Government and International Affairs


Dr. Joseph M. Dondelinger
Ph: (605) 274-5315

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 speaks English, German, and French fluently, and he is proficient in Russian. Besides teaching at Augustana, since 1985 Dr. Dondelinger has 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, since the late 90's, 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 Johnson
Ph: (605) 274-5319

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); "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.).

Dr. Brent Lerseth
Ph: (605) 274-4622

Dr. Lerseth received his Ph.D. from the University of California-Riverside and teaches courses in American Politics and Public Administration. His courses include American Government, Congress, Public Administration, and Humans in Conflict. He is a Sioux Falls native and an Augustana College graduate. He has a wide range of research and teaching experience and interests including elections, state and local politics, the politics of community development in Sioux Falls, as well as issues related to free speech and mass media. Dr. Lerseth is the representative for the Washington Semester Program and directs almost all departmental internships. His advising interests include helping students seeking M.A. degrees in public administration, industrial relations, and public policy studies.

Dr. Peter M. Schotten
Ph: (605) 274-5300

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, and the college has an outstanding record of helping students gain admission to law school.