Political Science

The Politics of the Pilgrims and Puritans

Peter C. Mancall— We live in a moment when politics are rough, and not only in the United States. In the United Kingdom, where I am spending the academic year at Oxford, the political debate leading to the parliamentary election on December 12 is as bitterly contested as anything transpiring

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Public Hearings and Presidential Privilege in Impeachment Proceedings

Charles L. Black, Jr.— SHOULD HEARINGS BE PUBLIC?  There may be early stages in the investigation process in the House when confidentiality should be maintained. Public disclosure of raw evidence, not yet evaluated as to credibility or relevance, might do some harm, and can do no good. In the later

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Selecting the Next President: Majority Rule and the Electoral College

George C. Edwards III— Can the intentions of the framers justify the violation of majority rule in the twenty-first century? Most of the motivations behind the creation of the electoral college are simply irrelevant today and can be easily dismissed. Legislative election is not an option, there is little danger

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Spreading Democracy Will Not Produce Peace

John J. Mearsheimer— Many in the West, especially among foreign policy elites, consider liberal hegemony a wise policy that states should axiomatically adopt. Spreading liberal democracy around the world is said to make eminently good sense from both a moral and a strategic perspective. For starters, it is thought to

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Deep Fakes and Election Rigging

Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas— Election rigging doesn’t stand still. The strategies used to manipulate the polls continue to evolve, so what does the future have in store? There’s more bad news, unfortunately. While candidates from Brazil to Nigeria have figured out how to weaponize disinformation as a tactic to

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Political Obligation: An Ancient Illustration

Judith N. Shklar— Obligation may lead to conflict. It implies, on one hand, the duty to obey the law, to keep promises, to follow social rules generally, because society depends upon our doing so and because it is inherently right and the condition of justice. On the other hand, the

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It’s Not About Religion

  Kathleen M. Sands— Recently, the Supreme Court decided about the forty foot “Peace Cross” that’s stood for nearly a century in Bladensburg, Maryland. For the American Legion, the Cross memorializes the dead of World War I; for American Humanists, it broadcasts an unconstitutional government preference for a particular religion.

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A Century of Moscow’s Meddling in US Politics

David Brandenberger— Allegations of Russian dirty tricks in the 2016 US presidential campaign often treat the issue of interference as if it were a historic, unprecedented transgression. But although the means used for such meddling (WikiLeaks, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) may have been new in 2016, the meddling itself was much

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Democratic Socialist Ideas and Social Democratic Realities

Gary Dorrien— Democratic socialism, an idea with a rich history in European politics and a slight history in U.S. American politics, is surging today in the U.S. partly because America has so little of it. European Social Democracy has helped to build the world’s most humane societies by universalizing the

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On Narcissistic Leaders and Personality Cults

David Brandenberger— Although the similarities between Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Rodrigo Duterte are often overstated, all these leaders are united by their cultivation of personality cults. Recently, pundits have linked indulgence in this sort of thing to something referred to as “narcissistic personality disorder”—a

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