Tag democracy

Standing for Reason at the Universities

John Sexton— Over twenty-five years ago, in a speech at Saint Louis University, I focused on a too-little-noticed day in 1957, a turning point in American history: October 8, 1957. The day’s edition of New York’s major tabloid the Daily News bore two screaming headlines. The first announced the demise of

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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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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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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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When the Austrian School of Economics Supported a Progressive State

Janek Wasserman— Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is inarguably the most famous book associated with the Austrian School of Economics. The basic premises of Hayek’s argument are well known: “socialist” trends in German thought now threatened Western democracies; fascism and Nazism were the necessary outcome of those trends; government planning undermined

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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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Can Human Beings Understand the Economy?

Pascal Boyer— It is in the nature of human beings that they create societies. Philosophers have known and said that much for millennia. These days, scientists can paint a detailed picture of how evolution by natural selection made us social animals, providing us with those capacities and preferences that makes

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The Rural Race to Arms

Loka Ashwood— Rural Americans do, indeed, have more guns than their urban counterparts. According to the General Social Survey, the highest rates of gun ownership can be found in the most rural areas of the southeast United States. In those wide-open fields and forests, rural residents—black and white—are more likely to

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The Social Media Myth

Philip N. Howard— Since the great tragedy of Charlie Hebdo, politicians and pundits around the world have succumbed to the notion that social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are to blame for violent online extremism. They argue that social media is not only a conduit for terrorists it is

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