Political Science

Confronting American Genocide on the California Coast

Benjamin Madley— As the sun rose on July 7, 1846, four U.S. warships rode at anchor in Monterey Bay. Ashore, the Mexican tricolor cracked over the adobe walls and red-tiled roofs of California’s capitol for the last time. At 7:30 a.m., Commodore John Sloat sent Captain William Mervine ashore “to

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Can Presidents Be Prosecuted?

Brian Kalt— President Trump has been nothing if not unconventional. Time and again, he has upended traditions and institutions, blowing past those who say, “You can’t do that!” and replying, “I just did!” But in the process of upsetting so many apple carts, he is also teeing up an object lesson in

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Dorothy Day for the Twenty-First Century

Joseph Kip Kosek— Dorothy Day (1897–1980) was deeply shaped by the economic and political upheavals of the 1930s and 1940s. Early in her career, she worked as a journalist in New York City, participating in the radical political and cultural experiments centered in Greenwich Village. Then, in 1926, the year

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Brazilian Politics During the Cold War

Herbert S. Klein & Francisco Vidal Luna— There is little question that the U.S. was directly involved in the overthrow of the democratic government of Brazil in 1964. In the subsequent period of military rule, Washington supplied the usual police and military support for a regime it now considered to be

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Sick Labor: Illness and Treatment in Stalin’s Gulags

Golfo Alexopoulos— In the Gulag or forced labor camp system under Stalin, 1929-1953, prisoners represented the state’s “human raw material.” Camp officials recorded prisoners’ illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths as a way of tracking one of the most important pieces of data for the party—“lost labor days.” The Stalinist camp system

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Lawmaking in the Trump Era

David R. Mayhew— The Republicans should take a deep breath. They are stuck with a divided party on Capitol Hill. Why should we be surprised? It is a tradition for dominant congressional parties to be internally divided. A feisty faction of Progressive Republicans gave headaches to their party’s presidents from

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Subordination Is the New Inequality

Roy L. Brooks— Since the end of the civil rights period, circa 1972, the problem of racial inequality in the United States has largely been defined as a socioeconomic problem. Racial disparity in education, housing jobs, and income is seen as the primary indicator of racial inequality faced by African

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Finding the Future of Environmentalism in its Past

Benjamin Heber Johnson— Most environmental protections are predicated on the use of state power. When Americans feared that a species would soon be pushed over the brink of extinction, they passed laws forbidding or limiting hunting it; when they valued an area for the serene majesty of its old-growth timber,

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The Backdrop of the Crisis in Syria

Itamar Rabinovich— An atrocious civil war has been raging in Syria for more than six years now. More than half a million Syrians have been killed thus far, and more than ten million—almost half the population—have been uprooted. The Syrian crisis has affected the stability of neighboring countries, undermined the

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Eclipses and the Lessons of History

Anthony Aveni— “Celestial source of life and light on earth! What envious rival intercepts thy rays? Dares thy own satellite intercepts thy blaze, Or stay thy stream of empyrean birth?…”   The first four lines of a sonnet “tweeted out” by the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy

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