Dr. Rotnem is a professor of political science in Southern Polytechnic State University's Department of Social and International Studies. He teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations. He currently serves the department as coordinator of both the Political Science and the International Studies majors.
In the 2011-2012 academic year, he received SPSU’s Teacher of the Year award; before that, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award twice (in 2001 and 2010), was nominated for the award in 2005, and was awarded the Student Government Association’s Faculty of the Year award in 2007.
Dr. Rotnem earned dual B.A. degrees in Political Science and International Studies and an M.A. in Political Science from Ohio University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from The Ohio State University, as well as a Graduate Certificate as Specialist in Russian Area Studies. In addition, since coming to SPSU, he has earned a M.B.A. (in Finance) from Georgia State University.
His concentrations within political science are in comparative politics and international political economy, with a specialization in Russian domestic and foreign politics. His research has focused special attention upon the democratization and “resource curse” literatures in comparative politics and international political economy. He has published papers and articles on a variety of subjects, including social welfare policies in transitioning economies, foreign direct investment in emerging markets, and the politics of oil and natural gas in resource-rich petro-states. Dr. Rotnem is currently revising a chapter for publication in an edited volume on Sino-Russian engagement in Northeast Asia, a region of particular and on-going interest in his work.
Receiving grants from a variety of sources has enabled Dr. Rotnem to carry on much of the aforementioned scholarly work. In the past, he has received grants and/or fellowships from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Education, the Social Science Research Council, the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study/American Council for Teachers of Russian (ACCELS/ACTR), and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies.
Dr. Rotnem has presented his research at conferences and symposia in the United States and abroad. Two of particular formative significance for him were week-long symposia under the auspices of the Salzburg Seminar that focused upon U.S. foreign policy in Northeast Asia and Russia’s future political development. Another exceptionally formative experience for him was that as a Fulbright Lecturing Award recipient in 2010, an experience that allowed him to engage and interact with international students and scholars in Eastern Europe.
Beyond his teaching and research interests, Dr. Rotnem has recently served as the President of the Georgia Political Science Association, the second-largest statewide political science organization in the United States. In 2010-2011, he served as Program Chair for the body’s annual meeting which brought approximately 200 students and scholars together in Savannah, Georgia to discuss the broad theme of “Revolutionary Change in a World of Ferment.” Dr. Rotnem also serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of the Proceedings of the Georgia Political Science Association, a refereed publication of scholarly papers intended primarily as a resource for the teaching political scientist.