Democracy and Justice Studies

Interdisciplinary Major or Minor
(Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science)

Professors — Harvey J. Kaye, Andrew E. Kersten, Kim Nielsen (chair)
Associate Professor —Andrew Austin
Assistant Professors —Timothy Dale, Cynthia Howson, Jaida Samudra


Democracy and Justice Studies Major Requirements | Democracy and Justice Studies Minor Requirements | Course Descriptions

Democracy and Justice Studies explores diverse ideals and practices of democracy and justice in the United States and the world though interdisciplinary social and historical studies. Democracy and Justice Studies students look at how peoples past and present have sought in various ways to sustain and change political, economic, cultural, and social orders. We ask why and how societies develop and whether their political, economic, cultural and social relations and activities promote justice, freedom, equality, and democracy. By cultivating critical thinking and problem-focused thinking, we enable students to become engaged citizens and professionals.

Democracy and Justice Studies encourages students to put democracy and justice into action in the classroom, in internships, in research projects, in their volunteer lives, and in their eventual career choices. This program thus offers wide-ranging educational challenges and provides students with broadly applicable learning experiences useful for many career paths. Democracy and Justice Studies is encouraged and appropriate for individuals interested in graduate work in the social sciences, law school, journalism, international business, and a variety of careers related to community development, social justice, social and environmental activism, women's and gender equity, and other social issues.

Graduates work in a wide range of careers including business, domestic and international development, education, helping professions, journalism, law and criminal justice, library science, museum administration, philanthropy, and politics. Some have pursued advanced studies in fields such as anthropology, area studies, criminal justice, economics, history, international relations, law, library science, philosophy, political science, theology, and sociology.

Majors select an area of emphasis from among the following:

  • American studies addresses social problems, public issues, social criticism and strategies for change with respect to contemporary American society.
  • International studies focuses on international issues of development, inequality, and social justice.
  • Law and justice studies examines law and legal systems, both in the United States and around the world, and their relationship to justice and democracy. Subjects covered in the emphasis include theories of law and justice, civil and criminal law, and the criminal justice process. Courses offered stress critical and historical study, and address questions related to law, justice, and democracy in diverse societies. Law and justice studies is not only appropriate for those students planning careers in law and criminal justice, but also appeals to the interests of students concerned about the problems of justice and democracy in the areas of the law and formal systems of social control.
  • Women's and gender studies explores historical, international, and contemporary perspectives on women and gender. This emphasis analyzes the ways in which varied and changing gender roles both restrict and permit economic and social opportunity.

Students seeking the interdisciplinary major or minor in Democracy and Justice Studies may choose to combine their programs with an appropriate disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of study. Among fields most relevant are anthropology, business, communication, economics, education, ethnic studies, First Nations studies, global studies, history, human development, journalism, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, urban and regional studies, and women's and gender studies.

We encourage students to study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay's participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2413 or see

Democracy and Justice Studies Major Requirements | Democracy and Justice Studies Minor Requirements | Course Descriptions