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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Embracing Our First Responder Role As Academics - With Inspiration From Langston Hughes, Angela Mae Kupenda Oct 2017

Embracing Our First Responder Role As Academics - With Inspiration From Langston Hughes, Angela Mae Kupenda

Journal Articles

In the midst of the post-2016 political crisis, our role as academics is that of First Responders. In physical crises, like a fire, First Responders play an important role. They intentionally put themselves in harm’s way to fulfill an overarching purpose of helping others, even at their own risk. They strategically prepare, train, and work for years to prepare for this role in the midst of crisis. As academics who care about equality, we are First Responders.


Lords And Order: Credible Rulers And State Failure, Matthew Dimick Jan 2015

Lords And Order: Credible Rulers And State Failure, Matthew Dimick

Journal Articles

Why do states fail? Why do failed states persist without collapsing into complete anarchy? This paper argues that given insurgency or weakened state capacity, rulers may find it best, paradoxically, to reduce the amount of political good it provides as a means of sustaining some amount of their rule. Moreover, although the consequence is political fragmentation and increasing levels of violence, this is not inconsistent with the continuation of attenuated central governance. To evaluate this argument, I select the case of King Stephen’s reign in medieval England. Although far removed historically from contemporary cases of state failure, the reign ...


Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder Jan 2015

Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Political philosophers have long debated the problem of political and legal obligation: how the existence of a political community and its laws can affect our obligations. This paper applies Alon Harel’s argument that law has intrinsic value to this venerable problem. It interprets Harel’s argument as a Kantian claim that law enables us to treat our fellows with the respect they deserve, by requiring us not only to treat them decently, but to recognize decent treatment as their right.


Federalism And Subnational Political Community, James A. Gardner Jan 2014

Federalism And Subnational Political Community, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


The Incompatible Treatment Of Majorities In Election Law And Deliberative Democracy, James A. Gardner Jan 2013

The Incompatible Treatment Of Majorities In Election Law And Deliberative Democracy, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Deliberative democracy offers a distinctive and appealing conception of political life, but is it one that might be called into service to guide actual reform of existing election law? This possibility seems remote because election law and deliberative democracy are built around different priorities and theoretical premises. A foundational area of disagreement lies in the treatment of majorities. Election law is structured, at both the legislative and constitutional levels, so as to privilege majorities and systematically to magnify their power, whereas deliberative democracy aims at privileging minorities (or at least de-privileging majorities). The main purpose of the election law now ...


Election Law As Applied Democratic Theory, James A. Gardner Jan 2012

Election Law As Applied Democratic Theory, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Democracy does not implement itself; a society’s commitment to govern itself democratically can be effectuated only through law. Yet as soon as law appears on the scene significant choices must be made concerning the legal structure of democratic institutions. The heart of the study of election law is thus the examination of the choices that our laws make in seeking to structure a workable system of democratic self-rule. In this essay, written for a symposium on Teaching Election Law, I describe how my Election Law course and materials focus on questions of choice in institutional design by emphasizing election ...


The Democratic Common Law, Matthew Steilen Jan 2011

The Democratic Common Law, Matthew Steilen

Journal Articles

This article explores the democratic features of common-law judicial law-making. It begins by examining the so-called “classical” account of the common law, associated with English jurists Edward Coke and Matthew Hale. These jurists describe the common law as a kind of “reasonable custom” that emerges out of a public process in which lawyers exchange reasons with the court about how to resolve a dispute. The article then turns to modern common-law adjudication, and, drawing on the work of Fred Schauer, Edward Levi, Martin Golding, and others, shows how public deliberation prominently features in the modern adjudicative process as well. The ...


Anonymity And Democratic Citizenship, James A. Gardner Jan 2011

Anonymity And Democratic Citizenship, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Many aspects of modern democratic life are or can be performed anonymously – voting, financial contributions, petition signing, political speech and debate, communication with and lobbying of officials, and so forth. But is it desirable for citizens to perform such tasks anonymously? Anonymity frees people from social pressures associated with observation and identifiability, but does this freedom produce behavior that is democratically beneficial? What, in short, is the effect of anonymity on the behavior of democratic citizens, and how should we evaluate it?

In this paper, I attempt a first pass answer to these questions by turning to both democratic theory ...


New York’S Inbred Judiciary: Pathologies Of Nomination And Appointment Of Court Of Appeals Judges, James A. Gardner Jan 2010

New York’S Inbred Judiciary: Pathologies Of Nomination And Appointment Of Court Of Appeals Judges, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

The practice of selecting judges by popular election, commonplace among the American states, has recently come in for a good deal of criticism, much of it well-founded. But if popular election of judges is a bad method of judicial selection, what ought to replace it? Opponents of judicial election typically treat gubernatorial appointment as self-evidently better. New York’s experience with gubernatorial appointment to its highest court, the Court of Appeals, suggests that greater caution is in order. Although New York’s current method of selecting Court of Appeals judges was designed to be wide open and based entirely on ...


The Dignity Of Voters—A Dissent, James A. Gardner Jan 2010

The Dignity Of Voters—A Dissent, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Since the waning days of the Burger Court, the federal judiciary has developed a generally well-deserved reputation for hostility to constitutional claims of individual right. In the field of democratic process, however, the Supreme Court has not only affirmed and expanded the applications of previously recognized rights, but has also regularly recognized new individual rights and deployed them with considerable vigor. The latest manifestation of this trend appears to be the emergence of a new species of vote dilution claim that recognizes a constitutionally grounded right against having one’s vote “cancelled out” by fraud or error in the casting ...


Democracy Without A Net? Separation Of Powers And The Idea Of Self-Sustaining Constitutional Constraints On Undemocratic Behavior, James A. Gardner Jan 2005

Democracy Without A Net? Separation Of Powers And The Idea Of Self-Sustaining Constitutional Constraints On Undemocratic Behavior, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

The United States Constitution is designed to achieve good government by relying on two distinct systems: a primary system that achieves good governance through democratic electoral accountability; and a set of self-sustaining structural backup systems designed for situations in which the democratic system fails, and which operate by limiting the ability of bad rulers to do serious harm to the public good. A key premise of this kind of dual structural arrangement is that effective backup systems must operate independently of primary democratic systems; because they are needed precisely when democratic mechanisms have failed, they cannot depend for their success ...


Forcing States To Be Free: The Emerging Constitutional Guarantee Of Radical Democracy, James A. Gardner Jan 2003

Forcing States To Be Free: The Emerging Constitutional Guarantee Of Radical Democracy, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Punishment Theory: Moral Or Political?, Guyora Binder Jan 2002

Punishment Theory: Moral Or Political?, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This article argues that the justification of punishment is best conceived as a problem of political theory rather than moral philosophy. Noting the familiar charge that utilitarianism permits framing the innocent, it argues that retributivism is equally vulnerable to the charge that it permits lynching the guilty. It argues that both critiques unfairly attribute lawlessness and dishonesty to the respective punishment theories. As a result, they mischaracterize both as theories about what individuals should do, rather than what acts legitimate government should authorize. In so doing, they disregard how committed the founders of the respective theories were to the rule ...


One Person, One Vote, And The Possibility Of Political Community, James A. Gardner Jan 2002

One Person, One Vote, And The Possibility Of Political Community, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Can Party Politics Be Virtuous?, James A. Gardner Jan 2000

Can Party Politics Be Virtuous?, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Devolution And The Paradox Of Democratic Unresponsiveness, James A. Gardner Jan 1999

Devolution And The Paradox Of Democratic Unresponsiveness, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Liberty, Community And The Constitutional Structure Of Political Influence: A Reconsideration Of The Right To Vote, James A. Gardner Jan 1997

Liberty, Community And The Constitutional Structure Of Political Influence: A Reconsideration Of The Right To Vote, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Shut Up And Vote: A Critique Of Deliberative Democracy And The Life Of Talk, James A. Gardner Jan 1993

Shut Up And Vote: A Critique Of Deliberative Democracy And The Life Of Talk, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


The Case For Self-Determination, Guyora Binder Jan 1993

The Case For Self-Determination, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This lecture offers an analysis and defense of the right of self-determination of peoples. The argument begins by analyzing self-determination into its universalist and nationalist components. The universalist component of self-determination is satisfied wherever institutions of government are majoritarian. The nationalist component of self-determination is satisfied to the extent that institutions of government are identified with particular communities. The universalist compoent is now widely recognized as an authoritative principle of international law. The nationalist component remains controversial, particularly outside of the particular context of the dismantling of European colonial empires. The lecture proceeds to defend the nationalist component by attacking ...


Discourse And Difference—A Reply To Parness And Cogan, James A. Gardner Jan 1992

Discourse And Difference—A Reply To Parness And Cogan, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


What's Left?, Guyora Binder Jan 1991

What's Left?, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Addressing the future of radical politics at the end of the cold war, this article offers a reconstruction of radical theory around the goal of enabling collaborative self-realization through participatory democratic politics. It offers an interpretation of the radical tradition as defined by a view of human nature as a cultural artifact, and a conception of liberation as the self-conscious transformation of human nature. It proceeds to critique radical theory’s traditional focus on revolution as the means of radical transformation. Distinguishing instrumental and self-expressive conceptions of transformation it critiques revolutionary processes as tending to reproduce instrumental culture. It offers ...


Consent, Legitimacy And Elections: Implementing Popular Sovereignty Under The Lockean Constitution, James A. Gardner Jan 1990

Consent, Legitimacy And Elections: Implementing Popular Sovereignty Under The Lockean Constitution, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.