William L. Niemi

William L. Niemi

Vice President for Academic Affairs; Professor of Politics & Government


Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles
M.A., University of California-Santa Barbara
B.A., University of California-Santa Cruz


Academic Programs


William L. Niemi’s scholarship is primarily in the area of political theory and is focused on questions about democratic theory and democracy’s historical development. Where does democracy come from and why did it come about? How is it justified? What are the most important citizen and institutional practices for a successful democracy and why? What are the main arguments of the critics of democracy and how tenable are such criticisms?

Niemi’s teaching interests are in the areas of history of political thought and constitutional law. Niemi is also the pre-law advisor at Western.

Courses Taught

POLS 117: Introduction to Political Ideas
POLS 300: Constitutional Law I
POLS 309: Political Theory I: Ancient to Early Modern
POLS 310: Political Theory II: Late Modern and Contemporary
POLS 376: American Political Thought I: From Puritans to Slaveholders
POLS 476: American Political Thought II: American Capitalism and Democracy
POLS 485: Studies in Political Theory