Aaron King

Aaron King

Assistant Professor, Department of Public and International Affairs
University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Teaching Areas: American Political Institutions (Parties, Presidency, and Congress), Congressional Organization, Procedure, Elections, Ambition, Public Opinion, Politics and Film, Statistical Methods, Social Media, and Research Design

Contact Me

Email : kinga@uncw.edu

Phone : (910) 962 - 2287

Address : 601 South College Road, Leutze Hall Room 265


2013    DUKE UNIVERSITY                        

Political Institutions and Public Choice (PIPC) Program, Fellow

Ph.D., American Politics and Political Methodology

Dissertation – “Progressive Ambition and the Timing of Strategic Candidacy Decisions in United States Senate Elections.”  David W. Rohde, Chair.

2009    DUKE UNIVERSITY         

M.A., Political Science


B.A., Political Science and Geography (High Honors)



PLS 101: American National Government

Survey of topics in American Politics, including topics such as Congress, the Presidency, Political Parties, the Judiciary, Interest Groups, Public Opinion, Voting, Campaigns and Elections, Civil Rights and Liberties, Federalism, and the Constitution.  Using several theoretical tools, students learn to analyze political phenomena from a scientific perspective.  Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors.

PLS 201: Introduction to Political Science Methods

Introduction to the rationale and application of the scientific method to political analysis. Major topics include: question development, survey of previous literature, theory development, and research design.  Students also learn a number of research methods to assist in their scientific inquiry.  Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Information Literacy. Satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Quantitative and Logical Reasoning.

PLS 202: Culture War? Political Polarization in the United States

In this discussion-based course, students examine evidence regarding a “culture war” in American politics and asses the presence of polarization in government and in the electorate.  After discovering the sources of polarization, we discuss the consequences of such polarization and potential remedies. 

PLS 307: The American Legislature

Functional study of the U.S. Congress and lawmaking. Among the topics studied will be representation, the various goals of members of Congress, the impact of constituencies, parties, interest groups, interpersonal relationships and other pressures on legislators; legislative structure. and the decision-making process.  This course includes a legislative simulation where students take on the role of real members of Congress tasked with writing and navigating their legislation through the lawmaking process. 

PLS 309: America's Chief Executive

Examination of the concept of a political chief executive as a coordinate member, with the legislature and courts, of a government team. Course emphasizes the powers, roles, decision-making processes, and institutional development of the office of the president.

PLS 353: Political Parties

Historical and analytical treatment of the appearance and evolution of political parties as institutions at the local, state, and national level.  We discuss the changing nature of political parties in the electorate, as organizations, and in government.  We pay special attention to the interplay of individual and collective goals of voters, politicians, and political activists.  We also discuss the contemporary political climate and the strategies of political parties in upcoming elections.

HON 120: The Politics of 2014: Lyceum in Washington, DC

In this short course in preparation for a trip to Washington, DC, we examine the politics leading up to the 2014 congressional elections from the perspective of a political scientist.  We discuss the role of the Congress in our federal government and its interactions with the Presidency.  We will pay special attention to the major political issues of the 2014 campaign.