Political science at UH West O‘ahu is distinctive in the inclusiveness of its concerns. It differs from the other social sciences in drawing from all the disciplines, from psychology and anthropology to history and philosophy, in offering a ‘big picture’ perspective on our public and private lives. The discipline goes beyond simply understanding the way things are, to an ethical consideration of ‘what could and should be.’ In this sense a political science education is transformational, enlightening the political culture and strengthening democracy.
Today the big picture allows us to see our most pressing local problems as increasingly influenced by global economic and environmental forces in a world where multinational corporations are becoming more powerful than nation-states. At the same time there is a move back to localism in all its positive and negative aspects from place-based community building and identity politics to xenophobic ethnic nationalism and militant sectarianism. New electronic information technologies and social media are giving individuals and non-governmental organizations unprecedented access to the global stage in shaping politics. The goal of the program is to offer students an in-depth understanding of this rapidly changing landscape as a frame for self-understanding.
In so doing, it helps students cultivate the motivation, skills, and creativity necessary for constructive participation in public life through civic engagement. Teaching strategies are personalized and promote holistic, democratic, active, service and multi-cultural modes of learning. All of this makes Political Science at UH West Oʻahu central to a well-rounded education. This also gives the degree wide application in most areas of public, personal, and work life