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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

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 Morality Of National Defense: An Aristotelian-Thomist Account, Craig M. White May 2018

The Morality Of National Defense: An Aristotelian-Thomist Account, Craig M. White

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

In current just war theory debates, some scholars claim that a moral right to defend a nation cannot be demonstrated. Others claim that any case for the morality of even defensive war must reflect standards of interpersonal morality. This dissertation goes back to the natural law tradition behind just war theory to offer a moral argument in favor of national defense that is not based on an individualist account, but also rejects absolute accounts of national sovereignty, with its attendant problems. National defense is usually but not always just.

I defend arguing from “a tradition” in MacIntyre’s sense, and ...


On The Military’S Normative Commitment To Assist In Revolution, Sebastian Awatramani Jan 2018

On The Military’S Normative Commitment To Assist In Revolution, Sebastian Awatramani

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Locke held that the People reserve a right of revolution in the case that a government egregiously violates the social contract to such an extent that it renders itself illegitimate. At the time of his writing, revolution was a potentially feasible endeavor insofar as the technological war making capabilities of a citizenry were on, or at least on something close to, equal footing with those of the government. As technology advanced over the following centuries, however, a disparity between the war making capability of advanced states and their citizenry arose, wherein the governments of modern, advanced states gained access to ...


Beyond Secularism: Radical Orthodoxy In Conversation With Radical Democracy, Matthew Raymond Bradney Jan 2017

Beyond Secularism: Radical Orthodoxy In Conversation With Radical Democracy, Matthew Raymond Bradney

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

In my dissertation, I set for myself three basic tasks. First, I try to show that much radical democratic theory results in nihilism. Second, I draw out the consequences of nihilism. Put briefly, the major consequence of nihilism is the unreasonable character of almost all of our deeply held moral and political beliefs, such as the dignity of human beings, the value of democracy, the importance of rights, and so forth. The nihilistic conclusion, then, is that the West cannot justify its own values. Third, and most importantly, I examine how the conclusion of nihilism might be avoided. Is there ...


A United State Of Injustice, Alexa L. Wach Jan 2016

A United State Of Injustice, Alexa L. Wach

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Abstract: There are actions carried out by government under the guise of political authority that are immoral and unjust. I hope to show that the fact that government is the entity carrying out the morally questionable action is not sufficient to satisfy conditions that make prima facie wrong actions morally permissible. I will explore some political theories that attempt to explain why government has political authority, then challenge those theories. In an attempt to make clear why political authority is unjustified, I provide an argument in the form of a variety of extreme examples in which political authority might be ...


Sex Is The Warmest Color: Intimate Relations Of Power And Truth In England And Thailand, Maria Valershteyn Jan 2015

Sex Is The Warmest Color: Intimate Relations Of Power And Truth In England And Thailand, Maria Valershteyn

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Substitutive sexuality….the infinite cannot be made into matter, but it is possible to create an illusion of the infinite: the image…and skin, a mass of scars, a skeleton’s robe…but they certainly are truth.

Andrei Tarkovsky, ‘The Sacrifice’

This honors thesis outlines the importance of sexuality and its connotations in the political as well as social sphere of society. The purpose of this work is to illustrate the underlining reasoning within people and states using a sexual discourse. By applying Michel Foucault’s theory of sexuality and relations of power, a description of a society’s system ...


Beyond The Democratic State: Anti-Authoritarian Interventions In Democratic Theory, Brian Carl Bernhardt Jun 2014

Beyond The Democratic State: Anti-Authoritarian Interventions In Democratic Theory, Brian Carl Bernhardt

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Though democracy has achieved widespread global popularity, its meaning has become increasingly vacuous and citizen confidence in democratic governments continues to erode. I respond to this tension by articulating a vision of democracy inspired by anti-authoritarian theory and social movement practice. By anti-authoritarian, I mean a commitment to individual liberty, a skepticism toward centralized power, and a belief in the capacity of self-organization. This dissertation fosters a conversation between an anti-authoritarian perspective and democratic theory: What would an account of democracy that begins from these three commitments look like? In the first two chapters, I develop an anti-authoritarian account of ...


The Non-Solicitation Principle Of Democratic Legitimacy, James Michael Hall Jan 2014

The Non-Solicitation Principle Of Democratic Legitimacy, James Michael Hall

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

There are many problems with contemporary forms of democratic government. Apathy, factions, and the problem of legitimizing authority in a democracy plagued by both are among the most important of the problems democracies face today, especially in the United States. I propose a principle of non-solicitation for government positions. This principle solves the aforementioned problems by (i) widening the sphere of possible political participation, (ii) abating the problem of factions, and (iii) legitimizing authority as the right to rule under deliberative democracy, consent, reasonable consensus, and equality theories of legitimization.


Following In The Squatter’S Footsteps: An Illegal Immigrant’S Path To Citizenship, Hannah Christine Fowler Jan 2013

Following In The Squatter’S Footsteps: An Illegal Immigrant’S Path To Citizenship, Hannah Christine Fowler

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

With an argument by analogy, I propose a framework of ‘adverse occupation’ as both a compromise to the proponents of the affiliation view and the autonomy view as well as an applicable solution within non-ideal theory. The components of this framework should be able to account for previous concerns addressed by these proponents by advancing a method of acquisition of certain rights by occupying a county under certain conditions. ‘Adverse occupation’ has five elements that must be established: the occupation must be (1) open, (2) continuous for the statutory period, (3) exhibiting the breadth of an established, contributing lifestyle, (4 ...


A Theory Of Just Immigration Policy, Martin Alberto Chamorro Jan 2013

A Theory Of Just Immigration Policy, Martin Alberto Chamorro

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The philosophical discussion on immigration has been dominated by the debate over the state’s right of exclusion. Scholars who focus on the question of exclusion have missed an important first step, which needs to be taken before exclusion can be considered at all. This step is to ask what justifies a state to take any kind of harmful measure against immigrants in the first place. Only after that question is answered by showing that states have significant morally legitimate interests that ought to be secured, may we then ask what kinds of harmful measures a state may use against ...


An Honest Heart And A Knowing Head: A Study Of The Moral, Political, And Educational Thought Of Jean-Jacques Rousseau And Thomas Jefferson, Jason Robles Jan 2012

An Honest Heart And A Knowing Head: A Study Of The Moral, Political, And Educational Thought Of Jean-Jacques Rousseau And Thomas Jefferson, Jason Robles

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The picture of democracy we get from both Thomas Jefferson and Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one that is characterized by potentiality or possibility: the development of democracy and the cultivation of virtuous, republican citizens are processes of perpetual becoming, or perpetual improvement and progress towards an ideal form of freedom. My primary objective is to demonstrate an affinity in principle between the moral, political, and educational thought of Thomas Jefferson and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. While similarity is demonstrable, I do not claim that Jeffersonian republicanism and Rousseauian republicanism are merely ideological or theoretical carbon copies; each is, in fact, distinct in its ...


Contesting Philosophical Authority In The Belly Of El Monstruo: A Case Study In Nonideal Political Theory And Epistemic Democracy, David Eric Meens Jan 2012

Contesting Philosophical Authority In The Belly Of El Monstruo: A Case Study In Nonideal Political Theory And Epistemic Democracy, David Eric Meens

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

What is philosophical inquiry about, how does one do it, and what is it good for? This paper draws upon original empirical work and is, in part, an instance of what students of the social sciences, especially those engaged in qualitative approaches to research such as ethnography, will recognize as what Fred Erickson termed a “natural history of inquiry.” During the summers of 2009 and 2010, I spent about two months conducting research in collaboration with a small, independent community located in Itztapalapa, an impoverished neighborhood of Mexico City. I set out to test one possible conceptualization of a political ...


Provisional To Perfect: A Kantian Theory Of Humanitarian Intervention, Heather Roff Perkins Jan 2010

Provisional To Perfect: A Kantian Theory Of Humanitarian Intervention, Heather Roff Perkins

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Several scholars claim that Kant’s ethical and political theories are inconsistent. These “inconsistencies” become apparent when scholars attempt to apply Kant’s ethical and political framework to problems in international relations, such as humanitarian intervention (HI). Kok-Chor Tan argues that HI is an imperfect duty of benevolence (ethics), for example, while Carla Bagnoli argues that HI a perfect duty of right (justice). I argue the parties in this debate are misguided, though much of the disagreement is owing to a failure on Kant’s part to provide a robust conception of justice in the state of nature. First, I ...