Dr. Paul J. Pope
Assoc. Prof. Political Science
I am a political scientist with teaching specialization in American government, public administration, and public law courses for the Department of Social Science & Cultural Studies.
I received my Bachelor of Science in Political Science (2003), Master of Public Administration (2005), and Doctor of Arts in Political Science (2008) from Idaho State University. In my bachelor degree, I focused on international relations and political violence. With my MPA degree, I focused on public policy analysis, administrative theory, and public management. In my doctoral program, I developed expertise in American government institutions, public administration, and public law. In addition to my doctoral political science work, I completed my interdisciplinary requirements with coursework in sociology and criminal justice.
During my studies, I became fascinated with studying the language of politics and using narrative and discourse analysis to deconstruct stories about power and politics. This fascination inspired me to investigate and write my dissertation on George W. Bush’s use of unitary executive claims of authority. The study of political and policy language has been my primary research agenda ever since. I have used this line of inquiry to investigate issues of immigration policy, such as the criminalization of deportation hearings, attempts by states to nullify federal policy regarding refugee placement, and the “othering” of immigrants. Most recently, I have concentrated my research on political and legal linguistics. I have expanded the subjects I want to tackle in my research agenda to power, civil and human rights, semiotics, hermeneutics, forensic discourse analysis, and forensic linguistics.
Even though I deeply enjoy conducting research, I consider myself a teacher first. Teaching is the most exciting and enjoyable part of my career. I focus a lot on my course design and pedagogy so I may continually improve my teaching and the learning experience of each student. I have examined teaching philosophies and pedagogies from around the world to create my approach to teaching. My pedagogical approach is primarily phenomenon-based teaching. I now heavily incorporate online components for my in-person courses and emphasize critical writing and analysis in each course.