What We Do
The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University—New Brunswick studies how American politics and government work and change, analyzes how the democracy might improve, and promotes political participation and civic engagement. The Institute explores state and national politics through research, education, and public service, linking the study of politics with its day-to-day practice.
The Place for Politics at Rutgers
Florence Peshine Eagleton, a suffragist and social change activist of her time, left the bequest that established the Institute at Rutgers in 1956. Today, Eagleton faculty and staff work closely with political practitioners and scholars in New Jersey and across the nation to accomplish Florence Eagleton’s ambitious goal: “the development of and education for responsible leadership in civic and governmental affairs and the solution of their political problems.”
The Eagleton Institute of Politics is committed as an institution to the following:
- Cultivating access and empowerment within the Institute and, by extension, our political system. We seek to identify and remove barriers to access and promote inclusion, which relies on our active and intentional efforts to remedy power inequities.
- Affirming the humanity of all people irrespective of their historic marginalization, identity, or socioeconomic status, through our teaching, research, and programming. We center historically marginalized voices and oppose policies and practices that discriminate against anyone on the basis of these historic and present realities.
- Engaging in critical examination of systems of power and governance, including the ideals for, and practice of, democracy.
- Promoting open and respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives that abides by the values listed above and preserves the safety and well-being of all participants.
- Fostering interest in, and promoting, a broad range of engagement in politics, communities, and public service, by all members of society, especially our students.
Studying American Politics and Political Change
The Institute welcomes entrepreneurial thinkers who develop new knowledge about emerging topics and themes in American politics. Eagleton’s faculty, centers, and programs study:
- Campaigns, elections and political parties
- Civic education and political engagement
- Governors and state politics
- Minority and immigrant political behavior
- New Jersey politics
- Public opinion polling and survey research
- Public safety and community resilience
- Science and politics
- Women’s political participation
- Youth political participation and young elected leaders
Preparing Students for Civic Engagement
Eagleton’s curricular education programs prepare selected undergraduate and graduate students to engage in politics as responsive, effective, ethical citizens and leaders. Undergraduate Associates and Eagleton Graduate Fellows learn from experienced faculty and political practitioners as well as through placements in political or government offices, discovering the real world of American politics beyond the headlines.
Students get involved at Eagleton through individual courses, research assistantships and internships, programs, and events featuring national political experts.
Educators can get involved at Eagleton and access Institute resources. Eagleton offers a range of research and programs that can support those who are working to educate responsive, effective, ethical citizens and leaders.
Civil Discourse Expectations
Classes, programs and other events convened by the Eagleton Institute of Politics are premised on the belief that, in order for our democracy to work, we need to be able to talk to each other. Students and other program participants are expected to engage in open and civil discourse, recognizing that meaningful exchange of ideas from different perspectives requires reasoned deliberation based on shared facts and conducted with respect and curiosity, and with affirmation of the humanity of all people irrespective of their historic marginalization, identity or socioeconomic status. In addition, like all Rutgers students, students at Eagleton are expected to comply with the Rutgers University Code of Conduct.