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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder Oct 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.


Dog Whistling, The Color-Blind Jurisprudential Regime And The Constitutional Politics Of Race, Calvin J. Terbeek Jan 2015

Dog Whistling, The Color-Blind Jurisprudential Regime And The Constitutional Politics Of Race, Calvin J. Terbeek

Calvin J TerBeek

Ian Haney Lopez’s new book, "Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class", has a provocative thesis. Lopez contends that dog-whistling, that is, coded racial rhetoric, “explains how politicians backed by concentrated wealth manipulate racial appeals to win elections and also to win support for regressive policies that help corporations and the super-rich, and in the process wreck the middle class." Though this may seem plausible enough, the thesis cannot stand up to scrutiny; the relevant political science literature provides no support for this. What is more, Lopez's treatment of the ...


Two Dogmas Of Originalism, Ian Bartrum Jan 2015

Two Dogmas Of Originalism, Ian Bartrum

Washington University Jurisprudence Review

In the early 1950s, Willlard Quine’s Two Dogmas of Empiricism offered a devastating critique of logical positivism and the effort to distinguish “science” from “metaphysics.” Quine demonstrated that the positivists relied on dogmatic oversimplifications of both the world and human practices, and, in the end, suggested that our holistic natural experience cannot be reduced to purely logical explanations. In this piece, I argue that constitutional originalism—which, too, seeks to define a constitutional “science”—relies on similar dogmatisms. In particular, I contend that the “fixation thesis,” which claims that the constitutional judge’s first task is to fix the ...


Three Arguments About War, Robert Tsai Dec 2014

Three Arguments About War, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

The rise of the United States as a military power capable of mounting global warfare and subduing domestic rebellions has helped produce a corresponding shift in the language of liberal constitutionalism. Arguments invoking war have become prevalent, increasingly creative and far-reaching, and therefore an emerging threat to rule of law values. It is not only legal limits on the capacity to wage war that have been influenced by the ascendance of war-inspired discourse; seemingly unrelated areas of law have also been reshaped by talk of war, from the constitutional rules of criminal procedure to the promise of racial and sexual ...