Shoup appointed PSPA's interim department head

Brian D. Shoup

Brian D. Shoup

A Mississippi State University faculty member with more than a decade of service in comparative politics and public policy is the interim head of MSU’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

Associate Professor Brian D. Shoup previously served as the faculty advisor for the Mississippi Model Security Council and PSPA’s undergraduate coordinator.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Rick Travis said Shoup is “well acquainted with the scope of the department” as he begins his tenure as interim department head.

“Dr. Shoup is no stranger to academic leadership. He has served on various committees across the university and is well-known for his gregariousness and sense of humor,” Travis said. “As an expert in comparative politics and public policy, he has taught a full range of courses from the first-year Introduction to Comparative Politics to Ph.D.-level courses in public policy-making. Dr. Shoup is known for the energy and passion he possesses both for his subject matter and his students. I look forward to his leadership,” Travis said.

“I have been fortunate to serve under two previous department heads -- Dr. K.C. Morrison and Dr. P. Edward French -- who have done incredible service to advance the research, teaching and service standards of Mississippi State’s PSPA department,” Shoup said, crediting their leadership for the “remarkable array of diverse and talented people” currently in the department.

“I hope that we can continue to serve our state through our work so that the benefits of constitutional democracy buttressed by civic duty, compassion for our fellow citizens, and a respect for the rights bequeathed to us can be better understood by all our citizens and extended to those in most need of their virtues,” he said.

Shoup received his Ph.D. in political science with a focus in comparative politics and public policy from Indiana University and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Creighton University in Omaha. His primary research interests are ethnic conflict, state and nation-building, and sub-Saharan African politics.

He is the author of “Conflict and Cooperation in Multi-Ethnic States: Institutional Incentives, Myths, and Counterbalancing” (Routledge, 2007), part of the publisher’s Asian Security Studies series, and co-edited another series work -- “U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation into the 21st Century: More than Words.”

Shoup’s work has appeared in journals and publications such as Perspectives on Politics, Democratization, Journal of Democracy, and Commonwealth and Comparative Politics.

MSU’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration prepares students for a range of careers from government and public service work to managerial options in the private sector. The Master of Public Policy and Administration degree prepares students for executive and managerial positions in state, municipal and national government and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The Ph.D. program in Public Policy and Administration is a research-oriented degree that prepares students for careers as scholars and researchers.

Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, complete details about the Department of Political Science and Public Administration may be found at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sarah Nicholas | College of Arts and Sciences

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