Beth A. Simmons

Beth  A. Simmons
  • Andrea Mitchell University Professor of Law and Political Science

Contact Information


All Courses

  • LAW9450 - Law Seminar

    See Course Finder.

  • LAW9820 - Topics Seminar - Law Fellows

    Topics Seminar - Law Fellows

  • LAW9890 - Law Seminar

    See Course Finder.

  • LAW9990 - Independent Study Project

    Independent Study Project

  • PPE4998 - Directed Honors Research

    Student arranges with a Penn faculty member to do research and write a thesis on a suitable topic. For more information on honors visit:

  • PSCI3401 - International Law

    Do legal rules really affect international politics? This course explores why international law has the form and content it does, and its role in shaping how states and other actors behave. It combines law and social science to examine important issues of the day, including security policies, human rights, and economic relationships.

  • PSCI4999 - Honors Thesis

    This is the honors independent study portion of the PSCI honors program. Students may apply for the program in the spring of their junior year.

  • PSCI5400 - Borders & Boundaries In IR

    This research seminar is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. It explores the meaning and consequences of borders and boundaries in international relations. How do borders, border regions, and border activities speak to national encounters with neighbors and the rest of the world? How do international borders influence war and peace between states? How do they affect international trade and development? When and how are international borders “securitized,” and how does this affect the flow of goods, people, and illicit activities around and across the border? How do states cooperate across international borders? While this course is designed primarily as a seminar in international relations, we will examine the meaning and function of boundary-making between states from multiple perspectives. Borders, border regions and border crossings have multiple significance as designations of state authority, security buffers, expressions of social meaning and opportunities for economic integration. As a seminar designed primarily to stimulate research ideas, this course will be concerned with historical and current problems relating to international borders around the world. We will concentrate on formulating interesting research questions, bringing data to bear on specific hypotheses, becoming familiar with data sources, and designing our own research. All assignments are related to developing research skills; there are no in-class exams.

Knowledge at Wharton

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