Brent Nelsen was raised in Wisconsin and earned degrees from Wheaton College (Ill.) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in political science in 1989 and began teaching at Furman in January 1990.
Dr. Nelsen’s teaching and scholarship focus on Europe. He teaches courses on the politics of Europe and the European Union, as well as a course on the politics of the international economic system. More recently Dr. Nelsen has teamed up with one of his former students (Alexander Stubb, now foreign minister of Finland) to publish a textbook on the European Union called The European Union: Readings on the Theory and Practice of European Integration (Lynne Rienner), now in its third edition.
Since 2001, Dr. Nelsen has shifted his research interests to the study of religion and politics in Europe. He and his Furman colleague Jim Guth have published several articles on how religion shapes the attitudes of Europeans toward the European.
Dr. Nelsen married his wife Lori in 1981. They have three children: Kirsten, Evan and Derek. The family helped start Redeemer Presbyterian Church in 2001; Dr. Nelsen serves as an elder in the church. He loves to read, run, hike, garden, ski—and take students on travel-study tours to all of his favorite places in Europe.