Professor of Government and International Relations
Joined Connecticut College: 1993
B.A., Swarthmore College
M.A., Ph.D., Cornell University
• Comparative politics • European politics • European Union • Federal Republic of Germany
David Patton teaches classes on comparative politics, Europe, European politics, the European Union, ethnic conflict, German politics and Green parties.
He taught and co-directed Connecticut College's SATA (Study Away, Teach Away) program in Hanoi, Vietnam for the spring semester 2003.
In his research, he has focused on the domestic bases of German foreign policy, German unification, political regionalism, and German elections. His work includes Cold War Politics in Postwar Germany (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), which explores the relationship between shifts in the Cold War and the emergence of "chancellor democracy" in the Federal Republic of Germany. He provides a transnational perspective on the peaceful 1989 East German revolution and subsequent unification process in "Annus Mirabilis: 1989 and German Unification," which appears as a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
Patton has published extensively on Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism/Left Party. He is the author of Out of the East: From PDS to Left Party in Unified Germany (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011), which chronicles how the PDS, as successor to the discredited Communist party of East Germany, first transformed itself into a successful regional party and then into an increasingly influential national force.
Patton has been a fellow at the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies and received a research grant from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. In addition, he was a visiting scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University and was a visiting researcher at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung. As a US Fulbright Professor in Germany, Patton conducted research and teaching at Europa-University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) in spring/summer 2014.
View the government and international relations department website.