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Selected Works

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke Apr 2018

Theorizing American Freedom (Review Essay), Anthony O'Rourke

Anthony O'Rourke

This is a review essay of The Two Faces of American Freedom, by Aziz Rana. The book presents a new and provocative account of the relationship between ideas of freedom and the constitutional structure of American power. Through the nineteenth century, Rana argues, America’s constitutional structure was shaped by a racially exclusionary, yet economically robust, concept that he calls “settler freedom.” Drawing on the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of settler colonial studies, as well as on the vast historical literature on civic republicanism, Rana contends that the concept of settler freedom necessitated a constitutional framework that enabled rapid territorial expansion ...


The Structural Injustice Of Forced Migration And The Failings Of Normative Theory, David Ingram Oct 2013

The Structural Injustice Of Forced Migration And The Failings Of Normative Theory, David Ingram

David Ingram

I propose to criticize two strands of argument - contractarian and utilitarian – that liberals have put forth in defense of economic coercion, based on the notion of justifiable paternalism. To illustrate my argument, I appeal to the example of forced labor migration, driven by the exigencies of market forces. In particular, I argue that the forced migration of a special subset of unemployed workers lacking other means of subsistence (economic refugees) cannot be redeemed paternalistically as freedom or welfare enhancing in the long run. I further argue that contractarian and utilitarian approaches are normatively incapable of appreciating this fact because the ...


Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram Oct 2013

Of Sweatshops And Human Subsistence: Habermas On Human Rights, David Ingram

David Ingram

In this paper I argue that the discourse theoretic account of human rights defended by Jürgen Habermas contains a fruitful tension that is obscured by its dominant tendency to identify rights with legal claims. This weakness in Habermas’s account becomes manifest when we examine how sweatshops diminish the secure enjoyment of subsistence, which Habermas himself (in recognition of the UDHR) recognizes as a human right. Discourse theories of human rights are unique in tying the legitimacy of human rights to democratic deliberation and consensus. So construed, their specific meaning and force is the outcome of historical political struggle. However ...