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Kelly McHugh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science

Department Chair


My goal is to demonstrate that few questions in international politics have settled answers. As such, I seek to create a classroom atmosphere that encourages critical thinking and the active exchange of ideas; I do not want students arriving at class in a passive mode, expecting that I will provide them with an authoritative “correct” answer.

-Kelly McHugh

Ordway - 131



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I am a native of Delaware, and I received my Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Delaware in May 2011. At FSC, I teach courses in international politics, national security, and U.S. foreign policy. My research focuses on the domestic aspects of US foreign policy, and I have published articles and book chapters on topics including Congress’s role in foreign policy, and Presidential decision-making in wartime. I am a past president of the Florida Political Science Association (FPSA) and  I currently chair the Roundtable on Teaching Political Science at the FPSA’s annual meeting. 


  • Ph.D., Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware, May 2011
  • M.A., Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware, May 2007
  • B.A., Political Science (Degree with Distinction), University of Delaware, May 2005


  •  President, Florida Political Science Association, 2018-2019 & 2020-2021


McHugh, Kelly. “No more Iraqs: analysing use of force decisions during the Obama administration” Global Peace, Change and Security 22, no. 1 (Winter 2021).

McHugh, Kelly A. “The President vs. Congress: US Intervention in the Yemeni Civil War” in Contemporary Cases in U.S. Foreign Policy, ed. Ralph Carter. Rowan & Littlefield, 2020, pp. 123-148.

McHugh, Kelly A. “One War, Three Presidents: Afghanistan Policy under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump” in The Future of Afghanistan ed. Mihaly Usozr, Nova Science Publishers, 2020, pp. 139-171.


I have co-authored more than 2 dozen encyclopedia entries with students. The entries have appeared in the Sage Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice Ethics, the Sage Encyclopedia of Alcohol, and the Sage Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics.