David Patton

David Patton

Joanne Toor Cummings '50 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, contemporary Europe, the European Union, nationalism and ethnic conflict, European foreign policies, populism, Green parties, and German politics.

In his research, he focuses on German party politics, political regionalism, and German foreign policy. In Out of the East: From PDS to Left Party in Unified Germany (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2011), Patton chronicles how the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), as successor to the discredited Communist party of East Germany, first became a successful regional party and then an increasingly influential national force. In Cold War Politics in Postwar Germany (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), he explores the relationship between the Cold War and "chancellor democracy" in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Recent publications include “The Ukraine War as a Driver of Intraparty Conflict: Germany’s Left Party and the AfD” German Politics (forthcoming in 2024); “Pandemic Politics in the Federal Republic: A Familiar Pattern?” German Politics and Society, 41:4 (Winter 2023); “The Free Democratic Party and the 2021 Federal Election: The Road Back to Power,” in The 2021 German Federal Election, Ross Campbell and Louise K. Davidson-Schmich, eds. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023); “Catalysts for Change: The Small Parties in the 2021 Bundestag Election,” German Politics and Society, 40:3 (2022).

As a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Patton conducted research and taught at Europa-University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany in spring/summer 2014. He was 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 has been a visiting scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University and a visiting researcher at the Berlin Social Science Center.

Patton taught and co-directed Connecticut College's SATA (Study Away, Teach Away) program in Hanoi, Vietnam for the spring semester 2003.

View the government and international relations department website.

Majoring in Government and International Relations.

Contact David Patton

Mailing Address

David Patton
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


411/Fanning Hall