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Political theory

Theses/Dissertations

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Articles 1 - 15 of 15

Full-Text Articles in Political Science

In Fear We Trust: Anxious Political Rhetoric & The Politics Of Punishment, 1960s-80s, Stella Michelle Frank Jan 2019

In Fear We Trust: Anxious Political Rhetoric & The Politics Of Punishment, 1960s-80s, Stella Michelle Frank

Senior Projects Spring 2019

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Power, Profit, And Political Participation: How Neoliberal Rationality Limits Citizen Influence In A Democracy, Emma Woods Jan 2018

Power, Profit, And Political Participation: How Neoliberal Rationality Limits Citizen Influence In A Democracy, Emma Woods

Senior Independent Study Theses

Democracy’s promise is that citizens hold the ultimate power in government. However, the ascension of neoliberal rationality, an economic rationality that focuses primarily on economic growth with political activity being secondary or merely instrumental to economic growth, acts as a threat to that promise. This paper offers a critical analysis of political participation in a democracy, using two theoretical frameworks, liberalism and neoliberalism. Based in these theoretical frameworks, it provides an analysis of how changes in individual conceptions of self have institutional effects on politics. Laying out the framework of neoliberalism, tracing its ideological roots in liberalism and its ...


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 ...


Politics Beyond The Personal: Reading Wolin In The Age Of Trump, Christopher Jackson Jan 2017

Politics Beyond The Personal: Reading Wolin In The Age Of Trump, Christopher Jackson

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

This thesis argues that the root cause of both climate change and the decline of democracy in the West is neoliberalism’s pervasive marginalization of faith in public action. It responds to the election of Donald Trump by critically analyzing how noted democratic theorist Sheldon Wolin interpreted the election of Ronald Reagan and the lessons to be learned from it. It argues that Wolin is right to ascribe great importance to historical memory in democratic citizenship, but wrong to highlight localism as the primary venue for contestation, especially in the context of global climate change. The antidote to these problems ...


Feeling Political: Affect, Emotion, And Ethics In Western Political Theory, John Mcmahon Sep 2016

Feeling Political: Affect, Emotion, And Ethics In Western Political Theory, John Mcmahon

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

What conceptual and methodological resources would it take for political theory to be able to more deeply analyze the emotional and affective dimensions of political life? In this dissertation, I articulate interdisciplinary work on affect and emotion into political theory in order to realize four linked objectives: first, to develop a method of reading and interpreting political theory capable of tracing the theoretical work done by affect and emotion in works of political thought; second, to reassess the boundaries of the political theory canon in terms of the thinkers that ‘count’ as part of that canon as well as the ...


Evolving Standards Of Decency: The Intersection Of Death Penalty Theory And Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Rachel S. Sullivan Jan 2016

Evolving Standards Of Decency: The Intersection Of Death Penalty Theory And Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Rachel S. Sullivan

Senior Independent Study Theses

The American death penalty must be abolished in order to establish a more just system of punishment. This thesis examines the arguments of eight political theorists and their connections with five essential Supreme Court cases on capital punishment in order to determine the Court's theoretical view of the American death penalty. This theoretical view is that justices who affirm the constitutionality of capital punishment use philosophical theories, while justices who critique capital punishment rely upon context-dependent analyses. If the Court ever rules that capital punishment is unconstitutional in all circumstances, these latter theories will be dispositive.


The Political Imagination Of Cormac Mccarthy, Drew Kennedy Thompson Jan 2016

The Political Imagination Of Cormac Mccarthy, Drew Kennedy Thompson

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is a study in literature and politics and proceeds by tracing out the major political themes of McCarthy’s body of fiction and analyzing them toward their logical conclusions. The critical approach in this narrative-based anthropology looks at man first in profound isolation and then progresses through his novels in sequence, in an increasingly social context. McCarthy’s later fiction displays an increasingly affirmative view of the sacredness of human life and of the basic impulse toward community in even the most unreflective of characters; an essential characteristic of humans. To call any of McCarthy’s works a ...


The Economy Effect, Jeremy N. Wolf Jan 2015

The Economy Effect, Jeremy N. Wolf

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation focuses on the production of “the economy” as a structural effect. Following the work of Timothy Mitchell, JK Gibson-Graham, Michel Foucault, and others who have suggested that the economy is a relatively recent innovation, this dissertation traces its development, and examines some of the implications that such a claim might have for contemporary politics. The dissertation begins by identifying a set of six characteristics that characterize the contemporary economy. Chapter 1 reviews relevant literature regarding the ways in which we theorize objects that are produced and contingent, but nevertheless real, with a focus on the concepts of “structural ...


Civilization Of The Living Dead: Canonical Monstrosity, The Romero Zombie, And The Political Subject, Nicholas Walter Robbins Oct 2014

Civilization Of The Living Dead: Canonical Monstrosity, The Romero Zombie, And The Political Subject, Nicholas Walter Robbins

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation analyzes the canonical monsters of Western political theory, including Plato's wolf-man, Hobbes's Leviathan and Tocqueville's mechanical mass. It argues that monster theorists - including horror film director George A. Romero, creator of the zombie and its apocalyptic narrative - utilize the horror genre in order to reveal the hidden dysfunctions and unrealized potentials of self and society. The canon features several prison-like heuristics - including Plato's cave, Hobbes's sate of nature, Tocqueville's prison, and Romero's zombie apocalypse - that bring to light the mass enslavement, intellectual dysfunction, appetitive tyranny, and cannibalism of the political subject ...


An Intersectional Approach To Environmental Political Theory: A Case Study On Modern Andean Bolivian Indigenous Forms Of Resistance And Communal Democracy In Relation To Water Rights, Julia E. Seward Jan 2014

An Intersectional Approach To Environmental Political Theory: A Case Study On Modern Andean Bolivian Indigenous Forms Of Resistance And Communal Democracy In Relation To Water Rights, Julia E. Seward

Scripps Senior Theses

Considers Bolivian Andean indigenous forms of democracy and resistance to neoliberal water privatization in Cochabamba. Incorporates environmental identity into the intersectional theoretical framework with principles rooted in Indigenous grass roots theory, Marxist critiques on capitalism, Latin American Neomarxist scholars, and Environmental Justice. Focuses on intersections of ethnicity, gender and class identities with environmental identity to understand the extent to which environmental injustices cannot be addressed in isolation from other sources of inequality.


Ambivalent Sovereignty: Inquires Into The Dual Foundation Of Political Realism's Subject, Paul Timmermans Jan 2011

Ambivalent Sovereignty: Inquires Into The Dual Foundation Of Political Realism's Subject, Paul Timmermans

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Ambivalent Sovereignty inquires into the subject of political realism. This subject, sovereign authority, appears to have a dual foundation. It appears divided against itself, but how can realism nonetheless observe legitimate modes of sovereignty emerge? Against the liberal idea that a "synthesis" of both material-coercive and ideal-persuasive powers should be accomplished, within the world of international relations, realism gives meaning to a structural type of state power that is also constitutionally and legitimately dividing itself--against itself. Machiavelli but particularly also other realists such as Hannah Arendt, Max Weber, and Aristotle are being reinterpreted to demonstrate why each state's ultimate ...


Fostering Global Security: Nonviolent Resistance And Us Foreign Policy, Amentahru Wahlrab Jan 2010

Fostering Global Security: Nonviolent Resistance And Us Foreign Policy, Amentahru Wahlrab

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation comprehensively evaluates, for the first time, nonviolence and its relationship to International Relations (IR) theory and US foreign policy along the categories of principled, strategic, and regulative nonviolence. The current debate within nonviolence studies is between principled and strategic nonviolence as relevant categories for theorizing nonviolent resistance. Principled nonviolence, while retaining the primacy of ethics, is often not practical. Indeed, most nonviolent movements have not been principled, or solely principled. Strategic nonviolence is attractive because it does not require any individual or group to believe in a particular faith or ethical tradition. However, strategic nonviolence is problematic as ...


Wendell Berry And The Politics Of Homecoming: Place, Memory And Time In Jayber Crow, Drew Kennedy Thompson Jan 2009

Wendell Berry And The Politics Of Homecoming: Place, Memory And Time In Jayber Crow, Drew Kennedy Thompson

LSU Master's Theses

This study examines the “politics of homecoming” appearing in author Wendell Berry’s novel Jayber Crow. The novel portrays the community of a small rural town, as narrated through the autobiography of its bachelor barber. The life-story of Jayber Crow is a journey of homecoming, progressing through three stages of nativity, estrangement, and restoration. These phases correspond and interact with philosophical motifs that can be traced throughout Berry’s corpus, but reaching their fullest expression in Jayber Crow. “Place” is the first motif, and facilitates a discussion of Berry’s contemporary agrarian vision of community. “Memory,” the second motif, becomes ...


Richard Rorty's Map Of Political Misreading, Shaun Kenan King Jan 2008

Richard Rorty's Map Of Political Misreading, Shaun Kenan King

LSU Master's Theses

For more than a quarter century, Richard Rorty was one of the most controversial writers. Critics of Rorty have often clustered their remarks around distinct themes within Rorty’s body of literature. Is Rorty’s criticism of the correspondence theory of truth valid and what standard of validity could confirm that? Does Rorty’s treatment of pragmatists such as William James and John Dewey accurately reflect their writings? Is Rorty’s brand of liberalism defensible when it assumes no non-circular form of justification can be proffered? These are the questions most often addressed by Rorty’s critics. He responded to ...


American Feminism And Social Democracy, Cathy Elizabeth Hinshaw May 1976

American Feminism And Social Democracy, Cathy Elizabeth Hinshaw

Theses and Dissertations

The concepts of both social democracy and feminism will be discussed in detail in the course of the thesis. By way of introduction, broad definitions for these concepts will be offered here. Before attempting these definitions, however, the "central validity" of which Lippmann speaks and around which the definitions revolve should be established. The core of both social democracy and feminism, as they are to be used here, is a particular understanding of the notion of equality.