Professor Polly Diven

Polly Diven

Professor Polly Diven
Director, International Relations Program
Department of Political Science
1107 AuSable Hall
Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401
(616) 331-3282
[email protected]

Ph.D., Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995.
M.A.L.D., International Relations, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1985.
B.A., Political Science, Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Hamilton College, 1982.

Fields: International relations, U.S. foreign policy, U.S. politics

International Relations
U.S. Foreign Policy
Great Decisions
Capstone in International Relations
Capstone in Political Science

Recent Honors and Awards

Fulbright Specialist Teaching Fellowship to Taiwan, May 2023

GVSU Student Senate “Last Lecture” award , March 2022

Student Award for Faculty Excellence, GVSU, awarded February 2012

Pew Teaching Award, 2004

Netherlands Initiative Travel Grant, 2004

Padnos International Center Partnership Grant (Travel to France), 2006

Padnos International Center Partnership Grant (Travel to Japan), 2014

GVSU Visitor to Partner Institution, University of Perugia, Italy, 2010

Selected Publications

“Can’t Buy Me Love (with Foreign Aid).” October 2023. Foreign Policy Analysis 19:4.  (John Constantelos and Whitt Kilburn, co-authors).

“Why Study International Relations?” In International Relations and Diplomacy for the Curious, Kishor Vaidya, ed. Curious Academic Publishing (Canberra), 2014.

“The Roots of Confidence in the European Union,” (co-authored with John Constantelos), Horizons of Politics 2014, 4(8), 51-74.

“The Domestic Foundations of Confidence in the United Nations,” (co-authored with John Constantelos), Peace Studies Journal 2011 4(2), 1-23.

“U.S. AIDS Policy in Africa: Balancing Competing Interests in PEPFAR Policy-Making.” In Africa and the New World Era, Jacques Mangala, ed. Palgrave MacMillan, 2010.

“Explaining Generosity: Comparing Public Opinion on Foreign Aid among Donor Countries,” (co-authored with John Constantelos), accepted for publication in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies, (Summer 2009) Issue 7(ii).

“Disaggregating Anti-Americanism: Personalities, Policies, Popular Culture, and Paradigms,” book chapter in U.S. Foreign Policy: Theory, Mechanisms, and Practice, (2008) edited by Pawel Laidler, Jagiellonian University Press.

"An Analytical Look at Anti-Americanism (review of Anti-Americanisms in World Politics, Peter J. Katzenstein and Robert O. Keohane, eds.)" International Studies Review (2007) 8(3):494-497.

"The Hyperpluralism of U.S. Food Aid," Foreign Policy Analysis 2 (4): 361-384 (2006).

“Interest Groups in International and Transnational Politics,” in Research Guide to U.S. and International Interest Groups, (2004) edited by Clive S. Thomas. Praeger Press.

“Minority Influence and Political Interest Groups,” in Social Psychological Applications to Social Issues: Developments in Political Psychology, vol. V (2002), edited by Vincent Ottati. Plenum Press, co-authored with Christine M. Smith.

"The Domestic Determinants of U.S. Food Aid Policy," Food Policy, 26 (Fall 2001):455-474.

Recent Presentations

“Questioning the Conventional Wisdom: Toward a More Comprehensive Analysis of Taiwan's Security,” presented at the International Security Studies Meeting of the International Studies Association in Colorado Springs, October 2023.

“Can’t Buy Me Love: Public Opinion and Foreign Aid,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association in Nashville, April 2022 (with John Constantelos).

“Leveraging Aid: How Sri Lanka Hedges Against Superpower Influence,” presented at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting in Baltimore, February 23, 2017.

“Superpowers and Small States:  U.S., China, and India Vie for Influence in Sri Lanka,” presented at the European Consortium for Political Research in Prague, Czech Republic in September 2016.

“A Small State and its Alliance Partners: the Case of Sri Lanka,” poster presentation at the South Asian Studies Annual Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, October 2016.

“Linking Gender Equality and Good Governance: The Importance of Political Representation,” presented at the European Conference on Politics and Gender in Uppsala, Sweden, June 2015.

“Crawling Out of “the Ghetto”: Explaining Continued Underrepresentation of Women in Power,” presented at the Midwest International Studies Association Conference in St. Louis, November 2013.

“The Roots of Confidence in the European Union,” presented at the Midwest International Studies Association Conference in St. Louis in November 2012 (with John Constantelos).

I joined the faculty in Political Science at GVSU in 1994. I became the International Relations Coordinator and Internship Director in 2005. During nearly three decades at GVSU, I have attempted to actively engage undergraduates in learning about international relations and US foreign policy. I was the founder and faculty advisor for the International House in Murray Living Center from 2010-2014. From 2009-2014, I coordinated the STAIR program, funded by the European Union and the US Department of Education, which facilitated a joint degree program among students from Hungary, Poland, and GVSU. My research focuses on the intersection of domestic politics and US foreign policy.  I am particularly interested in how domestic interest groups influence foreign policy, and I have published research on the impact of agribusiness and "big pharma"; on US foreign policy. More recently my research has focused on the determinants of public opinion on US foreign policy and comparative public opinion. I am also interested in the phenomenon of hyperpluralism and its contribution to undermining US trust in the government. My teaching and research have been enhanced by opportunities to teach overseas at several locations in Europe and Asia. In 2023, I was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Tunghai University in Taiwan.


Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, May 2023

Paedagogisch Hochschule Schwabisch-Gmund, Germany, April 2016, May 2019

Babes-Boylai University, Cluj, Romania, May 2018

University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, February 2016

Cracow University of Economics, Poland, March 2011

University of Perugia, Italy, May 2010

American College of Thessaloniki, Greece, February 2009

Muenster University of Applied Sciences, Germany, March 2009

Middle East Technical University, Turkey, April 2009



Alumni and Partnership Visits in Romania and Albania, 2018

Visit to Japanese Partner Institutions, March 2014

STAIR Program Coordination Trips to Berlin (2010) and to Debrecen, Hungary (2009)

Visit to France partner institutions in Angers, May 2006

Netherlands Study Abroad Program Visits, June 2003

Page last modified October 11, 2023