Pamela Camerra-Rowe has taught comparative, European and American politics at Kenyon since 1994. Her courses include the introductory American and comparative political science classes, comparative political parties, European politics, the politics of the European Union, democracy and inequality, the politics of social welfare, and Congress and policy making. Her research focuses on interest groups and political parties and on regulatory and social policy issues in the European Union and Germany.

During the 2008-09 academic year, she worked in the U.S. Senate as an American Political Science Congressional Fellow. She has also worked in the German Economics Ministry as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow. Professor Camerra-Rowe has served the College as a member of the Resource Allocation and Assessment Subcommittee and as a member of the Executive Committee of the faculty. She is the president of Kenyon's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Beta Chapter of Ohio. In 2003-4, she was the recipient of a Whiting Foundation Teaching Fellowship.

Professor Camerra-Rowe was awarded the 2011 Trustee Teaching Excellence Award at Honors Day. She also received the 2012 Senior Cup. She served as the John B. McCoy-Banc One Distinguished Teaching Professor from 2011-2015.

Areas of Expertise

German politics, European Union politics, political parties and interest groups, U.S. Congress


1994 — Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University

1988 — Master of Arts from Duke University

1980 — Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College, Phi Beta Kappa

Courses Recently Taught

This course is the same as AMST 200D. The course explores the guiding principles, major institutions and national politics of the American political system. The Founders' view of liberal democracy and of the three branches of our government (presented in the "Federalist Papers") provides the basis for consideration of the modern Supreme Court, presidency, bureaucracy, Congress, news media, and political parties and elections. The course concludes with Tocqueville's broad overview of American democracy and its efforts to reconcile liberty and equality. The themes of the course are illustrated by references to current political issues, events and personalities. This course is required for the major. This counts toward the politics, culture and society requirement for the American studies major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or first-year students currently enrolled in PSCI 102Y. Offered every year.

Representative democracy came to be the most common form of government in Europe and the Americas in the 20th century. In the last half of the century, it became increasingly popular among the peoples of the rest of the world. Representative democracy takes many forms and confronts many challenges in its implementation. This course explores the institutional variety of representative democracy, the causes of political stability and instability in democratic regimes, and the possibility of successful creation of democratic regimes in countries in which the political culture has not traditionally supported democracy. Case studies may include the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. This course is required for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or first-year students currently enrolled in PSCI 102Y. Offered every year.

European governments face a number of challenges in the 21st century, including welfare and job-market reform, immigration, right-wing party activity and the forging of a new European identity. We explore some of the major economic, social and political issues facing European nations since the collapse of communism in 1989. The course focuses in particular on Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy, with some attention to Sweden, the Netherlands and the countries of Eastern Europe. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations or seminar requirements for the major. No prerequisite. Junior standing. Offered every two years.

During the late 19th and 20th centuries, the advanced industrialized democracies in Europe and North America set up extensive social welfare systems in order to reduce class inequalities and eliminate risks across the life cycle. These included income support, family benefits, health care, pensions, unemployment, disability insurance and child-care programs. Beginning in the 1970s, these social welfare programs faced a variety of social and economic challenges, including the aging of the population, globalization, changes in family structure, the feminization of the labor force and deindustrialization. This has led to welfare retrenchment and restructuring. We examine the different welfare regimes across the United States and Europe and discuss the challenges confronting postwar welfare arrangements. We explore the politics surrounding the creation and retrenchment of welfare states across different political settings and in specific policy areas including pensions, health care and family policy, and look at the future of the social welfare state. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations or seminar requirement for the major. No prerequisite. Junior standing. Offered every two years.

High levels of economic inequality are among the most important challenges confronting liberal democracy today. The increasing concentration of wealth among society’s richest citizens contributes to the belief that economic and political outcomes are determined by the interests of a few wealthy insiders and subverts faith in liberal democracy as a public endeavor for pursuing the common good. We consider the causes and implications of growing social inequality for the U.S. and other liberal democracies, including issues such as the tensions that arise between liberal democracy's two fundamental claims to legitimacy: private liberty and public equality. How do economic outcomes shape politics, and how do politics shape economic outcomes? Do liberal democracies exhibit a pro-business bias, and does today's growing social inequality threaten the long-run growth and political stability of liberal democratic states? This counts toward the seminar or elective requirement for the major and for the public policy concentration. Prerequisite: junior standing.

Political parties are among the most critical institutions in representative democracy, but in recent years, the electoral support for mainstream political parties has declined and new single-issue and populist parties have emerged. We explore the formation, role and changing nature of political parties in democratic politics. In particular, we examine several important questions regarding political parties: How and why do political parties emerge in democratic systems? Why have new parties emerged in some countries? What impact do they have on established parties and party competition? What determines party success and failure? The course draws on theoretical and empirical work on party formation and party-system change and draws examples from Europe and the United States. This counts toward the comparative politics/international relations or seminar requirement for the major. Prerequisite: PSCI 240. Junior standing.

Democracy is in crisis. The rise of nationalist right-wing parties, limitations on the free press, the erosion of democratic norms, political party and civil society polarization, apathy on the part of young people, the spread of disinformation and abuses of democratic institutions pose serious threats to the values that liberal democratic regimes seek to uphold, including free and fair elections, rule of law and the protection of minority rights. We examine theories of democratic consolidation and democratic erosion and analyze the various factors that threaten liberal democratic regimes. We examine the ways in which democratic backsliding has manifested itself in various countries, which may include Hungary, Poland, Turkey, the Philippines and the United States; discuss why it has occurred; the consequences for citizens; and the ways in which democratic regimes can be protected from democratic erosion. This counts toward the seminar or comparative politics/international relations requirement for the major. PSCI 240 is recommended but not required. No prerequisite. Junior standing.