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Jane Rainey

Jane Rainey
  • Professor Emeritus
  • Ph.D., Emory University
  • M.A., Emory University
  • A.B., Goucher College


Contact Information


Professor Rainey grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.  She left the state to attend Goucher College outside Baltimore, Maryland, but she returned to Atlanta for her PhD in political science from Emory University.  At the time, the Cold War was still on-going, and Dr. Rainey became an expert on the politics and society of the Soviet Union.  While finishing her dissertation, she took a position at EKU teaching Soviet Politics, and also took several trips to the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia.

During the Cold War, there was a lot of interest in the Soviet Union and the Russian people.  In addition to the Soviet Politics class, Dr. Rainey also taught a course on the writings of Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn (author of The Gulag Archipelago, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward, and The First Circle).  In 1991, though, the Soviet Union dissolved, and Dr. Rainey switched to teaching the new Russian Politics.  She also teaches Politics and Religion –a course which began during the Moral Majority era of the 1980s –Citizens’ Assembly for Critical Thinking about the United States (CACTUS), and Canadian Politics.

Canadian Politics is also Dr. Rainey’s current research interest.  Canada is, in many ways, like the United States.  They have a federal system, they have roots in Great Britain, and they have a diverse population of immigrants.  However, unlike the United States, Canada has officially embraced bilingualism (English and French) in its government, and multiculturalism in its society.  This has not happened without difficulty, and Dr. Rainey studies how bilingualism was implemented and extended in Canada.  Her interest in Canadian politics also spurred the CACTUS class.  Citizens Assemblies began as a way to get citizens involved in reforming government in British Columbia and Ontario, and –along with her husband Glenn Rainey –she studied the Canadian assemblies on electoral reform.

When not teaching and studying around the world, Professor Rainey is a clog dancer –a clogger –and a musician at Our Saviour Episcopal Church in Richmond.  She both directs the choir and is the church organist.  She says one of the advantages of being at EKU for students is that EKU allows students to experience both the small college feel of a liberal arts school and the larger environment of a state university.  Students should get to know their departments, she says.  In the larger university, the department is a small community and can be a resource for learning, finding better careers, and making friends.  Throughout their careers, students will be interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds, and the other students and faculty of the Department of Government are good people to start with.  As important as student relations with the departments are, it is no surprise that Dr. Rainey is the chair of the Student-Faculty Relations Committee within the department, which facilitates the department’s community.

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