Elizabeth Smith

Professor, Department of Politics and International Affairs; Assistant Faculty Director, The Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection

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Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota where she was a National Science Foundation fellow. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill graduating with highest distinction as a Morehead Scholar. In 2007, Dr. Smith was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and served as chair of the department at Furman. She does research on women and politics, political socialization, and public opinion and political science education. She and her colleague, Akan Malici, recently published a book with Routledge Press entitled "Political Science Research in Practice." She has also published articles in such journals as Polity, the Journal of Political Science Education and Political Psychology. She has been a professor at Furman for 15 years and she works actively to engage students in the critical political questions of our time and in considering their role as citizens in a democracy.


  • Greenville Literacy Association 2007-2008 Community Service Award, recognizing an individual in the community for their appreciation and respect for support of their literacy efforts
  • 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) organization
  • YWCA of Greenville Dream Achiever Award 2007, recognizing women who make a difference and whose work has in some way changed or improved the lives of others
  • Furman Research and Professional Growth Grant to support research on young women’s political ambition, 2006
  • Furman Faculty Development Grant to support travel and presentation for the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference, February 2005, Washington, D.C., $525
  • Improving Teacher Quality Higher Education Grant, FY 2002-2003, Primary Author, Awarded by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, $37, 815.75 to help fund the Riley Summer Institute for Teachers of Government and the participation of six teachers from high needs schools in South Carolina
  • Liberty Fund Participant, Fall 2003 and Summer 2004, Fall 2008 $2500;
    Furman Faculty Summer Research Stipend, Summer 1999
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota, $11,800 plus tuition and fringe benefits, 1996-1997
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Grant-In-Aid for Dissertation Research, 1996, $1,350
  • National Science Foundation Fellowship, 1993-1996, approx. $14,400 per year plus tuition and fringe benefits
  • Outstanding Paper Award "Perspectives on Citizenship Education." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, California, April 22, 1995.
  • Graduate School Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 1992-1993, approx. $10,000 plus tuition and health care
  • Morehead Scholarship, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1988-1992, total value approx. $33,000
  • Phi Beta Kappa, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1991
  • Pi Sigma Alpha, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1991


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Anderson, Christopher, Avery, Patricia G., Pederson, Patricia V., Smith, Elizabeth S., and Sullivan, John L. (1997). "Divergent Perspectives on Citizenship Education: A Q-Method Study and Survey of Social Studies Teachers." American Educational Research Journal 34 (2): 333-364.
  • Avery, Patricia G., Sullivan, John L., Smith, Elizabeth S., & Sandell, Stephen. (1996). "Issues-Centered Approaches to Teaching Civics and Government." In Evans, R., & Saxe, D. (Eds.), The Handbook for Teaching Social Issues. Washington, DC: National Council for the Social Studies.
  • Malici, Akan and Smith, Elizabeth S. (eds.) (2013). Political Science Research Methods In Practice. New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (Winter 2001). "John Stuart Mill's The Subjection of Women: A Re-Examination." Polity. 34 (2): 181-203.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (1999, September). "The Effects of Investments in the Social Capital of Youth on Political and Civic Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Longitudinal Analysis." Political Psychology. 20(3): 553-580.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2009). "Dreaming Dreams, Living Life." In William E. Rogers (ed.) Dreaming Dreams Living Lives. Furman University: Center for Theological Exploration of Vocation.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2009). "Gender and Politics: How the Competitive Paradigm Determines Who Governs and How." In Worthen, W., Henderson, S., Rasmussen, P., and T.L. Benson (eds.) Competition in Theory and Practice: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2012). "Incorporating Sustainability into an American Government Course: The Problems, the Progress, the Promise." Journal of Political Science Education. 8,1 20-34.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. (2006). "Learning about Power through Service: Qualitative and Quantitative Assessments of a Service-Learning Approach to American Government." The Journal of Political Science Education. 2:1-24.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S. and Alison Bressler. (in press, expected September 2013). "Who Taught You to Talk Like That? The University and Online Political Discourse." Journal of Political Science Education.
  • Smith, Elizabeth S., Smith Ashleigh, and Gus Suarez. (2005, February). "If Bill Clinton Were a Woman: The Effectiveness of Account Strategies following Alleged Transgressions." Political Psychology. 26: 115-134.