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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Sell Unipolarity? The Future Of An Overvalued Concept, Jeffrey W. Legro Sep 2011

Sell Unipolarity? The Future Of An Overvalued Concept, Jeffrey W. Legro

Political Science Faculty Publications

For at least the past thirty years, scholarship on international relations has been bewitched by a simple proposition: the polarity of the international system is a central cause of great power strategies and politics. The number of "poles" (dominant countries) in the system is like an invisible fence that shapes states as if they were dogs with electronic collars or a Skinner box that conditions national "rats." States can choose to ignore the fence or box, but if they do, they must pay the consequences. The polarity of the international system as defined by the number of great powers - involving ...


The Principle Of Fairness And States’ Duty To Obey International Law, David Lefkowitz Jul 2011

The Principle Of Fairness And States’ Duty To Obey International Law, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Philosophers and political theorists have developed a number of different justifications for the duty to obey domestic law. The possibility of using one (or more) of these justifications to demonstrate that states have a duty to obey international law seems a natural starting point for an analysis of international political obligation. Amongst the accounts of the duty to obey domestic law, one that appears to have a great deal of intuitive appeal, and that has attracted a significant number of philosophical defenders, is the principle of fairness (or fair play). In this paper, I examine the possibility of using the ...


The Rollercoaster Ride Of Redistricting, Thomas J. Shields May 2011

The Rollercoaster Ride Of Redistricting, Thomas J. Shields

School of Professional and Continuing Studies Faculty Publications

At Kings Dominion they have rollercoaster rides called the Intimidator, the Dominator, the Grizzly and - my favorite - the Hurler. I think they should add one called the Redistricting Rollercoaster Ride, which would be equally as thrilling and nauseating. I hopped on this ride thinking I was to be a viable candidate in Senate District 8, a new district to include portions of Henrico and Chesterfield counties and part of the city of Richmond. I turned out to be a theoretical candidate for a theoretical district, as Senate District 8 was eliminated from the redistricting bill. I walk away, as many ...


No Exit: Yemen's Existential Crisis, Sheila Carapico May 2011

No Exit: Yemen's Existential Crisis, Sheila Carapico

Political Science Faculty Publications

A venal dictatorship three decades old, mutinous army officers, dissident tribal sheikhs, a parliamentary opposition coalition, youthful pro-democracy activists, gray-haired Socialists, gun-toting cowboys, veiled women protesters, northern carpetbaggers, Shi‘i insurgents, tear gas canisters, leaked State Department cables, foreign-born jihadis -- Yemen’s demi-revolutionary spring has it all. The mass uprising in southern Arabia blends features of the peaceful popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia with elements of the state repression in Libya and Syria in a gaudy, fast-paced, multi-layered theater of revolt verging on the absurd.


Conclusion: Strategy In A Murky World, Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro Apr 2011

Conclusion: Strategy In A Murky World, Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro

Political Science Faculty Publications

Making national strategy is a byzantine business in the best of times. When dramatic events happen, when the international arena is complex and changing, when threats and opportunities are uncertain, leaders struggle to understand and react effectively. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the attacks of 9/11 opened vistas that were unfamiliar and complicated. How did U.S. leaders manage those transitions?


Introduction: Navigating The Unknown, Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro Apr 2011

Introduction: Navigating The Unknown, Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro

Political Science Faculty Publications

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. Hardly anyone had foreseen this event. When President Ronald Reagan had challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in June 1987 “to tear down this wall,” he never anticipated that Berliners themselves would have the opportunity and courage to bring about such dramatic change. We now know that the Wall came down as a result of accidental circumstances, a series of mistaken statements and understandings among officials of the German Democratic Republic. No one had planned for this to happen, and no one had plans to deal with a new landscape that might ...


Searching For The Soul Of American Medicine : What Three High-Quality, Low-Cost Health Care Systems Can Teach U.S. Policymakers, Benjamin A. Paul Apr 2011

Searching For The Soul Of American Medicine : What Three High-Quality, Low-Cost Health Care Systems Can Teach U.S. Policymakers, Benjamin A. Paul

Honors Theses

"The United States health care system is broken." This common refrain has been echoed by policymakers and politicians, Democrats and Republicans, and liberals and conservatives alike. They point to the unacceptably high number of uninsured Americans, out of control costs, and questionable quality as just some of the problems that afflict American health care. Before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March, 2010, over 45 million Americans were without health insurance coverage.1 Health care spending currently accounts for 17% of this country‘s gross domestic product. In contrast, most industrialized European countries cover all ...


Mujeres Y Bienestar: Un Estudio Comparativo De Chile Y Uruguay, Jennifer Pribble Jan 2011

Mujeres Y Bienestar: Un Estudio Comparativo De Chile Y Uruguay, Jennifer Pribble

Political Science Faculty Publications

Es ampliamente reconocido por economistas, cientistas políticos y sociólogos que las mujeres constituyen una proporción muy alta de la pobreza mundial. A pesar de las marcadas diferencias de género entre los pobres latinoamericanos, los análisis de los Estados de bienestar de Ia región se han concentrado primordialmente en explicar las diferencias en los niveles del gasto socialo total. Este enfoque ha dejado de lado una variable importante en los regímenes de bienestar latinoamericanos: el carácter de género en las políticas sociales. Este trabajo pretende cubrir esa brecha. Mediante un análisis comparativo de Chile y Uruguay, las páginas que siguen exploran ...


Entrapment Or Freedom: Enforcing Customary Property Rights Regimes In Common-Law Africa, Sandra F. Joireman Jan 2011

Entrapment Or Freedom: Enforcing Customary Property Rights Regimes In Common-Law Africa, Sandra F. Joireman

Political Science Faculty Publications

This chapter examines customary property rights and the role of customary leaders in enforcing those property rights from an institutionalist perspective. The issue of societal benefit is at the forefront of this chapter, which proceeds in three parts. Subchapter 13.2 discusses the pervasiveness of customary tenure and customary authority structures throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and their genesis in the colonial era. Subchapter 13.3 notes the lack of consistency between statutory law and customary law, which leads to a pluralistic legal setting. This part also identifies the winners and losers within customary legal systems. Subchapter 13.4 discusses how we ...


Republicanism, Richard Dagger Jan 2011

Republicanism, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

Republicanism is an ancient tradition of political thought that has enjoyed a remarkable revival in recent years. As with liberalism, conservatism, and other enduring political traditions, there is considerable disagreement as to exactly what republicanism is and who counts as a republican, whether in the ancient world or contemporary times. Scholars agree, however, that republicanism rests on the conviction that government is not the domain of some ruler or small set of rulers, but is instead a public matter - the res publica - to be directed by self-governing citizens.


Social Contracts, Fair Play, And The Justification Of Punishment, Richard Dagger Jan 2011

Social Contracts, Fair Play, And The Justification Of Punishment, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

In recent years, the counterintuitive claim that criminals consent to their own punishment has been revived by philosophers who attempt to ground the justification of punishment in some version of the social contract. In this paper, I examine three such attempts—“contractarian” essays by Christopher Morris and Claire Finkelstein and an essay by Corey Brettschneider from the rival “contractualist” camp—and I find all three unconvincing. Each attempt is plausible, I argue, but its plausibility derives not from the appeal to a social contract but from considerations of fair play. Rather than look to the social contract for a justification ...


The Religion Clauses Of The First Ammendment: Guarantees Of States' Rights?, Ellis M. West Jan 2011

The Religion Clauses Of The First Ammendment: Guarantees Of States' Rights?, Ellis M. West

Bookshelf

The First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution begins: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ." The Supreme Court has consistently held that these words, usually called the "religion clauses," were meant to prohibit laws that violate religious freedom or equality. In recent years, however, a growing number of constitutional law and history scholars have contended that the religion clauses were not intended to protect religious freedom, but to reserve the states' rights to legislate on. If the states' rights interpretation of the religion clauses were correct and came to be ...


In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy After The Berlin Wall And 9/11, Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro Jan 2011

In Uncertain Times: American Foreign Policy After The Berlin Wall And 9/11, Melvyn P. Leffler, Jeffrey W. Legro

Bookshelf

In Uncertain Times considers how policymakers react to dramatic developments on the world stage. Few expected the Berlin Wall to come down in November 1989; no one anticipated the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001. American foreign policy had to adjust quickly to an international arena that was completely transformed.

Melvyn P. Leffler and Jeffrey W. Legro have assembled an illustrious roster of officials from the George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations—Robert B. Zoellick, Paul Wolfowitz, Eric S. Edelman, Walter B. Slocombe, and Philip Zelikow. These policymakers describe ...


Where There Is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights In Common Law Africa, Sandra F. Joireman Jan 2011

Where There Is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights In Common Law Africa, Sandra F. Joireman

Bookshelf

It is safe to say that a sizeable majority of the world's population would agree with the proposition that that property rights are important for political and social stability as well as economic growth. But what happens when the state fails to enforce such rights? Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, this is in fact an endemic problem. In Where There is No Government, Sandra Joireman explains how weak state enforcement regimes have allowed private institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to define and enforce property rights. After delineating the types of actors who step in when the state is absent--traditional tribal leaders, entrepreneurial ...


Putting Experts In Their Place: The Challenge Of Expanding Participation While Solving Problems, Thad Williamson Jan 2011

Putting Experts In Their Place: The Challenge Of Expanding Participation While Solving Problems, Thad Williamson

Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications

This essay critically examines possibilities for expanding democratic participatory governance in light of Mark Bevir's treatment of the subject in his book Democratic Governance. The essay argues that a theory of participatory governance should retain an explicit role for expert analysis, and that the appropriate scope given to such analysis will vary by policy area. The essay also argues that the present organization of capitalist economies mandates a heavy reliance on experts, and that a full-blown account of expanding participatory governance thus must be paired with an account of how to achieve a more democratic political economy. Such an ...


Changing The People, Not Simply The President: The Limitations And Possibilities Of The Obama Presidency, In Tocquevillian Perspective, Thad Williamson Jan 2011

Changing The People, Not Simply The President: The Limitations And Possibilities Of The Obama Presidency, In Tocquevillian Perspective, Thad Williamson

Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications

Attempting to elucidate what precisely Alexis de Tocqueville would have made of either Barack Obama the politician or the astonishing political phenomenon that swept the nation's first African-American president into office in 2008 is a fruitless endeavor. In Democracy in America, Tocqueville devotes relatively little attention to the presidency as an institution, and still less to the merits and accomplishments of particular presidents. In his account, what made American democracy unique and functional was neither its federalist institutional arrangements nor the virtues of its national leaders, but its culture of political participation in local democratic institutions. Tocqueville recognized the ...