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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Epicurean Justice And Law, Jan Maximilian Robitzsch Jan 2016

Epicurean Justice And Law, Jan Maximilian Robitzsch

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation concerns a cluster of related issues surrounding the Epicurean conception of justice. First, I show that the Epicureans defend a sophisticated kind of social contract theory and maintain a kind of legal positivism, views that are widely held today and so are of continuing interest for contemporary readers. In doing so, I argue that thinking about justice and law forms an integral part of Epicurean philosophy (pace the standard view). Second, I take up some neglected issues regarding justice and so provide detailed accounts of the metaphysics of moral properties in Epicureanism as well as of Epicurean moral ...


The Slave South In The Far West: California, The Pacific, And Proslavery Visions Of Empire, Kevin Waite Jan 2016

The Slave South In The Far West: California, The Pacific, And Proslavery Visions Of Empire, Kevin Waite

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation rests on a relatively simple premise: America’s road to disunion ran west, and unless we account for the transcontinental and trans-Pacific ambitions of slaveholders, our understanding of the nation’s bloodiest conflict will remain incomplete. Whereas a number of important works have explored southern imperialism within the Atlantic Basin, surprisingly little has been written on the far western dimension of proslavery expansion. My work traces two interrelated initiatives – the southern campaign for a transcontinental railroad and the extension of a proslavery political order across the Far Southwest – in order to situate the struggle over slavery in a ...


Powerless In Movement: How Social Movements Influence, And Fail To Influence, American Politics And Policy, Matthew Mongiello Mongiello Jan 2016

Powerless In Movement: How Social Movements Influence, And Fail To Influence, American Politics And Policy, Matthew Mongiello Mongiello

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Much of the literature on social movements centers on cyclical theories of political opportunity. While such work lays an important foundation for understanding contentious politics, it fails to fully integrate movements as actors in the American political system and public policy process. As such, the ways movements exercise power in the American political system, and the ways that power is constrained, are often not clearly conceptualized. This dissertation argues that movements exercise political power in the US in three distinct but overlapping ways; pluralist interest group power, plebiscitary opinion power, and disruptive contentious power. Through public law and empirical analyses ...