Political Science

Why Income Inequality Matters for Global Growth and Trade

Matthew C. Klein— The distribution of income has macroeconomic consequences. Under certain conditions, income concentration (rising inequality) can make society as a whole more prosperous. Other times, such as in the past few decades, however, high or rising inequality makes everyone worse off than they otherwise would be. The trade

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Land Tenure and Inequality

James C. Scott— A hypothetical case of customary land tenure practices may help demonstrate how difficult it is to assimilate such practices to the barebones schema of a modern cadastral map. The patterns I will describe are an amalgam of practices I have encountered in the literature of or in

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Because You Just Can’t Stop Reading the News

We get it. It’s tough to unplug from the current news cycle. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into topics around COVID-19 and beyond, we’ve got you covered (with a little bonus on the power of solitude snuck in just because). A “brilliant and sobering” (Paul Kennedy, Wall Street Journal)

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Crisis Musings on the Constitutional Revolution

Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn— Recently a United States Senator, reflecting on the terrible crisis we all now face, recalled an earlier time when the nation confronted an existential threat to its governing institutions. Said Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts: “I do think there’s an FDR moment.” Presumably what he meant was

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Sovereignty in a Public Health Crisis

Don Herzog— Who should buy ventilators, N-95 masks, PPE, and more? “Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work,” complained President Trump. “The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.”

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The Paradox of Democratic Reforms

Frances McCall Rosenbluth and Ian Shapiro— Since the 1960s, powerful movements across the democratic world have pursued reforms meant to bring politics closer to the people. Many political parties have adopted primaries, local caucuses, and other decentralized ways of choosing candidates. Districts have been redrawn to ensure selection of racial

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Revolutionary or Impostor . . . Who Was Ahmed Khan?

Ian Coller— O Lydian lord of many nations, foolish Croesus,Wish not to hear the longed-for voice within your palace,Even your son’s voice: better for you were it otherwise;For his first word will he speak on a day of sorrow.—Herodotus A Lydian prince, born mute, miraculously acquires the power of speech

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Multilateralism in Global Health

Kathryn C. Lavelle— The political boundaries that humans construct rarely confine disease. Thus, medicine is humanity’s most transnational endeavor. To understand systems of coordinating relations across states in accordance with certain principles of conduct, international relations uses the term multilateralism, which can be grounded in specific international organizations (IOs) or

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Trump, Sanders, and the Historical Mantle of “Populism”

Gregg Cantrell— In the current American election campaign, the headlines invoking “populism” just keep coming. “Trump and Sanders lead competing populist movements, reshaping American politics,” trumpets a typical piece from the Washington Post. Such headlines beg the question: What is this thing called “populism?”   Clearly it’s not a political ideology, for few

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The New Populism

William A. Galston— Because populism embraces the republican principle of popular sovereignty, it faces the question inherent in this principle: Who are the people? Historically, right-leaning populists have emphasized shared ethnicity and common descent, while left-leaning populists have often defined the people in class terms, excluding those with wealth and

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