Our faculty come from diverse backgrounds and will provide you with careful advising to assist your career choices in law, government, nonprofit and the private sector.

Joseph Dondelinger

Dr. Joseph M. Dondelinger


Dr. Dondelinger received his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and teaches the department’s courses in Comparative Politics and International Relations. He brings an unusual combination of background and skills to the department. He was born in Luxembourg and before becoming a U.S. citizen, he twice served as a member of the Luxembourg Mission to the United Nations. In addition to his native tongue, Luxembourgish, he has a multilingual background.  Besides teaching at Augustana, from 1984 to 2012, Dr. Dondelinger regularly offered courses for senior U.S. government executives at the prestigious Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Va., first on Soviet and Russian politics and, starting in the late 1990s, on racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and nationalist conflicts. Dr. Dondelinger is the campus representative for the Truman Scholarship. His advising interests focus on careers in the foreign service and in international affairs.

Dr. Joel A. Johnson (Chair)


Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he also served as a lecturer on government. He teaches courses in Political Philosophy, Politics and Literature, and Asian Politics. The primary focus of his research is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American political thought. He is the author of Beyond Practical Virtue: A Defense of Liberal Democracy through Literature (University of Missouri Press, 2007), as well as many articles and book chapters. These include “A Novel Twist to Tocqueville: Competing Visions of Democracy in Parrot and Olivier in America” (The Review of Politics, Spring 2017); “Mosses, Manses, and Mores: Hawthorne on the Construction and Preservation of Political Institutions” (American Political Thought (Spring 2016); “A Connecticut Yankee in Saddam’s Court: Mark Twain on Benevolent Imperialism (Perspectives on Politics, March 2007); and Disposed to Seek Their True Interests: Representation and Responsibility in Anti-Federalist Thought (The Review of Politics, Fall 2004). Dr. Johnson serves as advisor to the department’s honors program and to the Committee of Undergraduate Political Scientists (C.O.U.P.S.).

Peter SchottenDr. Peter M. Schotten


Dr. Schotten received his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School and teaches courses in constitutional law and political philosophy. His courses include Introduction to Politics, Civil Liberties, and Political Philosophy. Dr. Schotten has co-authored the nation’s leading introduction to politics textbook and is the co-author of Religion, Politics and the Law. His latest research includes a chapter on Justice Joseph Story in Frost & Sikkenga’s History of American Political Thought and an article on Marbury v. Madison (published in Perspectives in Political Science). Dr. Schotten is currently conducting research on constitutional interpretation. He is also Augustana’s pre-law advisor — the University has an outstanding record of helping students gain admission to law school.

Dr. Emily Wanless

Dr. Emily Wanless
Assistant Professor


Dr. Wanless earned her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University (political science major) and her master’s degree in political science from the University of Montana. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Georgia. Dr. Wanless’ teaching and research interests include American politics, institutions and elections. Most recently, she served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Georgia’s Department of Political Science, School of Public and International Affairs. Ahead of the 2018 South Dakota legislative session, Wanless was chosen by South Dakota lawmakers to head the Initiative and Referendum Task Force, which will examine potential changes to the initiated measure, constitutional amendment and referred law processes.