PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS

 

Some background on my interests . . . .

I am a faculty member in the Political Science Department at the University of Notre Dame, where I am the William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs. I am Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.  My primary fields of research and teaching are in comparative and international politics, and political history.  I also have a long-standing interest in political philosophy.  I am a fellow of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

A. James McAdams

I specialize in modern German, European, and Communist politics. I have used this focus to investigate a variety of political, historical, and legal themes: authoritarianism, the domestic roots of foreign-policymaking, the challenges of democratic transition, the politics of retrospective justice, and the comparative politics of internet surveillance in Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. My books include East Germany and Detente; Germany Divided; Transitional Justice in Unified Germany; and the Crisis of Modern Times (also in Chinese and Hungarian translation). I am currently writing a book entitled, Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party. The book is based upon perspectives I have developed over three decades of research and teaching about the communist world.
I am fortunate to be a teacher.  Wherever I have taught--at Hamilton College, Princeton University, and the University of Notre Dame--I have offered courses in a wide range of disciplines, from the social sciences to the humanities.  I have taught at every level of university education, from first-year seminars to large lecture courses, and from senior seminars to graduate courses.  For example, in spring 2004, I taught "Public / Private / Internet" to students in Notre Dame's computer applications major. I frequently offer "An Introduction to Comparative Politics" to students in the First-year of Studies as well as a seminar entitled "Ten Images of Hell in the Twentieth Century." I also offer a graduate course, "Philosophy and Dictatorship," in which I seek to synthesize the fields of comparative politics and political theory. " I have recently been teaching a course called "The Rise and Fall of World Communism." It is based upon the book project I describe above. Much of the inspiration for this course comes from my travels throughout the communist or (barely) post-communist world in the 2000s, such as Cuba, Vietnam, China, Belarus, Russia, and North Korea. As you can see from these links, all of my courses since 2002 use exclusively web-based syllabi. I have now begun to integrate the photos on my Photo Page into the lectures for these classes, beginning with the course on communism. I have recently taught a seminar on "The Dream of Communism." I am now teaching Introduction to World Politics.
In addition to my roles as teacher and scholar, I have been involved in various aspects of university administration for more than a decade.  Between 1997 and 2002, I was Chair of a large political science department at Notre Dame.  I enjoy the creative challenges of academic leadership:  daily administration, recruiting and hiring, budgeting, and fundraising. I am currently Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, a campus-wide institute for European scholarship and teaching in the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences. In recent years, we have created a wide array of innovative programs for students and faculty. As part of these activities, I am proud to say that we now send about 150 students per year to Europe to conduct independent research and take part in internships. We are also engaged in developing Notre Dame's relations with the Catholic universities of East-Central Europe, including the Ukrainian Catholic University of Lviv, the Catholic University of Lublin, the Catholic University of Ružomberok, the Péter Pázmány Catholic University of Budapest, and the Catholic University of Zagreb. We have recently expanded this project to include two western European universities, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and the Institut Catholique de Paris. We are also exploring opportunities to develop Notre Dame's relationship with the Vatican. Finally, we sponsor numerous scholarly activities and research projects undertaken by our 165+ faculty fellows.
PROFESSIONAL
Nanovic Institute for European Studies - 211 Brownson Hall - University of Notre Dame - Notre Dame IN 46556  USA
amcadams@nd.edu -
Tel. (574) 631-5253 - Fax (574) 631-3569