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Michael R. Pfau

Associate Professor, Political Science and International Relations

Michael R. Pfau, PhD, has been at USD since 1989. He teaches Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations and occasionally seminars on Politics in (his native) Germany. His research focuses on cross-national public opinion formation, specifically, on how US (foreign) policy is perceived by publics abroad. On that issue, he consults with a variety of political and corporate interests. He has chaired the department and has won the American Political Science Association’s teaching award.


Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, Political Psychology
M.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook, Psychology
M.A., University of Southern Illinois, Political Science
B.A., Universitaet Hamburg, Germany; Vordiplom

Scholarly and Creative Work

Currently, Pfau works on the public perception of U.S. foreign policy in Germany. His research has been published in the Journal of Borderland Studies, Urban Affairs and elsewhere. In collaboration with the German Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung/Foundation for Freedom and the U.S. Mission to Germany, he also applies what he studies, educating the public and German decision makers about U.S. (foreign) policy.

Teaching Interests

While Pfau’s teaching centers on research methods, he also offers seminars on politics in Germany.  During summer and occasional leaves, he teaches graduate seminars on US-German relations at the Universitaet Hamburg, Germany.