Political Science

Lessons from the Civil War for America’s Fractured Present: Part Two

Timothy William Waters— Why Remembering the Civil War Matters: Talking about Belonging in America How we remember the Civil War matters for thinking about our increasingly fragile union today—how we talk about identity, belonging, and leaving. The war seems to offer an obvious moral model. But that solution dissolves when

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Lessons from the Civil War for America’s Fractured Present: Part One

Timothy William Waters— What We (Mis-)Remember about Our Reasons for Fighting America is now so polarized that serious people wonder if the country will hold together. The Atlantic devoted its December issue to “How to Stop a Civil War”—and the Atlantic, founded in 1857, covered the actual Civil War. As

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The State of Democracy

Thomas N. Mitchell— Democracy is at a particularly critical and fascinating point in its history. The collapse of communism in 1989 brought a wave of euphoria among proponents of democracy, and extravagant references to the end of history and of mankind’s journey towards a universally acceptable political order. To many,

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Is Congress Broken?

Benjamin Ginsberg and Kathryn Wagner Hill— America’s congress is often castigated for being slow and unproductive, a victim of cumbersome procedures and partisan intransigence. One frequently cited book called Congress the “broken branch” of government. Another well-known volume, sharply critical of the Congress, called for “a new political order in

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The End of Conservatism

Paul W. Kahn— Project and system are two competing narrative forms that organize the way we imagine the nature of legal order. A project gains its principle of order from the intentional act of a free subject. A system gains its principle of order immanently and spontaneously. To write a

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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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