The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life is named after Annette Greenfield Strauss, former mayor of Dallas, who spent some forty years as a city volunteer and community activist. The Institute conducts original research on the growing problem of civic disengagement, especially among the nation's young people, and tries to find practical ways of increasing participation. Strictly non-partisan, the Institute's funding has come from the Aspen Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Annenberg Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Council for Excellence in Government in Washington.
The Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies is associated closely with the Department and supports Government graduate student research in Australia and New Zealand, and on U.S. relations with the two countries and the wider Southeast Asian area.
This area studies Center is associated closely with the Government Department, although the Center's mission is inter-disciplinary. Its political research focus is on European integration, immigration patterns and policies in Europe, and racial and ethnic conflicts in Europe. The Center houses the EU Center of Excellence, the student and faculty exchange at European University in Viadrina, Germany, and the student exchange at the University of Erfurt, Germany. The Center also runs an Outreach Program for K-12 schools throughout the Austin area.
The aim of the Thomas Jefferson Center is to realize Jefferson’s vision of educating citizens and leaders to understand the meaning of liberty and to exercise it wisely. Students engage in a direct, respectful, but probing and critical study of major creative and theoretical works that have shaped human thought and history. They enter into debates about human nature, ethics, and the meaning of life that have unfolded over centuries. They learn skills of critical reasoning, close reading, and clear, cogent writing.