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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

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 ...


America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions Of Power And Community, Robert Tsai Mar 2014

America's Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions Of Power And Community, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

The U.S. Constitution opens by proclaiming the sovereignty of all citizens: "We the People." Robert Tsai's gripping history of alternative constitutions invites readers into the circle of those who have rejected this ringing assertion--the defiant groups that refused to accept the Constitution's definition of who "the people" are and how their authority should be exercised. America's Forgotten Constitutions is the story of America as told by dissenters: squatters, Native Americans, abolitionists, socialists, internationalists, and racial nationalists. Beginning in the nineteenth century, Tsai chronicles eight episodes in which discontented citizens took the extraordinary step of drafting a ...


"Simple" Takes On The Supreme Court, Robert Tsai Dec 2012

"Simple" Takes On The Supreme Court, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This essay assesses black literature as a medium for working out popular understandings of America’s Constitution and laws. Starting in the 1940s, Langston Hughes’s fictional character, Jesse B. Semple, began appearing in the prominent black newspaper, the Chicago Defender. The figure affectionately known as “Simple” was undereducated, unsophisticated, and plain spoken - certainly to a fault according to prevailing standards of civility, race relations, and professional attainment. Butthese very traits, along with a gritty experience under Jim Crow, made him not only a sympathetic figure but also an armchair legal theorist. In a series of barroom conversations, Simple ably ...


Discourse And Argument In Instituting The Governance Of Social Law, Richard Weiner Mar 2012

Discourse And Argument In Instituting The Governance Of Social Law, Richard Weiner

Richard R Weiner

Social Rights were initially understood as the rights of a pluralism of instituted associations; and transformed to the rights of distributive justice associated with the politics of access to welfare state corporatism. More recently, they have been understood as the rights of multicultural difference; and now as the rights to complexity (Zolo), and rights to consideration of polycontextural effect vis-�- vis transnational corporations (Teubner). Social rights are no longer subject positions versus political bodies, but also against social institutions, in particular, vis-�-vis centers of economic power.


Traces Of The Stillborn? , Richard Weiner Mar 2012

Traces Of The Stillborn? , Richard Weiner

Richard R Weiner

The architect Daniel Libeskind has written a noted lecture, "Traces of the Unborn." We might add, "Traces of the Stillborn." There is a tendency in historical institutionalism (HI) to concentrate on the retrieval of traces of paths taken rather than (1) to consider the processes involved in the selection of paths; and (2) to reflect upon the conditions of institutional emergence and sedimentation of paths, whether taken or untaken. Contrary to the path-dependency obsessed historical institutionalism of a Paul Pierson, this paper stresses the significance of historical case studies of institutional emergence in the earlier 20th century and their diremptive ...


Piacular Subjectivity And Contested Narrative In The Imre Nagy Memorials, Karl Benziger, Richard Weiner Mar 2012

Piacular Subjectivity And Contested Narrative In The Imre Nagy Memorials, Karl Benziger, Richard Weiner

Richard R Weiner

The funeral of Imre Nagy on June 16, 1989 can be seen as a critical moment in the Hungarian transition to a democratic republic as it explicitly undermined the moral and political authority of the communist government then in power. This Nagy memorial signified a longing for a national identity tied to the spirit of republicanism that had been thwarted in 1956 and had roots going back to 1848. The unity of purpose displayed by the Hungarian people at the funeral brings to mind Emile Durkheim_s analysis of piaculum and the conscience collective. This is what the sociologist, Robert Bellah ...


The Politics Of Hate, Robert Tsai Dec 2011

The Politics Of Hate, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This is a special issue dedicated to the topic of hate and political discourse. Collectively, the peer-reviewed articles in this volume are concerned with the political aspects of hatred, i.e., psychology, motivations, organization, tactics, and ends. The articles approach the problem from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, history, law, literature, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. Among the subjects analyzed: group hatred as a heritable trait; hate as an irrational system of thought; Italian fascism's construction of the Communist other; the rise of the English Defence League and its anti-Islam activities; the persistent myth of blood libel ...


Course Syllabus: Harry Potter And International Politics - Identity, Violence And Social Control, Emma Norman Dec 2011

Course Syllabus: Harry Potter And International Politics - Identity, Violence And Social Control, Emma Norman

Emma R. Norman

The themes we draw from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series are used to illuminate parallels in contemporary world politics and to apprehend in detail some of the key problems that revolve around the three core themes of the course (identity, violence, and social control). How, for instance, does life in Hogwarts help to illuminate the multiple, crosscutting identities produced by globalization? How does the divide between wizards and muggles, or Hermione’s obsession with elvish welfare, serve to illuminate continued discrimination in current liberal democracies and do these narratives help to widen our options when it comes to ...


Piacular Subjectivity And Contested Narrative In The Imre Nagy Memorials, Karl Benziger, Richard Weiner Jun 2011

Piacular Subjectivity And Contested Narrative In The Imre Nagy Memorials, Karl Benziger, Richard Weiner

Karl P. Benziger

The funeral of Imre Nagy on June 16, 1989 can be seen as a critical moment in the Hungarian transition to a democratic republic as it explicitly undermined the moral and political authority of the communist government then in power. This Nagy memorial signified a longing for a national identity tied to the spirit of republicanism that had been thwarted in 1956 and had roots going back to 1848. The unity of purpose displayed by the Hungarian people at the funeral brings to mind Emile Durkheim_s analysis of piaculum and the conscience collective. This is what the sociologist, Robert Bellah ...


Aryans, Gender, And American Politics, Robert Tsai Dec 2010

Aryans, Gender, And American Politics, Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This short essay discusses some of the ways in which the Aryan movement in America activates gendered beliefs for the goal of cultural, legal, and political transformation. It is drawn from "Defiant Designs: America's Forgotten Constitutions" (forthcoming, Harvard, 2012)


Book Review Of Beau Breslin, "From Words To Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality", Robert Tsai Dec 2009

Book Review Of Beau Breslin, "From Words To Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality", Robert Tsai

Robert L Tsai

This is a review of Beau Breslin's book, "From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality" (Johns Hopkins, 2009). As an antidote to what he believes to be scholarly marginalization of the "unique" aspects of a written constitution, Breslin focuses attention on seven functions of such a legal text: transforming existing orders, conveying collective aspirations, designing institutions, mediating conflict, recognizing claims of subnational communities, empowering social actors, and constraining governmental authority. This review briefly critiques Breslin's functional approach and discusses two of the more pressing goals of modern constitutionalism: managing social conflict and preserving cultural heritage.