993-1996, approx. $14,400 per year plus tuition and fringe benefits
  • Outstanding Paper Award "Perspectives on Citizenship Education." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California, April 22, 1995.
  • Graduate School Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 1992-1993, approx. $10,000 plus tuition and health care
  • Morehead Scholarship, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1988-1992, total value approx. $33,000
  • Phi Beta Kappa, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1991
  • Pi Sigma Alpha, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1991
University of Minnesota
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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