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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

It's Capitalism, Stupid!: The Theoretical And Political Limitations Of The Concept Of Neoliberalism, Bryant William Sculos Oct 2019

It's Capitalism, Stupid!: The Theoretical And Political Limitations Of The Concept Of Neoliberalism, Bryant William Sculos

Class, Race and Corporate Power

This polemical essay explores the meaning and function of the concept of neoliberalism, focusing on the serious theoretical and political limitations of the concept. The crux of the argument is that, for those interested in overcoming the exploitative and oppressively destructive elements of global capitalism, opposing "neoliberalism" (even if best understood as a process or a spectrum of "neoliberalization" or simply privatization) is both insufficient and potentially self-undermining. This article also goes into some detail on the issues of health care and climate change in relation to "neoliberalism" (both conceptually and the material processes and policies that this term refers ...


What Do Women Want? The Feminist Pursuit Of Happiness, Hannah Ruth Ellen May 2019

What Do Women Want? The Feminist Pursuit Of Happiness, Hannah Ruth Ellen

Honors Theses

“What do Women Want?” My thesis asks whether women can genuinely seek freedom while also hoping for happiness. I look closely at how male theorists define happiness and liberty for themselves and for others, and in particular for feminized others. My two central chapters focus on theories of individual happiness, happiness sought through another or others, and the ways feminist thinkers reimagine happiness in relationship to women’s freedom. I apply feminist critiques to the concept of psychodynamic therapy as an anti-revolutionary tool designed to isolate and silence women into believing that coping with oppression is equivalent to genuine happiness ...


Three Coins In The Fountain: The Mueller Report And Russian Active Measures, Editor Apr 2019

Three Coins In The Fountain: The Mueller Report And Russian Active Measures, Editor

International Bulletin of Political Psychology

This article identifies non-political elements of Russian Federation political warfare as inferred from the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.


Slogans Appropriate To The Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr., Theodore Walker Jan 2019

Slogans Appropriate To The Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr., Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

For printing signs, banners, posters, tee shirts, and bumper stickers (and for preaching sermons) that are appropriate to the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., please consider the following slogans: ABOLISH WAR, ABOLISH POVERTY, AMEND THE CONSTITUTION, SUPPORT AN ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS, JOBS FOR ALL, GUARANTEED INCOME FOR ALL, SUPPORT UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME, and GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR - Luke 4:14-19.


Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2019

Reconsidering Judicial Independence: Forty-Five Years In The Trenches And In The Tower, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Trusting in the integrity of our institutions when they are not under stress, we focus attention on them both when they are under stress or when we need them to protect us against other institutions. In the case of the federal judiciary, the two conditions often coincide. In this essay, I use personal experience to provide practical context for some of the important lessons about judicial independence to be learned from the periods of stress for the federal judiciary I have observed as a lawyer and concerned citizen, and to provide theoretical context for lessons I have deemed significant as ...


Beyond “Good Behaviour”: A Plan To Restructure The Supreme Court Of The United States, Ross Mcnearney Jan 2019

Beyond “Good Behaviour”: A Plan To Restructure The Supreme Court Of The United States, Ross Mcnearney

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Supreme Court of the United States truly decides what the law is. It is the final say in any legal battle, and as a result, it is in many ways more powerful than either the legislative or executive branches of the United States government. It performs an important check on both of those branches and serves a vital function in the democracy of the United States. But its current structure leaves something to be desired. There are too few justices, and life tenure is a mistake. Plus those justices represent a very geographically narrow selection of the country’s ...


The Purpose Of America’S Public Lands, Kearstyn Cook Dec 2018

The Purpose Of America’S Public Lands, Kearstyn Cook

Honors Theses (PPE)

What is the purpose of America’s public lands? By first reviewing the rise of different conceptions of public lands over the course of American history, then discussing more modern controversies involving the Bears Ears National Monument and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, it becomes clear that there are ultimately three possible solutions: commodification, transcendentalism / preservation, or conservationism. Ultimately, taking a philosophical approach by way of Plato’s definition of “the good life,” this thesis concludes that conservationism is the best conception of the purpose of public lands, because it accommodates for both consumptiveand non-consumptive uses. Accordingly, federal land managers ...


Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Oct 2018

Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this essay is to leverage archival research, data and theoretical perspectives presented in our book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution against Federal Litigation, as a means to illuminate the prospects for retrenchment in the current political landscape. We follow the scheme of the book by separately considering the prospects for federal litigation retrenchment in three lawmaking sites: Congress, federal court rulemaking under the Rules Enabling Act, and the Supreme Court. Although pertinent data on current retrenchment initiatives are limited, our historical data and comparative institutional perspectives should afford a basis for informed prediction. Of course, little in ...


The Politics Of Wounds, Jonathan Nash Aug 2018

The Politics Of Wounds, Jonathan Nash

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

What configuration of strategies and discourses enable the white male and settler body politic to render itself as simultaneously wounded and invulnerable? I contextualize this question by reading the discursive continuities between Euro-America’s War on Terror post-9/11 and Algeria’s War for Independence. By interrogating political-philosophical responses to September 11, 2001 beside American rhetoric of a wounded nation, I argue that white nationalism, as a mode of settler colonialism, appropriates the discourses of political wounding to imagine and legitimize a narrative of white hurt and white victimhood; in effect, reproducing and hardening the borders of the nation-state. Additionally ...


Politics As Loot: Reflections On Theories Of Decline In Political Thought, Milo Ward May 2018

Politics As Loot: Reflections On Theories Of Decline In Political Thought, Milo Ward

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis responds to the perennial theories of political decline in Western political thought by reimagining politics as a part of the loot plundered by the victors of history. It unpacks and critiques prognostications of the impending end of politics, specifically those of theorists Wendy Brown and Hannah Arendt, by dredging up the colonial and the capitalist logics that covertly underpin assumptions that politics is something that can be exclusively possessed. The forensic treatment of narratives of political decline reveals the unmistakable tracks of the rationality of property relations behind laments over the fate of political traditions that also withhold ...


Martin Luther King, Jr.: Jeffersonian; Champion Of Natural Law Philosophy, James M. Masnov Mar 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Jeffersonian; Champion Of Natural Law Philosophy, James M. Masnov

PURE Insights

Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated in mainstream American culture as a champion of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. He is also lauded in the halls of academia for his growing political radicalism prior to his assassination in 1968. Neither view of the man, however, generally acknowledges his deep-rooted political philosophy of Natural Law. This aspect of King, which informed his civic protest, speeches, and political ideology, has been given short shrift in recent decades. While popular culture credits his integrity and intellectuals admire his advocacy for significant reforms in domestic and foreign policy, Martin Luther King, Jr ...


Punishing Assemblages: A Queer, Decolonizing Theory Of The American Prison, Liam Hopkins Jan 2018

Punishing Assemblages: A Queer, Decolonizing Theory Of The American Prison, Liam Hopkins

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Nov 2017

American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public ignorance is an inherent threat to democracy. It breeds superstition, prejudice, and error; and it prevents both a clear-eyed understanding of the world and the formulation of wise policies to adapt to that world.

Plato believed it was more than a threat: He thought it characterized democracies, and would lead them inevitably into anarchy and ultimately tyranny. But the liberal democracies of the modern era, grudgingly extending suffrage, have extended public education in parallel, in the hope of cultivating an informed citizenry. Yet today, given the persistence and severity of public ignorance, the ideal of an enlightened electorate seems ...


Politics, Technology, And Libertarianism, Thomas J. Perry May 2017

Politics, Technology, And Libertarianism, Thomas J. Perry

Honors Projects

In recent years, technology has started to play a major role in the U.S. political climate. Specifically, it has created a platform for outside groups, such as libertarians, to have their voices heard. This brought forward an important research question: How has technology helped or hindered the ability of individually focused libertarians to organize for collective action? Through the exploration of previous research, two major findings are discovered: 1) technology and the growth of individualism in politics are intertwined and 2) technology and individualism both have ties to libertarianism. The implications of libertarianism are analyzed further through the study ...


How Trump Won: Media And The Silent Majority In The 2016 Us Presidential Election, Joshua K. Miller Apr 2017

How Trump Won: Media And The Silent Majority In The 2016 Us Presidential Election, Joshua K. Miller

Senior Honors Theses

Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign ended in victory because of two powerful forces: enormous media advantage gained through sensationalism and a strong coalition made up of evangelicals, pragmatic conservatives, and the silent majority. The work of Neil Postman sheds light on the underlying cultural foundation of Trump’s media advantage. Parallels from the video game industry explain how intentional sensationalism played into Trump’s success in the primary process. Evangelicals and pragmatic conservatives joined Trump’s coalition in spite of his scandals, and Eric Hoffer’s work helps explain his appeal to the silent majority. Ultimately, the patterns of ...


Reimagining Movements: Towards A Queer Ecology And Trans/Black Feminism, Gabriel Benavente Mar 2017

Reimagining Movements: Towards A Queer Ecology And Trans/Black Feminism, Gabriel Benavente

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This thesis seeks to bridge feminist and environmental justice movements through the literature of black women writers. These writers create an archive that contribute towards the liberation of queer, black, and transgender peoples.

In the novel Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler constructs a world that highlights the pervasive effects of climate change. As climate change expedites poverty, Americans begin to blame others, such as queer people, for the destruction of their country. Butler depicts the dangers of fundamentalism as a response to climate change, highlighting an imperative for a movement that does not romanticize the environment as heteronormative, but ...


Bail Reform: New Directions For Pretrial Detention And Release, Megan Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson Mar 2017

Bail Reform: New Directions For Pretrial Detention And Release, Megan Stevenson, Sandra G. Mayson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our current pretrial system imposes high costs on both the people who are detained pretrial and the taxpayers who foot the bill. These costs have prompted a surge of bail reform around the country. Reformers seek to reduce pretrial detention rates, as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities in the pretrial system, while simultaneously improving appearance rates and reducing pretrial crime. The current state of pretrial practice suggests that there is ample room for improvement. Bail hearings are often cursory, with no defense counsel present. Money-bail practices lead to high rates of detention even among misdemeanor defendants and those who ...


Strict Liability's Criminogenic Effect, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2017

Strict Liability's Criminogenic Effect, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is easy to understand the apparent appeal of strict liability to policymakers and legal reformers seeking to reduce crime: if the criminal law can do away with its traditional culpability requirement, it can increase the likelihood of conviction and punishment of those who engage in prohibited conduct or bring about prohibited harm or evil. And such an increase in punishment rate can enhance the crime-control effectiveness of a system built upon general deterrence or incapacitation of the dangerous. Similar arguments support the use of criminal liability for regulatory offenses. Greater punishment rates suggest greater compliance.

But this analysis fails ...


The Value Of Black Lives: The Effect Of The Digital Age On African American Identity And Political Participation, Lauren Grimes Jan 2017

The Value Of Black Lives: The Effect Of The Digital Age On African American Identity And Political Participation, Lauren Grimes

The Journal of Traditions & Beliefs

No abstract provided.


Expanding The Debate: How Can Social Justice And Lasallian Priorities Influence The Electoral Process?, Rosemary Barbera Phd, Ernest Miller Fsc, D. Min. Oct 2016

Expanding The Debate: How Can Social Justice And Lasallian Priorities Influence The Electoral Process?, Rosemary Barbera Phd, Ernest Miller Fsc, D. Min.

Explorer Café

No abstract provided.


How Civility Works, Keith Bybee Sep 2016

How Civility Works, Keith Bybee

Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University

Is civility dead? Americans ask this question every election season, but their concern is hardly limited to political campaigns. Doubts about civility regularly arise in just about every aspect of American public life. Rudeness runs rampant. Our news media is saturated with aggressive bluster and vitriol. Our digital platforms teem with expressions of disrespect and trolls. Reflecting these conditions, surveys show that a significant majority of Americans believe we are living in an age of unusual anger and discord. Everywhere we look, there seems to be conflict and hostility, with shared respect and consideration nowhere to be found. In a ...


The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Feb 2016

The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Ignorance is trending. Despite universal compulsory education; despite new tools for learning and great advances in knowledge; despite breathtaking increases in our ability to store, access, and share a superabundance of information - ignorance flourishes. [excerpt]


The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Jan 2016

The Republic Of Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

“When did ignorance become a point of view?” the cartoon character Dilbert once asked. It’s a question that has become increasingly resonant these days—especially in our public life, and especially in our political campaigns in which elected officials and those who seek election seem to assume a startling level of public ignorance. Perhaps that’s smart. [excerpt]


The Modern Administrative State: Why We Have ‘Big Government’ And How To Run And Reform Bureaucratic Organizations, Sean Y. Sakaguchi Jan 2016

The Modern Administrative State: Why We Have ‘Big Government’ And How To Run And Reform Bureaucratic Organizations, Sean Y. Sakaguchi

CMC Senior Theses

This work asserts that bureaucratic organization is not only an inevitable part of the modern administrative state, but that a high quality bureaucracy within a strongly empowered executive branch is an ideal mechanism for running government in the modern era. Beginning with a philosophical inquiry into the purpose of American government as we understand it today, this paper responds to criticisms of the role of expanded government and develops a framework for evaluating the quality of differing government structures. Following an evaluation of the current debate surrounding bureaucracies (from both proponents and critics), this thesis outlines the lessons and principles ...


Presidential War Powers As An Interactive Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith Jan 2016

Presidential War Powers As An Interactive Dynamic: International Law, Domestic Law, And Practice-Based Legal Change, Curtis A. Bradley, Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the United Nations Charter or specific Security Council resolutions authorize nations to use force abroad, and there is a rich literature on the circumstances under which the U.S. Constitution and statutory law allows the President to use force abroad. These are largely separate areas of scholarship, addressing what are generally perceived to be two distinct levels of legal doctrine. This Article, by contrast, considers these two levels of doctrine together as they relate to the United States. In doing so, it makes three main contributions. First, it demonstrates striking ...


Incumbent Landscapes, Disruptive Uses: Perspectives On Marijuana-Related Land Use Control, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2015

Incumbent Landscapes, Disruptive Uses: Perspectives On Marijuana-Related Land Use Control, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

The story behind the move toward marijuana’s legality is a story of disruptive forces to the incumbent legal and physical landscape. It affects incumbent markets, incumbent places, the incumbent regulatory structure, and the legal system in general which must mediate the battles involving the push for relaxation of illegality and adaptation to accepting new marijuana-related land uses, against efforts toward entrenchment, resilience, and resistance to that disruption.

This Article is entirely agnostic on the issue of whether we should or should not decriminalize, legalize, or otherwise increase legal tolerance for marijuana or any other drugs. Nonetheless, we must grapple ...


The Calculus Of Consent, John Thrasher, Gerald Gaus Dec 2015

The Calculus Of Consent, John Thrasher, Gerald Gaus

Philosophy Faculty Books and Book Chapters

The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy is a groundbreaking work in democratic theory. This chapter argues that it is of continued relevance today, due both to its methodological innovations and its use of those innovative techniques to solve the fundamental problem of democratic justification. In Calculus, James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock fuse economic methods, political theory, and the normative project of showing how democratic institutions of a particular sort can be justified contractually, creating a unique form of democratic contractualism that came to be known as “Constitutional Political Economy” and the more general research program of “Public ...


The Liberal As An Enemy Of Queer Justice, Craig Schamel Oct 2015

The Liberal As An Enemy Of Queer Justice, Craig Schamel

Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum

Abstract

Liberalism as a historical mode of the political is the context in which the movement and ensuing struggle for queer justice emerged in most Western countries. The terminology, practices, tendencies, beliefs, ethics, laws, and patterns of political and social life which have been determined by this mode of the political, it is argued, are inimical to queer justice and render its achievement impossible. Liberalism as a mode of the political is approached from below, from knowledge gained in practical experience in queer groups which considered themselves revolutionary at least to some degree, and from the effects on such groups ...


Illusory Democracy: A Platonic Examination Of Perception, Opinion, And Neoliberalism, Gregory A. Palmer Apr 2015

Illusory Democracy: A Platonic Examination Of Perception, Opinion, And Neoliberalism, Gregory A. Palmer

Senior Theses and Projects

This thesis sets out to define and investigate the problem of "Illusory Democracy" as well as, how it relates to the modern American political system. This thesis uses Plato, through a Straussian lens, to interpret and analyze the nature, causes, and possible solutions to this modern problem facing the American democratic system.


The Myth Of The White Minority, Andrew Pierce Dec 2014

The Myth Of The White Minority, Andrew Pierce

Andrew J. Pierce

In recent years, and especially in the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection, projections that whites will soon become a minority have proliferated. In this essay, I will argue that such predictions are misleading at best, as they rest on questionable philosophical presuppositions, including the presupposition that racial concepts like ‘whiteness’ are static and unchanging rather than fluid and continually being reconstructed. If I am right about these fundamental inaccuracies, one must wonder why the myth of the white minority persists. I will argue that by re-envisioning whites as a minority culture struggling against a hostile dominant group, and by ...