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Faculty: Joel H. Westra

Joel WestraJoel H. Westra, Associate Professor, Political Science

(616) 526-6727
Office: DeVos Center 261-H

Office Hours Fall 2014
Monday and Wednesday 1:00 - 2:30pm
Friday 1:30-2:30pm
or by appointment

Educational Background

Joel H. Westra is a summa cum laude graduate of the Honors College at the University of Houston,where he received his bachelor of arts degree in political science in May 1998. He went on to The University of Chicago, where he completed his M.A. in social sciences in 2000 and his Ph.D. in political science in 2004. He served as Visiting Lecturer in The Committee on International Relations at The University of Chicago and as post-doctoral Fellow in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. Professor Westra joined the faculty at Calvin College in the fall of 2007. He teaches courses in the international relations curriculum and is also Pre-law advisor.

Academic Interests

International organization, international security, international law, international relations theory (classical and modern), US foreign policy

Recent Activities

Professor Westra recently published an article entitled "Cumulative Legitimation, Prudential Restraint, and the Maintenance of International Order: A Re-examination of the UN Charter System" and a book chapter entitled "International Order the American Way: Selective Multilateralism and European Consternation." He is currently working on a book examining efforts to reform the post-World War II global security order.


Professor Westra is married to Julie Marie Jeffrion Westra (née Glasco), who is Associate Legal Counsel at Priority Health. He and his wife enjoy renovating their historic American foursquare home in Eastown, cooking and dining out, traveling, and experiencing the joy of life with their son, Jude, and their daughter, Jesca.

Additional Information

Faculty Profile

Personal Web site

Pre-law Web site

Curriculum vitae (127 KB pdf logo )