Abstract Review

Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts

Name: Ryan Barilleaux
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: barillrj@miamioh.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Miami University (Oxford, OH)
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Paper Title: Presidential Scandals and the Growth of Executive Unilateralism
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Co-author info: Jewerl Maxwell, Gordon College email: Jewerl.Maxwell@gordon.edu
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Scandal makes for some of the biggest news in the presidency, and the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump suggest that scandals will continue to swirl around the Oval Office into the future. The nation is also passing through significant anniversaries of several key scandals—Watergate (40 years in 2014), Iran/Contra (30 years in 2017), and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal (20 years in 2018)—which presents an opportunity to consider the consequences of these events for the American presidency. Much attention has been given to matters of political ethics, checks-and-balances, and distinguishing public versus private matters, but too little attention has been paid to how scandals drive presidential unilateralism. Students of the presidency agree that unilateral presidential action is more common today than it was even a half-century ago, but not enough attention has been paid to how presidents employ unilateralism in their efforts to remain in office and to govern, and how these efforts (and efforts by their successors) increase unilateralism in the office. This paper will explore these issues and explore the links between contemporary presidential unilateralism and the scandals of recent history.


Name: Matthew Brogdon
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: matthew.s.brogdon@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Texas at San Antonio
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Judges’ Bill, Discretionary Jurisdiction, and Incorporation of the Bill of Rights
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This paper probes the institutional and historical underpinnings of the Supreme Court’s decision to embark on incorporation, the gradual application of the Bill of Rights to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. Incorporation is one of the most important transformative developments in American constitutionalism and its ideological and doctrinal roots have accordingly been subjected to searching analysis. But this paper charts a different course by taking up the role of institutional structure as a precondition, and perhaps a determinant, of constitutional jurisprudence. Specifically, it considers the provenance and ramifications of the Supreme Court’s discretionary power to decide which cases it will hear on appeal from state courts, a power not enjoyed by the Court until passage of the Judges’ Bill in 1925, so-called because it was drafted and proposed by the justices themselves under the guiding hand of Chief Justice Taft. The analysis focuses particularly on the linkage between passage of the Judges’ Bill and the Court’s decision later the same year in Gitlow v. New York to undertake selective incorporation.


Name: Derefe Chevannes
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: derefe.chevannes@uconn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
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Paper Title: "Situating" the Court: Assessing American JurisprudenceThrough Race & Gender
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The jurisprudential principle of “equal justice under law” is so emblazoned into the structure of American constitutional law that it lines the concrete slabs of the architecture of the Court itself. Indeed, it is not so much the perfect attainment, in all its glory, why the principle still grips the gavel of justice; no doubt, the historical annals bear witness to countless incidents wherein American law, yea—American justice—crumbled before those very words. Be it Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) or Korematsu v. United States (1944), Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) or Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), justice failed to be what it is: just. And so, American constitutional law is at another critical juncture. It must decide how expansive the laws of justice are to be and in so doing, coming to terms with those relegated to the legal margins. Against this backdrop, this paper seeks to limn the constitutional debates concerning the distinctions, apparent in law, between racial and sexual animus and the extent of their legal protections. Moreover, this paper attempts to problematize the very concept of “similarly-situated” as being unresponsive to the plights of the legally disenfranchised and offering instead, an alternative towards the paradigmatic principle of equitable justice. It is my position that the distinctions between race and gender, in their current lopsided legal articulation, should be dissolved away and be fitted, instead, on the same constitutional footing of equal justice under law. Such a footing must be responsive to intersectional concerns encircling race and sex. In a word, the paper attempts to re-situate the epistemic holdings of American juridicality by examining patterns of justice, an analysis that is predicated on an intersectional turn.


Name: Jesse Clark
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: jtclark@MIT.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Beyond the Circle: Measuring District Compactness Using Graph Theory
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Co-author info: Matthew P. Dube, University of Maine at Augusta matthew.dube@maine.edu
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For decades, legislative districts have been drawn with two general mandates, contiguity and compactness. While contiguity is easily discernible, a single accepted measure of district compactness has not been found. Due to the various effects that gerrymandering and noncompact districts have on the aggregation of voter preferences, questions surrounding district compactness have direct implications of representation in democratic theory. Empirical political science has attempted on numerous occasions to formulate a single method by which to measure district compactness. These include various geometric measures such as circularity, convex hulls, and path connectedness, as well as methods that attempt to encompass voter dispersion. The real-world implementation of these compactness measures has been fraught with issues, however. Most apparent among these are natural and state boundaries, which greatly interfere with the implementation of geometric compactness measures. Examples of noncompactness induced by natural boundaries can be seen in the of the coast of Maine and the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, while noncompactness induced by state boundaries can be seen in West Virginia and Louisiana. Further implementation issues may be found in methods that rely on voter dispersion. This is due to the boundaries that are used to collect apportionment data, namely census tracts and blocks. U.S. Census Bureau delineations (tracts, and blocks where applicable) are the spatial granularity by which legislative districts are drawn, and have rigid boundaries. These boundaries not only proscribe the full use of most voter dispersion metrics of compactness, but also lead districts to be naturally conducive to irregular geometry. In this paper, we seek to overcome these geometric issues by using a different discipline of mathematics—graph theory—to formulate a new metric of district compactness. This method utilizes graph partitioning to determine every possible viable legislative district using census delineations, thus finding the redistricting scheme with the smallest average number of census delineations that share a border with a given legislative district. In doing so we formulate a new metric of compactness that is more reflective of the redistricting process, and overcomes traditional issues surrounding natural and state boundaries, disconnects, and population distribution.


Name: Charles Comiskey
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: cmc2@psu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Penn State University Fayette
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Ford, Carter, and the Politics of Economic Rectitude: My, How Times Have Changed
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This paper examines the interplay among the economic leadership styles of Presidents Ford and Carter, and the external political realities and economic dysfunctions they confronted, and compares their experiences to those of the most recent presidents. It attempts to identify how policy making in the realm of economic policy has changed in the last four decades.


Name: Ross Dardani
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: ross.dardani@uconn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Guam as a Ship: Using Critical Race Theory’s Interest-Convergence to Examine the Legal Histories of Citizenship Legislation for Guam
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The initial rulings of the Insular Cases, which establish the constitutional legitimation of U.S. imperialism, were decided 115 years ago, and while the racist values, premises and reasoning that pervade the entire group of opinions that make up this set of rulings have been universally denounced by scholars, judges and lawyers, they remain the seminal decisions influencing U.S. territorial doctrine. The residents of the insular areas, which were initially Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, would be under U.S. control after the Spanish-American War in 1898 but were deemed to be of an inferior race and culture, ineligible for full inclusion in the U.S. polity and unfit to govern themselves with an Anglo-Saxon republican form of government without proper tutelage or indefinite oversight. These cases continue to remain “good” law, preserving Congress’ plenary authority over the current U.S. insular areas - Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands - which are still considered to be “foreign in a domestic sense,” as unincorporated territories. In this paper, I examine archival research of the legal histories (i.e. bills, Congressional hearings and reports, U.S. GAO publications) of citizenship legislation for Guam. Using Derrick Bell’s theory of interest-convergence and Mary Dudziak’s model of the approach found in Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy, I argue that any potential changes in the type of citizenship that applies or is available for Guamanians were drafted or enacted to advance the political, social, economic and/or militarily interests of the United States, and not for a genuine concern and/or sympathy for the well-being and desires of the inhabitants of the territory. I thus hope to provide a counter-narrative to progressive thinking about how citizenship has developed and functions in the United States.


Name: David Dewberry
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: ddewberry@rider.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Rider University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
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Paper Title: Conceptualizing the American Political Scandal
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Political scandals demonstrate the worst and, paradoxically, the best of democratic ideals. One on hand, there is the accused politician, who has allegedly gone astray, and transgressed the line between what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate. On the other hand, it is a vigorous press corps, protected by the First Amendment that publicizes the alleged transgression. Then, there is an investigation by the government and, if warranted, a trial. Ultimately, the accused is either redeemed or removed from office by force of law or via resignation. The expunging of the accused demonstrates how the democratic system is fallible but able to redeem itself. In essence, the system that creates the conditions for scandals is the very same system that rectifies scandals. This is a broad characterization of political scandals, and the purpose of this paper is to bring a holistic and in depth understanding and explanation of political scandals by identifying the major concepts of what makes a political scandal in American politics through a rhetorical lens.


Name: Brian DiSarro
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: brian.disarro@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: California State University, Sacramento
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Minority Rights at the Supreme Court: Why Do LGBT Rights Claims Fare Better?
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This study examines Supreme Court decisions related to minority rights and the variety of constitutional doctrines that the Court uses to decide those cases. At the heart of this study is the puzzle of why LGBT rights seem to fare better at the Court than racial and ethnic minority rights. Since 1996, LGBT rights advocates have enjoyed a string of victories in the Romer, Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell cases. These decisions limited the ability of voters to curtail discrimination protections, struck down sodomy laws, eliminated DOMA, and established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the Court has also handed down a series of decisions which struck down school desegregation plans, upheld Voter ID laws, limited the reach of the Voting Rights Act, and cast doubt on the future of affirmative action. In some instances, the same doctrines that commanded a majority on the Court to advance LGBT rights were relegated to dissents when dealing with other groups. This study examines that disconnect and the reasons behind it.


Name: Alexandra Fee
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: alfee91@gmail.com
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Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: An Appeal to the Common Good: Pope Francis's Speech to Congress
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This paper analyzes Pope Francis’s view of politics, particularly politics in the United States. Beginning with his speech before a special joint session of Congress on September 24, 2015, this paper explores many of the themes the Pope introduces in this speech, and compares those themes to those in other works he has published since being elected Pontiff in 2013. Then, this paper applies what he has said about contemporary American politics with the analysis of other scholars of American politics. Ultimately, I find that the Pope is aware of problems in the United States, but hopes to present a positive alternative to address what he identifies as the contemporary world’s ills.


Name: Philip Grant
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: amdgrant@earthlink.net
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Pace University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Democratic Party and Congressional Committee Chairmen, 2007-2014
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The purpose of this paper will be to provide a scholarly account of the influence wielded by Democratic committee chairmen between 2007 and 2014. The Democratic Party controlled the Senate for the eight years following 2006 and dominated the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2010. The Democrats and their respective committee chairmanships were Barbara Mikulski of Maryland (Appropriations, 2010-2014), Joseph F. Biden of Delaware (Foreign Relations, 2007-2008), Robert Menendez of New Jersey (Foreign Relations, 2013-2014), Charles E. Schumer of New York (Rules and Administration, 2007-2014), Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut (Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 2007-2010), Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts (Health, Education, Labor,and Pensions, 2007-2009), John F. Kerry (Foreign Relations. 2009-2012), and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont (Judiciary, 2007-2014) and Representatives Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania (House Administration, 2007-2010), Louise M. Slaughter of New York (Rules, 2007-2010), and Barney Frank of Massachusetts (Financial Affairs, 2007-2010).


Name: Sara Grove
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: sagrov@ship.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Giving Away the Farm? Competing Interests and the 2014 Farm Bill
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Subsidies for agriculture extend as far back the Virginia Colony in the 1620s. Since the 1930s, Congress has considered subsidies for agriculture every five years when it debates the “Farm Bill.” With bipartisan support, Congress passed the Agriculture Act of 2014 after a long delay and significant compromise. This paper examines the evolution of this iteration of the “Farm Bill” by looking at the initial proposal and evaluating its evolution to the nearly 1000-page document that will govern U.S. food policy for the next five years. In this evaluation, the research considers the competing interests that affected the passage of the 2014 legislation through an analysis of the interactions of members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee and the House Agriculture Committee with stakeholders, including insurance companies, farmers, and advocates for food security programs. In addition to reviewing testimony, the paper will look at campaign contributions to key members of Congress who played critical roles in the passage of the compromise bill and assess their impact.  


Name: Evan Haglund
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: evan.t.haglund@uscga.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: US Coast Guard Academy
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Strategically Empty? Vacancies and Nomination Delay in Presidential Appointments
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As of January 1, 2016, there were 8 presidentially appointed, Senate confirmed (PAS) inspector general positions vacant, with one such position going unfilled for more than 6 years. Some estimates suggest that such PAS positions do not have confirmed appointees for almost 25% of an administration. Scholars and journalists track how the current president’s pace of nominations and confirmations compares to predecessors and debate about who is to blame for the slow pace of appointments and lingering vacancies. Given political, journalistic, and scholarly attention to vacancies and the potentially long-lasting damage done to governing capacity, why do some Senate-confirmed positions remain unfilled for years and even across administrations and multiple terms of the same administration? While recent work on presidential appointments has focused on how presidents use appointees to control the bureaucracy and the detrimental effects of extended vacancies in appointed positions on agency performance, we know little about whether presidents might purposefully leave some positions such as inspectors general vacant for extended periods. By studying three relatively understudied groups of presidentially appointed, Senate confirmed appointees--inspectors general, ambassadors, and United States Attorneys--I evaluate whether presidents leave positions strategically vacant when the search costs to find nominees are high, when there is uncertainty about positions' potential policy or political benefits, or when presidents are unwilling to settle for the uncertain performance of less qualified appointees.


Name: Adam Hoffman
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: AHHOFFMAN@SALISBURY.EDU
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: SALISBURY UNIVERSITY
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Exploring the Revolving Door - The financial rewards of serving in Congress
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It has been fairly well established as to the growing number of congressional members who pass through the “revolving door,” to take lucrative positions as lobbyists once they leave Congress. Do some representatives see their time served in Congress as an investment opportunity for future employment opportunities, made available to them by former campaign donors, interest groups and lobby firms? This project examines the factors that lead members of Congress to enter the world of corporate lobbying once they leave office. Looking at such variables pro-business voting record, campaign contributions, as well as other district-level and personal factors, I seek to discover whether there is a relationship between members’ congressional and electoral behavior and their financial upward mobility through the “revolving door.” As former members of Congress pass through the revolving door, securing employment in the firms that once lobbied them, questions arise as to whether their policy decisions are influenced by what they perceive as future employment prospects.


Name: Jennifer Jacobson
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: star1641@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
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Paper Title: New Kid on the Block: Examining the Freshman Effect on the United States Courts of Appeals
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Over the years many studies have shown there are differences in the behavior of judges based on their length of of tenure on the bench, and hence, have concluded there is a so-called freshman effect when it comes to the decisions judges make. In particular, studies have shown that freshmen judges at all levels of the federal judiciary differ in their behavior when it comes to workload and the variability of the decisions they make. This study attempts to further the existing literature on the existence of a freshman effect by examining whether or not freshmen judges on the United States Courts of Appeals are more or less likely to be responsive to changing Supreme Court precedent than their more senior colleagues. Using data that examines circuit court decisions in the area of the Establishment Clause from 1971-1995, preliminary results show there are few differences in how freshmen judges and their more senior colleagues treat changing Supreme Court precedent.


Name: Natalie Johnson
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: natkapur@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Francis Marion University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Gendered Focus: Supreme Court Decision Making in the 21st Century
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How much does gender make a different in court decisions? We know from literature on electoral politics that gender makes a difference in both decision-making and the types of policies politicians forward, but to what extent does this behavior extend to the judges who are supposed to be neutral arbiters of the law? To answer that question, this paper examines family law decisions from 1981 until 2015 to discover what, if any, the impact of gender is on the decision-making of the female judges. Questions to be answered include: do female judges decide cases in favor of women compared to their male colleagues? If a woman authors the majority opinion does this increase the likelihood of concurring opinions?


Name: John Kilwein
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: jkilwein@wvu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: West Virginia University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
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Paper Title: Evaluating Presidential Policy Tools: The Case of Native American Policy, Eisenhower to Obama
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Co-author info: Michael E. Thunberg, West Virginia University, ABD, michael.e.thunberg@gmail.com
Co-presenter info: Michael E. Thunberg, West Virginia University, ABD, michael.e.thunberg@gmail.com
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The exercise of presidential power comes in many forms including proclamations (Rottinghaus & Maier 2007), memoranda (Lowande 2014), executive orders (Cooper 2014), signing statements (Ostrander & Sievert 2012), and the mobilization of the public (Kernell 2006). Presidents often utilize a combination of these tools to accomplish their goals, but a significant gap exists in our understanding of how these powers are synthesized to produce a president’s policy outcomes. Utilizing data from the American Presidency Project, this study examines a combination of proclamations, memoranda, executive orders, signing statements, and public statements from President Eisenhower through Obama to better understand their use in shaping presidential Native American policy. We choose Native American policy as the empirical focus of our analysis because while presidents play an important role in shaping this policy area, and anecdotal evidence suggests that there is significant variation among presidents in this area, the political science literature has largely ignored both the president’s ability to shape the interaction between the federal government and Native Americans, and how those policies vary by administration. The paper proceeds in three major parts. First, we provide an overview of these particular tools available to the president to shape policy. Next, we collect and analyze the content of the tools used by each president to trace evolving presidential Native American policy since President Eisenhower. Finally, we turn to taking the first steps in developing a general framework to study how presidents utilize these particular tools of the presidency to accomplish their policy goals. Bibliography Canes-Wrone, Brandice. 2010. Who leads whom?: presidents, policy, and the public. University of Chicago Press. Edwards III, George C. 2009. The strategic president: Persuasion and opportunity in presidential leadership. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Eshbaugh-Soha, Matthew, and Jeffrey Peake. 2001. Breaking through the noise: Presidential leadership, public opinion, and the news media. Stanford University Press. Eshbaugh‐Soha, Matthew. 2010. "How Policy Conditions the Impact of Presidential Speeches on Legislative Success*." Social Science Quarterly 91(2): 415-435. Kernell, Samuel. 2006. Going Public. Washington D.C.: CQ Press Olds, Christopher. 2013. "Assessing presidential agenda-setting capacity: dynamic comparisons of presidential, mass media, and public attention to economic issues." Congress & the Presidency. 40(3): Gelman, Jeremy, Gilad Wilkenfeld, and E. Scott Adler. 2015. "The Opportunistic President: How US Presidents Determine Their Legislative Programs." Legislative Studies Quarterly 40(3): 363-390. Rottinghaus, Brandon and Jason Maier. 2007. “The Power of Decree: Presidential Use of Executive Proclamations, 1977-2005.” Political Research Quarterly. 60(2): 338-43. Rottinghaus, Brandon, and Adam L. Warber. 2015. "Unilateral Orders as Constituency Outreach: Executive Orders, Proclamations, and the Public Presidency." Presidential Studies Quarterly 45(2): 289-309. Ahlquist, John S., and Margaret Levi. "Leadership: What it means, what it does, and what we want to know about it." Annual Review of Political Science 14 (2011): 1-24. Rottinghaus, Brandon. The provisional pulpit: modern presidential leadership of public opinion. Texas A&M University Press, 2010. Ostrander, Ian, and Joel Sievert. "The Logic of Presidential Signing Statements." Political Research Quarterly (2012): 1065912911434357. Rottinghaus, Brandon. "Strategic leaders: Determining successful presidential opinion leadership tactics through public appeals." Political Communication 26.3 (2009): 296-316.


Name: Michael Korzi
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: mkorzi@towson.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Towson University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: “One Who So Lightly Regards Constitutional Principles”: William Howard Taft and the Rooseveltian Threat of 1912
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This paper looks at Theodore Roosevelt’s run for the presidency in 1912, but from the perspective of sitting president, and electoral opponent, William Howard Taft. When scholars turn to the election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt—and Woodrow Wilson, to a lesser extent—consumes most of their attention. Partly this is deserved, given the excitement of TR’s third-party run and Taft’s dreadful distant-third-place finish. And, yet, Taft’s strong opposition to Roosevelt is instructive, as it brings his theory of the presidency—and TR’s threat to this vision of leadership—into sharp relief. Taft’s resistance to Roosevelt’s run for a third term in 1912 is highlighted in three major sections. The first section focuses on Taft’s decision to oppose TR for the Republican nomination in 1912 and, in particular, addresses his speechmaking during the primaries in the spring of 1912. It was unprecedented for a sitting president to campaign for renomination, but for Taft, Roosevelt’s threat was so grave that breaking with precedent was necessary. The second section examines Taft’s limited, but important, involvement in the general election of 1912, especially through his letter accepting renomination. The third section examines the arguments made by Taft surrogates in the general election. While Taft largely remained on the sidelines, key supporters and allies took Taft’s case against Roosevelt to the public. A final concluding section articulates the main components of Taft’s theory of presidential leadership, illustrating the key contrasts with TR’s view. While the modern presidency would come to be embodied by TR’s vision and not Taft’s, Taft’s theory aids in highlighting the drawbacks and problems which accompany the Roosevelt theory.


Name: Jason Mycoff
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: mycoff@udel.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Delaware
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Diversity in Senate Committees
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We know very little about diversity in the US Senate. In this paper I explore diversity in Senate committee membership. I first examine diversity through the lens of Scott Page’s theory of diversity (2007). Page’s theory is that diversity, defined as a group of individuals with a broad set of problem solving skills and approaches to problem solving, creates better groups, firms, schools and societies. I apply Page’s theory to Senate committees to test whether more diverse Senate committees are better. Better is a subjective term, but Senators, who proudly call the Senate the greatest deliberative body on Earth, provide a way to observe which legislation the membership treats most seriously—through its deliberation. I hypothesize that legislation considered by more diverse committees will receive more deliberation on the Senate floor because more diverse committees have the tools necessary to more often tackle more serious problems and develop solutions that better satisfy the Senate floor. I examine data on all bills originating in the Senate, reported by Senate committees and passed on the Senate floor from the 103rd through the 112th Congresses. Applying Page’s (2007) theory to the US Senate I come to two important conclusions. First, there is more diversity across Senate committees when considering both demographic characteristics and professional experience, rather than demographics alone. While committees like the Committee on the Judiciary largely featured a membership lineup almost entirely consisting of white men who shared very similar religions and professional experiences other committees like the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs exhibited a much more diverse roster with men, women, racial minorities, and varying professional experiences during the period under study. Second, I find that more diverse committees are more likely than more homogenous committees to produce legislation that will receive more deliberation on the Senate floor including lengthier debate and more amendments. Using multilevel models that account for Congress and committee effects, and controlling for various indicators like ideology, party identification and trivial bill content, diversity in Senate committees has a statistically significant effect on whether a bill will receive lengthy consideration on the floor or be passed the same day it emerges from committee, whether a bill will face a floor amendment, how long a bill will remain on the calendar and how long the Senate takes to pass a bill. I conclude that diversity plays an important and previously unstudied part in a committee’s ability to produce legislation that receives more deliberate consideration on the floor.


Name: Eunseong Oh
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: remnantalice@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Minorities within Minorities and Judicialization: Defectors’ Group and Individual Rights in Divided Korea and Germany
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The Constitution of South Korea recognizes North Koreans defectors as South Korean citizens. These defectors now number approximately 30,000 persons and constitute a distinct political minority within South Korean society, receiving special protections and benefits from the state. Yet in recent years, official policy towards these defectors has changed from one of welcoming them to one of discouraging defections. A gradual transformation in demographic, socioeconomic, and gender composition has taken place within the community, and more importantly, they have retained the inequalities and internal conflicts they carried with them from the North. In this paper, I place this émigré community’s politics within the context of “minorities within minorities” studies in order to examine the internal discrimination against members by a majority within the minority community, and also internal conflicts mostly ignored in favor of an argument for multiculturalism. In doing so, the case of North Korean defectors will be compared to citizenship laws in the two Germanys during the Cold War. The relevant constitutional and political environment from 1949 to 1990 there was similar to that of South and North Korea today – in particular, West Germany’s policy of recognizing East Germans defectors as West German citizens. By examining the interaction between “the politics of enmity” in liberal-democratic societies and the reliance on constitutional courts to resolve the citizenship status of defectors, I will demonstrate how political minorities are demarcated in these divided “nations” and explain what new or compounding issues the judicialization of politics introduces to the contemporary dynamics of this particular minority within a minority.


Name: Lisa Parshall
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: lparshal@daemen.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Daemen College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Presidential Nominating Reform Post-2016: The Ship Goes Down with the Captain
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Modern presidential nominations have come to follow a relatively standards script in which an increasingly front-loaded nominating calendar narrows the field and produces a presumptive nominee well before the voters in most states have had the chance to go to the polls. The 2016 cycle has deviated from this script in unanticipated ways. On the Democratic side, the coronation of the early and dominant front-runner turned into an unexpectedly protracted contest between Clinton and Sanders in which late-voting states like California and New Jersey played a relevant role. The Democratic contest once again raised questions about the role of the super-delegates and the legitimacy of party insiders determining the nomination. On the Republican side, the overcrowded field and post-2012 calendar and delegate allocation changes combined to make the usually idle speculation of a brokered convention seemingly plausible for a time. In the end, however, the winnowing process worked as usual to force trailing candidates out of the race allowing a front-runner to secure a majority of the delegates well before the final nominating contests had taken place. While closer to the expected script in the mechanics of securing a presumptive nominee, the GOP nomination did, however, deviate in one spectacular regard: the standard bearer selected by the nominating process has badly fractured the Republican Party. As an anti-establishment, insurgent candidate, Trump secured his path to the nomination with the plurality support of a surge of Republican voters who do not normally participate in the primary process and against the preferences of the party elite who now face the difficult prospect of embracing or rejecting their Party’s nominee. The 2016 Republican nomination thus renders the contemporary debate over “Who Decides” nominations a normative as well as an empirical question. Even as the Democratic race challenged the undemocratic role of the super-delegates, the Republican contest suggests the need for an elite check on the party-in-the-electorate. As in previous cycles, it is anticipated that both Parties will revise their nominating processes in light of the most recent cycle and the outcome of the General Election. This paper will review the 2016 nominations in light of adjustments to the 2012 rules and with a particular emphasis on GOP nominating reforms moving forward. How might the nomination of a standard bearer feared to bring down the Party shake up the nominating process and the tendency of the Parties to engage in only marginal nominating reform?


Name: Mishella Romo
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: mromor4@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Montclair State University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Governability, Judicial Power, and Legitimacy in Hybrid Regimes: The Case of Venezuela
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Since the third wave of democracy in Latin America, core concepts regarding democratization and institutions such as legitimacy have been examined in a dual context, particularly focusing on the executive and legislative branches. The political impact of courts in Latin America has come second to research developments in presidentialism, and legislative gridlock. With the resilience of populist and hybrid regimes and their strategic influence over the high court, understanding the role and legitimacy of such institution in the region is crucial. This paper argues that although the court is not independent and is therefore institutionally impoverished in such governments, it is nonetheless a central and legitimate actor in governability. To evidence this claim, this paper will examine the two rulings of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia in Venezuela which barred elected leaders from legislating after the 2015 legislative elections, and the constitutional approval of a decree in 2016 in which the president's power was significantly expanded when claiming that Venezuela was in a "state of exception." These cases will show how the court is a conditionally empowered actor that serves as an instrument of process which: enjoys compliance in a polarized society, significantly shapes the political order, and ultimately legitimates the hybrid regime's policies. The purpose of this research is to underscore that the possibility of the court's defection from the paradoxical executive influence over it is unlikely given the lack of attention in scholarship on how judicial power and legitimacy in hybrid regimes can be studied in order to discern strategic avenues for the building institutional independence.


Name: Joshua Sandman
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: jsandman@newhaven.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of New Haven
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Paper Title: Delegitimization or Contending With a Personalized and Politically Contentious Presidential Office: Which Way has the Presidency Gone?
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At the just passed NEPSA Conference a panel audience member commented that the contemporary presidency has been delegitimized as a political and ideological tactic and that we should look elsewhere for national leadership. I explore this comment. I suggest that the presidency has actually not been delegitimized. Rather, we are in an era of more contentious political and ideological conflict and a "personalized presidency" where political skills and personality attributes determine presidential effectiveness in the political arena. I study the modern presidency (FDR to Obama) and identify four categories of presidential leadership based on a "one of us" presidential persona and applied political skills. I indicate which presidents are placed in which different categories and the reasons for their placement. I show that personality and skill factors can mitigate a politically challenged presidency.


Name: Alton Slane
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: slane@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Satellite-Based Monitoring (SBM) of Recidivist Sex Offenders and Fourth Amendment Issues
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Does Satellite- Based Monitoring of recidivist sex offenders constitute a violation of a person's privacy in terms of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution? The United States Supreme Court in Grady v. North Carolina ( 2015) addressed this question and concluded that a search did occur but remanded the case to the North Carolina court system to determine whether such a search is reasonable based on the totality of the circumstances. What are the possible justifications that can be used to support such a monitoring program? And will they be in alignment with the demands of the Fourth Amendment?


Name: Anthony Spanakos
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: spanakos@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Montclair State University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Constitutional and Democratic Politics Revisited: Understanding Political Change in Brazil and Venezuela
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Panel Description: I would like to be included in the same panel as my students, Mishella Romo and Eunseong Oh, who have or are submitting separate papers examining judicial politics.Thanks so muchTony
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The 1988 Constitution of Brazil and the 1998 Constitution of Venezuela are very different, were drafted in very different circumstances, by different political actors with very different concerns and goals. Since the promulgation of the constitutions, important political actors in both countries have participated in what other political actors have called coups and impeachments. The tendency is for scholars to think of the former as being extra-constitutional and the latter as thoroughly constitutional. But to do so is to think of constitutional politics as being bound by the written constitution. If the constitution is seen as the product of constituting politics, the line between coup and impeachment is less clear, particularly if one understands politics to be re-constituted at periodic intervals or through regular quotidian struggles. This paper argues that understanding ‘interruptions’ in presidential administrations needs be understood through the lens of different ways of understanding constitutionality. This will be demonstrated by comparing the impeachment of Fernando Henrique Collor de Mello 1992, impeachment process and/or coup against Dilma Rousseff in 2016 (both in Brazil) and the impeachment of Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1993, the coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002, and the oppositional politics in Venezuela from 2014-2016 (all in Venezuela).


Name: Eric Svensen
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: eps007@shsu.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Sam Houston State University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Remapping American Political Ideology
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In recent years, scholars have relied heavily on roll call votes to create measures of party ideology. While these approaches have provided important insight into our understanding of elite-level behavior, can we be certain that the scores widely used in the profession actually measure ideology? Because all roll calls are used to create these measures, interpreting these results as an accurate measure of ideology is questionable. Furthermore, because the scores we use occur within our parochial political system, it is even questionable if our definitions of conservative and liberal are even accurate. To correct for this, I argue two points. First, whatever data one relies on to assess ideology, one needs to compare this data against true ideological positions. In this study, we use the extreme ideological positions of Marx (Authoritarian role of the state in economic and social life) and Herbert Spencer/Fredrick Bastiat (Minimal or nonexistent role of the state n economic and social life) as our anchors. Second, rather than rely on all roll call votes, I exclusively use economic and social roll call votes to create a two-dimensional updating of congressional ideology. Early results suggest that both parties are not necessarily as ideologically extreme as scholars and the public contend.


Name: Yile Zhang
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: childeyi@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Department of Politics, New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Why the CCP Cares about Amending the Constitution?
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This paper looks into reasons why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cares about amending the Constitution. This paper first reviews several mechanisms that have impact on changes of parties in the liberal democratic system. They change their platforms and amend constitutions under the pressure of election motivation, party competition and/ or the urge from their constituents. However, for the dominant party in the single-party system, pressures mentioned above do not make sense. To explore the reason why the CCP has adopted four versions of Constitution (1954, 1975, 1978, 1982) as well as four times of Amendment (1988, 1993, 1999, 2004) in less than 70 years, which could be considered very frequently, this paper analyzes historical, social and political backgrounds of these amendments. In contrast to the conventional opinion treating Constitutions in non-democratic countries as a window-dressing thing, this paper finds out that the CCP has essentially three purposes in amending the Constitution: first, passing on parties’ platform to all party members; second, sending positive signals to the global community to win the political (other than economic) recognition of the world; third, adopting the party itself to the political transformations to claim the legitimacy of its rule.



State & Metropolitan Politics

Name: Joseph Cobetto
Section: State & Metropolitan Politics
Professional Email: ussenator@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Missouri, Columbia
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Appellate Judges as Tribunes?: Appellate Judicial Elections, Campaign Expenditures and Executive-Judicial Relations in the States
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The diversity in selection methods for appellate judges in the states relative to the universally elected status of state governors does raise an important question as to the role that one's selection being popularly based can affect your ability to work with and even persuade other actors in government with respect to advancing one's policy goals. Employing a careful analysis of judicial and gubernatorial elections since 1990, this paper seeks to investigate the role campaign expenditures in state appellate elections contribute to any difference in the relative position of these elected judges to their state's governors. Special attention will be given to those judges normally elected to office being first appointed to office by either the governor or the state legislature to learn if this origin in one's judicial career affects the relative judicial independence of these judges to make decisions at odds with their state governor's policy interests.


Name: Anne Flaherty
Section: State & Metropolitan Politics
Professional Email: abena_us@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Merrimack College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
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Paper Title: States, American Indian Nations, and Intergovernmental Politics: The Uncertainty of Taxes
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American Indian nations are sovereign political entities with a government-to-government relationship with the federal government. Over time, through various policy shifts and state action, state governments have become more and more involved on reservations as well. This has presented a challenge for many tribes, who argue that states do not have that authority. One area of policy that has become controversial is the enforcement of state taxes on cigarette sales on reservations. This work evaluates the possibilities for tribal-state collaboration and/or conflict through the context of conflict over state enforcement of cigarette taxes for on-reservation purchases. This paper presents several related hypotheses, which are: 1- States with a history of regulatory and civil enforcement on reservation will be more likely to expect to enforce taxes on reservation. 2- States with an institutional collaborative body (legislative, executive, etc.) dedicated to Indian affairs will be more likely to develop collaborative relationships and agreements with tribes. 3- State governments with a potentially large financial loss due to on-reservation cigarette sales are more likely to seek to enforce cigarette taxes on reservation. Data on each state with federally recognized tribes (as well as on the tribes themselves) is currently being gathered to evaluate a range of variables and controls tied to the hypotheses above. The hypotheses will be evaluated using a statistical analysis (likely multi-nominal logit). Ultimately, I expect to find evidence that tribal-state collaboration and strong, positive intergovernmental relations are possible, but they require attention and effort.


Name: Beth Henschen
Section: State & Metropolitan Politics
Professional Email: bhenschen@emich.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Eastern Michigan University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: State of the Judiciary: What's the Message?
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Because we give considerable attention to the federal judiciary, we know less than we should about the political contexts in which state courts operate and how they interact with executives and legislatures. As head of the judicial branch of state government and as the administrative head of a state court system, a chief justice has the potential to wield influence in the conversation that takes place among judges, legislators, governors, and nongovernmental entities that have close connections to the courts. One public way chief justices participate in that “conversation” is through the State of the Judiciary messages they regularly deliver. Since 2005, nearly 300 State of the Judiciary messages have been given in 44 states. Yet there has been little systematic examination of these addresses. This project is funded by a 2015-2016 APSA Small Research Grant. It includes an analysis of the content of these messages, identifying themes over time, themes across states, and the frequency and nature of specific proposals for programs or policies. In addition, the research examines factors that may be related to the messages that are delivered, such as chief justice selection procedure, the presence of judicial councils in the state, the level of court budgetary authority, and whether the state judiciary has developed effective management systems and performance measures. Consideration is also given to how chief justices use State of the Judiciary messages to inform and educate relevant court audiences about the innovations that the judiciary has put in place and the accomplishments that have been realized. Here, being “part of the conversation” is more than requesting help from the legislature, the governor, or the bar to address specific needs. It is playing the part of salesperson for the branch of government one administers, and framing the issues that matter to courts in a way that makes them understood to other political actors and enhances public confidence in the state judicial system.


Name: J. Wesley Leckrone
Section: State & Metropolitan Politics
Professional Email: jwleckrone@widener.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Widener University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Reviving the Concept of Civil Community: A Framework for Studying Cities of the Delaware Valley
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Co-author info: Michelle Atherton, Temple University, mjather@temple.edu, Benjamin Klein, Widener University, bvklein@mail.widener.edu
Co-presenter info: Michelle Atherton, Temple University, mjather@temple.edu, Benjamin Klein, Widener University, bvklein@mail.widener.edu
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Civil community is a concept developed by Daniel J. Elazar in his seminal study The Cities of the Prairie (1970). This multigenerational, multicommunity study, which continued for forty years (1960–2000), sought to trace, compare, and contrast political, social, and economic developments in ten medium-size Midwestern civil communities. The study focused on medium-size civil communities because, at the time of the study, they most closely reflected Americans’ preferences regarding where to live. The civil community is the comprehensive local political system that serves the city and surrounding area. Not every city has its own civil community. Some cities are too small, while other cities are too large to be classified as a civil community (Elazar believed the ideal population was between 40,000 and 250,000). A functioning civil community includes a variety of political institutions, including formal governments and governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations serving the public interest, local political parties, and interest groups. The civil community provides a wide range of activities and services for its residents that are influenced and determined by local expectations and demands. In short, the local political system is able to shape government services and activities to meet local needs. Civil communities do not exist in a vacuum. They are located within and must interact with larger political systems. In the United States these political systems are the state and nation, with their respective governments. The pressures exerted on civil communities, namely, complying with federal and state mandates while protecting local concerns, are at times in opposition. Our proposed paper is the beginning of a larger project to update the concept of civil community and to apply it to the Philadelphia metropolitan region. We have identified the following challenges to civil communities in the early twenty-first century and will incorporate them into a new model. The first results from the changes that have emerged during what Elazar labeled the “cybernetic frontier”. Technology and globalization allow people to be connected as never before. However, they are not bonded by a sense of geographical place that helps to build the common bond of civil community. Second, the focus on individualism, with people concentrating on their own needs rather than developing a common sense of purpose, hurts community self-determination. Finally, people increasingly view themselves as consumers of government services. In this market-oriented model of government, government is the provider of solutions to the problems of passive residents. However, civil community requires that citizens actively engage in problem solving to ensure collective decisions based on local preferences. This paper will seek to apply the updated concept of civil community to local governments in the Philadelphia metropolitan region. The first phase of the research will focus on the five county Pennsylvania portion of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. This region is home to more than four million people and 239 general purpose municipal governments. Our intent is to map out the web of cooperative arrangements and organizations in this area and then select and justify several cities for more extensive study in future research.


Name: test test
Section: Employment Service
Professional Email: test@test.net
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: test university
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just testing.



Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, and Electoral Behavior

Name: Brian Arbour
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: barbour@jjay.cuny.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: John Jay College, CUNY
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Racial Attitudes and the Highland South in 2008 and 2012
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Republicans have made significant long-term gains in the Appalachian Mountain region and the upper South in the last political generation. My previous research has shown that this is a long-term secular trend, but that it accelerated and intensified in the elections since Barack Obama became the nation's leading Democrat. This papers examines the impact of racial prejudice and racial resentment on recent election results in this region of the country. The upper South and Appalachias have traditionally had relatively low African-American populations, but have demographic characteristics correlated with racial conservatism. Thus, there is reason to think that racial attitudes mattered less in this region than urban areas or the deep South—which have higher shares of African-American population—in previous elections. With the rise of the first African-American major party nominee, these racial attitudes became more important in voting decisions in the 2008 and 2012 elections. I will use contemporary public opinion data to compare the role of racial prejudice and racial resentment in the Appalachian Mountain and upper South regions to Using contemporary public opinion data, I will compare the role of racial prejudice and racial resentment in the upper South and the Appalachian Mountains to not only other regions of the country in 2008 and 2012, but to previous elections in the upper South and the Appalachian Mountains.


Name: Lonce Bailey
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Institution: Shippensburg University
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Name: Thomas Baldino
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: thomas.baldino@wilkes.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Wilkes University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Moderator
Roundtable Title: “Promises and Plans: The Art of Campaigning and the Reality of Governing in a Polarized Era"
Roundtable Description: Presidential campaigns since 2000 have witnessed candidates who have vowed to bring dramatic changes or to advance policies to significantly improve the US political system, people's lives, and/or make America great again. Yet, winning candidate appear to be unable to deliver on many of the campaign pledges. Our roundtable will explore this problem from several perspectives, and consider the heightened state of polarization in Congress and within the electorate as significant factors contributing to the problem.
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Name: Lawrence Becker
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Institution: California State University, Northridge
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Name: Mark Brewer
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: mark.brewer@umit.maine.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of Maine
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Populism in American Presidential Elections
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Populism undoubtedly has a long history in the politics of the United States, but this history is too often fuzzy around the edges. Additionally, what exactly is meant by "populism" is frequently ambiguous and ill-defined. Finally, who subscribes to populism is more often asserted than demonstrated, even in those instances where the phenomenon itself is relatively clearly identified and explained. The larger project of which this paper is an early component aims to address these intellectual and empirical shortcomings. In this paper, I will engage in a thorough examination of the substance of populism in American politics. All elements of American populism—its championing of the common people, it rural roots, its anti-elitism, anti-intellectualism, and anti-government views, and its religious and cultural dimensions—will be explored. The paper will close by using the American National Election Studies to begin to empirically flesh out the degree to which various groups in American society subscribe to populist views and how these views play out in American presidential elections.


Name: Bruce Caswell
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: caswell@rowan.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Rowan University
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Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Moderator
Roundtable Title: New Rules? Have Sanders and Trump Fundamentally Changed the Parties?
Roundtable Description: Bruce Caswell, Rowan University (Emeritus), Chair Danielle Gougon, Rowan University Garrison Nelson, University of Vermont Shayla Nunnally, University of Connecticut Erin O'Brien, University of Massachusetts-Boston Specific topics of discussion to be determined by 2016 campaign. Some possible of discussion: Have Sanders and Trump really brought new voters and activists into the parties? Have the Democrats lost blue-collar white voters and millennials? How does the vote coalition and composition in this election compare this election to previous elections? Did the "fundamentals" hold or are new factors determining election outcomes? Will the parties have to re-think their presidential nominations processes? Given that neither Trump nor Clinton was the biggest spender in their party's nomination process, has the role of money and TV advertising changed?
Paper Title: The Civil Rights Plank of 1948 and the Emergence of the Modern Democratic Party
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This year the Democrats met in Philadelphia for the first time since 1948. The last time the Democrats met in Philadelphia the party adopted its first civil rights plank as a minority plank proposed by Hubert Humphrey and liberal activists. The adoption of this plank set in motion a series of events that shaped the modern party system, the separation of the southern states from the Democratic coalition and the Democrats dependence upon minority and liberal voters. This paper chronicles these developments from the New Deal to the 2016 election.


Name: Nicholas Charron
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: nicholas.charron@pol.gu.se
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Insider or Outsider? Grand Corruption and Electoral Accountability
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While democratic accountability is widely expected to reduce corruption, citizens to a surprisingly large extent opt to forgo their right to protest and voice complaints and refrain from using their electoral right to punish corrupt politicians. This article examines how grand corruption (GC) and elite collusion influences electoral accountability, and in particular citizens’ willingness to punish corrupt incumbents. Using new regional level data across 21 European countries, we show that the level of societal grand corruption in which a voter finds herself systematically affects how she responds to a political corruption scandal. Our findings provide clear empirical evidence that high levels of elite collusion create an environment where corrupt incumbents are more likely to be re-elected, undermining the effectiveness of elections in curbing political corruption. Grand corruption increases loyalty to corrupt politicians, demobilizes the citizenry and crafts a deep divide between insiders, or potential beneficiaries of the system, and outsiders, left on the sidelines of the distribution of benefits. This explains why not even outsiders successfully channel their discontent into effective electoral punishment. The study thereby shows how and why pervasive elite collusion undermines the very foundations for electoral accountability.


Name: Dino Christenson
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Institution: Boston University
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Name: Jay Cincotti
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Institution: Massachusetts Democratic Party
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Name: William Crotty
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: w.crotty@neu.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Northeastern university
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: “Promises and Plans: The Art of Campaigning and the Reality of Governing in a Polarized Era"
Roundtable Description: Presidential campaigns since 2000 have witnessed candidates who have vowed to bring dramatic changes or to advance policies to significantly improve the US political system, people's lives, and/or make America great again. Yet, winning candidate appear to be unable to deliver on many of the campaign pledges. Our roundtable will explore this problem from several perspectives, and consider the heightened state of polarization in Congress and within the electorate as significant factors contributing to the problem.
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Name: Alison Dagnes
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: addagn@ship.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Moderator
Roundtable Title: The Future of the Parties Post 2016: This Time We are Serious.
Roundtable Description: This panel features five perspectives on the future of the American party system in the wake of the 2016 elections. An annual NPSA roundtable, this year we expect a more consequential conversation in the aftermath of the remarkable 2016 campaign.
Paper Title: Targeted Exposure: Modern Political Messaging
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Marshall McLuhan wrote that the “medium is the message,” where a media form itself has a profound impact on how a message is understood. There is little doubt that McLuhan was right in our era when the “media system” is a vast, loosely connected conglomeration of outlets, people, and organizations, all employing different communication styles. McLuhan’s work, and later work by Neal Postman, argues that not only do new technologies revolutionize the way we communicate, they change the way we think writ large. As we contort our messaging to fit within 140-character confines and hone our statements for increasingly short soundbites, the older media literature (which pre-dates the advent of cable and the internet) remains, rather incredibly, perceptive and relevant. But there is something more at play now, where not only does the medium impact the message, but anyone can have their very own messenger. In the political media, this has meant an increasingly complicated system that blends mediated and unmediated messaging, and includes not only politicians and partisans, but also myriad outside actors and influencers. This paper is the second chapter of a new book examining the colossal modern political media system. It examines the abundance of media, the subsequent changes to journalism and to political communication, and the theoretical speculations about the consequences of such a system.


Name: Kenneth Dautrich
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: dautrichkj@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Generation Z and the Future of the First Amendment
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“Generation Z and the Future of the First Amendment” The current generation of high school and college students, dubbed as “Generation Z,” is at a critical lifecycle stage in terms of their development of political attitudes. The period in which these attitudes are forming includes a number of important events and circumstances (such as the battle of free expression vs. freedom from offensive speech in high schools and college campuses, presidential candidates advocating limits on freedom for certain groups, and access to social media allowing anyone to publish material to a mass audience) bearing on freedom of speech, one of the most important values underlying American political culture. This paper explores Generation Z’s attitudes about freedom of speech in this unique period of American history when free expression rights are being challenged while at the same time the ability to express oneself on a mass basis is readily available. Questions addressed include: How does Gen Z value freedom of speech? What factors bear on their level of support? How does Gen Z compare to older generations in their opinion about free speech rights? This paper draws on original data from more than a decade of national scientific surveys of both the American adult population and the American high school student population, facilitating a comparison of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. These surveys, which have been supported through grants from the Knight Foundatuion and the Newseum Institute, have been conducted annually since 2004, providing a comparison of Gen Z and Millennials differ in their attitudes about freedom of speech at similar stages in the lifecyle.


Name: Iva Deutchman
Section:
Professional Email: deutchman@hws.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Hobart William Smith
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: “Promises and Plans: The Art of Campaigning and the Reality of Governing in a Polarized Era"
Roundtable Description: Presidential campaigns since 2000 have witnessed candidates who have vowed to bring dramatic changes or to advance policies to significantly improve the US political system, people's lives, and/or make America great again. Yet, winning candidate appear to be unable to deliver on many of the campaign pledges. Our roundtable will explore this problem from several perspectives, and consider the heightened state of polarization in Congress and within the electorate as significant factors contributing to the problem.
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Name: Gemma Dipoppa
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: gemmad@sas.upenn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: How to Make Politicians Obey: Evidence on the Strategic Use of Violence by Organized Crime
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Co-author info: Gianmarco Daniele, Institut d’Economia Barcelona (IEB), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; email: daniele.gianmarco@gmail.com; Phone: +32 486813871
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This paper exploits a novel dataset of attacks towards local Italian administrators to study how organized crime strategically uses violence against politicians to influence policy-making. We provide causal evidence that the probability of being a target of violence increases in the period right after the elections, but only in regions with a high presence of organized crime. This pattern suggests that organized crime uses violence strategically and systematically right after elections, as an initial warning against any troublesome policy. In line with this interpretation, we show that attacks towards politicians are more likely when elections lead to the formation of a new government.


Name: Jerold Duquette
Section:
Professional Email: Jeroldduquette@comcast.net
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Central Connecticut State University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Name: Haldun Evrenk
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: haldun_evrenk@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: TOBB-ETU
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Three party competition when media influences voters' perception of candidate charisma
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Using a formal (mathematical) model of political competition among three candidates who differ in their charisma, I study the effects of media on voters' welfare and equilibrium policy. In the model, voters care about both the policy and the charisma of the candidates. The media (a single outlet) cannot change the relative rankings of the candidates in terms of their charisma, i.e., cannot make a charismatic candidate non-charismatic and vice versa, but it can influence the weight voters put on a candidate's charisma vs. candidate's policy (salience) when voting, by emphasizing the importance of policy issues or charisma. Any change in salience affects equilibrium policies proposed by the candidates, and, thus, voters’ welfare. I consider four different types of media: (i) no slant (NS) media does not try to influence salience, (ii) welfare maximizing (WM) media manipulate the salience so that the equilibrium policy is as close to the welfare maximizing policy as possible, (iii) partisan (P) media tries to move equilibrium policy as close to its most preferred policy as possible, (iv) candidate controlled (CC) media is controlled by the most charismatic candidate (always the winner in our model) and tries to increase the importance of the charisma in voting decision (and, thus, the charismatic candidate's equilibrium vote share) as much as possible. I find that even the WM type media can't achieve socially optimal level of welfare no matter how powerful and well intentioned it is. On the other hand, manipulation by either P or CC type media is not always welfare decreasing either. If the parameters of the model are such that the most charismatic candidate's policy and the median voter are always at opposite sides of the mean voter, then the broadcasts of CC media, and any P media whose ideal is even further from the mean voter than the policy of the winning candidate is, are always (and, equally) welfare reducing.


Name: Michael Fauntroy
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: michaelfauntroy@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Howard University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Conservatism and Black Voter Suppression
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We have seen during the last half decade or so a consistent effort to tighten voter participation. These efforts have had consistent sponsors and consistent targets. Conservative forces around the country rewritten election laws to facilitate voter suppression, particularly targeting African Americans (virtually all of the restrictive policy proposals advanced in the period between the 2010 and 2014 elections were advanced by conservatives). This paper will define, describe, and discuss the role of conservatism in the suppression of African American voters. Voting has been a key variable in the achievement of significant, change in the social, political, and economic position of African Americans. From Reconstruction to the New Deal and from the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the election of the first African American President of the United States, the vote has been a freedom mechanism for Black people. A marginalized populace whose hands once picked cotton could suddenly pick Presidents, Governors, members of Congress, and other officials who would have to deal with their issues if they wanted to be reelected. The emergence of the Black vote changed the landscape of American politics.


Name: Danielle Gougon
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: gougon@rowan.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Rowan University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Professional Pressure: An analysis of how political science is responding to calls to professionalize the discipline.
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What are you going to do with that major? Higher education in the U.S. is under pressure to demonstrate the ways in which it is preparing undergraduate students for the workforce. Professional development is no longer a task reserved for the campus career center or counselor; disciplines, and their respective faculty, are increasingly being asked to integrate specific career training and skill building into their curricula and courses, often with little or no guidance in how to accomplish this task. This paper seeks to understand what political science is doing as a field to respond to the most recent call to “professionalize” the discipline. The paper will begin by providing a macro-level survey of “the state of the discipline” and assess the ways in which leading political science organizations (such as APSA) and journals are addressing professional development of undergraduates. The paper will also provide a micro-level analysis of initiatives taken by individual departments and programs which might provide guidance on best practices for integrating professional development into our own programs.


Name: William Harrison
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: billharrison11@yahoo.ie
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Fairmont State University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Roots of Green
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Co-author info: None
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ABSTRACT “The Roots of Green” There can be little doubt that humanity has a significant and growing impact on the environment. In response, concerned people have joined to promote their recognition and resolution. This movement attempts to enact legislation and facilitate international treaties to deal with such matters as ozone depletion, acid rain, and air quality. These most obvious issues focus on individuals’ production of deleterious materials or consumption of scarce resources but, of course, are no more important than the population growth that drives them exponentially. The concerned (“green”) environmental movement is sometimes confused with a political movement also calling itself “Green”. A major concern of the political Green movement is wealth redistribution, having little to do with managing humanity’s impact on the environment. This may explain why scant attention is paid, and even wholesale acceptance given, to population and pollution problems of the developing world. It can, in, in fact, be argued that the objectives of these two shades of green are antagonistic. In the light of this antagonism, it is important for the well-being of our environment that we recognize the roles of the several issues and of the political movements that support them so as to avoid self-defeating actions. These issues are explored in this paper.


Name: Jillian Jaeger
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: jnjaeger@bu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Electing Black Mayors: Does Party Information Make a Difference?
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Local elections are generally perceived as arenas where the personal attributes of a candidate - and especially his or her race - determine vote-choice. I use an original data set of U.S. mayoral elections from 1995 to the present to argue that the influence of race is mediated by party. Insofar as the party affiliation of candidates is made salient in an election, this information moderates the influence of race as a factor in vote-choice. The implications of this argument are that minority candidates have tools that can be deployed to overcome racial prejudice, and that local elections - even officially "nonpartisan" elections - are not as candidate-centered as many analysts have imagined.


Name: Sarah Beth Kitch
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: sarah.beth.kitch@gmail.com
Professional Status:
Institution: Princeton University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Prophetic Voice
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One of the most significant political problems in mid-twentieth century America is racial segregation. As he confronts Americans on segregation, Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) becomes the leader of a moral and political revolution that seeks a “substance-filled positive peace, where all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality.” While one tendency of citizens in liberal democratic society is to view religion as a source of injustice or division, King speaks in a religious language and narrative he finds essential to bringing justice and healing to the political community. At the heart of King’s political theology is his prophetic stance. This prophetic influence is the source of the guiding insight King calls creative suffering. King asks us to reject the politics of despair and attend instead to the ways that grace can come through suffering. Moreover, as he asks us to be creatively maladjusted, King offers an ethical and strategic approach to racism and poverty. I attend to the influences that shape King’s prophetic stance. I trace the implications of this dimension of his thought and action for citizenship. And I connect his participation in the prophetic tradition with his understanding of the relationship between love and justice in politics. My aim throughout is to show why and how King’s prophetic view of the human person and the requirements of justice shape his approach to the civil rights conflict.


Name: Jonathan Knuckey
Section:
Professional Email: jonathan.knuckey@ucf.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Central Florida
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Paper Title: A Different Kind of Republican? Sources of Affective Evaluation Toward Donald Trump
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Co-author info: Myunghee Kim, University of Central Floridamyunghee.kim@ucf.edu
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This paper uses the 2016 American National Election Pilot Study to test several competing hypotheses concerning affective evaluations of Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Specifically, Trump's evaluations are compared to that of other Republican presidential candidates, focusing on racial, economic and cultural variables to explore commonalities and differences between support for Trump and other Republicans.


Name: Mack Mariani
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: marianim@xavier.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Xavier University
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Paper Title: The Impact of Gender Quotas in the 2016 Irish General Election: The Centrality of Candidate Selection
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Co-author info: Fiona Buckley – University College Cork; f.buckley@ucc.ie Claire McGing – Maynooth University; claire.mcging@mumail.ie Timothy J. White – Xavier University: white@xavier.edu
Co-presenter info: Fiona Buckley, University College Cork; fbuckley@ucc.ie
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One of the major inhibitions to women’s representation in Ireland and elsewhere has been the candidate selection process. The introduction of gender quotas in Ireland based on the new electoral law passed in 2012 dramatically impacted women’s candidate selection in the 2016 national election. Given the historically low level of women’s selection as candidates in Ireland, the electoral law serves as a natural experiment to determine the efficacy of gender quotas in improving women’s descriptive representation. The Electoral Act of 2012 specified that at the next Dáil election political parties had to select at least 30 per cent male candidates and at least 30 per cent female candidates or lose half of their state funding. This paper examines the effect of the gender quotas on women’s candidacy and election in 2016. Previous research analyzed the under-representation of women in the 2007 and 2011 elections focusing on the effects of party affiliation, local office-holding, Dáil service, district magnitude, campaign spending, family dynasty, and demographic factors (such as age, marital status, profession) on candidates’ (female and male) electoral prospects (studying first preference votes, percentage of district quota, and ultimate election). Analysis of these elections revealed that previous experience in local office is a key springboard to higher office for both men and women. However, opportunities to increase the level of women’s representation in the Dáil are limited by the fact that in Ireland few women serve in local office. We will investigate how this reality impacted the ability to translate increased candidacies for women based on the gender quota to increased election of women in the 2016 election.


Name: Luigi Marini
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: luigimarini@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Politics of Party Colors: Use and Perception of Non-Verbal Cues of Ideology
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Colors are a central feature of the political arena. Parties use colors to forge a distinctive brand image, to evoke recognition and to reinforce sentiments of group allegiance. Colors are used in political campaign and become culturally associated with political movements and ideologies. Building on a composite literature in visual cognition, psychology and marketing, this paper analyzes how political parties use colors in their images and how individual voters respond to color stimuli. I collect new data on the color hues in party logos in Western European multi-party systems and present descriptive evidence that party families adopt more similar colors the more ideologically cohesive. More generally, a correlation seems to exist between ideological positioning on a left--right scale and the hue value on a color spectrum. Colors are also used for the practical purpose of differentiation, as shown by an increase in the color range covered by the emergence of new challenger parties. Given the persistent patterns of color use by political parties, we expect individual voters to attribute to colors strong context-dependent and culturally learned meanings. I hypothesize that colors function as a low-level heuristics for voters, reinforcing or replacing the ideological content of political messages. I test this hypothesis running an experiment where respondents are asked to evaluate policy statements on a left--right or liberal--conservative scale, while the background color is manipulated and randomly assigned. The recent development in American politics of associating blue with the Democratic Party and red with the Republican Party -- in a reversal of European traditions relating red with the socialist left and blue with the conservative right -- offers a unique opportunity to study how the psychological effects of color stimuli are dependent on context and cultural learning or more deeply embedded in human evolution and biology. The study has important implications for our understanding of party-voter interactions. Moreover, it can directly inform party strategies and media reporting, since a choice of colors can have unintended effects.


Name: Michael McCabe
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: michael.patrick.mccabe@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Graduate Center, CUNY
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Revisiting the realignment strategy: Building a 21st Century Worker's Party in the US
Panel Title: Lessons from the past: Rethinking contemporary left theory and praxis
Panel Description: This panel seeks to discuss the decline in leftist theory and practice since the progressive era of the 19th and 20th centuries to a point of near non-existence. The very few progressive movements that have occurred in recent times have failed to gain any momentum. Why has this decline been so acute within the last 20 to 30 years? Which psychological, economic and social situations lead to this decline and prevent it from gaining momentum? What can the left do to generate the momentum progressive politics desperately needs? With the few movements that have occurred within this time frame, why did they fail to gain traction? These are the questions this panel will seek to elicit a dialogue with by using past theory and practice to diagnose the issues of the contemporary left. Through this panel, we hope to demonstrate that the contemporary left will not achieve anything substantial without returning to and integrating the systematic tactics, strategies, and perspectives leftist literature from the 19th and 20th centuries discussed.
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While acknowledging the importance of political protest, left intellectuals including Max Shachtman and Michael Harrington understood that a singular strategy of protest alienates the left from more direct control over shaping politics. It was in response to this realization that they advanced a strategy of party realignment. The goal of the realignment strategy was for radical left organizations including left-leaning labor unions to become embedded in the Democratic Party apparatus, so as to have influence over the Party’s platform and candidate selection and nomination process. However, as the Democratic Party became increasingly centrist throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the failure of the realignment strategy reinforced the view of many on the left that the Democratic Party is structurally incapable of progressive transformation. Fast forward to the current presidential election, and the sustained efforts by Democratic Party insiders to undermine the candidacy of Bernie Sanders might be viewed as yet another example of the Party’s inherent hostility toward progressive politics. This paper rejects this notion, arguing instead that the realignment strategy of the 1970s was undermined by exogenous factors including a wave of fiscal crises that facilitated a backlash against progressive politics that were widely blamed for bloated public sector budgets. It additionally argues that by abandoning the realignment strategy, the left forfeited its ability to contest those centrist actors within the Democratic Party who sought to undermine the Sanders Campaign; albeit at a time when the public has become increasingly supportive of social democratic policies.


Name: Kerra McCorkle- Akanbi
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: mccorklek@mail.umsl.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Missouri-Saint Louis
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Social Media as a Tool for Political Though and Express for Underrepresented Populations
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In recent years, a growing number of social science studies have examined the relationship between social media and politics. This paper examines whether underrepresented populations use social media to advocate for social change and express thoughts on political and social issues. While past studies have determined that political elites are most likely to use social media for political expressions, there remains gaps on how social media is used by non-dominate groups. Through examining survey research from the PEW Research Center and the Center for Information, Black Youth Project, & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (C.I.R.C.L.E), I use regression analysis to investigate social media as a source for political knowledge that influences political behavior. As well as determine if members of the minority community have found a virtual arena where their political desires and concerns can be acknowledged. This investigation will offer social scientists a better understanding of how marginalized groups navigate the political terrain in the digital age.


Name: James Melcher
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Institution: University of Maine at Farmington
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Name: Nicole Mellow
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: nmellow@williams.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Williams College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: “Promises and Plans: The Art of Campaigning and the Reality of Governing in a Polarized Era"
Roundtable Description: Presidential campaigns since 2000 have witnessed candidates who have vowed to bring dramatic changes or to advance policies to significantly improve the US political system, people's lives, and/or make America great again. Yet, winning candidate appear to be unable to deliver on many of the campaign pledges. Our roundtable will explore this problem from several perspectives, and consider the heightened state of polarization in Congress and within the electorate as significant factors contributing to the problem.
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Name: Jerry Mileur
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Institution: University of Massachusetts
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Name: Sidney Milkis
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: smm8e@eservices.virginia.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of Virginia
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: “Promises and Plans: The Art of Campaigning and the Reality of Governing in a Polarized Era"
Roundtable Description: Presidential campaigns since 2000 have witnessed candidates who have vowed to bring dramatic changes or to advance policies to significantly improve the US political system, people's lives, and/or make America great again. Yet, winning candidate appear to be unable to deliver on many of the campaign pledges. Our roundtable will explore this problem from several perspectives, and consider the heightened state of polarization in Congress and within the electorate as significant factors contributing to the problem.
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Public Policy and Public Administration

Name: Kattalina Berriochoa
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: kberriochoa@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts, Boston
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Analyzing Tax Preferences for Education
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For governments, education is one of the costliest goods provided to citizens. Its hefty cost is justified by the fundamental positive role of education for society and economies and this is why education is treated as a publicly-provided good, rather than through private markets. Further, there is an inherent investment nature to education: society pays upfront costs for young people to become educated, and eventually, find gainful employment and become productive members of society. At the core of this relationship is redistribution, where --through policy mechanisms, there is a transfer of income from older to younger generations, all with the underlying agreement that this initial payout will secure a return of investment. This paper analyzes the micro-level, individual determinants for policy preferences for funding towards public education. Using the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) survey data, this project analyzes individual preferences for redistribution by measuring attitudes about current tax levels that fund public schools. Utilizing the multinomial logit (MNL) model, we model preferences among taxation options as a function of social, economic, and demographic characteristics. We find that the main determinant for taxation levels for education is an individual’s own educational experience, however, ideology also plays a significant role. Within the political economy and public policy literature, this study furthers our understanding about preferences for redistribution and tax policies for publicly provided goods such as education.


Name: Don Brand
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: dbrand8@townisp.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: College of the Holy Cross
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Moderator
Roundtable Title: Is Administrative Law Unlawful?
Roundtable Description: In December, 2015 the paperback version of Philip Hamburger’s Is Administrative Law Lawful? was published. This roughly 600 page book is the most systematic legal assault on the foundations of the modern American administrative state published in the past fifty years. Comparing modern administrative practices to those of the Star Chamber and High Commission during English Stuart tyranny, Hamburger argues that both rulemaking and administrative adjudication fail to conform to the traditional standards of rule through law. No serious student of American administrative law can dismiss the important claims made by this book without thorough study and examination. To facilitate this process we propose a roundtable.
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Name: Courtney Broscious
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: brosciousc@easternct.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Eastern Connecticut State University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: From data reporting to program management: A new approach to utilizing data in local drug court programs
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Co-author info: Fred Cheesman, National Center for State Courts, fcheesman@ncsc.org
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Performance Measurement has long been a requirement for publicly-funded programs. Congress requires regular performance reports from the bureaucratic agencies and their grantees. Data required for these reports can provide programs with information that can additionally be useful in program management and accomplish more than just establishing accountability to funding agencies. Programs, however, often show reluctance to use this same data to self-evaluate. This paper examines a practical approach to using this data for performance management and begins to explore how program staff self-evaluate in publicly-funded drug court programs. The findings of this research inform the both the public administration literature on performance measurement and management and the public policy literature aimed at increasing productiveness of publicly funded programs.


Name: Anthony Del Signore
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: delsignore.an@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Temple University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Morality and United States Foreign Policy: Framing Debates about Human Rights
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Morality policy framing typically revolves around several policy issues of private moral behavior (sexuality, abortion, etc.) Foreign policy has yet to be analyzed through the framework of morality policy. This study seeks to expand the application of morality policy framing to include human rights abuses. To do this, I study congressional debates on US foreign policy over a twenty year period (1995-2015). First, I hypothesize that congressional representatives use morality policy frames when discussing human rights abuses and rational instrumental frames when discussing other issues of foreign policy such as trade. Second, I hypothesize that issues of self-interest are more likely to be framed morally in post-September 11th society as terrorism has become an increasingly salient issue. Finally, I hypothesize that frames concerning human rights abuses against Christians will be used more by representatives in states with higher Evangelical populations due to reelection concerns.


Name: Brian Ford
Section:
Professional Email: bpford1@gmail.com
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: NYC Dept of Education
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Social Learning and Hegemony: Comparing Paradigm Change in Economics and Education
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Name: Seulhan Lee
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: seulhanlee@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Missouri-Columbia
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Staffing and Professionalization within the Congressional Committee's decision-making process
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This analysis is about how the congressional committee in Congress influences the decision-making process. I study professionalization and congressional committees’ staffing process to find out the effects on the decision-making process in the U.S. Congress staffs’ professional level has increased in U.S. over time at both the state and federal level. However, it is still not clear how congressional staffs and their professionalization influence the decision-making process in Congress in the congressional committee system. In this paper, I apply the concepts of professionalization to congressional staffs, and their hiring process to learn how they are hired, and how their professional impacts on their hiring process. Then, with staffs’ legislative professionalization, I show how congressional legislatures have become more professional over time. Eventually, in this study, I will first discuss congressional staff’s professionalization and hiring process regarding their committee, while focusing on the staffs’ policy oriented background. Secondly, I apply the concept of professionalization to explain how the committee influences the decision-making process in Congress.


Name: Christopher Mcmillan
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: Christopher.McMillan@bridgew.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Bridgewater State University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Politics of Coal in the Current Federal Election Environment
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Abstract: Since the height of Appalachian coal production in the 1950s, employment in the industry and in mining operations has faced a steady decline. The contributing factors related to this decline include advances in mining‐technology, an increase in the foreign production of coal, and federal environmental policies. The current presidential debate has seen a renewed interest in the future of coal mining in general and in the Appalachian region in particular, which signals a significant departure from its previous lack of national political salience. This paper addresses the question: why has such an obscure issue, the unemployment of coal miners in the Appalachian region, found new political life in the rhetoric and discourse of those seeking elective office? This paper begins with the historical foundation of the demise of coal in the region, discusses current governmental policies that both aggravate the issue and attempt to alleviate its consequences, and discusses the politics of coal on the federal level, addressing both congressional and presidential campaigns. Using evidence from campaigns for congress and the presidency, secondary historical sources, and interviews among stakeholders, this paper addresses the politics of coal within John Kingdon’s “three streams” framework. In conclusion, I suggest that the failure of political actors to address the conditions effecting domestic coal production and consumption will have critical political and policymaking repercussions.


Name: SooJin Song
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: joa.soojinsong@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Delaware
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Absence of Government Regulations and Corporate Irresponsibility: A Lesson From the Humidifier Scandal in South Korea
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Co-author info: HYEJUNG KIM, Korea University, suri0519@korea.ac.kr
Co-presenter info: HYEJUNG KIM, Korea University, suri0519@korea.ac.kr
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In 2011, seven pregnant women caught acute lung disease due to some unknown reason, of which four of them didn't survive. This was the beginning of the humidifier scandal in South Korea. The cause of those women’s death were chemicals,


Name: Linda St.Cyr
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: lindalstcyr@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: East Stroudsburg University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: PA Core: Do Common Core Standards Prepare Seniors for Higher Education in the Pennsylvania State System of Education?
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The purpose of this research is to assess whether Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English Language Arts and mathematics prepares high school students for their freshman year in college. The research seeks to answer whether CCSS in Pennsylvania high schools aligns with college entry expectations and student learning outcomes in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). A content analysis and a comparative analysis of PA Core Standards with their alignments to student learning outcomes (SLOs) in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) was developed as part of the research design. This research conducted is intended to be part of a larger time analysis research project after students who have graduated from a PA- Core high school enter the higher education system. This paper focuses on a content analysis of the history of education policies including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, its reauthorization as No Child Left Behind and the development of Common Core State Standards, and why Pennsylvania adopted a modified version of CCSS called PA-Core. The research looks at the student learning outcomes of the 14 colleges in PASSHE and looks at the student learning outcomes for the fourteen main high schools associated with each college in PASSHE. For example, East Stroudsburg University’s student learning outcomes were compared to the PA-Core standards at East Stroudsburg High School. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will force changes on the student learning outcomes in higher education including preparation for credit-bearing courses, remediation, and college retention rates. Research on this topic is important because colleges within state systems could be forced to agree on what it means to be “college ready”. Higher education institutions may be forced into changing placement and remediation criteria. There are no current studies on the effects that the common core curriculum will have specifically on higher education in Pennsylvania. Research is currently being conducted by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the National Center for PostSecondary Research (NCPR) on the impact of CCSS on higher education in a broader sense. NCPR’s research focuses on the implications of CCSS’s impact on community colleges and whether students are prepared for a community college education by assessing CCSS curriculum alignment through interviews with individuals who were involved with CCSS at the national level and by interviews with higher education representatives that played a large role in shaping CCSS policies that have been adopted by 45 states as of July 2012. The research conducted by PARCC and NCPR creates the theory that is the framework for this paper. The information gained from this research could enhance education policies and initiatives in Pennsylvania and help better prepare high school students for college.


Name: Joshua Steinfeld
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: joshua.steinfeld@ucf.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Central Florida School of Public Administration
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: TOWARD PROFESSIONALIZATION: A JOB STUDY OF KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
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Public administration (PA) scholars have been struggling to define their occupation as a profession (see Gargan, 1989; Stivers, 1994; Denhardt, 2016). Similar to PA, the field of public procurement is striving to achieve its status as a profession (Thai, 2001; Prier and McCue, 2009; Steinfeld et al., 2016). This manuscript examines professionalism in PA through studying the job tasks managed by public procurement practitioners. The purpose of this manuscript is to establish a baseline to benchmark what these practitioners actually do on their jobs. Factor analysis is used to study a data set of 2593 respondents that were administered a job analysis by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) in 2012. The main problem statement to be addressed involves the investigation of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) in public procurement by studying practitioner responses to 75 questions related to the job tasks they manage. The job tasks that are found to be related through the factor analysis are considered to be those of public procurement since the sample consists of solely public procurement practitioners and because job tasks that are managed in tandem or in conjunction with each other are indicative of a robust measure of a set of job tasks actually managed in public procurement. A review of literature discusses the alternative perspectives on what constitutes professional approaches in the public sector such as political, neutral, sociological, constitutional, and other lenses. The reasons for focusing on public procurement professionalism are subsequently presented through the literature. Despite the various views of what entails professionalism in public administration, i.e. responsible (Stivers, 1994), sociological (Simon, 1947), constitutional (Rohr, 1986; Lowi, 1995), Parsons’ (1939) view that professions involve technical specialty and empirical rigor resounds as a theoretical basis for examining practitioner job tasks as an inquiry into professionalism for this study. Hummel’s (1991) view that knowledge in management is as valid as knowledge in science provides a foundation for operationalizing KSA’s into job tasks and measuring management thereof. Factor analysis is conducted on 75 job tasks in order to identify relationships between practitioner job tasks to find out what it is that public procurement practitioners actually do for their work, and what KSA’s are necessary for management of the job.



Ancient and Medieval Political Philosophy

Name: Seth Appelbaum
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: sethappelbaum@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Tulane University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Panel
Participation Type: Panelist
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Paper Title: "Earth Shall be Filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord": The Messianic Age and Popular Enlightenment in Maimonides' Thought
Panel Title: "Bridging the Gap between Nature and Politics in Hesiod, Maimonides, and Hobbes"
Panel Description: In this panel, we will explore the relationship of nature – divine and human – on one hand, and politics, on the other, as it appears in the works of a Greek epic poet, a medieval Jewish theologian and jurist, and an early modern political philosopher. In her paper “The Role of Hesiod's Account of the First Things in His Political Thought,” Anna Schmidt (LMU Munich) asks whether the understanding of the cosmic order Hesiod presents in the 'Theogony' also provides the model for his account of the political order, or whether it instead casts doubts on its possibility and goodness. In his paper, “"Earth Shall be Filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord": The Messianic Age and Popular Enlightenment in Maimonides' Thought,” Seth Appelbaum (Tulane) explores the tension between Maimonides’ account of the limits that human nature sets on popular knowledge of God, on one hand, and his assertion, on the other, that a Messianic age will come to pass that will bring about universal enlightenment without changing the nature of human beings or the world. Finally, in his paper “Founding the Divine City: Moses as a ‘First Founder of a Commonwealth’ in Hobbes’ 'Leviathan,'” Ferdinand Deanini (LMU Munich) argues that while Hobbes seems to pay little attention to the practical difficulties of establishing a new commonwealth out of the lawless state of nature, in fact in Part III of 'Leviathan' his treatment of Moses serves as the paradigm of the “first founder of a commonwealth”, allowing Hobbes to show the requirements and problems of founding a new state.
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Maimonides' 'Guide of the Perplexed' provides ample evidence for the intellectual and political obstacles that stand in the way of communal enlightenment about the true nature of God. Such knowledge is the province of the few who dwell in the light; it will never become available to the many, who will remain in the half-light of opinion. The anthropomorphic images of God and the sacrificial cult are to be understood as concessions to the needs of the many and do not in and of themselves fulfill the Law’s true intention: fostering demonstrative knowledge of the highest beings. However, Maimonides’ legal code, the 'Mishneh Torah,' refers to the Messianic redemption as a time when "earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord" (Hab 2:14). Maimonides interprets this verse as a reference to a future enlightenment made possible by the political restoration of the Messianic age, thus contradicting the tendency of the Guide, which is to deny that any such enlightenment can be achieved. In light of this contradiction between Maimonides' most philosophical book and his most Jewish one, what is Maimonides’ teaching regarding the Messianic age, and what does he intend for us to learn from his multiple presentations? Beyond the great intrinsic interest of this question, Maimonides' thoughts on enlightenment and its relation to Jewish political restoration may clarify the contested relationship between the Jewish state and the modern enlightenment, to say nothing of clarifying the contested status of the modern enlightenment itself.


Name: Christopher Baldwin
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: cebaldwin2014@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Southeast Missouri State University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Aristophanes’ Tragi-Comic Political Realism in the Knights
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Aristophanes regularly refers to and makes fun of the corrupt character of Athenian political life in his plays. In the Birds and Assemblywomen Aristophanes comically explores the desirability and possibility of reforming Athens’ corrupt politics. Yet the ridiculous and fantastically unbelievable character of those attempts at political reform—requiring, for example, the overthrow of the Olympian gods or the abolition of the family—suggests that radical political reform, however desirable, is not possible. By comically raising and exploring the possibility of radical political reform Aristophanes points to a more tragic or sobering political reality: the impossibility of a perfectly just or good society and the inevitability of injustice and corruption in actual political life. The Knights, however, could seem to be different. There Aristophanes seems to propose a more moderate and realistic political reform: ridding the city of its current corrupt leader (Cleon) and returning the city and its people to an earlier, less corrupt state. Yet Aristophanes suggests that even such seemingly modest attempts at political reform cannot realistically be expected to succeed. In my paper I explore Aristophanes’ sober political realism as it comes to sight in the Knights, considering especially what Aristophanes suggests there about the essential character and limits of political life.


Name: Jack Barlow
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: barlow@juniata.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Juniata College
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Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: Walter Nicgorski's Contribution to the Study of Cicero (?)
Roundtable Description: A discussion of Walter Nicgorski's book on Cicero and more broadly on his career contributions to Cicero studies.
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Name: Matthew Berry
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: berryme@bc.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Boston College
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Paper Title: Democracy's Dignity and Aristotelian Political Justice
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Contemporary scholars have argued that the fundamental values of liberal democracy--liberty and equality--are insufficient. Some have proposed to add a third fundamental value--dignity--in order to regulate the other two. I argue that dignity fails to bear the weight such scholars would place on it. I urge instead a new articulation of Aristotle's conception of political justice as a standard that secures not only liberty and equality, but their preconditions.


Name: Daniel Blanchard
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: drblanchardxiv@hotmail.com
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Institution: Fay School
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: The Historian Polybius’ Political Perspective and the Theory of Mixed Government
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The Greek Historian Polybius, in his history of the Roman Republic, heralded the construction of the Lacadaemonian constitution as the archetype, the most perfect political form achieved by the Ancient Greek poleis, thereby rejecting through his method the theoretical constructs of Aristotle’s constitutional polity and Plato’s ethical hierarchy, while drawing from Xenophon’s historical analysis that the inherent nature of Sparta’s government brought equity and balance to society, and thus peace, stability and prosperity. Important to understanding the perspective of Polybius’ theory was the shift in the appreciation, by ancient political scientists and historians, of the concepts surrounding the institution democracy. Polybius interpreted that democracy was logical, natural, and just therefore encouraging the political equality and freedom of speech that was also evident in the other logical and just forms of kingship and aristocracy. This was an important departure from Aristotle, who argued that democracy was a corruption, a deviation away from polity, which was a short lived human constructed fusion that harnessed both oligarchical (wealthy minority) and democratic (poor majority) elements into a single unified political entity. For Polybius then it was the aristocracy, comprised of the most just and wisest, the noblest, that maintained the virtuousness of monarchy and democracy. Mixed government worked precisely because of this shift in political theory. What was noticeably absent from Polybius’ own historical analysis was any mention of the pervasive socio-economic reforms, so well documented by Xenophon, of the mythic lawgiver Lykurgos that ruthlessly demanded conformity, enforcing sameness and equality. Also missing were references to the subjugation and enslavement of the Messenians and the necessities of a massive slave population to support Sparta’s socio-economic and political life. Without the Helots, Sparta, both culturally and politically, was not able to exist, and this singular point was not included by Polybius in his writings on mixed government. From here, Polybius’ own political beliefs were uncovered. While in Rome, he was aware of the influx of slavery, a byproduct of imperialism, and the subsequent collapse of the Italian yeoman farmer and hemorrhaging of the plebian class. However, Polybius looked beyond these issues and excluded socio-economic reform from his political theory. He favored the Patrician model as his basis of work; the consolidation of power within the confines of wealthy, well-educated elite citizens that controlled the Senate and Consulship and relied heavily on slave labor for the production of their plantations. Moreover, while Aristotle wrote about the inevitability of a slave class and Plato’s Republic necessitated a slave class, Polybius took it for granted. This seemingly Patrician attitude resulted in Polybius avoiding altogether Lykurgos’ socio-economic reforms, Aristotle’s middling constitution, and Plato’s economic sameness. Polybius’ argument was a true departure from Lykurgos, Aristotle, Plato, and even the historian Xenophon in that he wrote that it was government, and government alone, linked naturally with human evolution, which made collective human existence, society, both feasible and productive. It was government which raised humans out of their bestial state in nature providing laws, supplanting base animal instincts, and confining the inbred self-preservative and openly destructive nature of humans. Essential to his argument was his conviction that the virtuous balance formed between monarchial, aristocratic and democratic political elements in a mixed government, harnessed into republicanism, halted the degeneration of government and staved off the cycle of political revolution.


Name: Stephen Brown
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: brownst@bc.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Peter Aureoli on the Nature of Averroes's Philosophy
Panel Title: Medieval Christian Views of Islamic Political Philosophy
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Co-author info: Stephen Brown, Boston College brownst@bc.edu
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Peter Aureoli, a Franciscan theologian at the University of Paris, argued in his 'Scriptum in I Sententiarum' and his "Reportatio in I Sententiarum' that despite Averroes's fame for strong demonstrative arguments that would prove a philosophical position as certainly true that he (and Aristotle) often presented arguments which were not demonstrative. Such non-demonstrative arguments were not aimed at proving the truth of his positions but rather were 'declarative', that is, they were offered to bring a better understanding of the positions he held. Considered in themselves, the 'arguments' (probable in terms of proof) were meant to 'declare' (bring understanding) or 'to imagine through the intellect' the truth of the position presented.


Name: Timothy Burns
Section:
Professional Email: Timothy_Burns@baylor.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Baylor University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
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Paper Title: The Fate of Virtue in Cyrus’ Babylon
Panel Title: Understanding Ancient Law and the Regime
Panel Description: This panel will examine ancient law and the regime. Panelists will consider their relationship, their natural and conventional limits, what supports and undermines them, and the education that prepares one to rule well.
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Xenophon presents Cyrus the Great as offering the Persian Peers, through military conquest, restful rewards for the laborious virtues they have long practiced, and as having offered the Persian commoners the opportunity to deserve the same rewards through virtuous service in his army. Yet when Cyrus’ army has succeeded in taking over the Assyrian empire, Cyrus tells the Peers that they must continue to practice virtue and its hardships rather than reaping restful rewards. The Peers are, moreover, no longer rulers but instead must do obeisance to Cyrus as their absolute monarch, and must submit to the artful deprivation of their friendships and omnipresent scrutiny of their words and deeds. This paper investigates the inherent difficulty with Cyrus’ promised meritocracy.


Name: Peter Busch
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: peter.busch@villanova.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Villanova University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: An Augustinian Defense of the Nation-State? Pierre Manent and the Mediation of Humanity
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A decade before “Brexit” became a household word, the nation-state was already being defended by Pierre Manent. According to Manent, the nation offers a kind of common ownership and activity that befits our human nature, while trans-national entities allow nothing of the kind. While this argument draws on classical political philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, I mean to consider its relationship with Augustine. My discussion will focus on Metamorphoses of the City, Manent's most fundamental work of the past ten years. The final section of that book devotes two chapters to Augustine’s critique of paganism and his doctrine of the two cities. I read the final chapter, “The Stakes of Mediation,” as a response to the problems posed by the latter separation above all. For Manent, democratic nations mediate the humanity of their citizens, and although such mediation is now officially secular, its roots lie in the specifically Christian tradition of the West. How, for Manent, does this constitute an improvement over the un-mediated humanism of a trans-national entity like the European Union? Should an Augustinian be persuaded that such mediation truly distinguishes the democratic nation-state from the “City of Man,” pure and simple?


Name: Alejandro Castrillon
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: acastril@nd.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Unveiling the divine in Eros: The intrusion of desire in Plato’s Republic and Herodotus’s History
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The relationship between the divine and Eros, though alluded to within The Republic, is portrayed more strongly in Herodotus’s History. This paper will examine Plato’s account and Herodotus’s function as foil in order to understand Socrates’s reasons for concealing Eros within The Republic, as well as the necessity of a divine education in directing that strong desire towards a suitable end for the city. We will first outline the nature of Eros and the corresponding parts of the soul, paying particular attention to Socrates’s discussion in The Republic. We will use this as a foundation for our examination of the varying stories on the Ring of Gyges, exploring the conflict of erotic desire with the political community. Then we shall explore the ways that Eros is directed toward a divine conception, basing our discussion on Socrates’s education from Diotima and his elaboration on the origins of tyranny in Book VIII of The Republic. Not only will we establish the permanent problem of Eros with respect to the city, but we will also detail the necessity of its redirection under the guise of a divine end.


Name: Ann Charney Colmo
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: charneca@dom.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Dominican University
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Paper Title: The Triumvirate of the Life of Contemplation
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Aristotle did not call the happiest life the life of philosophy, because this life is more complex: it calls for three of the intellectual virtues--intellect (nous), wisdom, and prudence--to provide "the complete happiness of a human being."


Name: Randall Clark
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Name: Thomas Cleveland
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: tjc.caute@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston College
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Paper Title: The Eleatic Stranger's Critique of Divine Law and Socratic Dialectic
Panel Title: Virtue, Religion, and Politics in Platonic Philosophy
Panel Description: Plato's Socrates makes virtue the central theme of his philosophic investigations. But the political and religious context and character of the Socratic project creates a challenge for the unfettered questioning required by philosophy. The papers on this panel explore the balance between incisive critique and defensive rhetoric struck by Socrates in his examinations of justice, the noble, the good, piety, and the gods presented in Plato's Cleitophon, Republic, Philebus, and Statesman. Each paper thereby contributes to the project of elucidating the original meaning of political philosophy, with respect both to its subject and its inevitable political consequences.
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In this paper I argue that in the Statesman (Politikos) Plato presents an alternative to the political science (politikē) of Socrates. The Eleatic Stranger attempts to show that a science of politics is possible in large part by confronting the greatest challenge to it, the claim that the city's laws come from gods and are the object of piety or awe, not science. In order to address this challenge, then, the Stranger offers a critique of law that culminates in the claim that no perfect being (no god) would rule through categorical imperatives that are unchanging and applicable to all. His critique, however, takes for granted that the human good is independent of or superior to the common good that is the aim of law. The Stranger's approach, then, would have to be supplemented with a dialectical investigation of the alternative supposition – namely, that the individual finds happiness only through his devotion to the common good. This investigation is a part of the Socratic activity alluded to in both the Sophist, which precedes the Statesman in its dramatic date, and in the Apology, which follows it.


Name: Christopher Colmo
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: farabi@dom.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Dominican University
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Paper Title: Alfarabi and the Furniture of the Cave
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Alfarabi presents himself as a follower of Plato and Aristotle. This paper will suggest that precisely because of their enormous success, it was no longer possible to simply follow the ancients. The rhetoric of Plato and Aristotle made the natural city impossible. It was no longer enough to simply protect the city from the influence of philosophy. That influence is too great. Alfarabi takes it upon himself to provide the images of the cave, images that every city needs. Every city sees itself as the virtuous city that Alfarabi depicts. As he envisions the way that philosophers change the world, Alfarabi takes at least one step toward creating a philosophy of history.


Name: Daniel Davenport
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: danielrdavenport@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Sacred Heart University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: “Two Going Together”: On Protagoras 347a-351b and Socrates’ Humility before Others
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What is necessary in order for there to be a true community rather than just people sharing physical space? What is necessary in order for togetherness to be? One might answer these questions by saying that a certain shared understanding or a certain shared set of beliefs is necessary in order for community or togetherness to exist. Plato’s Republic emphasizes and radicalizes exactly that point of view as the city in speech is developed with the goal of having its rulers and guardians, at the very least, be of one mind. But, is that point of view actually Platonic? We see a very different understanding of community in Plato’s Protagoras, an understanding of community that is rooted in what we might call “humility.” We are accustomed to Socrates’ encouragement of intellectual humility with respect to the truth, but the Protagoras points to a kind of humility that seems equally important to philosophy – a humility with respect to whether we presume to know and understand the beliefs and motivations of those with whom we converse. Socrates’ humility and Protagoras’ lack thereof is dramatically evident throughout the Protagoras but perhaps especially so at 347a-351b. Here, the opportunity to learn eludes Protagoras less because he fails to understand an argument than because he fails to understand Socrates himself.


Name: Ferdinand Deanini
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: ferdinand.deanini@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Founding the Divine City: Moses as a “first founder of a commonwealth” in Hobbes' Leviathan
Panel Title: Bridging the Gap: On the Relationship of Nature and Politics in Hesiod, Maimonides, and Hobbes
Panel Description: In this panel, we will explore the relationship of nature – divine and human – on one hand and politics, on the other, as it appears in the works of a Greek epic poet, a medieval Jewish theologian and jurist, and an early modern political philosopher. In her paper “The Role of Hesiod's Account of the First Things in His Political Thought,” Anna Schmidt (LMU Munich) asks whether the understanding of the cosmic order Hesiod presents in the Theogony also provides the model for his account of the political order, or whether it instead casts doubts on its possibility and goodness. In his paper, “"Earth Shall be Filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord": the Messianic Age and Popular Enlightenment in Maimonides' Thought,” Seth Appelbaum (Tulane) explores the tension between Maimonides’ account of the limits that human nature sets on popular knowledge of God, on one hand, and his assertion, on the other, that a Messianic age will come to pass that will bring about universal enlightenment without changing the nature of human beings or the world. Finally, in his paper “Founding the Divine City: Moses as a ‘First Founder of a Commonwealth’ in Hobbes’ Leviathan,” Ferdinand Deanini (LMU Munich) argues that while Hobbes seems to pay little attention to the practical difficulties of establishing a new commonwealth out of the lawless state of nature, in fact in Part III of Leviathan his treatment of Moses serves as the paradigm of the “first founder of a commonwealth”, allowing Hobbes to show the requirements and problems of founding a new state.
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One striking peculiarity of Hobbes’ Leviathan is the absence of a comprehensive discussion of lawgiving and the founding of a concrete commonwealth. While Hobbes elaborates at length the necessity and legitimacy of an absolute sovereignty and the mutual contract underpinning it, he seems to pay little attention to the practical difficulties of establishing a new commonwealth out of the lawless state of nature. My paper intends to argue that Hobbes turns to this question in Part III of the Leviathan, when he discusses Moses and the establishment of the Jewish polity. Moses serves as the paradigm of the “first founder of a commonwealth”, allowing Hobbes to show the requirements and problems of founding a new state. Hobbes here not only makes clear the important role of religious belief for creating consent among the new citizens, but also elaborates on the difficult transition of sovereignty from a divinely sanctioned, charismatic first founder to his successors.


Name: Erik Dempsey
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: ed6335@utexas.edu
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Thumos in Plato's Repubilc Book IV
Panel Title: Virtue, Religion, and Politics in Platonic Philosophy
Panel Description: Plato's Socrates makes virtue the central theme of his philosophic investigations. But the political and religious context and character of the Socratic project creates a challenge for the unfettered questioning required by philosophy. The papers on this panel explore the balance between incisive critique and defensive rhetoric struck by Socrates in his examinations of justice, the noble, the good, piety, and the gods presented in Plato's Cleitophon, Republic, Philebus, and Statesman. Each paper thereby contributes to the project of elucidating the original meaning of political philosophy, with respect both to its subject and its inevitable political consequences.
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Co-presenter info: Ariel Helfer--Michigan State UniversityDaniel O'Toole--UT-AustinThomas Cleveland--Harvard University
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This paper offers an interpretation of the meaning of thumos in Book IV of the Republic, by means of a close reading of the story Socrates tells about Leontius.


Name: Jordan Dorney
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: dorney.jordan@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
Participation Type: Panelist
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Paper Title: Sage Against the Machine
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The complaint of the Cleitophon—that Socrates gives no actionable advice—lies at the core of the conflict between political and philosophic education. Cleitophon recounts a remarkably un-Socratic hymn designed to resemble the beautiful speech with which Socrates is said to speak while “evaluating” (“judging,” “censuring” [ἐπιτιμῶν]) human beings. Not as the gadfly or as the midwife or as the old fool does Socrates appear to Cleitophon but “just like a god upon the tragic machine.” In the apparent plot-saving device of the deus ex machina, of all places, Cleitophon identifies the very man whom he believes to give no definitive answers on action, who, so far from cutting all cords to reach a satisfying conclusion to human problems, revels in aporia. This paper interprets the pseudo-Socratic hymn in light of the tragic device of the deus ex machina. I look primarily at Aeschylus’ and Euripides’ Athenas, and their pre-tragic prototype in the epilogue of the Odyssey, alongside the mockeries of Aristophanes. I note also the other gods and demigods who appear in the machine in extant tragedy. I advance a defence of the device against its usual criticisms. Cleitophon, even in his less-than-serious invocation of the tragic machine, presents us with an underappreciated side of Socrates as teacher—the fearsome, the astounding, the beautiful. Such a comparison is mutually beneficial for students of tragedy and for students of Plato. Socrates the “terrible” (deinos) as much as Socrates the “clever” (deinos) (Apol. 17b), demonstrates the proper mode of education to philosophy, and Cleitophon’s reaction, with his threat to leave for the more political, practical Thrasymachus, demonstrates a significant, though not unaccounted for, challenge.


Name: George Dunn
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: FritFerret@aol.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: University of Indianapolis
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Paper Title: Could Confucius Support Donald Trump?
Panel Title: Political Philosophy in the Face of Donald Trump
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Could Confucius support Donald Trump? On its face, Donald Trump’s political agenda has much in common with some perennial themes of the Confucian tradition, such as the stress on strong families, the promotion of personal responsibility, the preference for a relatively closed and homogeneous society, and the desire to trim government expenditures. Also, like the Confucians, Trump proposes a government that is based on an aristocracy of talent, offering himself as someone whose successful business ventures demonstrate that he possesses the intelligence and strength to be an effective chief executive. In fact, Trump’s pitch to the voters typically focuses more on his supposed personal virtues than on his stances on particular issues. Confucius would agree that the excellence or virtue of the ruler, his 德 (pronounced “duh”), is the crucial ingredient of good government. However, the virtues that Trump advertises as qualifying him for the office of the presidency differ in significant ways from the virtues extolled by Confucius. Simply put, the superior man or true Confucian gentleman, the 君子 (pronounced “junzi”), does not regard riches as a measure of merit, as Trump’s continual trumpeting of his own wealth indicates he does. The Confucian gentleman doesn’t necessarily scorn wealth, but he does view the petty man’s inordinate preoccupation with making a fast buck as a disqualification for holding public office. So Confucius would not support Donald Trump, despite some superficial similarities in their social philosophies.


Name: Garrett FitzGerald
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: gfitzge1@nd.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Corpses and Coercion: The Regulation of Pity and Grief as “Lawless” Desires in Plato’s Republic
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Throughout Plato's Republic, pity and grief are depicted as emotions particularly hostile to reasoned civic rationality as instantiated in and through the law. In addition to Socrates' direct exposition of the dangers posed by 'lawless' desire toward the experience and expression of these emotions, the startling vignette of Leontius offers another possible illustration of the subversive potential of pity and grief. By reading political significance back onto the paradoxically depoliticized image of executed criminals to which Leontius reacts, the reader may move beyond the scene's immediate pedagogical function to examine its consonance with Plato’s deeper abiding concerns with the ways in which such 'lawless' emotions can subvert the justice claims of the city, especially in their (ostensibly) irrational challenge to the authorization and legitimation of the city’s necessary enactment of coercive force. Building on the strange tale of Leontius, this paper thus explores the broader implications of the desire toward 'lawless' emotions—and pity and grief in particular—as threats to rational, legal civic order within and beyond the City in Speech of Plato's Republic.


Name: Steven Forde
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: forde@unt.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of North Texas
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The virtue of Strife in Hesiod’s Works and Days
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Strife is an evil. Or is it? Strife is the first theme on which the Muses enlighten Hesiod in his Works and Days. Contrary to expectation, strife is twofold, with one being praiseworthy—to him who understands. But what is it that one must understand, and what makes some strife praiseworthy? I follow the theme of Eris in the Works and Days, as a way to get at Hesiod’s deeper teaching. NPSA organizers: this is a revised version of a paper I was scheduled to give at last year's conference. I had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, so the paper was never delivered.


Name: David Fott
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: dsfott@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
Participation Type: Moderator
Roundtable Title: Walter Nicgorski's New Book on Cicero's Political Philosophy
Roundtable Description: Walter Nicgorski’s new book, “Cicero’s Skepticism and His Recovery of Political Philosophy,” will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in summer 2016. It represents the fruit of an effort to understand Cicero’s moral and political philosophy and to understand Cicero himself, perhaps the greatest combination of philosopher and politician who ever lived. The book finds solutions to apparent tensions in Cicero’s thought–chief among them the tensions between his Academic skepticism and his advocacy of Stoic morals, between his commitments to philosophy and to rhetoric, between his appreciation of Greek philosophy and his pride in Roman culture, between theory and practice, and between right and utility. The key to the coherence is to be found in Cicero’s intention to imitate Socrates in a manner appropriate to Rome. In particular Cicero adopts Socrates’s skepticism and his focus on fundamental questions of practical philosophy. The key concept then becomes the model statesman–what can be called a Socratic statesman. Understanding Cicero’s ability to adapt Socratic political philosophy to Rome is the basis of our ability to see the relevance of Cicero’s political philosophy to our problems today. Nicgorski achieves this result through a close reading of Cicero’s most important philosophical writings. His book stands out from other recent books on Cicero in its combination of comprehensiveness and thorough attention to secondary sources. It is unsurprising that this book makes a large contribution to the field because Nicgorski is significantly responsible for the existence of the field through his earlier published work. From the nineteenth century into the twentieth, many scholars had viewed Cicero almost exclusively as a source of information about the philosophical schools of his day but not as a serious thinker himself. Beginning with an article in 1978, then in journals such as “Political Theory,” then in an edited volume resulting from a conference he organized at the University of Notre Dame, Nicgorski challenged the dismissive approach to Cicero and paved the way for later scholars, a number of whom are on this panel to express their gratitude as well as their constructive criticism. David Fott will serve as moderator. He is the translator of Cicero’s “On the Republic” and “On the Laws” (Cornell University Press, 2014) and author of articles and book chapters on Cicero in such journals as “Political Theory.” Several accomplished scholars will participate in the discussion: J. Jackson Barlow has published on statesmanship in Cicero’s political philosophy, and he has studied the influence of Cicero on American political thought. Charles Kesler wrote his doctoral dissertation at Harvard University on Cicero. Among his many publications are essays on Cicero and natural law. Norma Thompson has written on Herodotus and Thucydides as well as on statecraft and judgment in ancient political philosophy. Michael Zuckert’s numerous books began with “Natural Rights and the New Republicanism” (Princeton University Press, 1994). He has also written an article on natural right in Roman law for “Review of Politics.”
Paper Title: Cicero on the Order of Rank between Theoretical and Practical Wisdom
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This paper concerns the dream of Scipio in book 6 of Cicero’s “On the Republic.” That section begins with Scipio’s ambiguity about the desirability of human glory. Then his adoptive grandfather, Africanus, appears to him in a dream and tells him that managing one’s fatherland is a way to attain eternal life. When Scipio’s natural father appears and shows him the galaxy, Scipio becomes discontented with Rome’s empire. Africanus shows him the larger universe in the form of concentric spheres. But the passage is unclear about the governance of the universe. Scipio cannot keep from looking at Earth, so Africanus explains to him how fleeting human glory is. Human glory was said to be undesirable in the first passage on natural law in book 1; nor was it desirable later in book 1, where Scipio classified it with avarice and lust in opposition to reason or judgment. Cicero’s teaching about glory is that it is not the goal of the wise man. Africanus tells Scipio that the quickest way to reach heaven is for him to promote the well-being of his fatherland. Africanus thereby makes the practical life seem superior. But he adds that an even quicker way to heaven is for the soul, while performing its political duties, to contemplate what is beyond human bodies. Thus contemplation is the inherently superior activity, but the philosopher cannot afford to lack prudence. Yet why did Cicero not avoid politics after Caesar’s assassination, when he could have done so? He saw his political activity as promoting moderation–reform of the republic rather than descent into one-man rule–and as thereby trying to make a home for philosophy and free speech in Rome.


Name: Ben Gibson
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: benjamin.gibson@yale.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Yale Divinity School
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Fifth, and First: Priests, Public Religion, and Divinity in Aristotle's Politics
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From all appearances, Aristotle was less concerned with the relationship between religion and politics than his teacher, Plato. Whereas Plato dedicated a whole chapter of his Laws to an argument for the existence of a good god, in his Politics, Aristotle gives what seem to be passing references to the priesthood. Scholars have differed in their approaches to interpreting the priesthood in Book VII of Aristotle’s Politics. Given Aristotle’s theology of a distant and immutable unmoved mover in the Metaphysics, many regard Aristotle’s language about the priesthood as simply insincere or politically expedient. However, when Aristotle’s description of the priesthood as “fifth, but first” in importance in the best regime is taken together with his theology found in both Nichomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics, it becomes clear that Aristotle is doing more than founding a civil religion. Rather, the priesthood provides the space for contemplation he outlines in Book X of Nichomachean Ethics, while providing the possibility of beneficent gods as seen in Book VIII of Eudemian Ethics. Through this paper, I argue that religion in Politics is more than useful to political rule, it is also a reflection of Aristotle’s understanding of the divine and the god life.


Name: Jonathan Gondelman
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: JGondelm@nd.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Ennui of Conquerors: The Periclean Vision and the Athenian Plague
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Pericles’ third, and final, speech finds the Athenians in a dire situation. Not only have the Spartans returned to ravage the Athenian territory for the second year in a row, but a plague has descended upon Athens. The illness is exacerbated by the refugees who, according to the plan laid out by Pericles, abandon their land and crowd into the city. General sentiment turns against Pericles and against the war. Envoys are sent to Sparta; in return for relief, the Athenians are almost ready to give up their empire. It is in this atmosphere of despair that Pericles attempts to hearten and chastise the Athenians at once. Pericles's third speech thus appears as a corollary to his Funeral Oration; if, in the Funeral Oration, he describes the glory and freedom of Athens, in the plague speech, he emphasizes the resolve necessary to preserve Athenian greatness. The plague, far from undoing the Periclean vision of the unity of war and greatness in the Funeral Oration, rather confirms the equation between war, greatness, and immortality that Pericles first made in that earlier speech.


Name: Elizabeth Goyette
Section:
Professional Email: Elizabeth_Goyette@baylor.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Baylor University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Role of Need and Dissimilarity in Friendship in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
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In the eighth book of his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle introduces friendship by dividing it according to its three objects: utility, pleasure, and goodness, the greatest friendship being that between people alike and equal in virtue. The friendship of virtue is called “complete friendship” and “true friendship,” since it partakes of all the aspects of the other kinds of friendships and exceeds them in being for its own sake. When Aristotle proceeds in the latter half of Book Eight to discuss friendships of inequality, he is not just discussing forms of friendship that are merely analogous or fall short of being real friendships. Instead Aristotle’s discussion of the friendships of inequality expands and enriches the account of friendship he has already given. He brings the family and the city into the discussion in order to illustrate the role that need and dissimilarity play in friendships. Such an expansion of the discussion of friendship helps to show how friendship is possible for one who is not fully virtuous, but who is working to improve in virtue. Finally, this reading suggests that the discussion of friendship plays an essential role in the Ethics as a whole by revealing the deep parallelism and interdependence between friendship and politics.


Name: Ariel Helfer
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: ariel.helfer@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Michigan State University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: The Philosophic "Defense" of Virtue: Socrates' Adventures in Athenian Quicksand in the "Cleitophon" and "Republic"
Panel Title: Virtue, Religion, and Politics in Platonic Philosophy
Panel Description: Plato's Socrates makes virtue the central theme of his philosophic investigations. But the political and religious context and character of the Socratic project creates a challenge for the unfettered questioning required by philosophy. The papers on this panel explore the balance between incisive critique and defensive rhetoric struck by Socrates in his examinations of justice, the noble, the good, piety, and the gods presented in Plato's Cleitophon, Republic, Philebus, and Statesman. Each paper thereby contributes to the project of elucidating the original meaning of political philosophy, with respect both to its subject and its inevitable political consequences.
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The Platonic Socrates' reputation among his Athenian contemporaries presents a paradox. He was executed on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth, but he was also known as a champion of justice who stood up to the amoral sophists in defense of the beauty and goodness of virtue. Plato's "Republic" is the most memorable depiction of Socrates in the latter role, but its tiny companion dialogue, the "Cleitophon," raises challenging questions about the content of the morally salutary Socratic education. I this paper, I present a novel approach to this pair of Platonic works, including a controversial new interpretation of the Republic, in an attempt to show how Socrates' positive image among the Athenians was an only partially effective counterweight to the political problem that almost always confronts the practice of philosophy, and which Socrates was ultimately unable to escape.


Name: John Hungerford
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: john.hungerford@bc.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Aristotle on the Distinction between Natural and Conventional Rule in the Politics
Panel Title: Understanding Ancient Law and the Regime
Panel Description: This panel will examine ancient law and the regime. Panelists will consider their relationship, their natural and conventional limits, what supports and undermines them, and the education that prepares one to rule well.
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Aristotle's introduction to his Politics is famous for its bold claims that "every city exists by nature" and that, accordingly, "the human being is by nature a political animal." These claims along with his arguments for them serve as Aristotle's official response to a critique of the authority of the city leveled certain unnamed predecessors. As a number of recent studies have noted, however, Aristotle gives several indications that this official response is not his most serious, or most rigorous, response the these predecessors' critique. Aristotle's more serious response is found, rather, in his discussion of the household in the rest of book one of the Politics. In this paper I argue that the core of that response is Aristotle's treatment of household slavery. His treatment of slavery is not only a somewhat veiled retreat from his earlier assertion of the city's naturalness, as some commentators have argued, but serves to introduce the reader to Aristotle's method of evaluating the naturalness of politics (or anything, for that matter) as well as to some of the reasoning behind that method. On this view, Aristotle's discussion of slavery holds the key to understanding his later treatment of politics proper -- the regime -- which treatment, I argue, is ultimately a continuation of his response to his predecessors' critique of political authority.


Name: Douglas Jarvis
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: dejarvis18@gmail.com
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: Independent Scholar
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Paper Title: Globalization as Universal Challenge to the Human Family? An Historical-Sociological Comparison of Confucius and Socrates on Ancestral Loyalty
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Many scholars have focused on the ethical dilemma faced by Confucius and Socrates in regards to the issue of whether or not there exists a moral duty to testify in a public court against one’s father. Confucius’ attempt to address the question through a “concrete case” approach, which advised against being a witness for the prosecution of the father, helped establish the means for a cult of ancestor worship ruled by the imperial ‘Mandate of Heaven.’ On the other hand, the Socratic dialogue on the persecution of a father for murder in Plato's Euthyphro, which opened the door to the philosophical inquiry towards the true “form” of piety, esoterically underscored the principles of individual autonomy and mind-body dualism that has come to define Western history. Various scholars have debated whether or not Socrates’ ethical arguments should be read in a Confucian manner (or vice versa); however, little attention has been given to the question as to how this shared dilemma in ancient thought applies to the current day challenges for the family in Western and Far Eastern societies. The dilemma of filial piety for both Confucius and Socrates, and the implications of their different approaches to the problem, reveals a major paradox for the contemporary human family in both societies. Globalization necessitates the material actualization of an increasingly integrated system of economic trade, social networking and sexual inter-mingling for the populaces of both the Far East and the West. On the other hand, the continued maintenance of the family in both civilizations demands culturally distinct frameworks for defining human existence, which appear to be ultimately not commensurable.


Name: Juman Kim
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: jumankim@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Democracy and the Politics of Impudence: An Unorthodox Reading of Aristotle
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This paper seeks to examine the unavoidable ‘impudence’ built into democratic political life. By this I mean we, as democratic citizens, tend to disregard dissimilar views and perspectives especially in the kind of situations in which we are enthusiastically and excessively participatory. Democratic theory has often condemned the politics of impudence as an aberration of democracy, not a problem incidental to and typical of democracy per se, while instead propagating an image of the idealized democratic self who is deliberative, reflective, and tolerant. However the portrait of this self-critical and deliberative citizen may seem normatively appealing, this view has at least two problems. First, empirically speaking, the portrait goes pale at the difficulty in fostering the kind of excitement and enthusiasm necessary for motivating democratic participation. When we care about politics, we care disproportionately more about the views and positions of our own (or those reside in contiguity with ours) while conceiving of them as superior to the rest otherwise perhaps equally reasonable opinions. Second, the rationalist account does not properly attend to the moral-psychological constitution of the democratic self at the deeper level. In the world of opposing forces and values, we usually form our political views only against, or in competition with, our opponents and enemies. In this respect, we are in fact reactive rather than straightforward. Even our seemingly most firm and consistent positions in fact rest on trembling foundations largely determined by our enemies. Democratic impudence — contempt or indifference in regard to dissimilar views and perspectives — is indicative of fear and diffidence rather than genuine strength. That is why democratic impudence is hardly overcome —certainly not by a simple negation. By drawing on and complicating Aristotle’s discussion of shame [aidōs], shamelessness/impudence [anaischuntia], and incontinence [akrasia], I demonstrate that democratic impudence is an ordinary vice in a qualified sense — something we constantly do as a result of our weakness even while acknowledging that what we do is in part disgraceful. Without any pretense of building a democratic politics devoid of impudence, this paper claims that what we can realistically do is to mobilize the seductive lure of impudence in such a way that we can promote and enlarge the sense of moderate pride associated with the virtues of magnanimity [megalopsuchia] and goodwill [eunoia]. This unorthodox reading of Aristotle suggests that by honestly professing and deploying (rather than jettisoning) our seemingly indelible impudence, we can keep alive a lively democratic politics while preventing a much more worrying trend of mutual hostility and aggressiveness.


Name: Douglas Kries
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: kries@gem.gonzaga.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Gonzaga University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Albert the Great, Alain de Libera, and the Question of "Averroism"
Panel Title: Medieval Christian Views of Islamic Political Philosophers
Panel Description: This panel session will explore how medieval Christian philosophers and theologians understood Arabic political philosophers, including especially Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroës. The goal is to improve our grasp of the assimilation of Islamic political philosophy within the medieval Christian world. Since the Islamic political thinkers were working in the light of Plato and Aristotle, the panel session will also seek to shed light on how ancient political thought, especially Aristotle, was viewed in the Middle Ages.
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Albert the Great’s commentary on the Politics features a quotation from Alfarabi in its prologue. The commentary itself likewise contains elements, especially in its first chapters, that might incline one to think that its author harbors certain ‘averroist’ inclinations. The question of Albert’s possible averroism has been much discussed in recent decades by the prominent French medievalist Alain de Libera. De Libera has written two books and a number of articles on the problem, and has attempted to fit Albert’s averroistic tendencies into the larger question of averroism within the whole of the Middle Ages. Indeed, de Libera seems to consider it a fundamental and permanent philosophical problem. The goal of this paper will be to review and assess de Libera’s understanding of Albert only, and particularly to raise especially the question of the political overtones and implications of Albert’s work. Between his work on the Ethics and the Politics, Albert must be said to be an important figure in the history of political philosophy, and the purpose of the paper will be to assess how well that political thought has been understood by Alain de Libera.


Name: Lisa Leibowitz
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: leibowitzl@kenyon.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Kenyon College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Who is a greater danger to law and the regime: the poet or the philosopher?
Panel Title: Understanding Ancient Law and the Regime
Panel Description: This panel will examine ancient law and the regime. Panelists will consider their relationship, their natural and conventional limits, what supports and undermines them, and the education that prepares one to rule well.
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In Book Ten of Plato’s Republic, the interlocutors determine that the poet who isn’t subservient to the philosopher must be expelled from the city for the health of the city. In Aristophanes’ Birds, Peisthetairos banishes Meton, a natural philosopher, from his city on what seem to be similar grounds. But who is actually more dangerous to the laws and the regime: the poet or the philosopher? This paper will begin this investigation by looking at the evidence Aristophanes offers in the Birds and elsewhere for expelling the philosopher.



Modern Political Theory

Name: Nasser Behnegar
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Professional Email: behnegar@bc.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "Hedonism and Natural Right in Locke's Political Philosophy"
Panel Title: Natural Rights in Locke and American Founding
Panel Description: This panel examines the arguments by which Locke and the early American political thinkers justified the theories of natural rights on which they based their understanding of legitimate government. The papers will address topics such as what it means to call rights "natural," and what the connection is between rights, duties, and happiness.
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In his Two Treatises of Government Locke formulates a natural right doctrine based on the desire for self-preservation. But in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding Locke has nothing to say about this desire. Instead, he discusses the desire for happiness, which he understands in hedonistic terms. This paper examines the relationship between the desire for self-preservation and the desire for happiness or between Locke's natural right teaching and his hedonism.


Name: Robert Boatright
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: rboatright@clarku.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Clark University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Corruption and “Corruption Talk” among Montesquieu and the Moderns
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Co-author info: Molly Brigid Flynn, Assumption College, mflynn@assumption.edu
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Montesquieu’s discussion in The Spirit of the Laws of how corruption occurs in different political regimes often serves as a touchpoint for contemporary discussions of corrupt political practices and institutions. This is unsurprising; Montesquieu stands alone among the moderns in offering an explicit argument about the causes and consequences of political corruption. We argue, however, that Montesquieu’s definition of corruption is incompatible with contemporary uses of the term. His definition is, we contend, best understood when compared to the more skeletal definitions offered by, among others, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau. All of these theorists were concerned with the ways in which peoples – not individuals or political institutions – can be corrupted. In this paper we seek to elucidate Montesquieu’s definition and causal mechanisms, to explore what it might mean in a contemporary context to allege that a people has been corrupted, and to explore claims that modern political philosophers altered the traditional meaning of corruption.


Name: Joshua Bowman
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: bowmanjosh@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: The Ciceronian Society Foundation
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Paradigm Pressures: Quentin Skinner’s Age of Reformation and the Religious Roots of Modern Order
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Among the most foundational narratives or paradigms for the history of Western political thought is the emergence and triumph of distinctively modern concepts of the state, freedom, constitutionalism and rights rooted in reason over and against the repressive and hierarchical feudalism of the Middle Ages rooted in religion. It was, in a sense, the receding public authority of religion which cleared a space for modernity, tolerance, liberty and human rights to become social and political reality. While historians and political theorists such as Eric Voegelin, Michael Gillespie and Brian Tierney have already challenged this narrative, its hold on historians of political thought remains ubiquitous. Among the most influential champions of this paradigm is the former Cambridge historian, Quentin Skinner, whose influential two-volume Foundations of Modern Political Thought (1978) traced the paradigm shift in political thought during the Renaissance and Reformation from Ancient and Medieval ideas to Modern concepts, with a particular focus on the notion of the state. Skinner remains deeply committed to this paradigm of intellectual history, building on the first volume of his Foundations (The Renaissance) as well as additional work on Hobbes and the English Revolution throughout his prolific career. Despite his explicit animosity toward religion (and especially Christianity) in his later writings and interviews, his widely neglected second volume, The Age of Reformation, offers convincing evidence to undermine the paradigm he places such considerable stock in. This paper draws out the evidence from Skinner’s own work in Foundations to demonstrate that the narrative of modernity as resisting religion is less compelling than reading modernity as one of Medieval Christianity’s most important progenies.


Name: Daniel Burns
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: daniel.e.burns@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Dallas
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: How Hobbesian is Locke's Law of Nature?
Panel Title: Natural Rights in Locke and the American Founding
Panel Description: This panel examines the arguments by which Locke and the early American political thinkers justified the theories of natural rights on which they based their understanding of legitimate government. The papers will address topics such as what it means to call rights "natural," and what the connection is between rights, duties, and happiness.
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Locke scholarship is deeply divided over the character and grounding of Locke's central moral-political teaching, the "law of nature." What is its relation to late-medieval natural law theories? To the Hobbesian "laws of nature"? To Christian revelation? What makes the precepts of the law of nature morally binding on us? This paper seeks to advance the debate on these questions by concentrating on the similarities and differences between the Lockean and the Hobbesian laws of nature.


Name: Kimberley Burns
Section:
Professional Email: kimberley.j.burns@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: University of Dallas
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Rousseau's Religious Project
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The profession of faith of the Savoyard Vicar occurs within Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s work Emile as a private conversation between the priest and a young man, and is presented as an example of what sort of private, religious education Emile will receive. In Letters Written from the Mountain, Rousseau says that the private professions of faith made by the Savoyard Vicar in Emile and by Julie in his epistolary novel Julie “are sufficiently in accord that one can explain one of them by the other.” This singular faith, which, though Rousseau himself does not entirely share, he nevertheless “favors greatly,” appears to have very little to do with the public, civil religion described in the Social Contract. And yet, in Letters Written from the Mountain, Rousseau defends and promotes the Vicar’s faith as the most politically and socially salutary of religions. This paper discusses the political and social benefits Rousseau thinks can be derived from the Vicar’s faith, and how this faith best meets the demands of political right and legitimate government set out in the Social Contract. I focus on the question of toleration: to what extent Rousseau is in favor of religious toleration, and how the followers of the Vicar’s faith are, as Rousseau writes, “more tolerant than it is possible to be with any other doctrine.” I draw some comparisons between Rousseau and John Locke to elucidate Rousseau’s unique stance on the proper relation between religion and the state, and on the most effective means of obtaining an end to religious disputes.


Name: Caleb Chaplin
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: caleb.chaplin@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Carleton University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Scepticism in Times of Recalcitrant Politics: Hume's Response to Partisan Demands
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David Hume’s approach to philosophical scepticism is conspicuously absent of methodical application. He argued that cause and effect, commonly understood, is not something inherent to what we observe, rather that the connection between events instead takes place in our mind. That is, what we presume is causal is only sequential. Observable events may develop in sequence but not necessarily along causal lines. This yields important distinctions when evaluating competing explanations of political phenomena. Claims concerning justice, by members of a political community, usually rest on commonly understood beliefs about how we observe injustice. Claims about injustice are often couched in terms of simple causality. But if we consider Hume's argument that causality is a property of the mind, then we are led to consider injustice in terms of sequences rather than causes. But would such an approach to political dialectic permit any results that could be agreed upon as just? The political rhetoric of inequality is often framed in terms of causality, especially in the context of history. In such cases the resolution of justice, understood causally, may rest on immoderately ambitious claims about what can be achieved through promissory politics. Thus, what Hume provides is a way of inquiring, not into the causes of inequality, so much as the sequences of inequality. This points to a more refined way of distinguishing political phenomena, disaggregating what we believe to be true from what is observably true.


Name: Adam Dan`el
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: adamdd@uchicago.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Ben Gurion University, Sapir College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: La fortuna di Trump
Panel Title: Rhetoric, the Passions and Democracy in the Age of Trump
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All too many have noticed the Machiavellian trumpeting of political virtuosity. Yet significantly fewer have realized Machiavelli's virtual reduction of political virtue to the sequences of happenings in time--otherwise titled "fortune". Of course, Machiavelli admits the critical, and quite frequently even fatal, impact that fortune inflicts on the materialization of success of political virtue. Yet Machiavelli goes beyond that in tracing even the origins of various types of political virtue to temporal upheavals that potential leaders must withstand. Fortune is thus not only the mistress of political virtue, but even more profoundly, its mother. Out of the womb of fortune, wherein seeds of political virtue were planted, the later burst out, seeking to take advantage of the opportunities the former provides, and to overcome (or at least sideline) the obstacles it posits. Building on this interpretation of Machiavelli's philosophy, this paper attempts to deconstruct major predicates of Trump's campaign as fruits of strong undercurrents in mass politics, prevailing especially in Western democracies. Specifically it ventures to draw comparison between contemporary zeitgeist and those that gave birth to anti-democratic, yet not conservative nor socialist, mass movements at the inception of last Century, frequently referred to as fascist.


Name: Emily Ferkaluk
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: emilykferkaluk@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Dallas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Name: Emily Ferkaluk
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: emilykferkaluk@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Cedarville University
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Paper Title: Imperial Problems of Domestic Policy: How Alexis de Tocqueville Discusses Empire in “On the Penitentiary System in the United States and Its Application to France.”
Panel Title: The Statesmanship and Political Science of Alexis de Tocqueville
Panel Description: Alexis de Tocqueville was both a theorist and a practitioner of politics. The papers on this panel explore how Tocqueville’s observation of politics and human behavior shaped his understanding of human nature, as well as how his understanding of human nature informed his political prescriptions. The papers address a range of themes in his writings and contribute to our knowledge of his statesmanship and his ability to identify the effects, necessities and limits of politics and institutions.Emily Ferkaluk addresses how “On the Penitentiary System” situates its analysis of penitentiary systems as a domestic policy solution to increasing international imperialism by liberal nations, thus leading readers to a reconsideration of the grounds upon which Tocqueville supports imperialism. Aaron Herold discusses Tocqueville’s treatment of the natural desire for immortality in human beings and how Tocqueville believes that the cultivation and direction of this desire can be achieved in the most politically salutary way, in particular in modern democracies. Heather Pangle explores the way that Tocqueville believes imperial rule can shape the French people, meet France’s political needs, and remedy some of the defects and dangers that attend democracies. Leor Sapir shows that Tocqueville conceives of individualism in terms of feeling powerless. Sapir uses this observation to bring Tocqueville into conversation with the tradition of modern political thought on the theme of power, and explains how this comparison helps to illuminate the foundations of liberalism.Together, these papers show how Tocqueville’s theoretical and philosophic observations about politics and human nature are grounded in particular observations about the needs and limits of human beings.
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The seeming contradiction between Tocqueville’s liberalism and his defense of imperialism remains an important question in Tocqueville studies. Notably, while Tocqueville scholars such as Avramenko, Gingerich, and Boesche have articulated the understanding of domestic despotism that can be seen in Tocqueville’s “On the Penitentiary System in America and Its Application to France,” there has been no study of the analysis of empire that is also visible within the report. I argue that “On the Penitentiary System” situates its analysis of penitentiary systems as one of three policy solutions to increasing international imperialism by liberal nations. In particular, by arguing for penitentiaries as a decentralized solution to France’s domestic problem of crime, Tocqueville and Beaumont intend to strengthen public opinion against the imperialistic policy of penal colonies. Thus, within the case-study of penal reform Tocqueville’s liberal goal of freeing local communities from centralized national government leads to a reconsideration of the grounds upon which Tocqueville supports imperialism.


Name: Zachary German
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: zacharygerman@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Spirit of Liberty's Laws: Montesquieu on the Possibilities and Prerequisites of Liberty
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Different readers of Montesquieu have found him to be the champion of various regimes that he analyzes. Some consider him to be partial to classical republics; others conclude that he is most sympathetic to the type of monarchy that characterized his homeland; still others argue that the mixed regime of England constituted his model government. Disagreement over Montesquieu has a long pedigree. In the debate over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, for instance, both Federalists and Anti-Federalists took Montesquieu to be an authority on politics, but they stressed different aspects of his work. Disagreements about Montesquieu are no doubt due, in part, to the complexity, nuance, and allusiveness of his political science, which is centered on his concept of “spirit.” Montesquieu suggests that the character of a people must be compatible with the political system and laws in order to be stable and successful, and he further explains that a people’s character is shaped by a variety of political, sociocultural, and natural factors. For this reason, Montesquieu indicates that the possibilities for political action – and for establishing political liberty – are always significantly restrained and shaped by a society’s particular circumstances. This paper examines how Montesquieu’s spirit-centered political science entails certain limitations on and prerequisites for establishing and maintaining political liberty in a given political community. In so doing, it sheds light on what he perceived to be the particular challenges to liberty in republics, monarchies, and mixed regimes like England.


Name: chrysoula gitsoulis
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: cgitsoulis@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: City College, CUNY
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Paper Title: Utilitarian vs Rights-Based Constructions of Value
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The most glaring weakness of utilitarianism, according to many of its critics, is that it fails to respect individual rights. As a consequentialist moral theory, utilitarianism holds that it is the consequences or ends of our actions (maximizing happiness) that determine whether particular means to them are justified. But is any means of achieving the greater good permissible? Suppose someone poisons his grandfather to acquire his fortune. Even if greater overall happiness is achieved, that is morally reprehensible. My paper will be devoted to addressing this objection. I will try to show that it is best to think of the difference between utilitarianism and rights-based ethics not as a difference in kind, but as a difference in degree. Once we see that the difference between these theories is a matter of degree, it will become apparent that the rights-based theorist faces a similar type of objection, and hence is no better off than the utilitarian theorist in terms of the stated objection.


Name: Bjorn Gomes
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: bwg2107@columbia.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Columbia University
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Paper Title: Mandeville on Recognition
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In recent decades, the politics of recognition has become an important theme in political and social theorizing about justice and freedom. The desire for recognition, that is to say, the desire to have the approval, esteem, consideration or respect of those around us, whether as individuals or members of social groups, has in fact been described as a vital human need. In trying to make sense of the politics of recognition, scholars have, for the most part, turned to Hegel’s account of the struggle for recognition for guidance, although more recent efforts have included studies on Fichte and Rousseau. This paper looks at one unlikely source for an account of the desire for recognition: Mandeville. I argue that understanding his ideas is not only crucial to understanding Rousseau’s view on the subject, but that Mandeville’s treatment of recognition is interesting in its own right. The paper begins with an account of Mandeville’s psychological picture of human beings, a picture on which he builds his account of sociability. The picture turns, very basically, on the two innate passions of self-love and self-liking. I argue that most of the literature on this subject has misinterpreted his account, leading to omissions and errors at a foundational level. I offer a revised account of the two passions, the general features of each passion, and the relations between them. Next, I show how self-liking is a far more pervasive and multifaceted concept than previously acknowledged, and that it is not merely a forerunner of Rousseau’s amour-propre. I do so by discussing self-liking in connection with dominion and reverence. I then examine how the desire for recognition plays a foundational role in the sociability of human beings and the formation of societies, and how Mandeville’s account anticipates Kant’s unsociable sociability. Finally, I discuss why Mandeville did not think that the desire for recognition involved a loss of freedom, which Rousseau thought it did in certain forms, and how Mandeville’s philosophy can add to our current understandings of recognition theory.


Name: Guillermo Graíño
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: ggraino@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Universidad Francisco de Vitoria / Villanova University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Blaise Pascal on the Political Role of Philosophy
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Name: John Grove
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: john.grove@lmunet.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Lincoln Memorial University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Absolutism, Equality, and Moral Perception in Burke’s American Writings
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The question of how Edmund Burke believed one could perceive political and moral right is an ongoing and confounding one to scholars of his thought. He has alternatively been described as a utilitarian, a natural law thinker, a historicist, and as occupying various positions between these. Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance, for Burke, of emotions, culture, metaphor and the recognition of cognitive limits for understanding true political justice. This paper examines Burke’s American writings – rightfully seen as some of his most practical – to demonstrate how he believed political institutions, political processes, and political history create a framework which makes possible true moral understanding unattainable to the merely abstract theorist. Parliamentary treatment of the colonies, he argued, tended toward absolutism which imposes a false equality on the world and banishes the political art. This distortion prevents any genuine understanding of political justice. While Burke often claimed that he was concerned only with crafting a reasonable, workable colonial policy, he was in fact quite concerned with justice and injustice as well. Absolutism, like Jacobinism, relied on the belief that history, culture, and the political process are unnecessary for understanding political morality. As such, it produced not only an impractical policy, but also one which was oppressively unjust.


Name: Mykolas Gudelis
Section:
Professional Email: mykolasgudelis@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: The New School for Social Research
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Paper Title: Demochronos: The Political Time of Democracy
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Through the lens of temporality and the perspective of the conjunction between politics and time, this paper takes a look at ancient democracy from its inception in late antiquity. Considering the view of the social context of time as a realm of a multiplicity of temporalities, I argue that democracy as a political form of collective life of the community based on the principle of equality creates its own time and delineates its own temporal parameters by reflecting and temporally “embodying” principles, institutions, and social and cultural practices of democratic politics. In other words, from the temporal perspective, democracy can be seen as a political form of self-temporalization of the community. Such self-temporalization corresponds to the principle of collective self-governance, in the process of which the community continuously creates and recreates its own time by weaving together different temporal strands of its political life. In developing the concept of “demochronos” as the political time of democracy, this paper emphasizes the importance of the notion of time in politics and its significance in early political theory by demonstrating that the notion of time, and its discourses indirectly addressing the role of time in politics, was of central importance in arguments against democracy by its intellectual opponents of the time. The paper concludes by highlighting the tension between the political time of democracy and time articulated as an external temporal framework superimposed over the collective body of the democratic community in order to regulate, control, and limit its politico-temporal space, which results in the deflation of democracy’s emancipatory potential.


Name: Aaron Herold
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: alherold@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: SUNY Geneseo
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Paper Title: Tocqueville's Religious Statesmanship
Panel Title: The Statesmanship and Political Science of Alexis de Tocqueville
Panel Description: Alexis de Tocqueville was both a theorist and a practitioner of politics. The papers on this panel explore how Tocqueville’s observation of politics and human behavior shaped his understanding of human nature, as well as how his understanding of human nature informed his political prescriptions. The papers address a range of themes in his writings and contribute to our knowledge of his statesmanship and his ability to identify the effects, necessities and limits of politics and institutions. Emily Ferkaluk addresses how “On the Penitentiary System” situates its analysis of penitentiary systems as a domestic policy solution to increasing international imperialism by liberal nations, thus leading readers to a reconsideration of the grounds upon which Tocqueville supports imperialism. Aaron Herold discusses Tocqueville’s treatment of the natural desire for immortality in human beings and how Tocqueville believes that the cultivation and direction of this desire can be achieved in the most politically salutary way, in particular in modern democracies. Heather Pangle explores the way that Tocqueville believes imperial rule can shape the French people, meet France’s political needs, and remedy some of the defects and dangers that attend democracies. Leor Sapir shows that Tocqueville conceives of individualism in terms of feeling powerless. Sapir uses this observation to bring Tocqueville into conversation with the tradition of modern political thought on the theme of power, and explains how this comparison helps to illuminate the foundations of liberalism. Together, these papers show how Tocqueville’s theoretical and philosophic observations about politics and human nature are grounded in particular observations about the needs and limits of human beings.
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In both volumes of Democracy in America, Tocqueville describes the presence in human beings of a natural desire for immortality—a complex longing that he says takes the form of a desire to affirm and forget oneself simultaneously. Tocqueville suggests that this longing is what makes human beings distinctivevill; it allows them to achieve a kind of greatness unavailable to other beings, but it is also at the root of our uniquely atrocious behavior as well. This paper will explore the way that Tocqueville’s “new political science” seeks to cultivate this desire, and direct it in healthy directions, given the historically unprecedented effects that democracy, or the “generative fact” of equality of conditions, is likely to have on it. It will examine Tocqueville’s practical expectations for the role of religion in democratic times and the ways that he sought to influence religion’s teaching. It will also indicate the ways that this part of Tocqueville’s analysis complements rather than opposes his reliance on several well known secular or rationalistic solutions to the problems posed by equality, such as the use of associations and the doctrine of “self-interest well-understood.” Finally, the paper will take up Tocqueville’s seemingly ambivalent attitude toward Christianity. It will argue that Tocqueville’s evaluation of Christianity’s political teaching is more critical than it seems, but that, if Tocqueville’s religious statesmanship is successful, the vices Christianity and democracy share in common can be turned into virtues. This can be seen especially through an analysis of Tocqueville’s somewhat puzzling portrayal of Pascal as the paragon of human greatness.


Name: Jiyoon Im
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: jiyoon.im@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Montesquieu on the Flexibility of Man: Equality between the Sexes in the Spirit of the Laws
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In this paper, I argue that Montesquieu’s insight into the flexibility of man enables him to furnish the normative standard of sexual equality in order to confront the tension between the diversity of political norms and justice in a new way. Equality between the sexes, in Montesquieu’s view, requires neither reason nor political liberty but “charms” and the passions of commerce—honor and vanity. While Montesquieu’s political thought has recently been presented as flexibly pluralist, pragmatically liberal, or aristocratically moderate, I argue that commentators have overlooked that the flexibility and moderation originate precisely from his defense of sexual equality and the newfound role of passions, manners, and fashion in modern commerce. By examining his bold claim that the comparison of mores across cultures has resulted in a consensus concerning the best arrangement between the sexes, I argue that he defends sexual equality not simply because he believes that it is a necessary condition for modern commerce but because it promises the best possibility of happiness in accord with his understanding of the proper balance of liberty, commerce, and religion in modernity.


Name: Dhruv Jain
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: jaindhruv@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Virtù, Fortuna and Atomic Motion: A Lucretian Reinterpretation of Machiavelli
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A small, but growing, body of historical scholarship has focused renewed attention to the reception of Lucretius in Renaissance Italy, and Machiavelli’s own attempt to produce a definitive edition of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura. In juxtaposition to the civic republican tradition that typically emphases Machiavelli’s supposed Aristotelian or Ciceronian theoretical fidelities, scholars such as Allison Brown and Ada Palmer have argued for a Lucretian inheritance. However, much of this secondary literature has paid an inordinate amount of attention to the implications of Machiavelli’s indebtedness to Epicureanism and his account of religion. This of course has buttressed similar claims by Leo Strauss, Harvey Mansfield and Paul Rahe, who have similarly argued for a Lucretian influence. Ada Palmer, however, has recently argued in Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance (2015) that Machiavelli was far more interested in Lucretius’ theory of atomic motion (pp. 85). Palmer however does not develop this theme in her book, nor attempts to map out how atomic motion precisely functions within the Machiavelli’s theoretical landscape. In this paper this thematic will be explored in greater detail and Lucretius’ theory of atomic motion will be mapped onto Machiavelli’s most famous concepts. Indeed, it will be argued that Machiavelli’s virtù relies on Lucretius’ third form of atomic motion: the clinamen or ‘swerve’; whereas fortuna relies on Lucretius’ second form of atomic motion: movement by atoms “in manifold ways” (DRN, 5: 190-200). This latter form of movement, Lucretius also informs us, is not predicated on ‘fate’, but rather on a series of natural laws (DRN, 5: 50-60). In the first part of the presentation, Lucretius’ forms of atomic motion will be introduced within the context of Machiavelli’s interpretative marginalia, especially Machiavelli’s correlation of clinamen with voluntas or ‘free will’. In the second part, these forms of atomic motion will be displaced into The Prince and Discourses Book 1, Chapter 3. It will be argued that princes with virtù are able to break from chains of action-reaction, or necessity, and create new ‘modes and orders’; whereas those princes who lack the sufficient virtù are dependent on fortune and ‘accidents’, which results in an unfolding of a series of natural laws and necessities. I thus differentiate my own interpretation from both the civic republican and ‘soft Lucretian (or Straussian) schools of interpretation, and argue for a ‘strong Lucretian’ interpretation of Machiavelli’s work.


Name: Angel Jaramillo
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: angeljaramillot@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: unam
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Paper Title: Nietzsche and Kojève on Trump’s politics
Panel Title: "Rhetoric, the Passions and Democracy in the Age of Trump: Moderns”
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Nietzsche and Kojève on Trump’s politicsIn this paper I will use the political philosophies of both Nietzsche and Kojève to try to understand the Trump phenomenon in American politics. I will attempt to pin down whether Trump’s politics can be described as an expression of nihilism in Nietzsche’s sense. Contrary to what political thinkers such as Francis Fukuyama has recently said regarding Trump’s energetic reaction against political decay, I will argue that Trump’s allegiance to the “cash nexus” motive and his disregard for meaning speaks the language of nihilism. On the other hand, I will probe whether Trump’s politics is an expression of what Kojève calls, following Hegel, the desire for pure prestige.


Name: Maximilian Krahe
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: max.krahe@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Yale University
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Paper Title: Bridging The Gap Between Descriptive and Normative Theory
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In light of a recent spade of 'grand theorising' in political science and related fields (cf. Acemoglu and Robinson 2012, Mann 2012, Fukuyama 2011 and 2014), this paper asks how we should understand the relationship between normative political theory and 'grand theory.' The main claims defended are as follows: First, due to the complexity of the world relative to our ability to comprehend it, individual facts (even if, counterfactually, those could be firmly established) do not uniquely determine theory. This creates ‘wiggle room’ regarding how to pull various ‘facts’ together into an overarching theoretical representation of the world. Second, theory (by which I mean the particular lens through which we observe, comprehend, and talk about the world) is not neutral regarding different policy prescriptions. Any theory, even if purely descriptive, creates a slanted playing field with regards to justificatory claims for normative prescriptions: some will be easier to defend against its backdrop, others harder. In recognition of this, and against more positivist conceptions of political science, the paper then argues that prior normative commitments are a legitimate reason to move one way rather than another within the wiggle room offered by the under-determinacy of theory by facts. Even descriptive grand theory is therefore normative. There is no reason, the paper then concludes, why political theory should restrict itself to overtly normative forms of theorizing. Instead, the construction of grand descriptive theories, a la Acemoglu and Robinson, Mann, or Fukuyama, especially when done with normative intent, can be seen as a task fully appropriate to political theory.


Name: Adam Kunz
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: adamscottkunz@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of California, Davis
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: The Fraternity-Difference Principle Correspondence: Rawls’ Conception of the Person as Justification for Fraternity
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In his Theory of Justice, Rawls defends a number of classic liberal virtues, including fraternity, claiming that the difference principle is the mechanism by which fraternity is realized in a just society. Rawls’ reference to fraternity has received little scholarly examination. G.A. Cohen and subsequent commentators provide the most thorough analysis, arguing that in order for Rawls’ vision of fraternity to be possible, a separate egalitarian ethos must be read into the difference principle. However, Cohen’s critical review reaches outside the confines of Rawls’ theory to provide an alien gloss to the text and ignores Rawls’ own stated and unstated assumptions regarding the person. Rawls’ Kantian conception of the person, buttressed by his pre-Theory of Justice comments on fraternity, better explains his commitment to fraternity as a liberal virtue and provides adequate foundation for claiming that fraternity is comprehended by the difference principle.


Name: Damon Linker
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: damonlinker@gmail.com
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: Senior Correspondent, The Week.com
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Thoughts on Strauss on Trump
Panel Title: Rhetoric, the Passions and Democracy in the Age of Trump: Moderns
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No 20th-century political philosopher has exercised a greater (or more contested) influence on the shape of American conservatism than Leo Strauss. Many thought that they detected his influence on the neoconservative foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration, especially in its decision to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But then what would Strauss have thought about the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, which the neoconservative faction of the Republican Party has vociferously opposed? In my paper, I will argue that Strauss' position on Trump would be deeply ambivalent. He would have judged presidential candidate Trump to be a very dangerous demagogue—a man with a tyrannical soul driven by intense passions (including the lust for popular approval) whose judgment is profoundly distorted by an almost comically extreme form of masculine self-regard. At the same time, however, Strauss would have been mildly encouraged by some of the impulses behind Trump's improbable rise, along with parallel tendencies on the other side of the Atlantic—especially the expression of nationalistic solidarity against extra-political/transnational institutions. While it's true that Strauss supported such institutions (like the United Nations) in the context of the West's clash with communist totalitarianism in the postwar decades, he would have looked on recent developments in Europe with suspicion. (Here I'll draw on the arguments of French Straussian and EU skeptic Pierre Manent.) Similar hostility to internationalism (open immigration, free-trade agreements) motivates many Trump supporters, and Strauss would have treated such instincts with respect, mainly because they push back against pernicious anti-political tendencies of both the contemporary center-right and center-left. In a word, Strauss would have been sharply critical of Trump but cautiously encouraged by Trumpism.


Name: Andrew Norris
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Professional Email: anorris@polsci.ucsb.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Skepticism and Critique in Arendt and Cavell
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At first, or even second glance, Arendt and Cavell make an unlikely pair: the one a political theorist deeply suspicious of both liberalism and Romanticism; the other a philosopher of the intricacies and intimacies of skepticism and ordinary language who staked his later reputation on the public importance of Emersonian Transcendentalism. But, as deep as the differences between the two run—and this sketch is only that--there are important commonalties as well. The most striking of these is the fact that, within a two-year period in the early 1960’s, both Arendt and Cavell turned their attention to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, a text that up to that point had been almost entirely ignored in Anglophone philosophy. For both, what is of central interest in the third Critique is Kant’s account of the “universal voice” of aesthetic reflective judgment, our ability make “exemplary,” “public” judgments in which we speak for others in a manner that does not compromise their autonomy. And, for both, this account needs to be understood in the context of the critical project as a whole, a project they see themselves as developing. Cavell, who throughout his work draws as regularly upon the first and second Critiques as he does the third, characterizes his Perfectionism as a transfiguration of Kant, and his magnum opus, The Claim of Reason, as a critique of skepticism that will challenge and modify its self-understanding by uncovering “the truth of skepticism,” a truth that is quite different from the truths the skeptic takes himself to reveal. Arendt’s own magnum opus, The Human Condition, is well read as a critique of the grounds and limits of the Western tradition of political philosophy; and her unfinished final volume The Life of the Mind echoes the tripartite structure of Kant’s Critiques in its division into books on Thinking, Willing, and Judging. Indeed, The Life of the Mind proceeds in its first part and what we have of its third largely by means of a reinterpretation of Kantian arguments, the implications of which Kant himself “never became fully aware.” This reinterpretation comes very close to Cavell’s transfiguration, but never so close as to address in a sustained manner his master theme of skepticism and the role it might play in critique. In my discussion today I should like to consider why this is so, and what implications it might have for our understanding of these figures.


Name: Heather Pangle
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: pangle@bc.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Tocqueville’s Argument for France’s Empire
Panel Title: The Statesmanship and Political Science of Alexis de Tocqueville
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This paper investigates why Tocqueville considered colonial imperialism to be good for the French people and consistent with liberal principles. Beginning from a brief overview of Tocqueville’s own influence on French public opinion and policies, the paper explains why Tocqueville supported imperial ventures as worthwhile, necessary, and moral – and as consistent with his understanding of what France stood for as a liberal nation. Tocqueville’s arguments for colonialism are revealing of what he understood to be France’s duties as, in his own words, “the persevering enemy of despotism everywhere and under all its forms.” His arguments also illuminate his understanding of the drawbacks or dangers of modern democracies. He says that commercial democratic nations in particular face a group of threats, including “the gradual softening of the manners, the degradation of the spirit, [and] the mediocrity of the tastes.” Rather than abandoning themselves to the pursuit of “peaceful prosperity” and individual wellbeing, Tocqueville argues that the French ought to pursue a proud, assertive foreign policy and a position of prominence in the world. He regards a great national project as necessary to stabilize France and stave off a slide toward softness and weakness. The heart of Tocqueville’s defense of French empire therefore appears to be the strength it will foster in French politics and mores. Tocqueville’s views on these subjects provide us insight into his understanding of human nature, his understanding of the way regimes can shape the character of peoples, and his assessment of the limits and drawbacks of liberal democratic politics.


Name: Katherine Paton
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: kpaton0197@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Northern Illinois University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Rome’s Mistaken Foundations: Virtue, Corruption, and Machiavellian Democracy
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At first glance, Machiavelli’s advocacy of Rome’s popular institutions seems at odds with his argument that the plebeian multitude became corrupt over time. Machiavelli views this corruption as rooted in the insatiability of human nature, as individuals are motivated by desire for wealth and power. Ultimately, corruption leads the plebs to resort to “partisan friends” as a means to subjugate the nobles and gain property. A well-ordered regime should inspire partisan enemies, not friends, as the stability of a well-ordered city allows both warfare against external forces and also a free way of life at home. Thus, the understanding of human nature as corrupted by its desire to subjugate others calls into question the ability of the multitude to participate in political institutions and maintain Roman perfection. To solve this problem, the city must found with a view to corruption; it must craft institutions that acknowledge the people as they are. In this formulation, Machiavelli suggests a critique of ancient Roman republicanism insofar as its foundations rested upon Roman virtue. Without rescinding his advocacy of an empowered multitude, Machiavelli presents an argument for a regime that both satisfies corrupt human nature while also eliminating the lure of partisan friends.


Name: Jennifer Phillips
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: jenn.leigh.phillips@gmail.com
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: Georgetown University (DLS Graduate '16) and Humanitarian Advisor to the Military (USAID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance)
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Hermeneutic Inquiry in Conversation with Just War Theory: Finding Meaning in a Post-Conflict Society
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The jus post bellum tenets of Just War Theory serve as a nation’s guide as the tedious task of returning to peace begins. However, one should not presume that the concepts associated with justice and order hold normative value to all human persons in societies. Time and again, programs and policies implemented by victors fail when the notions driving these activities are incommensurate with the principles, ideals and ethical presumptions regarding order and justice among the affected society. The practical reality of modern conflict and demands of jus post bellum should not allow seemingly irreconcilable differences to force actors into a state of paralysis or inaction. The principles, ideals and ethical foregrounding of individuals and societies find their locus in the historical horizon of the individual and the society. How do we achieve order and justice in a society post bellum when the yardstick for measuring order and justice appears indeterminate and variable? This thesis explores possible answers to these questions and others through a hermeneutic conception of inquiry. The case of post-2001 Afghanistan will be used as a specific historical event in which this hermeneutic conception of understanding and language would have assisted policy makers and practitioners in pursuing a more disciplined approach to post-conflict activities. Understanding specifically will be explored further within the framework of hermeneutics as a process rather than a goal. By endeavoring to proceed via a hermeneutically informed approach to address this challenge of understanding across historical horizons, this thesis carries an assertion regarding the nature of reality. Discipline in dialogue by the practitioner in a post-conflict society promises a clearer approach to engaging the prejudices present within both our own historical horizon and that of the Other. It creates an environment for differences within the same reality to be seen as opportunities rather than a threat to one’s own ‘way of life’ through the fusion of historical horizons. Dialogue in the spirit of a postmodern hermeneutic inquiry offers an alternative to both subjective speculation and the objective, normative metanarrative of the Western expression of Just War Theory. Hermeneutics allows the human person to move beyond a mere validation of this tradition solely within the context of one’s own historical horizon. It allows the person to remain open to a process of questioning in which the person subjects their own prejudice to the Other in reflective openness to the questions at hand. The virtual openness of meaning within language (understood as the potential for meaning to be constantly redefined) is the only legitimate claim to truth finite man can make. Through responsible judgment in the pursuit of disciplined dialogue, engaging the event of understanding in the fusion of horizons, the person can engage truth. Truth being the universal nature of human dignity found in freedom – the openness to differ within the same reality.


Name: Lincoln Rathnam
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: lefrathnam@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Toronto
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Paper Title: The Sprouts of Humanity: David Hume and Mencius on the Family and the Affective Basis of Moral and Political Community
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In recent years political theorists such as Sharon Krause (2008) and Martha Nussbaum (2013) have argued for a more serious engagement with the ways in which the creation and maintenance of a just society depend on our emotional capacities, for example, our ability to respond sympathetically to victims of injustice. This raises crucial questions about the role of the emotions in cross-cultural interaction, especially given claims that our emotional lives are, in decisive respects, shaped by our particular cultural contexts (Prinz 2014). In this paper, I argue that we can find shared features of our affective lives, rooted in a common human nature, in the central works in moral and political theory that have emerged from various contexts. I take as a case study the treatments of the emotions and the family found in the works of David Hume, particularly his essay “Of Polygamy and Divorces,” and the great Confucian thinker Mencius. I argue that examining this theme in their works allows us to consider the conversation between Confucianism and liberalism from a new perspective. First, I argue that both thinkers agree that a shared human concern for others, manifest in our sympathetic response to those in peril, is a fundamental feature of human nature. Second, I argue that both regard the relationships that constitute family life as a crucial training ground for moral membership in a political community. These shared concerns, however, lead to quite different presentations of the way in which the interaction between family and government should be theorized. Mencius emphasizes the way in which the parent-child relationship can be taken as an analogue of the relation between rulers and ruled, in the sense that both involve deference and respect. Hume, on the other hand, uses the ideal relationship between spouses, which should be characterized by friendship and reciprocity, as a tool for nourishing the broader forms of equality that can ground political liberty. I argue that framing the dialogue in this way does not lead to an irreconcilable clash of competing values, given that both regard deference and reciprocity as important human characteristics, but instead to a fruitful debate on the relative importance of these considerations in a just society.


Name: Thomas Redden
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: tredden@svc.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Southern Vermont College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "A Buddhist politics: the role of suffering/dukkha in assessing good government."
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Abstract: This paper is part of a larger project that seeks to envision what a "Buddhist politics" might look like in the United States today. At the heart of Buddhist philosophy is this notion that "life is dukkha," commonly translated simplistically as "life is suffering." Putting aside the limitations of such a definition, a "Buddhist politics" would surely focus on society's attempt to mitigate and possibly eliminate suffering where ever possible. Fundamental Western principles of such as "freedom," and "equality" would be seen in a different context when "human suffering" was placed at the center of society's concerns. This paper attempts to look at the "mitigation of suffering" as the dominant criterion of good government.


Name: Joseph Reisert
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: jrreiser@colby.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Colby College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Does the Rise of Trump Signal the Decline of the American Republic? A Rousseauain Perspective
Panel Title: Rhetoric, the Passions and Democracy in the Age of Trump: Moderns
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Donald Trump’s ascent to the Republican presidential nomination surprised observers, who assumed that the primary electorate would not support a figure who violated the conventional norms of political behavior and spurned key elements of conservative, Republican orthodoxy. Trump rejects social conservatism and has no interest in limiting the size and scope of the federal government; instead, he has made ending illegal immigration and “restoring American greatness” the centerpieces of his campaign, advocating these causes with such stridency that critics (some of them Republicans) have accused him of racism. As we try to make sense of Trump’s unexpected success, we may find it useful to look beyond the conventional sources — back to some of the original theorists of democracy. In this paper, I propose looking to the political thought of J-J Rousseau to identify some possible explanations of Trump’s success. Rousseau articulates a vision of equal citizenship, in which all have the right to vote on the laws and on the magistrates, and he supposes that in a healthy polity, there will be broad and deep popular consensus on constitutional essentials (which will reflect the people’s general will), and that the people will choose as magistrates persons outstanding for their personal and civic virtue and for their demonstrated capacity to promote the public good. From a Rousseauian perspective, the rise of Trump would appear as a symptom of civic failure. But there are multiple possibilities (and these are not all mutually exclusive): (1) Trump may be the sort of “clever knave” and “insinuating talker” about whom Rousseau warns in book 4, chapter 1 of the Social Contract, and his rise may indicate that the voters lack the virtue or civic commitment to choose wisely those who rule them; (2) the popularity of Trump’s nationalistic, “American greatness” agenda, may vindicate Rousseau’s empirical concern that cosmopolitan ideals would be unable to attract the passionate, ongoing support needed to sustain a viable polity — a concern articulated with particular force in the essay on Political Economy; (3) Trump’s electoral success reveals a fraying of our constitutional consensus and fragmentation of our sense of national identity — so that there is ever less of a “general will” uniting Americans and ever stronger group identities in a zero sum competition for advantages and resources. Each of these possibilities will be seen to generate different testable hypotheses and will yield different policy prescriptions for improving the health of our polity.


Name: Jack Riley
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: JVThumos@aol.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Coastal Carolina University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The French Enlightenment Attack on Modern Natural Right and Political Project in The Encyclopedie
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At the height of the Enlightenment, the doctrine of modern natural right (e.g., Hobbes, Locke, and the American Framers) came under a vicious assault in the French Enlightenment. The French Enlightenment replaced the notion of modern natural right with the general will. This attack left politics with no natural guide for political life. Intellectually, it produced what has been called "the crisis of the West." Nevertheless, the French Enlightenment, through its main vehicle, The Encyclopedie, was much more than just an intellectual movement. Its aim was not only to bring down the ancien regime, but any political order grounded in nature, be it classical/medieval natural law or modern natural right. It sought to bring about an order based on the general will and guided by reason (understood as modern science). Its consequences have been disastrous first by its direct influence on the French revolution and its excesses. Second, it brought about "the crisis of the West," in which we find ourselves today. No intellectual task is more urgent than to understand the causes of this crisis and search for alternatives to it.



Continental Political Thought

Name: Attila Antal
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: antal.attila85@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law Institute of Political Science (Budapest, Hungary)
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: The Political Theory and Paradoxes of the Governing Populism in Hungary
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After the regime change the Hungarian politics can be characterized by emerging populist tendencies. Before 2010 the populist forces were opposition parties, the post-2010 period is the era of governing populism in Hungary and at the same time the biggest opposition party (the far-right Jobbik) is populist too. It will be argued in my lecture that the (populist) political theory of the governing party alliance (Fidesz-KDNP) is based on three main pillars. (1) The first one is the concept of the Political and massive anti-liberalism elaborated by Carl Schmitt. Schmitt describes the depoliticisation tendencies caused by liberalism, he also argues that the bureaucratic nature of liberalism promotes law instead of politics. (2) The second pillar is the Weberian concept of leader democracy, which argues that the political leader, who is creative and charismatic, has a strong political responsibility. (3) The third pillar is political constitutionalism, which is a counter-theory of legal or liberal constitutionalism and points out that the political institutions (parliaments and governments) cannot be restricted by legal institutions, first of all judges or constitutional courts.Which is common in these three theories is the repoliticisation. The populist governing parties accused the opposition and the European Union that their politics is anti-politics and bureaucratic, they cannot make political decision, thereby endanger the (Hungarian and European) political community. On one hand it can be a very successful political strategy, on the other hand making constantly enemies can destroy the political community.According to my hypothesis the populist promise of political leadership is inherently false, because instead of repoliticisation, the populist forces are monopolizing the political representation and liquidating the political responsibility. My second hypothesis is dealing with the paradox nature of the current Hungarian governing populism: while the governing parties promise more Political and emerging influence of people on political decisions, it could be confusing that the Hungarian government excludes certain groups from politics (preventing the holding of referendums; starting political wars against NGOs). This is the paradox nature of the Hungarian governing populism: the governing parties would like to be seen as populist forces, but they are acting as elites.


Name: Kristen Collins
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: krcollins56@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Georgetown University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Retrieving Charisma: A Weberian Critique of Charles Taylor's Solutions to the Malaises of Modernity
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For scholars of sociology, philosophy, and politics, Max Weber’s work provides influential characterizations of economic, political, and ethical aspects of modern society. In Ethics of Authenticity, Charles Taylor accepts much of Weber’s disenchantment thesis, including the problems that instrumental rationality and bureaucracy pose for modern society. However, Taylor’s emphasis on reasonable debate for resolving the “malaises of modernity” fails to adequately address the fundamental sources of Weber’s pessimism. I critique Taylor’s arguments regarding political engagement and social fragmentation by drawing on and reconstructing Weberian concepts that Taylor sets aside – charisma and intuition. Examining the roles that charisma and intuition continue to play in contemporary politics is necessary to more accurately describe modern society and to construct arguments against Weber’s pessimism. Although Weber’s characterization of charisma may seem to threaten the ideal of personal sovereignty, I argue that it can be reconstructed to also help conceptualize the manner in which individuals determine their own convictions and pursue democratic political participation.


Name: Clinton Condra
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: Clint_Condra@baylor.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Baylor University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: Nietzsche's Machiavellism
Panel Title: Nietzsche as Social-Moral and Political Thinker
Panel Description: In recent decades, Friedrich Nietzsche’s influence as a social-moral, and thus political, thinker has grown exponentially. This panel brings together four papers that encompass both the breadth—from his first book (Birth of Tragedy) to his last (Ecce Homo)—and the social-moral or political depths of his thought.
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In “Nietzsche’s Machiavellianism,” Clint Condra explores the affinities between Nietzsche and Machiavelli principally by means of a comparative study of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil and Machiavelli’s Prince, though Condra also references other works by each thinker. Condra argues that Nietzsche’s account of human psychology is complementary to Machiavelli’s account of politics. Nietzsche, for instance, takes disorder, or a struggle for power among competing “drives” or “affects,” to be the default psychological condition of human beings, just as Machiavelli sees a struggle among opposing factions or “humors” at the core of political life. For both of these thinkers, there is no inherently right or natural ordering of things; rather, such order as may be established must be established by force, that is, by an act of tyranny, even self-tyranny.


Name: Matthew Dinan
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: mdinan@stu.ca
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: St. Thomas University (Canada)
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Kierkegaard's Ironic Alternative to Hegel in Fear and Trembling
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Scholars of political theory have long been suspicious of Søren Kierkegaard’s influence on the field, suggesting his individualism and emphasis on the “absurd” foster political quietism or nihilism. This paper challenges such a view of Kierkegaard through a reading of his most famous work, Fear and Trembling. Fear and Trembling intervenes in the issue at the heart of Hegelian political theory: the relationship between individual subjectivity and the “objective” ethical universal of the modern state. The pseudonymous author of Fear and Trembling—Johannes de Silentio—is sharply critical of the Hegelian account of mediation (Vermittlung) by which particular subjective desires are sublated into the ethical substance of the whole. Silentio—anticipating such 20th Century thinkers as Georges Bataille and Jacques Derrida—recognizes that the dialectical character of Hegel’s thought makes “going further” than Hegel “a miracle” indeed, but is nevertheless unable to defend the “infinite subjectivity” characterized by religious faith without recourse to justification through the same ethical realm he would critique. Kierkegaard thus foregrounds the difficulty of opposing Hegel’s totalizing discourse without becoming complicit in it: how can one criticize a theory of the modern state designed to mediate all opposition into itself? I argue that Kierkegaard surmounts this difficulty through his “ironic” strategy in the composition of Fear and Trembling itself. By demonstrating the failure of “John the Silent” to remain silent about faith, Kierkegaard ironically signals the existence of a religio-philosophical subjectivity that transcends Hegelian mediation—his own. Kierkegaard, through Silentio, furthermore draws attention to the fact that anxieties about such irony ultimately emanate from Hegel himself, for whom irony is the “ethical expression of evil” in the modern state. Far from amounting to nihilism or quietism, this ironic strategy represents a way of engaging in political life that expresses one’s subjectivity while interrupting the modern state’s pretensions to universality. In my conclusion I consider how Fear and Trembling offers a corrective to theories of public reason that aspire to Hegelian universality and to religious objections to such theories.


Name: Michael Feola
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: feolam@lafayette.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Lafayette College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
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Paper Title: Vulnerability and Violence: Hegelian Reflections
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This essay tackles the intersection of vulnerability and violence. On the one hand, there is the familiar claim: that all are vulnerable to violence, as a basic condition of human life. This follows from the fact of inhabiting bodies, by definition woundable, exposed to the touch of others. And recent literature on neoliberalism has highlighted another way to think this entanglement: that the restructuring of public space generates widespread vulnerability, and this can be thought as a form of violence, written into those structures that disproportionately expose some to market fallout (along with the demonstrable outcomes in health, life expectancy, etc.). This essay will not take either of these well-worn paths, but will ask a different question: how can contemporary cultures of violence and self-assertion be read as a symptom of the loss of collective guarantees within neoliberal times? How does the increasing insistence upon vigilanteism (whether this be the ‘good guy with a gun’ or the private militias that patrol the borderlands) represent a pathological response to the loss of the common (and the disparagement of common goods)? The essay will take a broadly Hegelian approach, so as to argue that these assertional cultures of violence represent a pathological assertion of the individual (as source of security, invulnerability, etc.) rather than a reinvestment in the common that has been eroded (in both ideological and substantive terms) in neoliberal times.


Name: Rodney Gill
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: rodneygill6@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of North Texas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Slave Morality as the Final Overcoming: Nietzsche on Priests and Slaves
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This essay discusses the origin of Friedrich Nietzsche’s slave morality not in slaves, but in the elite intra-class conflict between those that Nietzsche describes as priests and those he calls “knightly-aristocratic” warriors and kings. Slave morality begins as a tactical exploit utilized by the priest wherein the knightly-aristocratic class self-devitalizes after being poisoned by the “worm of conscience.“ Initially, the role of the “slave” merely serves as the ideal into which the priestly class seeks to transform his opposition. But the priestly mode of power acquisition is a tactical error not only because the priest’s power is overturned by its own self-defeating “logic,” but also because the very concept of hierarchical power is overturned with the “ascendancy” of the slave in egalitarianism. The “slave,” and more particularly “the last man,” represents the “final overcoming” because once equality is established and hierarchy dismantled there is nothing further to overcome.


Name: Guillermo Graíño
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: ggraino@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Universidad Francisco de Vitoria / Villanova University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Blaise Pascal on the Political Role of Philosophy
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Name: Mykolas Gudelis
Section:
Professional Email: mykolasgudelis@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: The New School for Social Research
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Paper Title: Demochronos: The Political Time of Democracy
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Through the lens of temporality and the perspective of the conjunction between politics and time, this paper takes a look at ancient democracy from its inception in late antiquity. Considering the view of the social context of time as a realm of a multiplicity of temporalities, I argue that democracy as a political form of collective life of the community based on the principle of equality creates its own time and delineates its own temporal parameters by reflecting and temporally “embodying” principles, institutions, and social and cultural practices of democratic politics. In other words, from the temporal perspective, democracy can be seen as a political form of self-temporalization of the community. Such self-temporalization corresponds to the principle of collective self-governance, in the process of which the community continuously creates and recreates its own time by weaving together different temporal strands of its political life. In developing the concept of “demochronos” as the political time of democracy, this paper emphasizes the importance of the notion of time in politics and its significance in early political theory by demonstrating that the notion of time, and its discourses indirectly addressing the role of time in politics, was of central importance in arguments against democracy by its intellectual opponents of the time. The paper concludes by highlighting the tension between the political time of democracy and time articulated as an external temporal framework superimposed over the collective body of the democratic community in order to regulate, control, and limit its politico-temporal space, which results in the deflation of democracy’s emancipatory potential.


Name: Laci Hubbard-Mattix
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: lnhubbard@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Washington State University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Motherization in Business
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In this paper I examine the way(s) business policies and practices in the United States are part of the larger process of motherization experienced by women. Motherization is the process by which women are trained and conditioned within a social context to expect and to desire motherhood. Using Foucault I demonstrate the women's bodies are disciplined into motherhood by various business practices. Women, as employees, are in a panopticon where they self-regulate both their career expectations and goals and themselves as mothers and women. From the fetal protection policies of the 1990's (and the Supreme Court's decision about those) to unpaid maternity leave and breast feeding policies working women are consistently and regularly given the message that their position as a mother is primary to their position as a worker. Even though they are expected to be utile working bodies under capitalism this is secondary to their role as mothers. Policies are formed to insure women remain in this role and is part of the larger message that motherhood is an expectation and the only place that women can find fulfillment which can and often does have dire consequences for women and their children.


Name: Nathan Jun
Section:
Professional Email: nathan.jun@mwsu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Midwestern State University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Rationalism and Irrationalism in Classical Anarchist Thought
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Classical anarchist thought has been variously described as a rationalist political philosophy in the Enlightenment tradition, on the one hand, and as an irrationalist cult of action in the Romantic tradition, on the other. In this presentation, I argue that classical anarchist thought exhibits both tendencies and examine the extent to which the tension between them shaped the historical development of anarchism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Name: Kristopher Klotz
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: krisklotz@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Construction of Political Subjects: Collective Agency in Honneth and Rancière
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The question of how to theorize collectivities is at the heart of the recent debate between Axel Honneth and Jacques Rancière. Of course, this is not surprising, since the primary concepts of both theorists require reference to collective political agency. On the one hand, Honneth’s conception of struggles for recognition explicates the motivations behind collective political agency (for example, when groups feel “disrespected” according to the normative order of principles of recognition). Moreover, his recent work in Freedom’s Right investigates how social institutions (understood broadly) enable the intersubjective realization of social freedom. On the other hand, Rancière’s understanding of politics in terms of disagreement often appeals to examples of collective political agency (such as civil rights, workers, and women’s movements). Despite their agreement about the importance of collective political agency, the two disagree about how to conceptualize this kind of agency. In this paper, I examine Honneth and Rancière’s debate insofar as it illuminates the complexities of theorizing collective political agency. While I focus on the recently published debate (Recognition or Disagreement), I supplement my arguments with appeals to the major works of Honneth and Rancière (for example, Honneth’s Freedom’s Right and The Struggle for Recognition and Rancière’s Disagreement). One of Rancière’s primary objections to Honneth’s conception of recognition concerns the relation between individual and collective political agency. By Rancière’s reading, Honneth mistakenly presupposes some degree of continuity from the individual to the collective, where the mutual recognition achieved through collective action (as with struggles for recognition or through institutions realizing social freedom) allows for the fulfillment of individual integrity. Rancière argues that the identity of the individuals recognized in these cases pre-exists collective political acts, at least normatively or ideally. For Rancière, however, political agency is not the expression of a pre-existing identity, but rather an act that creates a political subject. Despite this objection, Honneth insists that we cannot properly conceptualize collectivities without this continuity. That is, in order to explain what motivates collective political agency, we must understand what motivates individuals to seek recognition (for example, disrespect). For Honneth, this requires a normative conception of the self. Moreover, Honneth argues that Rancière himself presupposes such a conception of the self, insofar as Rancière implicitly appeals to individuals’ desire for equality. I argue that, to some degree, both theorists are correct in their objections. On the one hand, Rancière is right to emphasize the creative potential of collective political agency. On the other hand, Honneth is right to note that Rancière presupposes some conception of the self (even if it is a more minimal conception than Honneth’s). By examining their debate, then, we can begin to develop a conception of collective agency that learns from their objections.


Name: Romulus Maier
Section:
Professional Email: rommaier@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: University of Connecticut
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Paper Title: Existentialist Politics: Václav Havel and the Redemption of Heideggerian Political Thought and Practice
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The scholarship of intellectual demolition is as old as the practice of intellectual ingenuity. Whenever new paths of thinking disrupt continuities, it could reach effervescent moments. It could also become quite vituperative if the lives of innovators are provocative in some way or another. Since the end of the Second World War, due to his affiliation with the Nazi regime, Martin Heidegger has been one of the favorite targets of academic denunciation. Emmanuel Faye’s scholarly endeavor went so far as to cast Heidegger’s thought as a theoretical prefiguration of Nazi practice. Besides the logical problems of this assertion, which are rooted in the genre of ‘guilt by association,’ Faye’s arguments fail to open up the dynamic relationships among ‘being-in-the-world,’ “being-with-others,’ ‘they,’ the state, and the world as such. His critique comes from a place where the Cartesian tradition is viewed as a sort of ideological dogma that is prerequisite to any reflection. Faye’s one-dimensional analysis is refuted by Václav Havel’s political thought and practice. Havel, the playwright, the thinker, and the reluctant politician, finds in Heidegger a meaning of “freedom toward death” that brings to the forefront the humanism of the relationships between the one, the others, the state, and the world they inhabit.


Name: John McMahon
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: johnmcmahon3@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Beloit College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Race and Biopolitics: A Black Feminist Critique
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Why does, as Italian political theorist Roberto Esposito claims, a politics of life always risk becoming a politics of death? To explore this and related questions, this paper puts Black feminist thinkers – primarily Hortense Spillers, Angela Davis, and Alexander Weheliye – into conversation with Esposito, especially his Bíos: Biopolitics and Philosophy. Doing so foregrounds Western racism and slavery as the ground for theorizing about biopolitics and biopolitical death, reconstituting Esposito’s conceptual and historical apparatus as well as the relationship between political theory and Black feminism. The paper proceeds in three parts. The first part builds a Black feminist critique of Esposito, more specifically his concepts of ‘biopolitics’ and ‘flesh’. I begin with Spillers’s analysis of flesh in her “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe” as the paradigmatic, desubjectivizing category of captive African slaves. The work of Spillers troubles Esposito’s own conceptualization of flesh in Bíos, which pays insufficient attention to its racialized aspects. This encounter between Spillers and Esposito vis-à-vis “flesh” thus opens up a broader potential to rethink the concept of biopolitics in Esposito’s broader project. To do so I extend Weheliye’s Black feminist critique of ‘biopolitics’ and ‘bare life’ in the work of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben to Esposito. Here, I shift the paradigmatic exemplar of biopolitical death from Naziism (Esposito’s example) to Western racism and slavery. Ultimately, this section argues that Esposito’s inadequate attention to race, racial/racist biology, and racial biopolitics in modernity drastically limits the conceptual and analytical power of his concept of biopolitics. The second part of the paper is reconstructive, assembling together Spillers, Weheliye, and Esposito in order to explore the kind of political theoretical account of biopolitics that becomes possible once that concept is thought through as fundamentally racialized. Articulating a more complex notion of racial biopolitics thus creates connections between work on the political ontology of race ongoing in Black Studies with political theory grounded in Continental thought. The final section of the paper speculates what a black feminist theory of what Esposito calls “affirmative biopolitics” might entail. While I find Esposito’s explicit project of constructing an affirmative biopolitics to be one of the most distinctive aspects of his work as compared to other theorists of biopolitics, it demands rearticulation once the locus of biopolitics shifts to Western slavery and reproduction. Drawing on Angela Davis, I apply my framework to sketch a notion of the (racialized) biopolitics of social reproduction that gestures to an affirmative – yet fraught – biopolitics.


Name: Stan Molchanov
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: 10molchanov@cua.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Catholic University of America
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Paper Title: Observations on Late Modern Historiography
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‘Modern’ political thought is concerned with history to the degree that it revolts against tradition; modernity recasts the old in the form of the new, which is unfinished and unfinishable, in order to more fully account for what industrialization and rationalization have made possible. Postmodern thought goes further: postmodernism is a set of ongoing attempts to shatter the autonomy of various spheres of thought and culture by undermining the legitimacy of their separateness. Postmodernity celebrates and even institutionalizes difference. It does so chiefly by means of a genealogical unmasking of cultural dominants. Genealogy and periodization, however, bring in their train a theory of history. Postmodern political thought in fact seems acutely sensitive to the historical dimension of human being. Michel Foucault once said that to think beyond modernity, one must think beyond history. How is it, then, that postmodernism, to the degree that it emphasizes growth and becoming and transition at the expense of homogeneity and rigidity and tradition, has moved beyond modern thought? Could post-modernity be an outgrowth of late modernity that corrects for certain modern defects? What would properly post-historical political thought be?


Name: Andrew Norris
Section:
Professional Email: anorris@polsci.ucsb.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Skepticism and Critique in Arendt and Cavell
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At first, or even second glance, Arendt and Cavell make an unlikely pair: the one a political theorist deeply suspicious of both liberalism and Romanticism; the other a philosopher of the intricacies and intimacies of skepticism and ordinary language who staked his later reputation on the public importance of Emersonian Transcendentalism. But, as deep as the differences between the two run—and this sketch is only that--there are important commonalties as well. The most striking of these is the fact that, within a two-year period in the early 1960’s, both Arendt and Cavell turned their attention to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, a text that up to that point had been almost entirely ignored in Anglophone philosophy. For both, what is of central interest in the third Critique is Kant’s account of the “universal voice” of aesthetic reflective judgment, our ability make “exemplary,” “public” judgments in which we speak for others in a manner that does not compromise their autonomy. And, for both, this account needs to be understood in the context of the critical project as a whole, a project they see themselves as developing. Cavell, who throughout his work draws as regularly upon the first and second Critiques as he does the third, characterizes his Perfectionism as a transfiguration of Kant, and his magnum opus, The Claim of Reason, as a critique of skepticism that will challenge and modify its self-understanding by uncovering “the truth of skepticism,” a truth that is quite different from the truths the skeptic takes himself to reveal. Arendt’s own magnum opus, The Human Condition, is well read as a critique of the grounds and limits of the Western tradition of political philosophy; and her unfinished final volume The Life of the Mind echoes the tripartite structure of Kant’s Critiques in its division into books on Thinking, Willing, and Judging. Indeed, The Life of the Mind proceeds in its first part and what we have of its third largely by means of a reinterpretation of Kantian arguments, the implications of which Kant himself “never became fully aware.” This reinterpretation comes very close to Cavell’s transfiguration, but never so close as to address in a sustained manner his master theme of skepticism and the role it might play in critique. In my discussion today I should like to consider why this is so, and what implications it might have for our understanding of these figures.


Name: Nathan Orlando
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: nathan_orlando@baylor.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Baylor University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Power and States: Toward a Foucaultian Approach to International Relations
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Because of the odd combination of his abstruse writing style and his popularity, scholars have stumbled upon a tension in Michel Foucault’s legacy: dropping his name into an academic article increases its chances of publication enormously but actually reading his work in order to understand his thought is taxing beyond the patience of most. So far, the consensus resolution has been to appropriate his corpus only in certain, paragraph-sized fragments which invariably happen to support the author who enlists him. When trying to apply Foucault to international relations, a subject matter on which his comments were sparse, the problem becomes compounded into anarchy; Foucaultian studies of international relations exist as a flurry of divergent interpretations which can coexist only because there is no definitive text of Foucault’s by which to arbitrate disputes. By conscripting Foucault as a totem to advance any number of spurious arguments, these misappropriations risk obscuring Foucault's thought itself and what it can teach us. A Foucaultian approach to international relations can illuminate much about the multipolar state system by drawing out nuances in familiar concepts and relations as well as putting into relief some of our own assumptions. In this paper, I will examine what a Foucaultian approach to international relations may look like. Drawing from his later lectures at the College de France, I will explore Foucault's comments regarding the Peace of Westphalia as the origin of the contemporary state system and the catalyst for a series of shifts in the essence of political associations. Following these developments into the 20th Century through Foucault's analysis will, in turn, suggest new shadings for key concepts in international relations theory, where one ought to look for the causes of happenings in the state system, and, finally, some outline of a Foucaultian theory of international relations. The goal is neither to distill some enumerated list of laws of history nor to write the book Foucault never did but rather to discover how Foucault's work can contribute to our understanding of international relations theory while perhaps rescuing him from his self-proclaimed followers.


Name: Ahmad Qabazard
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: ahmadqabazard@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Problemization of Nationality: Revoking Citizenship to Crackdown on Dissent in the Gulf Cooperation Council
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This article examines a series governmental decrees which led to the denaturalization of over seventy Kuwaiti citizens in 2014. The victims of denaturalization have become members of a stateless population known in Kuwait as Bidun. I attempt to understand the existence of the Bidun through a genealogical critique of the problematization of citizenship and national identity. I work with the notion of Biopolitics, developed by Michel Foucault in his critique of the problematization of sexuality, to understand why revoking citizenship has become a convenient punitive measure for rulers of GCC states. I find that, through the existence of the Bidun, the State of Kuwait was able to retain the sovereign’s “right to kill” through its transition to a semi-parliamentary regime and the use of popular illegalisms.


Name: Adam Sandel
Section:
Professional Email: adam.sandel@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Harvard University
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Paper Title: Violence: Beyond Body Counts
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Drawing on a perspective informed by Heidegger and Nietzsche, I challenge the view that violence is limited to instances of bodily harm. I argue that instances of bodily harm count as instances of violence only insofar as they express a violent disposition. In contrast to a “body counts” conception of violence, I propose a dispositional conception according to which violence is inseparable from the violation of certain norms. By reference to sweatshop labor, wanton environmental degradation, and mass incarceration, I identify and interpret three kinds of violation that can be regarded, I argue, as constituting violence, but that do not necessarily result in bodily harm: (1) instrumental attitudes that do violence to humanity; (2) objectifying stances toward the world as a whole that do violence to nature (i.e., to the meanings that find expression in natural wonders); (3) vengeful dispositions that do violence to the norm of reconciliation and redemption. I conclude by arguing that my conception of violence, though normative, does not deny the distinction between violence and other kinds of moral wrong.


Name: Sid Simpson
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: sidsimpson@live.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The One Thing Needful: Nietzsche as a Resource for Style in Dialectic of Enlightenment
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Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals and Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment offer two of the most damning critiques of Enlightenment rationality to date. Dialectic of Enlightenment, however, mentions Nietzsche only to the extent that it can dismiss his thought as ultimately dangerous, problematic and cruel. In this paper, I seek to demonstrate three things. First, I pay close attention to the characterization of Nietzsche’s work that appears in Dialectic of Enlightenment, and argue that it presents a reading of Nietzsche that is not only partial, but intentionally hyperbolic: his portrayal as an advocate of an ethic of cruelty is misrepresentative. Second, I draw out the larger critical continuities between the authors. These include the shared insight that the tradition is fundamentally self-undermining, that science is a modern outgrowth of the Enlightenment rationality that crumbled before it, and finally that modern culture is stupefied and sickened by the exploitation of these logics. Finally, I look to a single shared hope for newness of ‘style’ that can be seen between the two works. Dialectic of Enlightenment argues that art offers a fleeting possibility of style in its agonistic relationship with the tradition and encapsulation of the internal contradictions of society. I argue that Nietzsche, though chronologically prior, goes a step further than Adorno and Horkheimer by outlining the possibility of understanding the human life as a piece of art whereby one can live with style. This formulation opens the door to certain political avenues that are otherwise closed for Adorno and Horkheimer. Thus, the paper attempts to show that despite the one-dimensional utilization of Nietzsche, Adorno and Horkheimer have much more common ground with Nietzsche than they might admit, and moreover that their notion of style could be bolstered by a backwards look towards Nietzsche’s developed thought in order to confront their supposed 'aporia of praxis or politics.'


Name: Alicia Steinmetz
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: alicia.steinmetz@yale.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Yale University
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Paper Title: Truth and Imagination from Blake to Nietzsche
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In modern liberal politics, it has become increasingly important to be able to give a case for the political value of truth and truth telling. Yet at the same time, the plausibility of giving a coherent account of political truth has become highly problematic. Aside from the fact that much of real world political discourse seemingly fails to live up to the expectations of liberal theory concerning sincerity and accuracy in speech and action, it may be the case that some types of deception and hypocrisy are necessary and even valuable in the pluralistic political sphere. Thus, liberalism continues to embrace a certain commitment to truth that it has trouble naming or discussing directly without exposing its own deep contractions. In this paper, I argue that it is possible to rethink truth more productively within liberalism by considering it alongside a capacity usually thought to fall outside of the realm of political vice or virtue: the human imagination. Drawing on the work of William Blake and Friedrich Nietzsche, I argue that rethinking truth alongside imagination reveals an alternate way of viewing the political value of truth telling through the problem and promise of self-deception for liberal politics, which can in turn open up new avenues for rethinking judgment and agency under conditions of pluralism.


Name: Judith Swanson
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: jswanson@bu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Boston University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Three Conceptions of a Third Realm: Strauss's Natural Right, Nagel's Teleological Monism, and Scruton's Lebenswelt
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Leo Strauss (1899-1973), Thomas Nagel (b. 1937), and Roger Scruton (b. 1944) are three philosophers who have in common the production of a prodigious body of work that aspires to connect human experience with the cosmos. An even more remarkable commonality, and the topic of this paper, is the similarity of their conclusions about the nature of the cosmos and our relation to it. All three recast materialist monism and monotheist dualism and describe a third perspective or realm, extending the boundaries of the thinkable beyond the empirical and the divine. That extended perspective and third realm is for Strauss "natural right," for Nagel "teleological monism," and for Scruton "the Lebenswelt." The goal of this paper is to describe and compare the three conceptions and the philosophers' views of their moral, political, and religious significance. While many of their works develop their conceptions, this paper will focus on the most comprehensive, synthetic, and pertinent of them. Namely, in the case of Strauss, Natural Right and History (1953); “An Epilogue” (1962); and “Jerusalem and Athens. Some Introductory Reflections” (1967); in the case of Nagel, “What is it like to be a bat?” (1974) and Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (2012); and in the case of Scruton, The Soul of the World (2014). The paper organizes the philosophers' views into four themes: 1) evolutionary theory; 2) the intelligibility of the universe; 3) human nature; and 3) morality, political commitments, and global justice. Though the paper discovers and analyzes a number of disagreements on these themes, it also shows that they are united against evolutionary theory as well as against pure subjectivism and therewith ethical relativism. Promoting instead moral realism, they establish, albeit in different ways, an ontological basis for moral values. In the idiom of Strauss: "knowledge of natural right has the character of science" (NRH, 99). In the idiom of Nagel: "mind is . . . a basic aspect of nature" (MC, 16). And in the idiom of Scruton: the Lebenswelt is an "ontological shadow" of the order of nature which manifests the "internal discipline of moral thinking" (SW, 56, 67).


Name: Brendan Wright
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: bjwright11@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Princeton University
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Paper Title: The Faithlessness of the Faithful: Experiments in Political Pyro-Theology
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Recently Simon Critchley observed that “Somehow we seem to have passed from a secular age…to a new situation in which political action seems to flow directly from metaphysical conflict.” This so-called “post-secular” moment invites two typical responses: either the defense of some version of secularism or the slide into some form of theism. Critchley, among others, has sought to reject such a binary and develop a third response given that “neither traditional theism nor evangelical atheism will suffice.” With this imperative to re-think the relationship of the political and the religious, Critchley devotes his work The Faith of the Faithless to what he calls “experiments in political theology.” In this paper, I follow Critchley’s lead and expand his project through examining the inverse of its object. For, while Critchley ultimately offers what James Wood calls a “theologically engaged atheism,” I use this essay to interrogate what could be called the “atheistically engaged theology” of Christian theologian Peter Rollins. I argue that Rollins’s work—which draws on the thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Slavoj Zizek, and John Caputo—provides both a complement/supplement to Critchley’s work on faithful subjectivity and the starting points for a productive “experiment” in political (pyro)theology that preserves many of the conventional coordinates of Schmittian political theology but that ultimately disavows sovereignty and authorizes a theo-politics of heretical orthodoxy.



Democratic Theory

Name: Matthew Berry
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: berryme@bc.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Boston College
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Paper Title: Democracy's Dignity and Aristotelian Political Justice
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Contemporary scholars have argued that the fundamental values of liberal democracy--liberty and equality--are insufficient. Some have proposed to add a third fundamental value--dignity--in order to regulate the other two. I argue that dignity fails to bear the weight such scholars would place on it. I urge instead a new articulation of Aristotle's conception of political justice as a standard that secures not only liberty and equality, but their preconditions.


Name: Joshua Cherniss
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: jlc306@georgetown.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Georgetown University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Between Resistance and Democracy: Adam Michnik on the Ethical Complexities of Political Transition
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This paper examines the Polish dissident-turned-journalist and public intellectual Adam Michnik's response to the transition – which he did much to effect – from Communism to democracy in Poland. I reconstruct Michnik's arguments and the theoretical reflection behind them, and mine his public action for the theoretical insights it yields, in identifying the ethical and political challenges of moving from authoritarian government to democracy in a deeply wounded and divided society. Like other opponents of the Communist regime, Michnik had to learn the ropes of democratic politics, adjust to a new set of moral demands and standards which differed from those of dissident life (with its relative moral simplicity and emphasis on personal integrity and fidelity to ideals), and grapple with disappointment, bitterness, and desire for revenge. In the process, he articulated a moving and perceptive account of the challenges, emotional difficulties and disappointments, and ethical demands of democratic life – and, particularly, how to respond (and how not to respond) to stark disagreement, distrust, and grievance among members of the same polity. Beyond this reconstruction of Muchnik's particular, historically-specific reflections and actions, I suggest a broader relevance and application for Michnik's insights: in addressing a transition between two sharply different political systems and forms of political action (totalitarianism and democracy, dissident resistance and modern, liberal citizenship), Michnik offers reflections and arguments that can inform the way in which citizens of even stable and established democracies transition between, or navigate among, the contending goals and roles that they (we) encounter in everyday political life – idealistic activists for far-reaching change and pragmatic participants in electoral contests, conscience-driven individuals and civil associates bound by the demands of others, democratic citizens who look to politics for fulfillment and liberal individuals who seeks solace and definition in private life.


Name: Hisseine Faradj
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: hisseine.faradj@bcc.cuny.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Bromx Community College CUNY
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Sayyid Qutb’s Hakimiyyah Without the Binary of Sovereignty
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The work of Sayyid Qutb is usually read as a major source for understanding the history of radical Islam and Islamist groups motives and goals. Special attention in constructing his political theory is usually given to Qutb’s two binary concepts hakimiyyah (the highest governmental and legal authority) and Jahiliyyah (the condition of any place or society where Allah is not held to be the sovereign being or His law the sole authority in human life and society). This article contends that “sovereignty” as the Arabic term “hakimiyyah” is usually translated is misleading and confusing for understanding his political theory. The term “sovereignty” has a particular legal, geographical and historical European context that is alien to Qutb’s “hakimiyyah.” While the term “sovereignty,” referring to the location of the highest power in a political-legal hierarchy, is accurate, it imposes three other attributes (sequence, effect, and independence) on the concept of “hakimiyyah” that Qutb never intended. This is especially true with the independence attribute of sovereignty that excludes sequence and effect and, as a consequence, produces a binary internal/external character. This paper argues that the Arabic term “al siyadah,” which Qutb did not use in his theory of “hakimiyyah,” is a more appropriate and faithful translation of the English term “sovereignty.” Instead, the term “rule” in its historical and cultural generality is the more appropriate translation of “hakimiyyah.” This claim unsettles the binary character that is usually attributed to Qutb’s political writing and consequently contributes new ways understanding core concepts in his political thinking such as justice, equality, and rights. Consequently, a better and fresh understanding of his influence on the history of radical Islam and Islamist groups.


Name: Andrius Galisanka
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: galisaa@wfu.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Wake Forest University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Naturalistic Turn in Political Theory: John Rawls and Wittgenstein’s “Forms of Life”
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Since the 1950s, American liberalism has tried to show that reasonable persons can agree in their political visions. This goal stands in stark contrast to the 1920s pluralistic liberalism of Lippmann and Dewey, and the rising contemporary “realist” tradition in political theory. The expectation of agreement is in large part due to the political philosopher John Rawls. In A Theory of Justice, Rawls argued that considered judgments of reasonable person exhibit the same principles, even though this is not immediately apparent. Surprisingly, Rawls’s reasons for expecting this agreement have not been explored. As a result, it is unclear why everyone’s judgments – however idealized – should reveal the same patterns. This paper asks what beliefs informed Rawls’s expectation that reasonable persons can agree in their judgments. I argue that Rawls’s political expectation is grounded in a naturalistic philosophical vision: a vision according to which facts about human nature, and the nature of human societies, have bearing on political views. Analyzing unpublished notes from Rawls’s archive, I show that Rawls was inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s naturalism. Rawls was thus part of a larger naturalistic turn in political theory in the 1950s, which included, among others, G.E.M. Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Stephen Toulmin, and J.N. Findlay. He saw much promise in Wittgenstein’s concept “form of life,” which included social practices and biological capacities assumed in descriptions of what it is to be human. Rawls proposed to view “having morality as a form of life, or as an aspect of a form of life.” Analyzing various moral attitudes, in particular that of sympathy, Rawls concluded that “all moralities resemble one another in their prima facie principles; they have this sort of family likeness.” If this argument is right, then an important assessment of the public reason liberalism and the family of doctrines that continue to rely on agreement among reasonable persons is to turn to the naturalistic background that underlies our political commitments. I hope this paper shows why this might be a profitable venture.


Name: Michael Greenberg
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: megree@ship.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Agent and Structure: A Developing Theory of Leadership in Representative Government
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Co-author info: Cynthia A. Botteron, Shippensburg University cabott@ship.edu
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This paper addresses the question “Do the writers of constitutions adjust the requirements for elected officials across the branches of government to suit the tasks/responsibilities of the office much as a business would do for prospective employees?” Using data from the "Comparative Representation Project: Requirements for National Office" data set, we examine the range of constitutional requirements countries apply to those running for office. Additionally, we examine the frequency of use of constitutional requirements for office between countries. Finally, we compare the similarities in both type and frequency of requirements across legislative and executive branches within countries. Specifically, we find support for what is emerging as a modified theory of leadership democracy whereby states actively construct an office-specific biography that places far greater formal burdens on office seekers than previously realized by scholars of democracy.


Name: Mykolas Gudelis
Section:
Professional Email: mykolasgudelis@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: The New School for Social Research
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Paper Title: Demochronos: The Political Time of Democracy
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Through the lens of temporality and the perspective of the conjunction between politics and time, this paper takes a look at ancient democracy from its inception in late antiquity. Considering the view of the social context of time as a realm of a multiplicity of temporalities, I argue that democracy as a political form of collective life of the community based on the principle of equality creates its own time and delineates its own temporal parameters by reflecting and temporally “embodying” principles, institutions, and social and cultural practices of democratic politics. In other words, from the temporal perspective, democracy can be seen as a political form of self-temporalization of the community. Such self-temporalization corresponds to the principle of collective self-governance, in the process of which the community continuously creates and recreates its own time by weaving together different temporal strands of its political life. In developing the concept of “demochronos” as the political time of democracy, this paper emphasizes the importance of the notion of time in politics and its significance in early political theory by demonstrating that the notion of time, and its discourses indirectly addressing the role of time in politics, was of central importance in arguments against democracy by its intellectual opponents of the time. The paper concludes by highlighting the tension between the political time of democracy and time articulated as an external temporal framework superimposed over the collective body of the democratic community in order to regulate, control, and limit its politico-temporal space, which results in the deflation of democracy’s emancipatory potential.


Name: Jyl Josephson
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: jyljosephson@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Rutgers University-Newark
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Public universities and the public interest
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The deep commitment of the two Morrill Acts of the 19th century was to the idea of the university as serving the public good, as good for the people as a whole, not just for the individuals who participated in the university. Yet this idea of the university, of higher education, as a public good in a democratic polity is often absent from contemporary discussions of higher education. The purposes of higher education are seen primarily in private, individualized, or in market-based ways, and as unrelated to democratic public purposes. One problem with the language of the “public good” is that it is most often seen from the framework of economics, and not in the ways that democratic political theory might frame the idea of the “public good”. For this reason, I argue in this paper that the language of the “public interest” is more useful at this moment for capturing what democratic political theorists might mean by the public purposes of public universities. A number of political theorists have laid the groundwork for thinking about higher education as serving the public interest (Anderson 1993; Boyte 2014). Whether we think of “full participation” (Sturm et al 2011), of “democracy’s colleges” (Peters), of “social capital” (Farr 2004), of the “outside-in university” (Cantor and Englot 2014), or of “public work” (Boyte 2014), those of us committed to the future of higher education need the resources of democratic political theory. This paper draws on these resources to argue for a deepened conception of the role of colleges and universities as serving the public interest in contemporary democratic polities. To serve the public interest, universities need to think of themselves as publicly accountable to all the people, including the talent pools that we at present are not cultivating. We need to be deeply connected to, to be “of” the places and communities that we inhabit. We need to think of our engagement with our communities as multi-faceted, and deeply connected to our role as public institutions. This is a demanding agenda. But it is a necessary one, and a needed intervention in the current denuded discourses on higher education and its role in a democratic polity. Anderson, Charles W. 1993. Prescribing the Life of the Mind: An Essay on the Purpose of the University, the Aims of Liberal Education, the Competence of Citizens, and the Cultivation of Practical Reason. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press). Boyte, Harry, “Reinventing Citizenship as Public Work,” in Harry C. Boyte, ed., Democracy’s Education: Public Work, Citizenship, and the Future of Colleges. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. Cantor, Nancy. 2009. “A New Morrill Act: Higher Education Anchors the ‘Remaking of America’” in The Presidency (American Council on Education), Fall 2009, 17-22. Farr, James. 2004. “Social Capital: A Conceptual History,” Political Theory 32:1, 6-33. Peters, Scott. 2014. “A Democracy’s College Tradition,” in Harry C. Boyte, ed., Democracy’s Education: Public Work, Citizenship, and the Future of Colleges. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. Rutgers University-Newark Strategic Plan, Rutgers University-Newark: Where Opportunity Meets Excellence, (Office of the Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark, June 2014). Sturm, Susan, Tim Eatman, John Saltmarsh, and Adam Bush, (2011) “Full Participation: Building the Architecture for Diversity and Public Engagement in Higher Education,” (White Paper). Columbia Law School: Center for Institutional and Social Change.


Name: Christopher Kennedy
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: csk10@duke.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Duke University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Is Electronic Disobedience Civil?
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The interference with and manipulation of digital communication technologies has recently become a popular means of political dissent in democratic societies. The purpose of this paper is not to distinguish electronic means of protest from more traditional forms of civil disobedience. Rather, I consider a paradigm case of electronic civil disobedience and argue that understanding its peculiar features contributes to our understanding of civil disobedience in general. Most significantly, I argue that the imbalance of power between the disobedient and the disobeyed in an electronic context highlights a general feature of civil disobedience that theorists have neglected. Electronic civil disobedience illustrates why it is important that there be a relative parity between the power of the disobedient to impose her will and the power of the disobeyed to prevent it. Although this problem of power asymmetry is aggravated in an electronic context, it is still a significant problem for the traditional physical circumstances of civil disobedience. In conclusion, I argue that the “civil” character of the relationship between the disobedient and the disobeyed obligates the state to remain vulnerable to disobedience as much as it obligates the disobedient to show fidelity to the law.


Name: Aidan Kestigian
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: akestigian@cmu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Voting to Promote the Common Good: Two Mechanisms for Deliberative Democratic Voting
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Deliberative democratic theories contend that collective decision-making should proceed via public deliberation. This paper focuses on the broad class of deliberative democratic theories making the further claim that public deliberation followed by voting will select political outcomes that are better than those that result from voting alone. These theorists argue, in particular, that groups that participate in public deliberation before voting are more likely to select alternatives that promote the common good than if no deliberation had been held. In this paper, I outline two mechanisms discussed in the deliberative democratic theory literature that explain why voters who participate in deliberation prior to voting would behave differently than voters in non-deliberative voting systems. I then explain the difficulties one would face in attempting to substantiate each of these mechanisms using empirical data, and discuss the implications of these empirical issues for normative deliberative democratic theory.


Name: Juman Kim
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: jumankim@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Democracy and the Politics of Impudence: An Unorthodox Reading of Aristotle
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This paper seeks to examine the unavoidable ‘impudence’ built into democratic political life. By this I mean we, as democratic citizens, tend to disregard dissimilar views and perspectives especially in the kind of situations in which we are enthusiastically and excessively participatory. Democratic theory has often condemned the politics of impudence as an aberration of democracy, not a problem incidental to and typical of democracy per se, while instead propagating an image of the idealized democratic self who is deliberative, reflective, and tolerant. However the portrait of this self-critical and deliberative citizen may seem normatively appealing, this view has at least two problems. First, empirically speaking, the portrait goes pale at the difficulty in fostering the kind of excitement and enthusiasm necessary for motivating democratic participation. When we care about politics, we care disproportionately more about the views and positions of our own (or those reside in contiguity with ours) while conceiving of them as superior to the rest otherwise perhaps equally reasonable opinions. Second, the rationalist account does not properly attend to the moral-psychological constitution of the democratic self at the deeper level. In the world of opposing forces and values, we usually form our political views only against, or in competition with, our opponents and enemies. In this respect, we are in fact reactive rather than straightforward. Even our seemingly most firm and consistent positions in fact rest on trembling foundations largely determined by our enemies. Democratic impudence — contempt or indifference in regard to dissimilar views and perspectives — is indicative of fear and diffidence rather than genuine strength. That is why democratic impudence is hardly overcome —certainly not by a simple negation. By drawing on and complicating Aristotle’s discussion of shame [aidōs], shamelessness/impudence [anaischuntia], and incontinence [akrasia], I demonstrate that democratic impudence is an ordinary vice in a qualified sense — something we constantly do as a result of our weakness even while acknowledging that what we do is in part disgraceful. Without any pretense of building a democratic politics devoid of impudence, this paper claims that what we can realistically do is to mobilize the seductive lure of impudence in such a way that we can promote and enlarge the sense of moderate pride associated with the virtues of magnanimity [megalopsuchia] and goodwill [eunoia]. This unorthodox reading of Aristotle suggests that by honestly professing and deploying (rather than jettisoning) our seemingly indelible impudence, we can keep alive a lively democratic politics while preventing a much more worrying trend of mutual hostility and aggressiveness.


Name: Guido Parietti
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: gp2341@columbia.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Columbia University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What Deliberative Democracy can Be. Or: the Turns that Were not
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"Deliberative democracy" is said to have undergone various phases throughout its roughly 35 years of history as a contemporary political theory, marked by a slew of subsequent turns. The more recent of these would be a “systemic turn”, meant to bring back the focus to a society-wide level of analysis, in contrast with the more limited, and more immediately empirical, contributions which, themselves at their time saluted as a positive innovation, seemingly dominated the previous decade or so. This narrative presents a theoretical approach developing organically, by gradually shifting its focus and enriching its substance in the course of responding to the various limitations uncovered by critics. As far as it goes, this is not an unfaithful reconstruction, at least from the internal point of view of those academics who are presenting it, in that it well corresponds to the prevailing perceptions of the participants in the ongoing debates. However, from the point of view of the theory’s possible validity, the narrative has serious problems. As many academic insiders’ stories, it tends to exaggerate the degree of innovation in each “turn”, even while it attempts to preserve the image of a progressive development which papers over those that, instead, would be the actual fault lines between incompatible approaches. Thus, here I would like to question such prevailing narrative and to propose an alternative reading that makes better sense of what deliberative democracy can validly be. First, we will see how the alleged “systemic turn” is mostly a return to what deliberative democracy was already doing before the previous “empirical turn” (and how, indeed, the timeline itself has much more overlap than would be allowed by the “turning” narrative). Secondly, we will see how this return to the roots is not compatible with a unitary view of deliberative democracy’s development, because empirically focused approaches, far from being a step within a common path, do indeed contradict the basic normative premises of deliberative democracy. Insofar as the systemic turn poses as superseding such approaches, while still maintaining their basic instrumental framework, it is also behold to the same contradictions with the validity claims raised by early deliberative theories. Finally, we shall see how this contrast has to be brought back to the more basic opposition between teleological and deontological approaches, which subsumes the longstanding opposition between procedural and substantive theories, and as such has relevant implications for the normative side of the theory, not just for its relation with the empirical one.


Name: Tomer Perry
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: tperry@ethics.harvard.edu
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Harvard University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Deliberative Democratic Justice
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Deliberative Democratic Justice – abstract This article presents a novel theory of deliberative democratic justice, distinguished from other theories of democracy and justice. I argue that (a) decision-making processes are a distinct subject matter of justice that I call procedural justice and (b) deliberative democracy is best understood as responding to questions of procedural justice. To substantiate the first claim, I note the high-stakes involved in decision-making processes and argue that the indirect attention given to them by the more common paradigm of ‘distributive justice’ is insufficient. This criticism generalizes the classic argument, championed by thinkers such as Elizabeth Anderson, Jonathan Wolff and Samuel Scheffler, that egalitarians miss the point of equality when they construe it in strictly distributive terms. The same is true, I argue, about other questions of justice that do not require equality. In addition to articulating my position, the article provides a conceptual framework for evaluating different theories and the way they relate considerations of distributive and procedural justice. To justify the second claim, I argue that counting deliberative democracy as a theory of justice fits better with the theory’s demandingness as well as the fundamental ambition of the theory “to subject the exercise of power to reason’s discipline, to what Habermas famously described as ‘the force of the better argument’” (Cohen, 2009, 330). This ambition echoes the definition of procedural justice (that has also been called ‘political justice’ and ‘relational justice’). My commitment to democracy is foundational: no other commitment is considered prior or more basic. As such, its demands are considered prior to those of any independently justified theory of distributive justice. Nonetheless, the theory is not purely procedural. It has, as Scheffler (2003, 22) calls it, ‘distributive implications.’ As a consequence, it may overlap with some distributive theories but the overlap is not complete with any particular theory and the differences matter .


Name: Naomi Scheinerman
Section: Democratic Theory
Professional Email: naomi.scheinerman@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Yale University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Deciding the Fundamental Questions of Humanity: Moral and Science Experts v. the Average Human
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How should participants and stakeholders in democratic systems seek to resolve seemingly intractable questions regarding the philosophical and biological conceptions of humanity? In particular, who should define humanity’s uniqueness (or lack thereof) for the purposes of policies and laws that govern perceived threats to the human/nonhuman divide? In 2015, NIH suspended funding of chimeric nonhuman/human embryos “pending an ethics and policy review” and later convened a gathering of researchers and bioethicists to debate the guidelines for such research. The primary concern is that mixing human pluripotent cells with nonhumans early in fetal development may result in human neural tissue development. This perceived threat of the species boundaries reflects the great challenge in demarcating the human/nonhuman divide. This threatens not only the species-integrity boundary, but the foundations upon which we have based a vast number of laws, policies, and regulations, including protocols for using human and animal research subjects. Chimeric research inspires the question “is there something more than animal and less than human?” Further, cyber-human technology, genetic engineering (such as by using CRISPR), and other “enhancements” inspire us to ask “what is more than human?” How and by whom should such questions be resolved for the basis of law and policy? I posit that the moral and scientific experts do not have the appropriate “critical distance” in order to decide policies based upon their answers, and fall victim to the many problems of technocratic regimes. Rather, I examine how perhaps the best (as in most epistemically integral and morally legitimate) venue for such decisions is or a more democratically deliberative or crowd-sourcing process. In so doing, I re-conceptualize what it means to be an expert regarding human existence, both in ts biological delineation and social or cultural meaning.


Name: Sid Simpson
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: sidsimpson@live.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The One Thing Needful: Nietzsche as a Resource for Style in Dialectic of Enlightenment
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Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals and Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment offer two of the most damning critiques of Enlightenment rationality to date. Dialectic of Enlightenment, however, mentions Nietzsche only to the extent that it can dismiss his thought as ultimately dangerous, problematic and cruel. In this paper, I seek to demonstrate three things. First, I pay close attention to the characterization of Nietzsche’s work that appears in Dialectic of Enlightenment, and argue that it presents a reading of Nietzsche that is not only partial, but intentionally hyperbolic: his portrayal as an advocate of an ethic of cruelty is misrepresentative. Second, I draw out the larger critical continuities between the authors. These include the shared insight that the tradition is fundamentally self-undermining, that science is a modern outgrowth of the Enlightenment rationality that crumbled before it, and finally that modern culture is stupefied and sickened by the exploitation of these logics. Finally, I look to a single shared hope for newness of ‘style’ that can be seen between the two works. Dialectic of Enlightenment argues that art offers a fleeting possibility of style in its agonistic relationship with the tradition and encapsulation of the internal contradictions of society. I argue that Nietzsche, though chronologically prior, goes a step further than Adorno and Horkheimer by outlining the possibility of understanding the human life as a piece of art whereby one can live with style. This formulation opens the door to certain political avenues that are otherwise closed for Adorno and Horkheimer. Thus, the paper attempts to show that despite the one-dimensional utilization of Nietzsche, Adorno and Horkheimer have much more common ground with Nietzsche than they might admit, and moreover that their notion of style could be bolstered by a backwards look towards Nietzsche’s developed thought in order to confront their supposed 'aporia of praxis or politics.'


Name: Eniola Anuoluwapo Soyemi
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: soyemi@bu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Testing Participation: A Lagos Transportation Experiment
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Between February 2015 and May 2016, I carried out a field experiment using a city-wide transportation system in Lagos, Nigeria. I set out to test the effect of citizen participation in rule-making on levels of obedience to those rules. Over 3,000 bus users were recruited at various bus terminals across the city by myself and two research assistants from the University of Lagos over the course of approximately eight weeks. Each person was randomly allocated into small groups under one of three experiment conditions: Full Participation -- in which participants had sole responsibility for determining and deliberating on what rules would guide the future use of the buses by the public; Semi-Participation -- here participants were allowed to discuss these rules but could not alter or add to the rules; and Control -- where the rules were simply read out to participants and no discussion was permitted. Rules (as determined by full participation groups) were kept the same across all treatments. Upon completing treatments, each person was sent a text message of a final list of ten 'passenger use rules'. Two weeks later, participants were administered three separate list surveys that sought to determine their level of obedience to each of three rules that had been selected by me from the final list of ten. In early May 2016, all list surveys were completed; and in late May, I was able to complete statistical analysis on the data collected. Does participation cause citizens to perceive that the rules they are instructed to obey are any more or less legitimate than had they not participated in the making of those rules? And at the very least, does participation in rule-making correspond to higher levels of reported obedience? My research suggests that, by itself, higher degrees of participation may, in fact, lead to lower levels of obedience. Derived from a chapter of my Ph.D. dissertation – 'The Law’s Moral Legitimacy and the Significance of Participation’ – this paper will present the empirical and theoretical findings from my field experiment in Lagos, Nigeria. The experiment allows me to inventively incorporate empirical methodologies with traditional philosophical analysis of, in this case, Aristotle and Rousseau, in providing a novel philosophical understanding of participation’s role to the establishment of legitimate law.


Name: Brian Sullivan
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: Sullivanbrian512@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Stony Brook University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Panel
Participation Type: Panelist
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Paper Title: The Pathology of Radicalism: The Psychology of the Alienated Left
Panel Title: Lessons from the past: Rethinking contemporary left theory and praxis
Panel Description: This panel seeks to discuss the decline in leftist theory and practice since the progressive era of the 19th and 20th centuries to a point of near non-existence. The very few progressive movements that have occurred in recent times have failed to gain any momentum. Why has this decline been so acute within the last 20 to 30 years? Which psychological, economic and social situations lead to this decline and prevent it from gaining momentum? What can the left do to generate the momentum progressive politics desperately needs? With the few movements that have occurred within this time frame, why did they fail to gain traction? These are the questions this panel will seek to elicit a dialogue with by using past theory and practice to diagnose the issues of the contemporary left. Through this panel, we hope to demonstrate that the contemporary left will not achieve anything substantial without returning to and integrating the systematic tactics, strategies, and perspectives leftist literature from the 19th and 20th centuries discussed.
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Traditional critical social psychology developed in the 19th and 20th century by the likes by Karl Marx, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, and Erich Fromm provided the groundwork for future leftist movements to diagnose the problems of modern industrial society and its negative implications for the psychology of individuals residing within it. Each thinker provided solutions built upon their critiques by pointing to history on both the individual and societal levels. Today Marx, Adorno, Marcuse and Fromm are consistently misinterpreted and trumped by contemporary leftist thought that attempt to contrast mainstream societal problems with an unawareness or dismissal of the united historical struggles of the human race and replaces it with hate and shame exhibited attacks. This paper seeks to explain why the contemporary left fails to include traditional critical social psychology into their critiques of modern industrial society. By attempting to break free of what Fromm calls “consensual validation,” much of the left’s population opposes society’s “pathology of normalcy” with its own form of reasonless critique in what I will call the “pathology of radicalism.” The “pathology of radicalism” poses that the individuals who consist of the left have become so alienated from society that they retract back into themselves and project their own alienated narcissism back onto the fractured society in which they live.


Name: zhifa zhou
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: zhouhanshan@aliyun.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Institute of African Study, Zhejiang Normal University, China
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Roundtable
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Paper Title: The Construction of Mistake-Tolerantism With Chinese Characteristics and Universality
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How to theorize Chinese great progress in the past more than thirty years is the hottest topic in China nowadays, which is not in the explanatory frame of liberalism. On July 1, 2006, “Trial and Error Ordinance” in Shenzhen developed from the idea “Across the river by touching the stone” agreed by comrade Xiaoping Deng was enacted, which has encouraged government officials to create new ideas to solve the innovative problems in their work. In 2013, Shunde in Guangdong province enacted “Trial and Error Ordinance” and put forward “the right to trial and error” first of all in China, then the mistake-tolerant mechanism is accepted and spread in the main land of China, especially after Premier Keqiang Li emphasized the importance of it in his government report on March 5, 2016. New Rights Paradigm, “the right to trial and error as an original right and mutual empowerment theory”, is proposed by the combination of the state of nature and the scientific method of trial and error. The reason why liberalism cannot explain China’s development is that the right to liberty, key right of liberalism, is equal to the “right to trial and error” in the innovative fields that can be granted from one person to another, as cannot be accepted by liberalism; on the other hand, the right to liberty in non-innovative fields is the subordinate one whose original meaning was defined by the persons who have controlled the original right “the right to trial and error”. Mutual empowerment theory means that the persons A and B would like to grant their “original right to trial and error” to the one C by contract, and C should empower the corresponding rights to A and B, such as the right to criticism, speech and education etc., and their meaning and number can be changed according to different settings and cultures. The right to liberty in the non-innovative field as the subordinate right cannot be transferred to others as consistent with liberalism. The Ordinance of Trial and Error is prior to the Constitution in the innovative fields if the Constitution not protecting people’s right to trial and error is based on the subordinate rights, which can explain that why Chinese government officials have to violate the Constitution at the beginning of 1980s, and Comrade Xiaoping Deng would like to use non-debating to avoid it. New Rights Paradigm has shown that Chinese people have got more rights to trial and error than ever during Reform and Opening-up, and are responsible for their own subordinate rights. The present problem is that Chinese government has the strong rights to trial and error in many innovative fields granted from the people, but it has not empowered the corresponding rights efficiently to them. New Rights Paradigm integrated with Chinese characteristics and liberalism has tried to find the best way to make China become a democratic state and explain Western democratic problems existing since 1980s.[Key Words] State of Nature; Right to Trial and Error; New Rights Paradigm; Liberalism



American Political Thought

Name: Patrick Coby
Section:
Professional Email: pcoby@smith.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Smith College
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
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Paper Title: The Proportional Representation Debate at the Constitutional Convention: Why the Nationalists Lost
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Representation in the national legislature, whether proportionate to people or equal for all states, was the signature issue of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The resulting Great Compro-mise was the signature achievement. This paper argues that the nationalists’ loss on proportional representation cannot be explained simply as a pragmatic accommodation in the face of obdurate opposition by small-state delegations. Such obduracy existed, and it mattered. But it was met by obduracy in kind and in defense of a position that was inherently stronger. Why then did the nationalist coalition fail? It failed because, in addition to the opposition it encountered, the three-part argument it mounted required that the states be abolished and the regime founded be a democracy. The large-state nationalists yielded in the end because they were not consolidation-ists and not egalitarians.


Name: Gregory Collins
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: gregcollins11@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Catholic University
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Paper Title: "Beyond Politics and Natural Law: The Anticipation of New Originalism in Frederick Douglass' Constitutional Theory."
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Scholarship on Frederick Douglass' contribution to American political thought has focused on his natural law and natural rights philosophy and on the political implications of his break with Garrisonian abolitonists over the question of whether slavery is compatible with the U.S. Constitution. My paper seeks to depart from these conventional readings by addressing the merits of his strict constitutional philosophy. I argue that Douglass' emphasis on a plain reading of the Constitution's semantic content and skepticism of intents-driven interpretation anticipate some of the fundamental tenets of the modern legal theory called New Originalism. Therefore, Douglass' contribution to American political thought can be better understood as setting a foundation for contemporary debates over originalism, thereby enhancing our efforts of reconciling the Constitution with progressive social values.


Name: Stephen Del Visco
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: stephen.del_visco@uconn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: U.S. Conservatism and Anti-Communist Discourse As A Form of Racialization
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In a recent article discussing the state of historical scholarship on U.S. conservatism, historian Kim Phillips-Fein contended that the media’s role in crafting and refining conservative thought has been seriously understudied (Phillips-Fein 2011). Despite this oversight, print media has nonetheless had a profound impact on shaping U.S. conservative ideology, political practice, and racial boundary making. Indeed, because of the finite space of print media, those at the helm of important conservative periodicals had to make choices regarding the scope of their vision, resulting in the production of specific racial ideologies and political subjects. More specifically, U.S. conservative boundary making has received little attention is in the area of race and identity formation. Moreover, while this scholarship contributes important elements of conservative economic, political, and social philosophy by highlighting the role of racialization within the black/white binary, little attention is paid to other forms of racialization within U.S. conservatism. In this article, I advance the argument that the anti-communist rhetoric in mid-twentieth century U.S. conservatism held close a particular racialized content by conflating its anti-communist stance with a vision of East Asia as a economically, socially, and politically backward locale that had failed to reach U.S. conservatism’s vision of an Anglo-Saxon West. I show this tendency using a content analysis from a unique data set comprised of the entirety of the conservative periodical National Review between the years of 1955 (National Review’s inception) and 1980, ending with the election of Ronald Reagan.


Name: Bernard Dobski
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: bdobski@assumption.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Assumption College
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
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Paper Title: “Personal Recollections” on the Divine Right of Kings: Mark Twain on the Theological-Political Problem
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In his preface to “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, Mark Twain announces his intention to explore the Divine Right of Kings, namely whether or not a providential deity unerringly selects a person of the requisite moral qualities to serve as the chief executive of a nation. Judging that such an investigation admits of at least two “tacks” and that the current effort, which adopts one of those “tacks”, will not by itself settle the matter, Twain declares that he will pursue the remaining approach in his next book. That next book is “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.” Though Twain calls his work on Joan of Arc his “best book,” “Personal Recollections” is a difficult and deeply puzzling novel and is perhaps for these reasons, among others, widely neglected by those interested in Twain’s political wisdom. This paper attempts to show why one might consider Twain’s work on Joan of Arc to be his “best” by exploring the political wisdom linking these two novels. In Twain’s hands, Joan represents what men take to be noble. In portraying her brief but dazzling career, Twain roots the susceptibility to the appeal of “the noble” in human nature, thereby illustrating the political psychology behind men’s religious beliefs.


Name: Dustin Gish
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: dgish@uh.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Honors College, University of Houston
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: The Obligation to Punish: Captain Vere's Capital Dilemma in Melville's Billy Budd
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As early as 1778 in the midst of the Revolutionary war for the newly independent States in America, Jefferson proposed a more reasonable and humane apportionment of crimes and punishment for Virginia's code of laws. Jefferson, as Governor of the State during the British invasion, recognized the need for enforceable authority to maintain law and order. Nevertheless, he opposed the barbarity of capital punishment as much for civil crimes as for religious ones (heresy), and proposed revisions to the law codes eliminating capital punishment - except in the most dire cases: high treason, petty treason, murder (particularly of near relatives), and manslaughter (second offense). "Government would be defective in its principal purpose were it not to restrain criminal acts [of wicked and dissolute men who commit violations on the lives, liberties, and property of others], by inflicting due punishments on those who perpetrate them... [Yet] it becomes a duty in the legislature to arrange in a proper scale the crimes which it may by necessary for them to repress, and to adjust thereto a corresponding gradation of punishments." [1778 Bill] For Jefferson, natural rights of conscience cannot be the subject of political authority, but the "legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others." [Notes, Q. 17] Opposition to punishments that sacrificed natural rights also constituted resistance to the legal abuses of the tyrant George III, whose statutes (Georgian code) included over 100 offenses punishable by death.The dramatic action of Melville's Billy Budd, set in 1797 during the confrontation on the high seas between the British Empire and the revolutionary French Republic, raises fundamental questions about the legitimacy of capital punishment, the duties and obligations of authority, and the natural rights of citizens. Written almost a century later, Melville's preoccupation with capital punishment reflected his unease with the continuation of the death penalty as a punishment for high crimes in his home state of New York. (Most northern States had abolished the death penalty entirely by the middle of the 19th century; southern States, however, utilized capital punishment not infrequently to punish crimes by slaves and freed/free blacks until the late 19th century.) Vere's dilemma in the enforcement of his official duties, especially in war-time, centers upon his public support for the death penalty in response to Budd's conviction for the murder (manslaughter) of Claggart, despite his private sympathy for Budd himself and his thoughtful consideration of the involuntary intent of Budd's action. Vere's private speculations about Budd's innocence, to which we as readers are privy, would seem to be a confession warranting our own condemnation of the upright Captain for his excessive enforcement of the law. However, as Captain, his obligations to the law (as promulgated) - and his principal concern for the welfare of the State (his ship as microcosm of the body politic) - equally demand our attention. In representing Vere's capital dilemma in Billy Budd, I will argue that Melville captures the tense balance between the protection of natural right within the social contract and the obligations of political justice, as expressed through the execution of the laws, through legitimate institutions, even (or especially) when a philosophic perspective would counsel clemency.


Name: Ava Mack
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: ammack@bu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Rules of Prudence: An Analysis of the Concept of Prudence in The Federalist Papers
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The word "prudence" or variants thereof appear a total of twenty-eight times in The Federalist Papers, a collection of 85 essays written in defense of the United States Constitution. Under the pen name Publius, the essays defend the articles of the Constitution, the three branches of government and their various national powers against Antifederalist arguments. Within the larger argument for the Constitution, The Federalist speaks extensively on human nature. Publius famously recognizes that men are not angels and that human passions do not conform to reason without constraint by government institutions. The Framers' well-known solution to guarding against demagogues and tyrants, against the passions of ambitious men and the inevitable failings of good men, was to write a prudent government, under the Constitution into existence. Yet Publius also praises the redeeming qualities of human nature, and "what is government itself," Publius observes, "but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" If American government is a reflection of human nature, and the government institutions are prudent, aren't citizens and statesmen, at least to a degree prudent? The dichotomy between individuals and institutions has produced a dichotomy in scholarly literature over whether the Founders were "civic republicans" or "Lockean sympathizers." If civic republicans, the Constitution would depend on the leadership of virtuous statesmen and active citizens. If Lockean sympathizers, the government itself is designed to withstand the depravity of ambitions politicians. This paper argues that prudent institutions, in tandem with prudent and active individuals, is what the Constitution intends and Publius argues for in The Federalist. Neither strictly civic republican or Lockean, The Federalist advocates for a government that responds to prudent statesmen and citizens, but can likewise withstand the lack of both or the designs of ambitious leader or a divided citizenry.


Name: Dan McCool
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: mccool.gc@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Baruch College
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Paper Title: The New Politics of Authenticity: How the Right has Captured the Concept
Panel Title: In Search of American Conservatism
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Authenticity and sincerity have always been linked with democratic movements in modernity. They were originally invented by the left as a romantic reaction to Enlightenment rationalism. The politics informed by these values influenced the French Revolution and certain radical segments American Revolution, as well as revolutions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Student movements and civil rights movements of the 1950s and 60s updated these early modern values to craft their own identity politics. Since the 1960s, the right, especially the Republican Party in America, has employed these normally democratic values for its own purposes. The most recent and poignant use of authenticity and sincerity has been employed by GOP nominee Donald Trump. This paper explores how even as these democratic values were invented by the left to make the modern world, they have become integral to conservative politics in America over the last few decades.


Name: Briana McGinnis
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: blm28@georgetown.edu
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: McGill University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Democratic Housekeeping: Domestic Service Relational Equality in American History
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Some form of equality among citizens is essential to maintaining the democratic nature of a polity. Economic inequality – and especially the intersection of economic inequality with political inequality – presents an obdurate problem for egalitarian political theory. Rather than looking to theories based on the equality of conditions or on equal opportunity, relational egalitarians have turned to ideas premised upon equal standing among citizens of a bounded political community. This paper follows that tradition of thinking about equality, using it to evaluate evolving views of domestic workers in U.S. history – people who, in a less egalitarian era, would have been referred to as “servants.” In the early days of the United States, “domestic service” still heavily bore the stamp of old-world inequality. Both fictional and non-fictional texts show the relationship between domestic employer and employee in the United States as one fraught with inegalitarian tensions, depicting it as one site at which new, equal relations between fellow citizens were negotiated. Examples include Tocqueville’s analysis of the American servant-employer relationship in Democracy in America, but also lesser-known contributions like that of Harriet Martineau in The Domestic Manners of the Americans and of Catharine Beecher (once a household name in the United States, though now she is largely forgotten). These commentaries demonstrate the conflicts of recognition, affect, and contractual agreement characterizing domestic service in an egalitarian society. These historical concerns mirror contemporary ones. This discomfort the with the problematic relations between employer and domestic worker (or, in historical parlance, master/mistress and servant) indicate that there is a common intuition that the employment of one’s political equals as domestic workers is in some way incompatible with the egalitarian spirit of democratic society. Certainly, this intuition cannot be explained by luck egalitarian accounts, or those emphasizing the equality of opportunity. I argue that, even in the earliest American discussions of domestic employment, concerns about equality are, at base, relational. Exploring the nature of this inequality is not merely of historical interest. Re-framing the relationship between employee and employer in traditionally private spaces like the home can also shed light on contemporary questions of equality of standing.


Name: Moritz Muecke
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: moritzmuecke@outlook.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Hillsdale College, MI
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Idea of Progress in the Political Thought of Antebellum America
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In antebellum America, the belief in progress was widespread and shared by Whigs and Democrats as well as Northerners and Southerners alike. As the Founding generation faded away, so did their skepticism concerning human nature and their belief in the possibility of decadence. With the expansion of US territory, economic growth, and the consummation of the American emancipation from the European world, the inauguration of an age of progress seemed realized. However, this development did not immediately affect Americans’ respect for the past and the ancestral tradition. Indeed, after the realism of the Founding and before the historicism of the Progressives, there was a time in the United States when the predominant belief in progress was compatible with a belief in trans-historical political principles.


Name: John Presnall
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Institution: College of the Mainland
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Paper Title: Robert Penn Warren's Flood as a Plea in Mitigation: An Exegesis and Apology of the Democratic Soul in the Modern Times
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In his eighth novel (out of ten) from 1964, entitled Flood: A Romance of Our Time, RPW continued his literary exploration of the democratic soul -- and the dilemmas confronting that soul in the context of modern America. The novel's plot centers upon Fiddlersburg, Tennessee, a relatively obscure town about to be wiped out by a dam being constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which will force the relocation of its inhabitants. The protagonist, a writer and screenwriter, returns to his home-town after many years away. With him is a movie director, and the two plan to develop a Hollywood movie about the impending flood. And the town. Jefferson -- in Query XII of his Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), a brief explanation of the state's "Counties and Towns" -- had written almost two centuries before that: "There are other places [along the navigable rivers of Virginia] at which... the laws have said there shall be towns; but Nature has said there shall not." This conflict between "laws" and "Nature" would seem to be overcome by the aspirations inherent in federal projects like the "great" dam. In place of that ancient quarrel, progress declares a modern alliance between the political and the natural pursues natural ends through a mastery of new technological means: "It was, as the young engineer told them, a natural place for a dam."


Name: William Sokoloff
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: jonathankeller@me.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Manhattan College
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Participation Type: Moderator
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Paper Title: The Rhetoric of the Right in Edmund Burke and the American Tea Party
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Panel Description: On February 18, 2009, New Republic commentator Sam Tanenhaus spoke for many when he declared “Conservatism is Dead.” At the time – in the aftermath of Barack Obama’s sizable Electoral College and popular vote victories – this seemed a reasonable proposition. Little could Tanenhaus have known that the very next day, CNBC commentator Rick Santelli would stand in the well of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and call for the creation of a new national “Tea Party” movement. Nor could commentators have predicted that the Republican Party would soon be so buoyed by the momentum of this movement that it would wrest control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, followed by a 2016 Republican Presidential primary season that in many ways is a contest over which candidate demonstrates the most authentic conservative bona fides. All told, American conservatism, the nebulous and hard to pinpoint moving target that it has always been, appears to be alive and well in the twenty-first century. These developments have sparked a renewed interest among scholars in the ideas that inspire various kinds of American conservatives, and a renewed effort to reconsider the boundaries and characteristics of the American conservative tradition. Some scholars have reiterated that conservatism rests on a notion which aspires to maintain stability via elite rule, exhibited best by the venerated American framers like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, the inheritors of the Burkean tradition of a slow and steady change guided by a natural aristocracy. Other scholars frame conservatism differently, as “a meditation on—and theoretical rendition of—the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back” (Robin, 2011). Others see it in far more revanchist terms, animated by the jeremiads that lament the loss of bygone American eras. The three papers in this session will investigate various dimensions of the American conservative tradition. At the heart of the tradition in many ways is the long shadow cast by its intellectual father, Edmund Burke. To what extent and in what ways does the juxtaposition of Burke’s elite-driven reverence for the past differ from the contemporary conservative’s populist revanchism? At the same time, as many recent scholars have pointed out, much of American conservative thought is decidedly anti-Burkean, to say the least. Counter-movements against progressive reform in the US, such as the Liberty League, which reified the US Constitution in idiosyncratic ways in its fierce opposition to The New Deal, have caused scholars to give pause when considering the role of civil religion within American conservative thought, as well as American political culture more broadly. Other kinds of theocratic American conservatives, such as Joseph Smith, espoused a uniquely American variety of apocalypticism and an exceptional politics of continual revelation that came into direct confrontation with a pluralistic nineteenth-century American society. The papers all consider the legacy of these various forms of conservatism, their staying power in American political life, and to what extent each helps render the constellations of the modern right more intelligible to contemporary scholars of American political thought.
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Name: David Sollenberger
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: dsoll06@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: The Catholic University of America
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "The Human Heart Everywhere Black": Walt Whitman's Personalism and the Civil War
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Political Theorists have largely limited their explorations of Walt Whitman's democratic political thought to his great poetic work Leaves of Grass and short treatise on American democracy Democratic Vistas. While this attention is certainly justified, it has left his writings during the Civil War untouched. Whitman experienced the war personally, through daily encounters with soldiers dying for the cause of Union, and as such, his Civil War poems and prose provide some of his most poignant reflections on the connection between the roles of soldier and citizen in a liberal democracy. It is in reflecting on the trauma of the war that the poet must reconcile a call to death for a political cause with his earlier reflections on the person as a “kosmos” that contains multitudes. In trying to find a way through this problem, Whitman provides his most important and unique reflections on the political theory of liberal democracy.


Name: Douglas Walker
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: douglaswalker126@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Michigan State University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Tocqueville on the Patriotic Foundations of Federalism
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This paper evaluates the safeguards of American federalism through an examination of Alexis de Tocqueville’s writings on federalism. At the founding, many Americans feared that the states would lose their power under the new Constitution. Federalists sought to rebut these fears by arguing that the people would naturally favor local power over national power, such that electoral democracy would provide “patriotic safeguards” ensuring the dominance of the states in the federal system. Tocqueville repeated this argument, advancing a complex theory deriving the purportedly natural preference for localism from a mixture of rational and emotional causes. After unpacking Tocqueville’s theory, this paper critiques it, showing that his predictions have largely failed. Both the rational and emotional ties binding citizens more strongly to their state than the nation have been broken, and accordingly national patriotism is now stronger than local patriotism. Moreover, once people have transferred their loyalties to the nation and away from the states, the complicated balance upholding federalism is torn down, threatening the survival of meaningful federalism. I argue that this trend is related, in large part, to the decline of so-called “dual” federalism, accordingly to which there is a relatively clear and static federal division of power. In reality, it has proven difficult to establish coherent legal limits on the power of the federal government, and the consequent demise of dual federalism, in turn, undermines the continued viability of the “patriotic safeguards of federalism.”


Name: Aaron Weinstein
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: aaronqweinstein@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Salve Regina University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Breaking the Covenant: The Political Religion of the American Liberty League
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Between 1934 and 1936, the American Liberty League (A.L.L.) had the unenviable task of defending a political philosophy that many believed responsible for the Depression. In crafting its message, the organization rallied around traditional symbols of American exceptionalism: the nation’s great statesmen, its culture of individualism, and most notably its constitutional democracy. In so doing, the League penned what has been called the most concise statement of conservative principles since the Anti-Federalist Papers. Yet this focus upon the Constitution was more than a political philosophy. A careful reading of League documents reveals a complex belief system argued with religious fervency. Key among these, but underappreciated, was a moralistic outrage at Roosevelt’s departure from the 1932 Democratic Platform. This paper disentangles political philosophy, civil theology, and civil religion, offering fresh perspectives not only upon a historically salient pressure group, but also on religion in American politics generally.


Name: Brian Wolfel
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: bwolfel@syr.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Syracuse University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Thomas Carlyle's American Reputation and Louis Hartz's Liberalism Thesis
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Louis Hartz contends that "when a liberal community faces military and ideological pressure from without it transforms eccentricity into sin." Thomas Carlyle's social criticism imported to antebellum and Civil War America from without (Great Britain) exemplifies a manifestation of eccentric ideological pressure. Carlyle has been called the Founding Father of American Transcendentalism, as he was the most prominent intellectual forebear of Emerson and Thoreau. Carlyle was in this regard among America's foremost public intellectuals, largely praised until 1850 when his writing began explicitly demonstrating hostility to the tenets of America's liberal tradition. Carlyle's significance to Hartz's thesis is as a case study in American political thought as to when, why, and how eccentric political thought gets transformed to sin and American opposition gets transformed to ostracism. As Carlyle was increasingly abandoned by the North, Confederate illiberal thought heralded him as an inspiration and guiding light. The dissolution of the Confederacy coincided with Carlyle's extinguishment from America's political sphere and a solidification of the American liberal tradition.



International Relations

Name: Paul S. Adams
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: padams@pitt.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Bringing the Outside In: The European Commission’s Influence in Shaping European Union Relations with Non-Member European States
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The issue of potential British exit from the European Union has spawned innumerable theories as to of what, if Brexit occurs, the future relationship of British-Union relations consist? Many policymakers and policy pundits point to the relations between the EU and Switzerland or with Norway as possibilities. However, while these relations are being touted by pro-exit crowds, the current status of these relationships with the Union are quite in doubt. The Swiss-EU Bilateral relationship has been strained by both immigration and taxation issues and unless the Swiss revise the outcome of the February 2014 referendum, the entire bilateral system will hang in the balance. Further, the European Economic Area (EEA) between the EU and Norway and Iceland is also under threat as the Commission has increasingly criticized the system for being too slow to implement new EU law and policy. Critical here is the effort by the Commission over the past decade to more strenuously erode the currency of the existing Bilaterals and EEA agreements for their lack of enforceability and efficiency in adoption and implementation of EU law and directives. These must be individually bargained in the Swiss Bilateral case but are also argued to be slowly and more haphazardly codified and enforced even under EEA. This case highlights the power of the Commission in dominating EU policy with the non-EU European states like Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. This research shall demonstrate not only are the Bilateral and EEA systems in peril from increasing pressure and criticism by the EU, but that in this and similar areas the pressure for changes and reforms is mostly being generated from the Commission itself which is responsible for ensuring adoption, implementation, and enforcement of EU law and directives. Hence it is institutionally interested in more legally binding EU treaties and regimes with non-member states – especially in Europe.


Name: Jordy Barry
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: jordy.barry@rutgers.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Rutgers University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: 'Progressive' Politics and 'Barbaric' Behaviors: The Detachment of the South African Constitution and its Protections Against Female Genital Mutilation
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The South African constitution is often praised as one of the most progressive in the world, particularly with regard to its protections of the rights of girls and women. It grants its citizens specific, concrete freedoms and rights in this document, including the establishment of a society based upon social justice and fundamental human rights. The creation of the South African Human Rights Commission and the Commission for Gender Equality reflect a commitment toward ensuring girls and women are protected under the law. The South African Parliament also passed the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, which explicitly outlaws unfair discrimination of the ground of gender, including female genital mutilation (FGM). However, despite the impressive laws on paper, South Africa has the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. Although the World Health Organisation deems South Africa to be free of female genital mutilation within its borders, local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international nonprofits that work on FGM have collected first hand accounts of women from indigenous and migrant communities that have undergone the practice. My research project poses the question: What role are local nongovernmental organizations playing in empowering South Africans to eliminate female genital mutilation in the absence of state support? This question is framed through a discussion of why the strong legal protections against female genital mutilation are not enforced in South Africa. Through fieldwork hosted by Sonke Gender Justice, an international nonprofit based in Cape Town, South Africa, my paper does the following: (1) provides a background of the South African constitution and its legal promises to eliminate and prosecute FGM practices: (2) explains how the language of ‘mutilation’ as opposed to ‘cutting’ or ‘modification’ can impact the type of information one can gain access to: and (3) analyzes my preliminary findings from interviews with government officials at the local and state level, as well as grassroots organizers. My objective is to gain insight into the disconnect between South Africa’s constitutional and legal commitment to upholding the human rights of girls and women, and the reality of the persistence of the practice of female genital mutilation.


Name: Scott Bledsoe
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: asb668@nyu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Beyond Butchery: The Development of Islamic State Propaganda and the Creation of Legitimacy
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The growth and prominence of the Islamic State has presented a tremendously important and puzzling problem on the world stage. Why has such a violent, barbaric terrorist organization been so successful in generating support for their regime? Through a method of historical process tracing, this paper argues that the inclusion of a legitimizing narrative in Islamic State propaganda has brought the group a measure of political legitimacy that previously eluded them. By analyzing Dabiq, the Islamic State’s English-language online magazine, a distinct shift in the tone of ISIS propaganda is illustrated. This change in the narrative is shown to more closely align with Iraqi political preferences, which are gathered from the World Values Survey. Finally, reports on the ground in Islamic State territory are utilized to demonstrate that there is at least a measure of acceptance of ISIS established institutions, a clear sign that there are some who believe the terrorist organization has the right to exercise power.


Name: Jason Charrette
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: JasonFCharrette@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Meek Shall Inherent the Earth: the Rise of a Religious World Order in the 21st Century
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Despite the growing importance of religious actors to international politics, IR scholars still largely analyze them through a Westphalian lens. This article argues that religious actors are reconfiguring world order in the 21st century. Organizations such as the Islamic State are forcibly challenging states to once again consider religious ideas in the constitution of the global space. A framework that theoretically levels the playing field between religious and political actors is needed to understand the potential trajectory of this order. This paper presents the logic of sociologist Niklas Luhmann’s modern systems theory as a means of explaining the hegemonic potential of religious actors. Luhmann argues that world society is made up of separate but equal functional communication systems. Within this functionally differentiated world society, the dominance of the political has given way to equality among ordering principles. This article re-examines the actions of the Islamic State, the Taliban, the Catholic Church, Evangelical Protestants, and Hindu nationalists through this new theoretical perspective. While not all religious actors act outside the boundaries of the state or foment for a new world order, that some do is a reminder of the historical contingency of the Westphalian system.


Name: Matthew Crosston
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: matt.crosston@bellevue.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Bellevue University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: THAAD MAD BAD: The Battle of Competing Narratives over the South China Sea
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The focus of this paper begins with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system as a backdrop for animosity and misperception between America and China in the South China Sea. The germination for the paper stems from a series of newspaper interviews given to a major Chinese news daily, where the daily sought to explain to the Chinese people why there were ‘American attitudes of hostility towards China in the South China Sea.’ The activities currently being undertaken across the South China Sea are being characterized in radically divergent ways, based on diametrically opposed geopolitical narratives, involving more than half a dozen states. This paper breaks these narratives down to their core strategic assumptions and objectives to ascertain which side is more justified in its accusations of ‘aggression and hostility’ toward the other. The dominant narrative in the West is decidedly Americo-centric. This analysis examines how much of that narrative is objectively accurate versus how much of it is agenda-based according to American national interests.


Name: John D'Attoma
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: john.dattoma@eui.eu
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Institution: European University Institute
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: More Bang For Your Buck: An Experimental Comparative Analysis of Tax Compliance
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Co-author info: Sven Steinmo
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In many ways taxation is the linchpin between democratic accountability and responsibility. No one really enjoys paying taxes, but we do it to ensure our public institutions, infrastructure, and programs are funded well enough to function properly. Paying taxes is also used as a means to keep our politicians accountable; they are spending our money, and therefore, they should spend it wisely. However, there is large variation in both the quality and quantity of public services countries provide and how well public institutions are perceived. To a large extent these are correlated. If I perceive my institutions as providing good quality services, then I will be more likely to pay my taxes and vice versa. On the other hand, If individuals pay their taxes, governments are better able to provide quality public services. This situation is what I call a low-trust/low-efficiency or high-trust/high-efficiency feedback loop which can either foster tax compliance or tax non-compliance. Using comparative historical analysis, I examine how this low-trust/low-efficiency environment can form using the case of Italy. I further test how Italians, Swedes, Brits, and Americans behave given the exact same institutional environment and tax system. In end the end, I unearth that that quality of public institutions and an efficient/effective tax administration is more important to tax collection, than individual and personal characteristics.


Name: William Davis
Section:
Professional Email: wdavis@walsh.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Walsh University
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Paper Title: Realism and the Waltzean Straw Man
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Wohlforth (2011) states that Robert Keohane’s Neorealism and its Critics along with other critiques of neorealism by conflating classical realists such Robert Gilpin unfairly sidelined Gilpin’s realism. For example, Keohane, he says “portrayed Waltz, not Gilpin, as definitive of contemporary realism and as the preferred foil for the development of scholarship, including Keohane’s own work” (2011, 500). This sidelining of Gilpin in favor of Waltz allowed critics to unfairly characterize realism to the detriment of International Relations (IR) scholarship. In this paper I argue that the conflation and mischaracterization of realist concepts was to such an extent that the grand theory had essentially been reduced to a straw man. I outline a solution to this problem in the form of a dual likelihood model.


Name: Ginger Denton
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: Ginger.L.Denton@uscga.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Indian Perceptions of the United States and China
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This paper compares the economic, diplomatic, and military relationships between India and the United State and China. Indian alignment has become increasingly relevant in recent years as the country has grown as a regional power. This research uses two alternate methods to examine the relationships and potential alignment between these three countries. At the aggregate level, trade data is analyzed to determine whether economic relations impact diplomatic relations. Next, individual survey data gathered from citizens in India is used to ascertain how different demographic or socioeconomic groups within India perceive their country's potential alignment with either the US or China. Answers to the question of what facilitates a country's alignment with India could have policy implications for both the US and China. Understanding how individual Indians view these two world powers and their military could also determine which segments of Indian society the US or China might target if seeking to alignment with India.


Name: Chris Dolan
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: chrisdolan635@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Lebanon Valley College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: U.S. Foreign Policy and NATO in the Evolving European Security Order
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This study examines the evolving and expanding roles of NATO in U.S. foreign policy toward Europe designed to balance and deter Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine. The paper will review the academic literature on alliance structures and maintenance and then describe the contemporary state of collective security issues and challenges in transatlantic relations It will then assess the recent moves by the transatlantic alliance to engage in a military buildup in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the European Reassurance Initiative, which is designed to improve military training, rotate multinational forces, and improve infrastructure and weaponry. In addition, the paper will examine the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) on research and development in cyber and space warfare, stealth technology, drones, precision-guided weaponry, 3-D printing, advanced navigation, networking, and communications in order to counter military modernization programs undertaken by Russia. However, the most significant challenges that will determine and shape the future of transatlantic relations include burden sharing in NATO, the increasing roles played by the alliance beyond Europe, and maintaining a unified front within the alliance against Russian expansion.


Name: Rosetta Dweh
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: rmdweh@comcast.net
Professional Status: Administrator
Institution: Rutgers University Graduate
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Impact of Presidential Leadership Styles on Their Foreign Policy Decision Making.
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A comparative analysis of several case studies using qualitative content analysis to examine the impact of presidential leadership styles on foreign policy decision making. Four U.S. presidents including President Barack Obama, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan will be evaluated to determine what effect did this had on their foreign policy decisions.


Name: Eric Fleury
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: efleury4118@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: College of the Holy Cross
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Terrorism as Absolute War: The Contemporary Dimensions of Clausewitz's 'Trinity'
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This paper draws upon Carl von Clausewitz’s theory of war to outline a corresponding theory of terrorism. Although several commentators have noted the relevance of Clausewitz to the study of terrorism, no systematic effort has been made to elaborate how the fundamental principles of armed conflict, which Clausewitz applied to the battles of the Napoleonic era, to modern terrorist and counter-terrorist campaigns. Specifically, this paper will explain that terrorism aims to turn “absolute war,” which Clausewitz understood as an abstract standard, into a reality. It will detail how the Clausewitzian ‘trinity’ of primordial violence, calculation of probabilities, and political objectives applies to terrorist organizations as well as states, and explain the resultant dynamics of conflict between them as they utilize shared concepts on behalf of fundamentally different purposes. Such a project is worthwhile in many respects. Interpreting terrorism as a form of armed conflict helps to generate a more comprehensive definition of terrorism, furthering our understanding of the common logic driving various organizations. It also lays the ground for a counter-terrorism strategy that not only exploits the strategic vulnerabilities of terrorism, but also utilizes the moral advantages of conventional warfare so as to win the battle of ideas.


Name: Amalia Fried Honick
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: ahonick@goucher.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Goucher College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: AIPAC, J Street, and The Iranian Nuclear Agreement
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Since its inception in 2008, J Street Has Been Challenging AIPAC’s long established status as the leading Israel lobby in Washington. The debate over what it means to be pro-Israel , who best represents American Jewish public opinion on Israel, and how to achieve peace in the Middle East was never more prominent than during the deliberations over the Iranian nuclear agreement. Disputes over the Iran nuclear deal revealed not only fundamental differences between AIPAC and J Street, but also raised questions about the enduring effectiveness of the Israel lobby, particularly AIPAC, which was strongly opposed to the agreement. While this may have been a setback for AIPAC, the negotiations over the Iranian deal increasingly became a referendum on President Obama’s initiative to change the direction of U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. Given the President’s political and personal investment in the nuclear agreement, AIPAC’s ability to mobilize support in the Congress to defeat the deal was impeded by the pressures and demands of the President and his allies. AIPAC’s standard operating practices for ensuring bipartisan support in the Congress and navigating the executive branch through contacts at the State Department, the Pentagon, and within the intelligence community faltered in the face of a chief executive whose authority diminished the efficacy of the leading Israel lobby.


Name: Jordan Gentile
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: jgentile91@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Concordia University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Can’t have Politics Without the Party: The Relationship Between Political Parties and Regional Integration
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In my paper I examine the relationship between political parties and regional integration. Since this a fairly broad subject I narrow it down by focusing on France within the European Union. The research question I answer is; Does how French political parties vote in the European Parliament from May 2014 until present day, on issues of regional integration, vary by issue area and what does this mean for regional integration? I take a basic definition for regional integration to capture the most possible examples. The reason I do this is because I want the focus to be on the effects of political parties and not the nuanced definition of regional integration. The reason my timeline is so small is because I am using data from VoteWatch which is a new and innovative tool from Europe that only has data as of 2014. I then proceeded to use process tracing and counted each vote by each French MEP broken down by political party to see how they voted on bills relating to regional integration. The results demonstrate that parties on either extreme of the political spectrum tended to oppose regional integration while those in the centre mostly voted in favour of it. These results and my study help to fill a gap in the current literature in this area.


Name: Mark Gentry
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: mgentry@francis.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Saint Francis University
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Paper Title: Trade Enforcement Actions of the U.S Trade Representative, 2001-2016: Continuity and Change in U.S. Trade Policy
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This paper aims to explain the selection of trade disputes by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) brought to the World Trade Organization’s trade dispute resolution process. The paper compares the USTR’s trade dispute actions in the WTO during the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. Prior research into U.S. trade policy enforcement actions have identified several variables affecting the selection of cases to pursue either unilaterally through U.S. trade enforcement laws or through the WTO since its founding in 1995. These variables include the influence of domestic interest groups, the trade partner’s type of political system, size and nature of bilateral trade balance with the trading partner, international trade norms and principles, the competitive or complementary nature of the trade relationship, type of industry affected by the trade issue and importance of the trading partner’s market for U.S. exports. This study will build on this prior research through an analysis of more recent cases, addressing these variables, as well as new ones such as the nature of the security relationship between the U.S. and the trade partner, the post-911 security environment and the influence of the political ideology of chief executive concerning trade policy.


Name: Olga Gerasimenko
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: olgager@udel.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Delaware
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "What is state sovereignty after all?" (V. Putin) The Evolution and Role of Russia's Rhetoric in the UNGA Statements since 1991
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This paper aims to trace the evolution of Russia's political rhetoric in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speeches since 1991. UNGA statements serve as an interesting way to measure or plot the transformation of Russia's perceptions about the world, and its place in it. Thirty statements help study the development of Russia's identity from that of a post-Soviet republic to that of an overconfident and aggressive moralist employing a range of rhetorical techniques to legitimize its behavior. Changes in rhetoric reflect Russia's response to such events as 9/11, and the Wars in Iraq and Syria. While Russia's GA rhetoric has changed dramatically in the last 25 years, no relevant research has been done. I examine the use of moral categories like democracy and freedom in Russian rhetoric and also Russia’s changing posture towards the US: both reflect how Russia’s role and self-image have changed since 1991. My findings show that Russia was speaking about freedom/democracy more often during the first years as an independent state. The discourse on the US was originally more positive. Today, Russia is focusing on specific regions of the world and attempts to alter common perceptions of essential concepts, such as democracy and sovereignty.


Name: Dorle Hellmuth
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: hellmuthd@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: The Catholic University of America
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What’s the Inside Scoop? Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Programs in the United States
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This paper offers an in-depth analysis of local, state, and federal programs on countering violent extremism (CVE) in the United States. While the U.S. federal government got a late start to Jihadi counterradicalization (designed to prevent radicalization in the first place) and deradicalization measures (designed to help deradicalize those who have embraced violent thoughts and/or actions) remain sporadic and improvised, quite a few CVE programs have emerged at local and state levels, including, for example, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, California, and New York. What is the nature of these CVE programs; are they mainly looking to prevent or are also engaged in more ambitious deradicalization measures; who do they target; and to what extent do they employ security and/or soft measures? This kind of comprehensive analysis does not yet exist and thus not only contributes to the growing literature on counter-/deradicalization and foreign fighters, but has important implications for policymakers. Understanding what responses have been formulated, and also why, can facilitate cooperation and provide useful insights for future nation-wide CVE programs.


Name: Christopher Herrick
Section:
Professional Email: herrick@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
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Paper Title: Realist Considerations or Constructed Identities: the Evolution of the South China Sea Territorial Disputes
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The ongoing dispute between China and Southeast Asian states regarding territorial claims to the South China Sea has the potential to escalate into broader open conflict. This broader conflict could involve not just China and the Southeast Asian states making direct claims to the territory but also states, such as Japan, which have disputed marine territorial claims with China, as well as states such as the United States and India, which view China’s position as a direct challenge to wider international norms concerning title to ocean space. How do we best explain the evolution of that dispute? This paper will explore the extent to which a realist perspective or a constructivist perspective may provide a more satisfying explanation for the development of that dispute over time. Initial sections of the paper will focus upon direct power considerations highlighted by a realist perspective. These include specific calculi on the part of China and contending states regarding the extent to which resources contained in the area will directly contribute to an increase in economic power and/or energy and food security as well as more amorphous considerations of the significance of obtaining dominance of chokepoints sea lanes of communication. It will also analyze contrasting general considerations of power, such as balance of power orientations (on the part of the United States and selected Asian regional powers) and a perceived need to rein in the overreach of a hegemonic power (on the part of China). The second section of the paper will examine the extent to which constructed identities, such as guardian of the international legal status quo, guardian of sovereign rights, champion of the right of states previously damaged by unequal conditions created by Western imperialism to redress those conditions, and the perceptions engendered by these identities on the part of China, Southeast Asian states, neighboring regional states, and the United States may provide a contrasting explanation for the policies adopted by these states. This would include the priority given to the issue by each of these states, the broad approach to addressing the issue (multilateral negotiation, bilateral negotiation, intransigence) as well as the direct tactics (including construction artificial landmass in support of asserted claims, intimidation and counter intimidation through military means) employed by the states in support of their position. The paper will conclude with an assessment of which of the two approaches might provide a more robust explanation for the evolution of the dispute.


Name: Kunihiko Imai
Section:
Professional Email: kunihikoimai88@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Elmira College
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Paper Title: Autocratic Peace vs. Democratic Peace
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Co-author info: Robert Nalbandov, Utah State University (robert.nalbandov@gmail.com)
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“While the ‘democratic peace’ thesis has been studied by many scholars, relatively little attention has been paid to the interactions between autocracies. By using the Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data, we attempt to fill the gap in the literature by empirically testing to see if there is a statistically significant difference between autocracies, as opposed to between autocracies and democracies, regarding both the probability of going to war against each other and the intensity of the hostilities between them. We also seek to deepen understanding of the relative impact of the factors that are external as well as internal to the states upon the probability, and the intensity, of the hostilities. Such factors include the states’ a) relationships with one or more of the major powers, b) openness to the outside world, c) proximity between the antagonists, d) levels of economic development, and e) regime types, among others.”


Name: Carlyn Jorgensen
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: cmjorgensen@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Broward College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "What A Tutsi Woman Tastes Like": Sexual Dehumanization in the Rwandan Genocide
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During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, around 250,000-500,000 Tutsi women were subjected to mass rape, which was an act of genocide. The women were hypersexualized prior to the genocide, and Hutu militias took advantage of the stereotypes of the women to rape and humiliate them. Women were repeatedly raped, as well as raped with foreign objects, which caused permanent damage to their bodies. This paper examines the role sexual dehumanization played in facilitating the mass rape of women, and argues that rape needs to be seen as an act of genocide, rather than a separate act that occurs during genocide.


Name: Jeffrey G. Karam
Section: Politics & History
Professional Email: jkaram@brandeis.edu
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Institution: Brandeis University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iraqi Coup, 1958
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On 14 July 1958, a group of Iraqi Free Officers staged a coup and removed the monarchy. My paper revisits the coup, one of the most important junctures in Iraq’s modern history, by examining recently declassified intelligence and diplomatic cables, as well as different secondary accounts and memoirs in Arabic to explain why it was a U.S. intelligence failure. I argue that two factors explain failure. First, the U.S. Embassy and CIA Station in Iraq relied primarily on human sources of intelligence in the regime and monarchy to make sense of the internal situation. Second, a survey of American diplomatic cables, intelligence reports, and memoranda of conversations reveals that members of the Eisenhower Administration and stationed U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers in Iraq refused to change their assessments of the regime’s stability in spite of credible and new information on the unpopularity of the Hashemite monarchy. Put differently, poor methods of collection and analysis are the most decisive factors that explain why American officials in Baghdad and Washington were surprised by coup and later revolution in Iraq on 14 July.


Name: Yukinori Komine
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: yukinorikomine@hotmail.com
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Institution: Associate in Research, The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Panel
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Paper Title: The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Disputes in the U.S.-Japan-China Strategic Triangle: Explanations from Analytical Eclecticism
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This study adopts an eclectic approach to explaining the principal implications of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands disputes in the East China Sea, as they pertain to U.S.-Japan-China triangular relations. In particular, based on the growing trend of analytical eclecticism in International Relations (IR), it employs three major theories (Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism), to explore the military, political, economic, and cultural-normative implications of the Senkaku/Diaoyu issue. This study presents six possible scenarios in the development of the Senkaku/Diaoyu situation. Realist approaches focus on the balance of power in the U.S.-Japan-China security/diplomatic triangle. Realists assess that the enhancement of the U.S.-Japan alliance (including realignment of U.S. bases within Japan, Japan’s defense build-up, and the promotion of U.S.-Japan defense cooperation) could either deter China’s naval expansion or trigger China’s assertive responses. Liberal analyses explain the role of complex interdependence among the world’s three largest economic powers. Specifically, Liberalists highlight that the reported potential reserves of natural resources (oil and natural gas) in the East China Sea could promote energy security or become a major flashpoint of regional energy disputes. Constructivist proponents explore how nationalism, especially the search for greater prestige, has become a major driving force in the re-emergence of Sino-Japanese rivalries in East Asia. The two old Asian rivals seek to boost their prestige, namely the reputation for power, in their respective leading roles in East Asia. The U.S., as an offshore balancer, faces the risk of entrapment into Sino-Japanese conflicts over tiny inhabitant rocks. Alternatively, the three major powers may attempt to develop mutual understandings to discuss regional challenges in the long-term. In essence, the employment of analytical eclecticism could contribute to making the on-going territorial issue an unintended ‘geopolitical center’ in U.S.-Japan-China strategic triangle. The study concludes by providing policy relevant suggestions to better comprehend the linkage among material and normative factors of the Senkaku/Diaoyu situation in East Asian security.


Name: Sergei Kostiaev
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: sergey.kostyaev@fulbrightmail.org
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Financial University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Ramifications of U.S. Sanctions on Crimea's Development
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The research problem addressed by this paper is revealing the ramification of U.S. and E.U. sanctions on development of Crimea. Due to lack of official statistical data, in-depth interviews with crimean businessmen were used as primary research method for solving the problem. The findings of the research are following. First, sanctions broke pre-existing economic relations. Second, they serve as a deterrent for investments, e.g. even big Russian corporations are reluctant to invest in Crimea


Name: Kyrie Kowalik
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: Kyrie_Kowalik@student.uml.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Defining Refugees in Terms of Justice: An Evaluation of the European “Migrant” Crisis and Undocumented Immigrants in the United States
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Throughout history political philosophers have offered various competing views on domestic and global justice. Beginning with Plato, political philosophers have built upon the ideas of justice that came before them, adjusting the terms of the debate to suit the controversies and political needs of their time. Today, the justice debate has turned to one of the most pressing controversies of the 21st century, the concept and definition of refugees. Currently, the United Nations defines a refugee as someone who experiences fear of persecution in their homeland. Some prominent political philosophers defend the current UN definition, arguing that only those with a well-founded fear of dying should be considered refugees. Others, however, believe this definition is too narrow. The reality is that it matters a great deal who gets defined as a refugee. Refugee status can determine a state’s obligation to assist or the benefits for which an individual is eligible. Many countries are therefore hesitant to expand the definition of refugees, but how can it be considered just to not accept those who are facing dire circumstances, if a country can economically support them? This paper will critically analyze two case studies: the European Union and United States-Mexico border. Both cases provide examples of migrants fleeing dire circumstances that do not meet the narrow criteria for refugee status, but should nonetheless be considered refugees under international law. This paper will argue that this is because they face a similar likelihood of death as those currently recognized as refugees under the UN definition and because we are committed to the principle of equal moral consideration.


Name: Kathryn Lambert
Section:
Professional Email: kmlambert@comcast.net
Professional Status: Practitioner
Institution: American Public University Systems; Terrorism Risk Consultants, Owner
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Security Vulnerability Assessment Methodology for International Non-Government Organizations Operating in Conflict Zones
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In this paper, I will apply risk assessment theory to International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO) operating in conflict areas for the purpose of developing a Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) methodology. INGOs are subject to exploitation by terrorist and insurgent groups as these actors seek to influence governments, recruit members, fund-raise or move money, personnel, or weapons through conflict zones. An SVA model will be created that measures both internal and external factors. Examples of the internal factors of the SVA include the robustness of accountability procedures in the host country, the financial stewardship of the INGO, and characteristics such as number of employees and scope of activities. Examples of external factors in the SVA include political stability of the host country, frequency of attacks against INGOs in the host country, degree of control that terror or insurgent groups have over the area in which the INGO operates, degree to which the host government regulates access to the conflict zone, prohibitions against cooperation with terror and insurgent groups by the host government, amount of international media coverage of the conflict, and the size of the network to which the INGO belongs. These factors contribute to a vulnerability score that would indicate the degree of susceptibility of an INGO to exploitation by terror or insurgent groups.


Name: Steven Livingston
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: livingston.steven@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Middle Tennessee St. University
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Paper Title: ‘Factors of Production’ as an Analytic Tool in Political Economy: How Much Can They Really Tell Us?
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Factors of production, whether those derived from Stolper-Samuelson or the so-called “Ricardo-Viner” model, are increasingly employed to explain the origins of policy preferences in studies of the political economy of trade and of money. This paper argues that whatever the value of this concept for abstract models of IPE, they are not testable and are of very little value for empirical work. Variables constructed to proxy factors of production suffer from a number of empirical and logical problems. Importantly, empirical trade flows do not correlate well with the predictions derived from these models. At a deeper level, theories constructed as a 2x2 model become incoherent when stretched to a world of many factors and many countries. The utility of using factors of production to analyze empirical issues in political economy is limited, and findings based upon them should be taken with some skepticism.


Name: Xing Lu
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: xl1312@nyu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What Do the Numbers Say? — An Empirical Study on the Rationale behind China’s OFDI
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This study aims to address the question of what determines China’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), and how to interpret the existing investment preferences in light of the “going global” strategy. Drawing upon the international business and political economy literatures, I first construct a theoretical framework that incorporates economic, political and social considerations, deciphering the determinants of China’s OFDI. Then I derive a set of hypotheses in line with the framework and test them using probit regression and random effect generalized least squares (GLS) regression with a gravity model using two panel datasets of China’s OFDI flows during the time period of 2003-2014. My findings suggest that both economic and political considerations demonstrate a high level of significance, but they might influence the investment flows in different directions when it comes to the decision on location choice and the size of investments. On the one hand, the results concerning the determinants of location choices diverge from the expectations significantly, suggesting the idiosyncratic features of China’s OFDI. On the other hand, the hypotheses derived from the framework concerning the determinants of the size of China’s OFDI are mostly confirmed, indicating that the investors’ rationale in this regard is in accordance with the investment development path that developed economies took decades ago.􀀁


Name: Timothy Marple
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: temarple@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: A Network Approach to Post-Crisis Change in Government Debt Holdings
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This project investigates time-series differences in the network of government debt holdings after the financial crisis of 2008. It attempts to offer an answer to the question of what has changed, if anything, in global financial governance since the financial crisis. Following the logic of scholars who claim that markets are the source of financial governance, such as Friedman (1999) and Mosely (2003), I ask how the differences across network topologies of public sector debt holdings and changes in prominence of the largest actors in this network are indicative of changes in global financial governance. I follow in the footsteps of Oatley, Pennock, Winecoff, and Bauerle-Danzman, who operationalize the same dataset to investigate how hierarchical this debt network is before and after the global crisis (Oatley et al, 2013). Building on their analysis, this project analyzes network topology measures and respective prominent actors over time to investigate the differences and possible similarities across these measures both before and after the financial crisis. I introduce novelty to line of analysis with the use of more nuanced measures of network topology and actor prominence.


Name: Lenore Martin
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: martinl@emmanuel.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Emmanuel College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government: Are There Lessons for Turkey in Northern Syria
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Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government: Are there Lessons for Turkey in Northern Syria? Just prior to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq Turkey made it very clear that it would not tolerate an independent Kurdistan. For four years following that invasion Turkey refused to deal with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq. Ankara and Erbil now have a warm working relationship. The paper will analyze the factors that enabled that change in the relationship and explore what, if any, lessons can be learned that will be instructive as Turkey sees the growing possibility of the new Kurdish entity, Rojava, continuing as a political reality in Northern Syria despite Ankara’s strong objection. Thus the first section of the paper will examine the background of the Turkey – KRG relationship before and after the US invasion of Iraq. It will then analyze the economic and political ties that have developed since 2007. This economic section of the paper will have a neo-liberal focus. The second section of the paper will then look at the possibilities of a change of policy by Turkey towards the Kurdish region in Northern Syria by analyzing the political differences between the KRG and Rojava and most especially the role of Turkey’s Kurdistan Worker’s Party in Turkey, Iraq and Syria. This issue has strong significance for the international relations of the Middle East and the US coalition’s war in Syria as the unresolved issues of Kurdish nationalism continue to challenge the stability of the region.


Name: Matthew Munday
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: mwmunday@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Texas at Dallas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Turning the Guns on Revolution: A Causal Explanation for Violent Transitions during the Arab Spring
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Academics and policymakers alike were struck by the sudden onset of unrest and revolt in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. A wealth of literature emerged to explain the factors influencing events in the region. One of the biggest puzzles lacks a satisfactory answer: when unrest struck, why did certain regimes turn their guns on the revolution while others did not? This paper advances the argument that institutional conditions within individual militaries significantly influenced the presence or absence of violence. I test this argument by developing a formal model to measure internal military conditions. Through regression analysis, I contrast this hypothesis with other prominent explanations in the literature. This research, by closely examining the situations of 17 Middle Eastern and North African countries, provides a new layer of scholarly inquiry into an evolving area of important academic study.


Name: Robert Nalbandov
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: robert.nalbandov@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Utah State University
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Paper Title: US Foreign Policy in the Caucasus
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The paper presents an analysis of the U.S. involvement in the turbulent geopolitical settings in the region of the Caucasus. Russia's against Georgia in 2008 marked the re-drafting of the Caucasian map followed by mostly unexpected resumption of hostilities between Azerbaijan and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in Spring of 2016. Suffering from significant territorial and moral losses, in just six years with its new and more dovish government in place, Georgia has already pivoted towards Russia. Armenia is under tremendous political and economic influence of Russia but starts feeling uneasy with the recent protests over the corrupt operations of the Russian electric monopolists in the country. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, enjoys rather warm reception from Russia. The inputs of the latter in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the side of the Armenians in the early 1990s and most recently, on the side of Azerbaijan, by selling it military equipment, are used by domestic policy actors in both Caucasian countries to draw the attention of the public to the Russian politics in the region. The attention of the United States towards the Caucasus is geared by its desire to strengthen their democratic governance and to stimulate their institutional stability with the ultimate aim of prevention of possible large-scale conflicts in this highly fickle geopolitical environment. Another aspect of the U.S. foreign policy lays in its practical support to the energy security of Europe through fostering the security of the Caspian pipelines spreading across the Caucasus. Finally, the closeness of the region to the hot spots in the Middle East, as well as its traditional geopolitical role of a nexus between Europe and Asia presupposes its unique role to the U.S. foreign policy interests.



Comparative Politics

Name: Ifeoluwa Adedeji
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: ifeoluwa1909@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Ohio University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Borrowed Institutions and the Challenge of Adaptation in Nigeria's Democratic Experiment
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This work addresses a theoretical gap on the ‘borrowed-indigenous contradiction’ argument being circulated around by, chiefly, writers and speakers from the African continent. It underscores the need to move beyond the superficial to discover the necessary innovations needed to effectively transform public institutions in Nigeria, principally for this study, the institution of presidentialism. The argument is put forward for an analysis of the Nigerian political landscape over a long period of time in order to discover processes that have shaped institutional architecture by political leaders. This work also describes the way the ‘structure-agency’ relationship has played out in Nigeria’s history and the impacts legal-constitutional arrangements have had on it. In essence, it upholds the primacy of ideas and innovations and makes a case for a focus-shift by Nigerian political scholars and practitioners to the institutional arena of Nigerian politics as a way of re-directing the course of state development.


Name: Sayeed Ahmed
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: sia112002@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: American Public University System
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Paper Title: Can Islamists be Secularized? Religion and Politics in Urban Bangladesh
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Islamist political parties play significant roles in various societies and states where a majority of the Muslim population resides. In Bangladesh, which has the world’s third-largest Muslim population, Islamist parties operate as counter-hegemonic projects, whose main objectives are to challenge the existing secular or quasi-secular political system in order to establish theocratic state. Therefore, the question arises whether it is possible for the Islamists to work within the secular, democratic framework of the state. The literature on secularization, secularism, and Islam relies on a grand narrative of the reasons to address the question and provides us with polarized answers regarding the Islamists’ ability to accommodate the principle of secularism. Most of the literature suggests that due to the innate nature of the religion of Islam itself, which rejects secularism and the process of secularization, the Islamist parties are unable to accommodate secular, liberal-democratic values. In contrast, some scholars argue that secularism per se poses no inherent threat to Islam and hence, it is possible for the Islamists to work within the rubric of secular, democratic polity. However, almost all of the works have been done on the abstract, theoretical level and do not take into consideration the interplay of social and political factors in Muslim societies. Therefore, it is important to examine these opposite theoretical claims in the context of the socio-political realities of the state where the Islamist parties play important roles in the political system. Research has been conducted regarding the genesis or the role of Islamists in the political system of Bangladesh, but none of this work addresses whether Islamist parties can in fact acclimate to secularism. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to determine both sides of the theoretical claims—the ability or the inability of the Islamist parties to accommodate secular values—at the grassroots level of socio-political realities in the quasi-secular state of Bangladesh.


Name: Annalyn Bachmann
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: bachmanna1994@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Brandeis University Heller School
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: The Socioeconomic Divide: The Differences Between Development in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
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Extreme poverty plagues developing and developed states throughout the world. Yet, we do not completely understand why it adversely affects some states’ development more than others. This study seeks to answer why some states develop more effectively than others through an analysis of the degree of development of states in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which are compared by looking at factors such as political stability, governance, regime type, and amount of foreign direct investment. Case study descriptions of Central African Republic, Malaysia, Mauritius, and Cambodia supplement the analysis. The findings suggest that political stability and governance primarily affect the development of a nation, but economic stability has less of an impact.


Name: Talin Bagdassarian
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: tb1699@nyu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Impact of State Policies on Economic Migrants in Germany, Russia, and Saudi Arabia
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My paper examines state policies towards economic migrants in Germany, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. While Germany seeks skilled economic migrants to combat its demographic challenges, Russia requires a civic and history exam for economic migrants, and Saudi Arabia has implemented policies to restrict economic migrants. What explains the differences among these three cases where economic migrants make up such a sizeable portion of the labor force? Can the differences be explained by regime type, the country’s labor needs, or other social factors? I answer this question by looking at the history of economic migrants within each country, how the policies towards them have shifted, and, most importantly, why the policies have changed. An analysis of these regime types provides the opportunity to see how and why regime types matter when observing how economic migrants are treated in a given country. It also provides a basis to then go beyond regime type and to study other factors that may impact the policymaking process.


Name: Tyler Bahnman
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: hawke6666@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Texas at Dallas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Results May Vary: Differing Outcomes of the Arab Spring
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In the December of 2010, a small protest took place in Tunisia. Across 2011, this small act set off a massive wave of protests, rebellions, and the toppling of several regimes once thought incredibly stable. The Arab Spring took the world by surprise, and has continued to defy all expectations. Even today, some of its results are still up in the air. The fact that nobody thought in a million years that this would happen speaks for itself of the massive gaps in our understanding of both the region and the fundamental processes behind regime change. Seeing as how we still don’t fully grasp the effects of this event, I seek to investigate new ways of attempting to predict the fall of a regime. Others have attempted to explain away regime change through arguments such as institutional strength or economic need, but instead my paper seeks to explain the likelihood of a regime falling based on the populace’s familiarity and experience with democracy and the idea of human rights. The crux of the issue lies with individual rationality. A government can only hold power so long as the general populace accepts its authority. The government can punish individuals who act out of line, which presents a collective action problem to individuals dissatisfied with a regime. In order to want to remove an autocratic regime, however, one must understand and be comfortable with an alternative. Therefore, being conscious of outside options and seeing what other, more free countries have in place should make it easier for dissent to hit the critical mass of people necessary to “solve” the collective action problem and trigger a change in regime. In this paper, I will examine variables pertaining to experience or knowledge of democracy and Western ideas. Specifically, Polity IV scores will be used to measure familiarity; autocracies who have been democracies in the past should theoretically be more likely to attempt a regime change than countries who have never been a democracy. In addition, other factors such as measures of education will be used as a proxy for more exposure to ideas; the average years of education per adult and also measures of human capital are of particular interest. Much has been made of the use of social media in the Arab Spring rebellions, and so access to non-state media and private communications will also need to be taken into account. All of this will be used as part of a regression based model to help determine whether any of these variables are relevant in predicting a change in government. While this paper is primarily focused on the Arab world, many of its potential results could possibly be extrapolated and expanded upon in order to help explain regime change in other parts of the world as well as furthering our understanding of why regime change happens and how to predict it.


Name: Laura Blume
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: blumel@bu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Exporting Crime: The Impact of US Criminal Deportations to Central America and the Caribbean
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Criminal violence is one of the greatest problems in Latin American and Caribbean today. This paper argues that the U.S. policy of criminal deportations is exacerbating the situation and contributing to rising homicide rates in the region. Using both a fixed effects regression model and a matched sample design, this paper offers robust statistical evidence of a relationship between increases in criminal deportations from the U.S. and increases in homicide rates in both Central America and the Caribbean.


Name: Cynthia Botteron
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: cabotteron@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: State Religion and Requirements for Public Office
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Co-author info: Michael E. Greenberg Shippensburg University megreg@ship.edu
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There is an agreement among scholars that a close relationship between religion and the state influences both political processes and state structures, although the nature and extent of the influence and direction remains an open question. Rather than looking at the religious composition of a country's population for cues, we look at constitutions. What we found is that countries fall into one of three categories: states that affirm the establishment of a national religion, states that forbid establishment, and countries that are silent on the issue. Using a dataset comprised of all 186 constitutions of the world to analyze the impact of religion on requirements for public office we posed three hypotheses. First, because constitutions are somewhat a reflection of a country's political culture we expect requirements for office to also reflect that political culture; second, there should be a variance in requirement use across the three constitution categories; and lastly, the greater the difference between political cultures the greater the difference between the types of requirements used. What was discovered largely affirmed all three hypotheses with some interesting nuances. First, countries with state-established religions tend to require adherence to religious standards by elected officials but then have few other requirements. Second, countries that forbid establishment use requirements that serve to frustrate the consolidation of political power, tentatively suggesting a concern about authoritarian tendencies. Lastly, the greatest difference in requirements is primarily found for the Head of State rather than the legislative branch. Certainly these findings warrant further research.


Name: Kirk Buckman
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: kbuckman@stonehill.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Stonehill College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: A Narco-Hallucination or a viable peace agreement between the Colombian Government & FARC? An exploration of factors contributing to the breakthrough in this half-century old conflict
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Co-author info: Yaritza Sanchez, Stonehill College, ysanchez@students.stonehill.edu
Co-presenter info: Yaritza Sanchez, Stonehill College, ysanchez@students.stonehill.edu
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This essay considers the historical development of factors that have contributed to President Santos’s ability to negotiate effectively with the FARC, a Marxist guerilla movement that has been waging war against the Colombian government for more than 50 years. In particular, the essay explores the development of economic and political changes in Colombia at both international and national levels and the reduction of corruption and violence. First elected in 2010, President Santos, of the center-right Social Party of National Unity, has been more effective than any predecessor in reaching a peaceful settlement with the FARC. President Santos continued with his predecessor’s neoliberal macroeconomic policies, under which the Colombian economy has been performing very well in terms of GDP growth. Simultaneously, there has been a reduction in levels of violence, the presence and influence of drug cartels, and political corruption. This paper explores these developments – economic growth, reduction in violence, the departure of drug cartels, and lowering levels of corruption – and asks whether they are contributing to each other or are spurious in their relationship. Ultimately, this inquiry may lead to a deeper understanding of Colombia’s democratic consolidation.


Name: Nicolaos Catsis
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: ncatsis@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Wilson College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Arming Development: The Evolution of Japanese Aid Development in the Pacific
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Japan’s cautious shift toward “normalization,” which had begun a decade earlier with the deployment of JSDF forces in non-combat roles in Iraq, took a more dramatic turn with the lifting of the self-imposed ban on arms exports in 2014. As a result, Japanese defense contractors have entered the global arms market, seeking to compete with the world’s leading (and established) arms exporters. Initial results from these early forays into the arms trade have often been characterized as mixed, particularly from an economic perspective. However, I argue that the export of Japanese arms is not merely an economic venture but, rather, represents the opening of a new dimension of Japan’s much-discussed “developmental,” or aid, diplomacy. Japan’s traditional Pacific rival, China, initially utilized its massive economic clout when first beginning to assert itself as a world player in the 1990’s and 2000’s. As its growth has slowed in recent years, China has begun to utilize more overt displays of strength in the international arena, as demonstrated by its behavior in the South Pacific. Japan, by contrast, has long utilized developmental aid as a means of both repairing post-bellum relationships and of encircling China diplomatically and strategically. The addition of defense products adds fangs to this strategy, making it more attractive to potential Japanese allies. This paper seeks to examine this latest evolution of Japanese diplomatic policy, which reflects both a conflicted domestic political culture as well as a changing Pacific strategic environment.


Name: Fred Cocozzelli
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: cocozzef@stjohns.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: St. John's University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Social Policy Reform and the Conflict in Ukraine
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Much of the analysis of the civil conflict in Ukraine has focused external geopolitical relations (Mearsheimer 2014), the characteristics of the Yanukovych regime (Motyl 2016), internal cultural cleavages, or some combination of these factors (Kurzio 2015). The predominant externally oriented analysis has focused on the role of Russia as an intervening force acting in response to Kiev's potential to strengthen ties to Europe. One consequence of the predominance of this analysis has been to discount causes of the conflict that are internal to Ukraine itself. Internally oriented analysis has often focused on either the “sultanistic” characteristics of the Yanukovych regime (Motyl 2016), or cultural or historic divisions that are reflected in regional preferences for either an idealized Europe, or an equally idealized Russia. While accepting the pivotal role played by Russia, this paper seeks to turn the focus of the analysis to political, social, and economic dynamic within Ukraine. In particular, the paper seeks to investigate the relationship between social policy, inequality, and national cohesion, with a particular focus on the impact of social policy reforms both prior to the conflict. The focal points of the analysis will be on the political dispute revolving around the social policy legislation passed immediately before the 2010 presidential election. Given that the pension program is the most significant social welfare program in Ukraine, the social policy dimension of the 2010 dispute, and the impact of the subsequent reforms are surprisingly under-analyzed.


Name: Joseph Coelho
Section:
Professional Email: jcoelho2@framingham.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Framingham State University
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Paper Title: Elite State Capture and the Public Procurement Sector: The Cases of Bosnia and Kosovo
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Illiberal political elites and ethno-nationalist parties continue to rule in the Western Balkans by consolidating their grip over economic and political power. The resilience of such political forces can be attributed, in part, to state capture, defined here as the seizure of state institutions and functions by political party leadership in which public power is exercised primarily for private gain against the public good. The appropriation of state institutions as a means of political survival has been particularly evident in the cases of Bosnia and Kosovo, where political parties govern through clientelism and patronage networks accompanied by large-scale, high-level corruption. This paper draws on the theoretical insights of Mungiu-Pippidi and Grzymala-Busse to help explain the nature of state capture in both countries.Through various mechanisms of state capture, including the capture of the public procurement sector, the paper demonstrates how certain political parties in both countries have maintained their positions of power and privilege. The findings contest the more optimistic expectations of the institutionalist literature on state-building and democratic consolidation.


Name: John D'Attoma
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: john.dattoma@eui.eu
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Institution: European University Institute
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: More Bang For Your Buck: An Experimental Comparative Analysis of Tax Compliance
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Co-author info: Sven Steinmo
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In many ways taxation is the linchpin between democratic accountability and responsibility. No one really enjoys paying taxes, but we do it to ensure our public institutions, infrastructure, and programs are funded well enough to function properly. Paying taxes is also used as a means to keep our politicians accountable; they are spending our money, and therefore, they should spend it wisely. However, there is large variation in both the quality and quantity of public services countries provide and how well public institutions are perceived. To a large extent these are correlated. If I perceive my institutions as providing good quality services, then I will be more likely to pay my taxes and vice versa. On the other hand, If individuals pay their taxes, governments are better able to provide quality public services. This situation is what I call a low-trust/low-efficiency or high-trust/high-efficiency feedback loop which can either foster tax compliance or tax non-compliance. Using comparative historical analysis, I examine how this low-trust/low-efficiency environment can form using the case of Italy. I further test how Italians, Swedes, Brits, and Americans behave given the exact same institutional environment and tax system. In end the end, I unearth that that quality of public institutions and an efficient/effective tax administration is more important to tax collection, than individual and personal characteristics.


Name: Yasser El-Shimy
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: yelshimy@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Boston University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Unveiling the Gun: Why Praetorian Armies Decide to Rule, The Case of Egypt (2011-2013)
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While democracy is the least likely outcome of any political transitions, this paper argues that this is even more likely in praetorian (as opposed to merely authoritarian) states. At a broad conceptual level, this research expands on the civil-military literature, and aims to explore the role praetorian militaries play during political transitions and processes of democratic consolidation. In particular, it seeks to explain the conditions under which a guardian or a moderator praetorian army would opt to become a ruling praetorian army, and, therefore, preclude the possibility of democratic consolidation. Indeed, this work aims to identify the factors responsible for the undoing of Egypt’s electoral advances, and whether or not that outcome was inevitable. The general assertion here is that the imbalance of power within the state, caused by the army’s oversized political role, and within society, caused by the Brotherhood’s relative organizational prowess, meant a confrontation between the two was virtually unavoidable. Fearing the prospect of subjective civilian control imposed by a potentially hegemonic party, a praetorian military is bound to check that party’s rise by waging a coup d’état in order to maintain the army’s institutional autonomy, economic privileges and right to rule. The rest of the political class aids this process by playing the role of the disloyal opposition paving the way for the officers to remove civilian officials, and carry out a restorative coup. While praetorian armies prefer to delegate the burden of governing to pliable civilians, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ (SCAF) failure to orchestrate a political transition into a tutelary democracy drove the army to reluctantly shift its posture into ruling praetorianism. Contrary to their wishes and interests, the political transition engendered an intolerable situation for the army: the emergence, in the Muslim Brotherhood, of a potentially hegemonic party that repeatedly attempted (and failed) to subject the military to civilian control. Praetorian armies do not tolerate the emergence of a new political order that promises civilian control, especially the subjective type.


Name: Ugurcan Evci
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: ugurcanevci1@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Turkish - Kurdish Ethnic Conflict in Turkey: An Everlasting Question
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The Kurds are the largest nation of the world without a state. The Kurdish population is spread across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, and the Kurds have been subject to conflict with these nation states. This paper examines the foundations of the conflict between the Kurds and the Turkish Republic. The conflict dates back to 1850s and it still prevails. The research shows that there have been three important turning points in the history of the conflict. The first one is the 1850s, when the Ottoman Empire started to centralize and build a Turko-Islamic identity. The second turning point is the formation of the Turkish Republic, which resulted in ethnic homogenization and further centralization. The last turning point is the radicalization of the Turkish politics in 1960s and 1970s which led to the 1980 coup d’état. The paper reveals that all three turning points were experiences of similar actions of both sides, where state was taking measures against the Kurds and the Kurdish identity, and the Kurds were reacting. The paper follows a modernist approach to ethnicity, and it argues that there were no real ethnic lines before the nationalist influences, and the conflict arose after the establishment of modern ethnic identities.


Name: Mneesha Gellman
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: mneesha_gellman@emerson.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Emerson College
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Visible yet Invisible: Indigenous Citizens and the Politics of History in El Salvador and Guatemala
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Co-author info: Michelle Bellino, University of Michigan, bellino@umich.edu
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El Salvador and Guatemala both underwent civil wars that severely impacted both countries’ most marginalized citizens, including indigenous peoples. Today, spaces for the teaching and learning of the violent past remain challenged in each country, with implications for indigenous and non- indigenous people alike. This article examines the impact of democratization in El Salvador and Guatemala on the educational sphere, documenting narrative trends in what is said and what is silenced on the topic of the civil wars in formal and informal education. We argue that different democratization and transitional justice processes have created opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning about indigenous peoples’ roles and experiences in the civil wars in each country. Methodologically, the article draws on ethnographic, interview, and text-based data as well as democratization, transitional justice, and education literatures to document how teaching and learning the violent past is a highly politicized act with long-term implications for democratic quality in each country.


Name: Miguel Glatzer
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: miguel_glatzer@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: LaSalle University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Seasonal Guest Worker Regimes: Why Reforms in the EU but not in the US?
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Seasonal work is a key characteristic of agriculture and tourism. To address labor demand in these areas, the US and many European countries have instituted seasonal permits for foreign workers, but serious problems of abuse have plagued these programs. Wage theft, compensation below the minimum wage, unsafe working conditions, and forced, uncompensated or undercompensated overtime are common. This paper examines the H2A and H2B programs in the US, compares them to seasonal labor permits in Europe and examines the politics of reform on both sides of the Atlantic. It explains why reforms have been successful in Europe but not in the US. In particular it looks at why the European Parliament has pushed for an upgrading of labor standards while similar attempts have been blocked in Congress.


Name: Michael Greenberg
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: megree@ship.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Agent and Structure: A Developing Theory of Leadership in Representative Government
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Co-author info: Cynthia A. Botteron, Shippensburg University cabott@ship.edu
Co-presenter info: none
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This paper addresses the question “Do the writers of constitutions adjust the requirements for elected officials across the branches of government to suit the tasks/responsibilities of the office much as a business would do for prospective employees?” Using data from the "Comparative Representation Project: Requirements for National Office" data set, we examine the range of constitutional requirements countries apply to those running for office. Additionally, we examine the frequency of use of constitutional requirements for office between countries. Finally, we compare the similarities in both type and frequency of requirements across legislative and executive branches within countries. Specifically, we find support for what is emerging as a modified theory of leadership democracy whereby states actively construct an office-specific biography that places far greater formal burdens on office seekers than previously realized by scholars of democracy.


Name: Jane Hagan
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: jehagan01@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Rutgers University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Ideology and the Militant: “Constructivism,” “Honor” Politics, and the Mis-Categorization of the Islamic Extremist Militant Actor
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As acts of terror rage on around the globe, a desperate yet determined world seeks to find out the ethos and motivation behind the worst of these acts. Islamic extremist militant groups in various places around the world have gained notoriety over the past few decades as they have claimed responsibility for, or been accused of, perpetrating acts of international terror. Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda have increasingly broadened their scope of operations, membership and volume of activity to cover unprecedented swaths of international territory. As they channel and feed off more and deeper transnational networks, the shadowy nature of these extremist militant groups makes their profiling and apprehension an almost impossible feat. Government leaders and their allies are determined. However, chronic mis-categorization of the nature and reasoning of some of global terrorism’s deadliest actors could cause crucial setbacks from which is may be difficult to recover.


Name: S. Mohsin Hashim
Section:
Professional Email: mhashim@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Elite Competition as a Source of Illiberal Democracy: The Case of Bangladesh
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Bangladesh’s nation and state-building project since its independence from Pakistan in 1971 continues to be plagued by a fundamental lack of consensus over regime choice issues. In spite of making remarkable progress on economic and human development fronts, state capacity remains troubled by weak institutional efficacy. This paper seeks to explain the ruling elites’ incapacity to foster a stable institutional equilibrium through an analysis of ideological struggles over national identity questions. This paper will offer an analytical framework that explains how elite contestation revolves around irreconcilable struggles to craft hegemonic nationalist values in support of ruling objectives. In Bangladesh, the two major parties – the ruling Awami League (AL) and its nemesis the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – have constructed fundamentally differing national identity narratives. The AL has conceptualized an ethno-linguistic and secular nationalism that it calls “Bengali nationalism.” The BNP mobilizes around an alternate “Bangladeshi nationalism” that emphasizes the role of Islam in crafting and distinguishing Bangladeshi Bengalis from the Hindu Bengalis that form the majority in West Bengal, India. This paper traces the partisan contestation around Bangladesh’s nationalist project to explain polarization and democratic erosion in Bangladesh through elite inability to compromise on institutional arrangements and the two parties’ inability to serve as “loyal” opposition when not in power. The paper will analyze institutional engineering at critical junctures in Bangladesh’s political evolution across military and civilian regimes to assess the scope and limits of democratic viability in this strategically important Muslim-majority state.


Name: Miaad Hassan
Section:
Professional Email: miaad08@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Florida
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Minority Rule in Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain: A Comparative Analysis
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Ethnic minority governance inevitably raises questions of legitimacy. Is it possible to have a minority-based government that represents all citizens? Even in secular democracies, where courts protect citizen rights, the issue is problematic, but in countries that divide along ethnicity, religion, and / or tribal loyalty, the history of all-inclusive governance is not encouraging. Almost by definition, minority rule in nondemocratic countries tends to autocracy. The strategies of dominant minority regimes to control majoritarian populations may not differ from those used by majoritarian governments, yet the results are often quite different. This paper asks why ethnic violence is prevalent and prolonged in countries where ethnic minorities rule, and how does it affect state identity? By comparing minority rule in Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain, it analyzes how minority rule continues to frustrate majoritarian rule. Even though Sunni-Shia conflicts have existed in the Middle East since the death of Mohammed, they have been exploited by modern regimes to remain in power. This paper argues that ethnic conflict does not end with majoritarian rule. In fact, if a majoritarian party assumes power after a dominant minority government, it is likely to consolidate its own interests rather than pursue authentic representative government. Indeed, national identity is less likely to be salient when the governing group is drawn from the majority, and ethnic identity is more likely to be salient when a majority overcomes minority rule. By analyzing and comparing the rule in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain, the paper offers a regional analysis of ethnic politics and examines how the trans-nationalist movement known as pan-Arabism gave rise to minority rule in Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain.


Name: David Hayes
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: dhayes@troy.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Troy University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Institutional Change in Venezuela: Vicious Cycle or Counter-Revolution?
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The recent drop in oil prices has plunged Venezuela into a severe economic crisis, fueled electoral gains by the opposition, and sparked a recall movement against President Maduro. At this point, it would seem that the survival of the Chavista regime and its Bolivarian revolution are in question. This paper will examine the evolution of political and economic institutions under the Chavista regime to provide an answer to this question. Acemoglu and Robinson’s theory of extractive versus inclusive institutions and Bueno de Mesquita, Smith, Siverson and Morrow’s Selectorate theory will be used to analyze the changes in Venezuelan economic and political institutions to identify the parameters of an answer to the question of whether the current regime will survive. From Acemoglu and Robinson’s theoretical perspective, Venezuela is at a critical juncture at which institutions are likely to change dramatically, either becoming more inclusive (especially in the case of economic institutions) or more extractive (particularly in the case of political institutions). While from this perspective history is viewed as contingent in nature, a lot depends on whether a vicious cycle of extractive economic and political institutions exists that will keep the country on a trajectory of ever more extractive institutions. From the perspective of Selectorate Theory, the key question is the size of the coalition Maduro needs to stay in power and whether it is small enough that he can provide private benefits to them from the diminished flow of revenue under his control. The paper will examine these question in detail.


Name: Erblin Hoxha
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: hoxha.erblin@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Texas at Dallas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What is the impact of diaspora on natural resource rich countries?!
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Panel Description: While oil impact on democratization has been widely debated among scholars, other natural resources have not been the focus of this literature. Natural resources bring “easy revenue” for the state but why some natural resources impact the state differently than others?! What makes some natural resources a threat to democratization while some others not so much?! Or do natural resources pose a threat or have any impact on democratization whatsoever? I examine the case of Chilean strong democracy and compare it with Venezuelan weak democracy bearing in mind that Chile is among the top copper exporter and Venezuela is among the top oil exporter. This is the starting point of a much bigger picture: what are other major influences on democratization besides the already discussed theories.
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Many scholars have been looking at natural resources as the focal point when trying to examine the impact that resource revenue had on democratization. There has been little to no sufficient research done about the people who left the country for different reasons and have been living in democratic countries for years. Developing a natural resource industry opens a window of foreign investment. Many of the investment actually comes from diaspora of that country. What is the impact of the people who return to their home country not only to invest but also work to make their country a better place. Living in a more democratic country implies embracing democratic values and upon return to their home country, those values need to be met by the governments or at least diaspora people who returned will be most likely to push for more democratic reforms. My paper addresses the issue of the impact that diaspora have on the state building and democratization with special focus on natural resource rich countries. I try to examine the direct impact of diaspora on resource rich countries believing that natural resource industry is a major push for them to come back and invest in their home country. In my paper, I take Venezuela and Chile as a starting point and continue with 6 other countries who are resource rich: Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Botswana, Nigeria and Congo. I will be having a case selection comparison between these countries on 3 different aspects. The level of democracy and strength of institutions, which I will use the Polity IV score to measure my comparing countries, the level of diaspora in comparison to the total population number and the diversification of the economy of the comparing countries by using the United Nations International Migration and the World Bank Development indicators, respectively. The case selection comparison will contain data that show these indicators before the exploration of natural resources and will have a 5-year lag measure due to the foreseen impacts of natural resource revenues on policies and government. The level of diaspora has an important role in the democratization of their country of origin. Countries who have a higher level of diaspora in democratic countries tend to foster democratic consolidation than countries whose diaspora level is lower or have less diaspora in more democratic countries. Natural resource industry is a major investment opportunity for diaspora and they see investing in their own country of origin as a chance to go back and help their country. The returnees will bring along the democratic values of a country they are going back from resulting in a spillover effect in the rest of the society. By investing in their country of origin, they tend to be more demanding of their government requiring stronger and more democratic institutions, therefore fostering democratic consolidation. A lot of natural resource rich countries do not keep data of migration and therefore it is hard to find online data especially for smaller and less developed countries. In conclusion, my paper will open a new area of focus research where human capital will be the center of development and will significantly help other countries, especially smaller countries, to draft policies that will enable better official communication between the countries and their diasporas. Opening new channels of cooperation with already proven examples of diasporas impact on other countries will highly influence governments and also people who live outside their country of origin and who want to return, to invest and to put more effort in helping their home countries.


Name: George Kaloudis
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: gkaloudis@rivier.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Rivier University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: National Divisions During Times of War: The Greek case during World War I
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The Greek political landscape at the advent of World War I was characterized by personality clashes, constitutional controversies, and conflicting foreign policy objectives. Its chief protagonists were King Constantine and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos as well as the Great European Powers. The relationship between these two men and Great Power interference in Greek affairs led to the Ethnikos Dikhasmos or National Schism during World War I; a schism that persists to today, albeit in different form, with detrimental effects for the Greek people and the Greek state.


Name: Andrea Kent
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: andrea.kent@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: WVU - Institute of Technology
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Risky Business: Democratic Quality and the Winner-Loser Effect
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Democracy inherently creates winners and losers. This winning-losing experience affects a person’s political attitudes and actions. Differences in response levels of those whose candidate won the election versus those who lost illustrate the winner-loser effect. Furthermore, the winner-loser experience varies by a country’s contextual characteristics. Using cross-sectional data from 18 presidential democracies in North, Central and South America, I find that (1) responses to one’s position as a winner or loser vary greatly across the countries and (2) the country contexts of rights protections and democratic history mediate the relationship between winning and losing and political attitudes and behaviors. The Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) provides the cross-sectional individual-level survey data for this study from the year 2008. Ultimately, study of the winner-loser effect indicates the health of the political system in its ability to ameliorate the tensions between those in government and those that are out.


Name: Craig Lang
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: konahi05@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Florida International University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Impact of Transitional Justice on the Development of the Rule of Law
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Statements by practitioners and scholars alike that transitional justice, particularly trials, aid in the development of the rule of law in post-conflict states remains largely untested. The use of transitional justice, which encompasses a range of mechanisms designed to hold human rights violators accountable, as well as provide victims reparations, continues to grow as exemplified by its use in several countries that were part of the Arab Spring, recent International Criminal Court indictments in Kenya and the 2014 release of a truth commission report in Brazil. The proposed presentation will discuss the impact of a variety of transitional justice mechanisms (trials, truth-telling, amnesties and reparations) on the development of the rule of law in the post-conflict states of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo and Colombia. Based upon assumptions in the rule of law literature, made by scholars such as Francis Fukuyama and Jane Stromseth, the rule of law should only be enhanced in post-conflict states if there is sufficient domestic design, control and support for transitional justice. To test these assumptions, this study utilizes a mixed method comparative approach, including multivariate regression analysis to measure if a relationship exists, and which, if any, mechanism(s) contributes to the development of the rule of law. The quantitative analysis is complemented by in-country fieldwork that identifies how, if any, changes occurred, as well as explains how and why certain mechanisms were chosen and implemented. This research not only begins to fill a gap within the transitional justice literature, but it also sheds light on how the rule of law does or does not develop in post-conflict states.


Name: Andre Lecours
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: a.lecours@videotron.ca
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of Ottawa
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Political Consequences of Self-Determination Referendums in Liberal-Democracies: Québec, Scotland, Catalonia and Puerto Rico.
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Self-determination referendums in established liberal democracies are typically momentous events that represent a defining moment of nationalist mobilization. The dramatic character of such referendums is derived in part from a political discourse presenting them as historical moments featuring an element of finality. Perhaps because this finality seems to involve the status quo, scholarly attention has been focused on the dynamics of the referendum campaigns. The larger issue of the impact of these referendums on politics has been virtually ignored. This paper takes up this neglected but important question. Indeed, self-determination referendums may represent critical junctures in the development of nationalist movements and multinational states even if their results seem to perpetuate a constitutional and institutional status quo. The paper examines three specific questions in relation to the aftermath of self-determination referendums. First, what was the impact of the referendum on the political party who organized it? Second, what was the consequence of the result for the politics of the constitutional option that was offered as an alternative to the status quo? Third, how did states adjust their nationalist management strategies? The cases of Québec, Scotland, Catalonia, and Puerto Rico are used as empirical material to delve into these questions.


Name: Claire Seungeun Lee
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: claireunlee@gmail.com
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: UMass Boston
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Emergence of International Migrants and Social Governance in Urban China: Governmentality with Chinese Characteristics
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Emigrating and immigrating migrants are a patent fact of the dynamics of population movement within the Asia region in today’s global age. In the case of China, the dual movement of people is a manifestation of the monumental changes occurring as part of the country’s rapid development, including the massive population shift from rural to urban areas. But, given the vast number of Chinese internal migrants, there is a less room and intention for the Chinese government to embrace, invite or receive foreigners, simply because it is easy to find a cheap labor from its national and local markets. Drawing from the author’s fieldwork, the Census Data, source countries’ overseas population statistics, scholarly, and media reports, this paper explores the emergence of international migrants in China and understands as a social governance (shehui guanli). In particular, this paper first investigates how the Chinese central and local states govern the rise of international migrants in recent years. Second, this study also looks at how the three groups of international migrants are managed by the policies. By doing so, this paper suggests a “governmentality with Chinese characteristics” as a new conceptual tool of dealing with China’s state-society relation. The concept is relocated with the context of constructing a society, which is one of the important part of nation building, from a “harmonious society” building, “social management,” to “social governance.”


Name: Chao Liu
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: cl3138@nyu.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
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Paper Title: Electoral Authoritarianism and Economic Inequality
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How do autocratic institutions affect economic inequality? Despite the extensive literature comparing democracies and autocracies, it is not clear about how the level of economic inequality differs among autocratic types. Extending the analysis of existing works, this paper argues that multiparty autocratic elections lead to decreased economic inequality by making direct policy concessions related with pro-poor growth and investing more in human capital due to electoral competition. Conducting a series of statistical test with a panel data including approximately 150 countries from 1965-2007, I find that electoral authoritarian regimes, which combine factors of autocracy and democracy, exert a larger negative effect on economic inequality compared with closed autocracies; further, democracies perform better than both of them. The findings have important implications for the study of political institutions and policy effects and the political economy of international development.


Name: Stanislav Markus
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: stanislav@post.harvard.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Chicago
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: The Flexible Few: Oligarchs and Wealth Defense in Developing Democracies
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Based on an original large-N dataset of individual Ukrainian oligarchs and qualitative evidence, this article tests competing perspectives on the political power of big capital. We find, surprisingly, that neither the assumption of direct power by the oligarchs, nor the mobility of oligarchic assets, help tycoons protect their fortunes against shocks. Instead, the indirect strategies of party support and media ownership significantly enhance business wealth. Empirically, we construct the definitive profile of postcommunist oligarchs by examining the political and economic activities of 177 oligarchs from 2006 to 2012. Theoretically, we contribute to the literatures on instrumental and structural power of capital, and on the interactions between extreme wealth, rule of law, and democracy. In doing so, we contrast the logic of flexibility, according to which oligarchs benefit from political adaptability and deniability, with the logic of commitment compensation, according to which oligarchs benefit from direct power when the rule of law is weak.


Name: Sara Norrevik
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: sara.norrevik@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University at Buffalo, SUNY
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: TTIP and interest group attitudes: comparing the EU and the US
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A highly salient issue in national politics in the United States this year, 2016, has been free trade. Still, debates about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a free trade agreement that is being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union, have been fairly quiet. This paper analyzes interest group attitudes and advocacy in the U.S. and the E.U. toward TTIP, and traces differences in attitudes and salience to political contexts in the two continents. Classical models of free trade (Heckscher-Ohlin, Ricardo-Viner) that focus on individual income have increasingly been challenged by theories emphasizing sociotropic factors and domestic concerns. The findings of this paper support the latter, suggesting that theories about free trade policy could be further refined and empirically investigated. This paper provides a theoretical basis for empirically analyzing interest group attitudes and voting patterns (yet to come) on TTIP in the legislative chambers of the U.S. and the E.U.



Identity Politics

Name: Deborah Anthony
Section: Women's Caucus
Professional Email: deborahx50@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Illinois Springfield
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
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Paper Title: Analyzing Women’s Political-Legal Regression through the Lens of Surname Practices in the English Early Modern Period
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The names by which people have been known illustrate a great deal about social norms and legal practices extant during various periods in English history. Surname use was at one time quite variable, bearing little resemblance to the typical practices seen in modern-day England. That variation tells an interesting story about women over the centuries, beginning in Saxon times, through the advent of surnames at the Norman Conquest of 1066, then later through the development of coverture as a component of English common law, and into the present day. Women in England at one time held individualized surnames reflecting specific traits, occupations, statuses, or family relations (e.g. Fairwife, Silkwoman, Widow, Robertdaughter). Certainly before, and even after surnames became regularly hereditary around the Fifteenth Century, women still sometimes retained their birth names at marriage, men sometimes adopted the surnames of their wives, and children and grandchildren sometimes inherited the surnames of their mothers or grandmothers. Women’s surname flexibility was once quite expansive, which bespoke of a surprisingly developed social and legal standing. But these diverse surname practices eventually disappeared, along with women’s occupational options and property rights, as well as other indicators of their position. What accounts for this retrenchment? If the history of women is not one in which only positive developments and progress occurred over time, however plodding, but rather one that evinced a significant and prolonged period of decline, then important questions arise about the causes for such a significant regression. There are several possible explanations. In addition to the emergence (and disappearance) of feudalism and the gradual implementation of the common law and coverture in England, these manifestations may also be tied to economic and political developments in the Early Modern period. Included in that umbrella is the advent of capitalism, which emerged in England in its modern form in the 16th-18th Centuries. Also potentially important is the advancement of theoretical concepts of citizenship and rights, which became more formalized during that period and therefore more exclusive to certain privileged groups, which did not typically include women. Additional factors include expanding principles of conquest and imperialism (both formal and informal) and the building of the modern nation-state. These new political concepts necessarily brought with them discourses of dominance and superiority, self and other. In the process of identifying the “self” in determining which were the citizens entitled to rights and status, women may have been formally excluded in ways in which they had not previously been. The implications of these historical developments and their impact on women are wide-ranging and significant. A theoretical investigation and analysis of the catalysts for this constriction of women’s rights and status will be central in this paper.


Name: Jason Blessing
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: jablessing4@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Syracuse University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Networks of Meaning and Domestic Right-Wing Violence: White Supremacist Responses to Immigration Reform in the U.S.
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Co-author info: Elise Roberts Syracuse University emrob100@syr.edu
Co-presenter info: Elise Roberts Syracuse University emrob100@syr.edu
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This paper examines both the rhetoric and actions of violent White Supremacist groups across two cases: 1954-1965 and 1965-1985. Combining content analysis with network analysis, we examine of the network of elite discourse created by White Supremacist factions--the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, Racist Skinheads, and Christian Identity groups. Utilizing primary source materials, we identify the salient in-group and out-group distinctions based on race, religion, and geographical factors in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board decision; the second case examines changes in the established rhetorical network in response to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and ensuing demographic shifts. Finally, we discuss the correlations between elite rhetoric/messages and the types of attacks carried out by their adherents across both cases. Insight into the identity constructions of these actors--how they define themselves and their enemies over time--allows for the contextualization of violence into a larger political and social climate.


Name: Stephen Del Visco
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: stephen.del_visco@uconn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: U.S. Conservatism and Anti-Communist Discourse As A Form of Racialization
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In a recent article discussing the state of historical scholarship on U.S. conservatism, historian Kim Phillips-Fein contended that the media’s role in crafting and refining conservative thought has been seriously understudied (Phillips-Fein 2011). Despite this oversight, print media has nonetheless had a profound impact on shaping U.S. conservative ideology, political practice, and racial boundary making. Indeed, because of the finite space of print media, those at the helm of important conservative periodicals had to make choices regarding the scope of their vision, resulting in the production of specific racial ideologies and political subjects. More specifically, U.S. conservative boundary making has received little attention is in the area of race and identity formation. Moreover, while this scholarship contributes important elements of conservative economic, political, and social philosophy by highlighting the role of racialization within the black/white binary, little attention is paid to other forms of racialization within U.S. conservatism. In this article, I advance the argument that the anti-communist rhetoric in mid-twentieth century U.S. conservatism held close a particular racialized content by conflating its anti-communist stance with a vision of East Asia as a economically, socially, and politically backward locale that had failed to reach U.S. conservatism’s vision of an Anglo-Saxon West. I show this tendency using a content analysis from a unique data set comprised of the entirety of the conservative periodical National Review between the years of 1955 (National Review’s inception) and 1980, ending with the election of Ronald Reagan.


Name: Sarah Farsad
Section:
Professional Email: sfarsad@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: The New School
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Race Problem (again)
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The language of race subtlety and insidiously promotes and reproduces racist thought patterns which in turn shape the ways in which we consider policies and solutions to racism in the United States. What do racial equality, racial diversity, and racial justice mean when we apparently live in a post racial society, where there is no biological race and yet presidential candidates must rely on the “black vote” to get elected? This paper will consider the language of race in relation to the ways in which the media has covered the 2016 Presidential Campaign. A recent New York Times article described Donald Trump’s campaign of capitalizing on “the racial animus” that exists in Alabama to further his political agenda. How can we analyze racial animus if there is no such thing as biological race? The language of race leads to sloppy thinking and therefore to sloppy analysis. In 1890, Frederick Douglass gave a speech titled, The Race Problem. I will consider the ways in which race is discussed by three presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders in relation to Douglass’s essay which very clearly and eloquently outlines the trouble with equity in America. The policy implications of race are far reaching and language is a tool available to us to describe, analyze and interpret how we have reached a place and time where it is acceptable to publicly consider an "other" from a racial and racist perspective in a presidential campaign.


Name: Miaad Hassan
Section:
Professional Email: miaad08@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Florida
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Minority Rule in Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain: A Comparative Analysis
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Ethnic minority governance inevitably raises questions of legitimacy. Is it possible to have a minority-based government that represents all citizens? Even in secular democracies, where courts protect citizen rights, the issue is problematic, but in countries that divide along ethnicity, religion, and / or tribal loyalty, the history of all-inclusive governance is not encouraging. Almost by definition, minority rule in nondemocratic countries tends to autocracy. The strategies of dominant minority regimes to control majoritarian populations may not differ from those used by majoritarian governments, yet the results are often quite different. This paper asks why ethnic violence is prevalent and prolonged in countries where ethnic minorities rule, and how does it affect state identity? By comparing minority rule in Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain, it analyzes how minority rule continues to frustrate majoritarian rule. Even though Sunni-Shia conflicts have existed in the Middle East since the death of Mohammed, they have been exploited by modern regimes to remain in power. This paper argues that ethnic conflict does not end with majoritarian rule. In fact, if a majoritarian party assumes power after a dominant minority government, it is likely to consolidate its own interests rather than pursue authentic representative government. Indeed, national identity is less likely to be salient when the governing group is drawn from the majority, and ethnic identity is more likely to be salient when a majority overcomes minority rule. By analyzing and comparing the rule in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain, the paper offers a regional analysis of ethnic politics and examines how the trans-nationalist movement known as pan-Arabism gave rise to minority rule in Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain.


Name: Julie Hollar
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: juliehollar@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: CUNY Graduate Center
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Paper Title: Forging Discursive Alliances in Marriage Equality Battles
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How do social movements help transform public discourse around political issues? Studies on framing have increasingly addressed how and why movements select frames, and which frames help them achieve various goals, but few have attended to variation in framing across time or actors, which can show us the mechanisms by which meanings and power relations change. I explore this angle through the lens of the marriage equality movements in Argentina and the United States, two countries where the same policy debate took different discursive paths. Movement actors can make new claims, but because they historically have been marginalized in the media, those claims will not dominate the public debate unless either gays and lesbians gain standing or other actors repeat them. I find in this paper that while in both countries gay and lesbian actors gain slightly in the space mass media allot them over time, they never succeed in dominating the debate. This means the discursive alliances they forge are critical. However, movement actors cannot control their claims once they put them forth; other actors selectively take them up, elevating certain claims above others, and as they do so, those claims can also take on new and different meanings. I apply network analytic techniques to an original dataset of actors and the claims they made in prominent newspapers in Argentina and the United States in order to trace the ways new claims about gays and lesbians and the state come to dominate the debate through shifting discursive alliances, and the ways those claims change in the process. I show that, in part because of their different political and institutional landscapes, advocates pursued discursive alliances in ways that differed in two main respects. In Argentina, advocates pursued a unifying alliance strategy through claim adoption. In the United States, advocates pursued a distributed alliance strategy through claim innovation. In both countries advocates achieved policy change, but these divergent strategies created more durable packages of meanings in Argentina and more fragmented packages in the United States.


Name: Mikaila Leyva
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: mleyva@nd.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: The University of Notre Dame
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Latino Businesses and Political Participation
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Co-author info: Andrea Peña-Vasquez, the University of Notre Dame, apenavas@nd.educaciónJuan Valdez, the University of Notre Dame, jvaldez2@nd.edu
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Many factors contribute to political participation, with a general consensus of political scientists agreeing that education and economic standing are among the most relevant. These ‘resources’ include a variety of elements, most prominent being non-political institutions, such as churches and community networks. These non-political institutions have been comprehensively studied but oftentimes, local businesses are overlooked as institutions that may affect participation. A question that has not been addressed by the literature on political participation is: can ethnically owned businesses act as non-political institutions that generate political participation amongst their respective ethnic groups?We contend that local businesses, more specifically Latino-owned businesses, aid in creating communal ties among groups and prompting political participation, much like other non-political institutions. We focus on Latinos primarily because they are the most prominent and fastest growing ethnic minority within the United States; with their electorate likely to double by 2030, this group is more politically relevant than ever before (Taylor 2012). By targeting this population, we can determine the relationship between political participation and ethnically owned businesses, in turn generating important insight for future research.We examine the relationship between the proportion of Latino-owned businesses and political participation among Latinos at the county level. The question we ask is this: Do metropolitan areas with higher proportions of Latino-owned businesses affect Latino political participation? To answer this question, we analyze both formal (registering and voting) and informal (participating in civil society and contacting government officials) political activities of Latinos in the United States. This analysis allows for a closer examination into the role that ethnically owned businesses may play in generating political participation.


Name: Phillip Logan
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: phillip.logan1@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Temple University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Taking African American Politics Seriously; Thinking Beyond Racial Justice
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Critics of the Black Lives Matter Movement in particular, and identity politics in general argue that the politics of identity often entails the buttressing of racial identity at the expense of democratic forms of solidarity. Adolph Reed highlights in his critique of Black racial politics that the centrality of race within post-civil rights Black politics lends itself to Black political voice captured by Black neoliberal elites. Black neoliberal interests run contrary to the politics of poor and working class solidarity, and consolidating Black politics around the political agendas of the Black and affluent. Through politicized notions of ‘Blackness’, racial identity politics, for Reed, arrests the potential for solidarity across difference between poor and working class Blacks and non-Blacks. In this I paper I want to argue that even though Reed astutely points out problematic aspects of Black identity politics in relation to larger mobilizations and its own goals, he negates to consider that the centrality of race in Black politics may exist as Sheldon Wolin describes as ‘tacit political knowledge’. Tacit political knowledge is rooted in the notion of personal knowledge, which, according to Michael Polyani, is the notion that ‘one believes more than what they can prove, and that one knows more than what can be said’. If one were to argue that ‘racial justice’, as a political virtue, is the tacit political knowledge of Black experience as political action, then a fact-based critique of it as such is not adequate. This essay concludes that if the tacit political knowledge of Black experience as ‘personal knowledge’ is non-falsifiable, then its critique can only come from within Black experience by questioning the virtue of racial justice, philosophically, in the face of other assumedly less salient forms of justice distributive, gender, sexual etc.


Name: Ahmad Qabazard
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: ahmadqabazard@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Problemization of Nationality: Revoking Citizenship to Crackdown on Dissent in the Gulf Cooperation Council
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This article examines a series governmental decrees which led to the denaturalization of over seventy Kuwaiti citizens in 2014. The victims of denaturalization have become members of a stateless population known in Kuwait as Bidun. I attempt to understand the existence of the Bidun through a genealogical critique of the problematization of citizenship and national identity. I work with the notion of Biopolitics, developed by Michel Foucault in his critique of the problematization of sexuality, to understand why revoking citizenship has become a convenient punitive measure for rulers of GCC states. I find that, through the existence of the Bidun, the State of Kuwait was able to retain the sovereign’s “right to kill” through its transition to a semi-parliamentary regime and the use of popular illegalisms.


Name: Elise Roberts
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: elisemrob@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Syracuse University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Networks of Meaning and Domestic Right-Wing Violence: White Supremacist Responses to Immigration Reform in the U.S.
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Co-author info: Jason Blessing; Syracuse University; jablessi@syr.edu
Co-presenter info: Jason Blessing; Syracuse University; jablessi@syr.edu
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This paper examines both the rhetoric and actions of violent White Supremacist groups across two cases: 1954-1965 and 1965-1985. Combining content analysis with network analysis, we examine of the network of elite discourse created by White Supremacist factions--the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, Racist Skinheads, and Christian Identity groups. Utilizing primary source materials, we identify the salient in-group and out-group distinctions based on race, religion, and geographical factors in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board decision; the second case examines changes in the established rhetorical network in response to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and ensuing demographic shifts. Finally, we discuss the correlations between elite rhetoric/messages and the types of attacks carried out by their adherents across both cases. Insight into the identity constructions of these actors--how they define themselves and their enemies over time--allows for the contextualization of violence into a larger political and social climate.


Name: Mette Marie Stæhr Harder
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: mmharder@ruc.dk
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Roskilde, Denmark
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Paper Title: Representation of Interests, not Groups: Reclaiming Pitkin’s Second Way
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For years, representation has been perceived as being about groups. However, in an era when the concept of groups is being challenged, we need new ways of thinking about representation that do not depend on groups. Reopening Pitkin’s conceptualization of representation, this article shows that although this is seldom acknowledged, her classical concept of substantive representation opens the way for understanding representation in terms which do not involve groups. Accordingly, the article sets out to test this “second way” by applying it to the academic field concerned with “women substantive representation” and it shows that by moving from studying “substantive representation of women” (the group perspective) toward studying “substantive representation of gender equality” (the non-group perspective) the field can rid itself of problems it has struggled with for years. The universal character of these problems suggests that the "second way” is a viable option for research on representation in general.


Name: Brendan Stern
Section: Identity Politics
Professional Email: Udkovich@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Gallaudet University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Too Deaf and Not Deaf Enough During the 2006 Gallaudet Protest: The Diffusion of Identity Politics in the Deaf Community and Its Strategic Dilemmas
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What could explain the diffusion of identity politics? What are its strategic dilemmas? To explore those strategic questions, the dissertation analyzes and evaluates the Unity for Gallaudet (UFG) protest at Gallaudet in 2006 during which the students, faculty and alumni closed down the only liberal arts university in the world for Deaf people to protest the Board of Trustees' selection of the University President. It was widely disparaged as “identity politics gone wild” by scholars, commentators, and political leaders who accused the protestors of mob rule and cultural extremism who thought Fernandes was “not Deaf enough” because she had learned sign language at a later age and had a more inclusive vision of what it meant to be deaf in a rapidly changing world. In turn, the protestors incited an unlawful mob to make non-negotiable demands that threatened public order and the future of the university. That they still won in achieving their demands is held up today as one more example as to why identity politics is becoming increasingly popular in this day and age – it is a strategic advantage for politicians and social movement leaders. However, this paper argues that the diffusion of culture wars since 1988 has sacralized the nature of political conflicts - and that the Deaf community is falling in line at its own risk. With methodological triangulation of content and frame analysis of public and private claims by supporters, antagonists, and elites, and ethnographic analysis based on participant observation and archival research, this paper re-describes the identity politics of the UFG protest through the broader lens of the raging culture wars between liberals and conservatives in the United States. It explores how consequentialist deliberations about what it means to be deaf in a hearing world as exemplified by the DPN protest are now often sacred arguments about what it means to be American in a diverse world. And then, from the vantage point of strategic interactionism, it argues that the UFG protest could highlight the strategic trade-offs of identity politics, which can be dismissed but at the individual, community, and country’s own peril.


Name: Alejandro Torres
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: alexfcbtorr@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Florida International University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
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Paper Title: Beyond the Individual: Revisiting the Idea of Neutrality in Multicultural Societies
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John Rawls’ landmark 1971 book A Theory of Justice has been criticized on the grounds that its principles of justice are not sensitive to group differences in multicultural societies. Communitarians such as Charles Taylor have disputed Rawls’ assumption that the principal task of a just society is to distribute fairly the liberties and economic resources needed by citizens to practice their own plans of life. Rawls’ response to communitarian critiques of this sort in Political Liberalism falls short in its attempt to reconcile conflicts of recognition that exist beyond the individual. In this paper I propose a liberal principle of neutrality that accounts for group differences in diverse settings. I argue that differences in comprehensive doctrines do influence general perceptions on a variety of social constructs like race, ethnicity, and culture, all of which produce systematic differences in treatment that are rooted in the association of citizens to these constructs. To begin, we cannot assume that all individuals are inherently equal without accounting for differences between groups. In this case the collective identity of individuals must be included in the liberal conception of neutrality. And second, the principle of neutrality should aim to secure individual liberties only when group differences are balanced against each other with respect to the opportunities of members to achieve their goals in life. I conclude that principles of neutrality must promote the rights of disadvantaged groups in order to achieve a fairly neutral system of justice in multicultural societies.



NPSA Women's Caucus

Name: Deborah Anthony
Section: Women's Caucus
Professional Email: deborahx50@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Illinois Springfield
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Analyzing Women’s Political-Legal Regression through the Lens of Surname Practices in the English Early Modern Period
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The names by which people have been known illustrate a great deal about social norms and legal practices extant during various periods in English history. Surname use was at one time quite variable, bearing little resemblance to the typical practices seen in modern-day England. That variation tells an interesting story about women over the centuries, beginning in Saxon times, through the advent of surnames at the Norman Conquest of 1066, then later through the development of coverture as a component of English common law, and into the present day. Women in England at one time held individualized surnames reflecting specific traits, occupations, statuses, or family relations (e.g. Fairwife, Silkwoman, Widow, Robertdaughter). Certainly before, and even after surnames became regularly hereditary around the Fifteenth Century, women still sometimes retained their birth names at marriage, men sometimes adopted the surnames of their wives, and children and grandchildren sometimes inherited the surnames of their mothers or grandmothers. Women’s surname flexibility was once quite expansive, which bespoke of a surprisingly developed social and legal standing. But these diverse surname practices eventually disappeared, along with women’s occupational options and property rights, as well as other indicators of their position. What accounts for this retrenchment? If the history of women is not one in which only positive developments and progress occurred over time, however plodding, but rather one that evinced a significant and prolonged period of decline, then important questions arise about the causes for such a significant regression. There are several possible explanations. In addition to the emergence (and disappearance) of feudalism and the gradual implementation of the common law and coverture in England, these manifestations may also be tied to economic and political developments in the Early Modern period. Included in that umbrella is the advent of capitalism, which emerged in England in its modern form in the 16th-18th Centuries. Also potentially important is the advancement of theoretical concepts of citizenship and rights, which became more formalized during that period and therefore more exclusive to certain privileged groups, which did not typically include women. Additional factors include expanding principles of conquest and imperialism (both formal and informal) and the building of the modern nation-state. These new political concepts necessarily brought with them discourses of dominance and superiority, self and other. In the process of identifying the “self” in determining which were the citizens entitled to rights and status, women may have been formally excluded in ways in which they had not previously been. The implications of these historical developments and their impact on women are wide-ranging and significant. A theoretical investigation and analysis of the catalysts for this constriction of women’s rights and status will be central in this paper.


Name: Mary Anne Borrelli
Section:
Professional Email: mabor@conncoll.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Connecticut College
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Roundtable Title: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity and the 2016 Presidential Election
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Name: Young-Im Lee
Section: Women's Caucus
Professional Email: youngim.lee@mail.umsl.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Missouri-St. Louis
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Political Machines, Mixed Electoral System, and Gender: Challenges for Continuing Political Career for Women National Legislators
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South Korea adopted gender quotas for the national proportional representation (PR) seats in 2004. Currently about 17 percent of women assume national legislative seats, most of them benefit from the gender quota.However,very few women serve beyond their first term and the quota does not seem to have a lasting effect. This paper explores the challenges those PR women face after they enter political arena, based on statistical analysis of the last three elections and author’s interviews with party members and legislative staff members. The author argues that due to South Korea’s party organization and local political machines, PR members enjoy less privilege compared to district representatives, and have a hard time establishing their own political machine in districts.


Name: Stan Molchanov
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: 10molchanov@cua.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Catholic University of America
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Paper Title: Observations on Late Modern Historiography
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‘Modern’ political thought is concerned with history to the degree that it revolts against tradition; modernity recasts the old in the form of the new, which is unfinished and unfinishable, in order to more fully account for what industrialization and rationalization have made possible. Postmodern thought goes further: postmodernism is a set of ongoing attempts to shatter the autonomy of various spheres of thought and culture by undermining the legitimacy of their separateness. Postmodernity celebrates and even institutionalizes difference. It does so chiefly by means of a genealogical unmasking of cultural dominants. Genealogy and periodization, however, bring in their train a theory of history. Postmodern political thought in fact seems acutely sensitive to the historical dimension of human being. Michel Foucault once said that to think beyond modernity, one must think beyond history. How is it, then, that postmodernism, to the degree that it emphasizes growth and becoming and transition at the expense of homogeneity and rigidity and tradition, has moved beyond modern thought? Could post-modernity be an outgrowth of late modernity that corrects for certain modern defects? What would properly post-historical political thought be?


Name: Kisha Patel
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: kipatel@ursinus.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Ursinus College
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Paper Title: My Body, Not My Say: Regulation of Reproductive Freedom in America
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Women’s bodies have been legislated for years. Many people associate regulation beginning in 1973 when Roe V. Wade was decided. Even though legislation has affected women for much longer, understanding the implications of this decision are fundamental to analyze the debate over the constitutionality of abortion today. I examined the opinion written by Justice Blackmun in Roe v. Wade that changed the way abortion was looked at in America. The basis in which Justice Blackmun founded his decision was important in how abortion would be regulated and argued in the future. Therefore it is important to understand the man behind the decision. Justice Blackmun’s decision was controversial because confronted legal standards of individual rights and privacy going on to say, “If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child”. Justice Blackmun went against the norm to carefully dissect the constitutionality of abortion, regardless of what others around him believed. He made sure to research both the medical procedure and the constitutional language in the 9th and 14th amendment. To understand his decision, I also conducted in depth analysis of Justice Blackmun’s biographies that contain notes from during the trial. This highlights the pivotal role of Justice Blackmun in shaping reproductive freedom in the future. I combined this with research of specific Supreme Court Cases and Congressional Bills that try to regulate reproductive freedom post the Roe decision. Specifically, I looked at 48 pieces of congressional legislation from the 114th Congress that limit women's reproductive freedom through abortion bans, non-accessible health care, and cuts in federal spending towards Planned Parenthood. I also examined Supreme Court cases regarding reproductive freedom and studied the arguments on the constitutionality of abortion regulation. When examining many Supreme Court opinions on reproductive freedom, and found that many justices supported the infringement on women’s rights to their respective bodies by preventing women from having abortions or having access to contraceptives. I use the Roe decision to examine the constitutionally of the current restrictions being placed on women’s bodies and argue that these laws and regulations against women infringe on their ability to participate equally in society, limiting their rights as citizens.



Environmental Politics and Theory

Name: Guy Bellino
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Institution: Salem State University
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Paper Title: Biotechnology and Competing Sociotechnical Imaginaries: Dystopian Prophecy versus Positive Futurists and how Narrative Informs Policy
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Americans tell stories of our shared techno-scientific trajectory and how it will unfurl to impact, inform, and intertwine with our political and social futures. In a general sense, science and technology studies scholars (STS) refer to these shared narratives as sociotechnical imaginaries. More precisely, sociotechnical imaginaries are collectively imagined forms of social life and social order reflected in the design and fulfillment of scientific and/or technical projects which are propagated by nation-states, corporations, social movements, and professional societies. These imaginaries have a highly normative aspects in that they express how life ought to, or ought not to, be lived. In this way, prognostication is deeply embedded in public discourse regarding the trajectory of imaginaries; using the simplest dichotomy, those who prophesize doom or negative consequences to scientific/technical advancement are set against those who see a positive realm of possibility and human growth. Sociotechnical Imaginaries can take the form of dystopian prophecies often manifest in the form of literature or other forms of entertainment but also find a voice with certain interest groups and policy advocates who push for concrete policy action. Likewise, futurists, or those who have a positive outlook for science and technology’s impact on humanity, have their stories and advocates pushing language of science and technology as a fundamental solution and essential path to future human growth. One area in which these countervailing imaginaries express wildly different and competing visions is in the current debate over the use of genetically modified organisms. In particular, there have been large scale and expensive -both politically and economically speaking- policy battles over the labelling and often outright outlawing of genetically modified organisms as food sources. By examining language and imagery used by organized interests in the debate around genetically modified organisms, we can perhaps take steps towards understanding how and why sociotechnical imaginaries influence concrete political action in the United States. Traditionally, this kind of analysis would fit snugly into problem definition scholarship. However, this work will have the mutual aim of adding to literature that is unique to STS. Indeed, the underlying assumption is that this work will help us to better understand the very notion of sociotechnical imaginaries.


Name: Christopher Bosso
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
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Institution: Northeastern University
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Paper Title: Regulating a Grey Area: Establishing a Safe Drinking Water Standard for Perchlorate in Massachusetts
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This paper describes how the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) developed the scientific expertise and political clout to become the first government entity in the United States to establish a drinking water standard for perchlorate, a potential carcinogen. MA DEP set the Massachusetts standard at a level 20 times more stringent than that recommended by the National Research Council and at a time when the US Environmental Protection Agency’s position was that no perchlorate standard was necessary. The case details the steps DEP took to establish independent technical expertise and the support of local governments in communities with high perchlorate levels. In doing so, MA DEP took a proactive approach to identifying so-called “emerging contaminants” – unregulated contaminants that threaten to pose future harms or, at the least, require greater scrutiny. As such, this case offers useful insights into how regulators address novel challenges freighted with scientific, legal, and political uncertainty.


Name: Michael Brogan
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
Professional Email: mbrogan@rider.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Rider University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Influence and Information: Estimating Effective Mediated and Personal Communications between State Legislators and Environmental Organizations in NJ and PA
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Co-author info: Thomas Reddington reddingtont@rider.eduKenny Dillon dillonk@rider.eduKate Ann Brace bracek@rider.edu
Co-presenter info: Thomas Reddington reddingtont@rider.eduKenny Dillon dillonk@rider.eduKate Ann Brace bracek@rider.edu
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This paper provides an in-depth look at how state legislators in PA and NJ interact with environmental organizations. The work addresses two primary research questions to evaluate relations between state legislators and environmental organizations: What are effective means of communications for eliciting action among legislators? How do legislators communicate with constituents? The research employed an internet and phone survey for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network of 370 state legislators in the upper and lower chambers in NJ and PA. Further, the work also conducted follow-up interviews of state legislators and staff. Initial findings suggest that state legislators feel personal contact is the most effective means of communication when communicating with environmental groups. The work also indicates that state legislators prefer to have messages that contain both problems and solutions for them to act. In developing effective communication with state legislators, respondents indicated messages that were “clear, concise, educated, timely and frequent.” Respondents also suggest that effective messages should be “civil” and not “fear-based.” State legislators also tend to use email, phone and traditional letters in conducting business. Use of Facebook is used by almost half of respondents and about 1 in 5 use Twitter. Again these results confirm what was found in prior research that state legislators prefer constituents use personal communication in contacting them while at the same time using broader communication tools to conduct legislative business and communicate to constituents. In terms of eliciting a response from state legislators for environmental organizations, the survey results suggest between 1 and 20 contacts (approximately 61% of respondents indicated action within the first two categories) with a legislative office. Further, the results also suggest that up to 50 contacts (81% of responses) with a state legislative office would most likely be the maximum in order to prompt action.


Name: Wenqi Dang
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
Professional Email: w.dang@utwente.nl
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Twente
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: How People’s Attitudes Predict Environmental Action Comparing China, the Netherlands, United States Germany and Sweden
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Environmental conflicts never stop since the process of industry and technology. Human are hardly prevented to take advantages from environmental natures. Some researchers regard that after the Second World War, people increasly satisfied their material life that further leaded value changing. Subsequently, people started to realize and aware surrounding environmental issues. In most of western countries, intensive protests were held by students in 1960s following by though-provoking green movements, such as anti-nuclear movements, green party engagements, etc. Currently, most Western countries witness better quality of environment especially air condition. China’s environmental protests erupted since early 2000. However, the environment (also especially air condition) does not show a trend of turning good. Also China and United States lead petrol and carbon consuming in the world, which arouse researchers’ interest about how people’s attitudes related to environmental actions. The paper will interpret how environmental attitudes predict environmental action by comparing four western countries and China, in addition to contrasting the differences and similarities regarding to which factors predicting environmental actions. The binary logistic regression will be applied for answering those two questions. The data will be from world value survey. Finally, author hope some of results can contribute to a deep understanding about situations of those observed countries.


Name: Rob DeLeo
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
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Institution: Bentley University
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Paper Title: Analogies and Agenda Setting: Does Context Matter?
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The strategic use of political language is central to the agenda setting process, often influencing whether an issue breaches the institutional agenda, the level of political mobilization, as well as the types of solutions considered by policymakers. While policy scholars have long cited “analogies,” “metaphors,” and other forms of implied comparison as important elements in a larger political language lexicon, surprisingly few studies have empirically tested when and under what conditions these linguistic tools are leveraged by individuals seeking to influence policy change. This paper fills this void by analyzing the content of United States Congressional Hearing testimony on the topic “pandemic influenza” between the years 1990 and 2015. Because pandemic influenza tends to reveal itself slowly and across time through the gradual accumulation of indicators—measures or metrics of a policy problem—implying the possibility of an emerging hazard, political language can be analyzed in various temporal contexts—before, during, and after disaster occur. Using Ordinary Least Squares Regression Analysis, this paper shows that context matters a great deal, especially in domains concerned with the governance of emergent hazards, and policymakers are far more likely to use analogy in pre-pandemic periods (before a manifest public health crisis has fully blossomed), as opposed to during or even after disaster has come to fruition.


Name: Kevin Donnolley
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
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Institution: Bridgewater State University
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Name: Josh Grant-Young
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
Professional Email: joshgrantyoung@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Guelph
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: 'Fungal Politics' in the Anthropocene
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What can fungi teach us about politics and ecology? Fungi, largely due to the work of Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, have seen a resurgence in interest for academia. I contend that we have much to contemplate in the fuzzy, wet and inhuman forms of fungi which might aid us in developing new strategies of activism in the Anthropocene (or recycling past ones for present use). I invite others to engage the amorphous 'creep' of fungal life with me and explore the potential for a 'fungal politics'.


Name: Brandon Metroka
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
Professional Email: btmetrok@syr.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Syracuse University
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Paper Title: Of Bags, Bikes, and Lawsuits: Local Policy Innovation and Adoption in the Age of California’s Environmental Quality Act
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Co-author info: Bridget K. Fahey, Syracuse University (bkfahey@syr.edu)Hengel Reina, Syracuse University (hreina@syr.edu)
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Gridlock in the United States has pushed most environmental policymaking out of Congress and into alternative policymaking venues like the courts, bureaucratic rule-making, and state governments (Klyza and Sousa, 2007). This shift, along with a mentality in the environmental movement to “think globally, act locally” spurred local governments to take on (national and even global) environmental issues within their own jurisdictions. Scholars have begun to investigate the impact of local policymaking as a potential alternative to international, federal, or state-level action (examples of this work include: Muir, Phillips, and Healey, 2000; Bechtel and Urpelainen, 2015; Owens and Zimmerman, 2013). This project builds on this burgeoning trend in the policy literature examining the dynamics of local policymaking by asking: How do local environmental policies targeting individual behavior develop and diffuse? And, how do the courts shape this process?Plastic bag bans and bike lanes on public streets are two policy areas where local governments encourage environmentally-friendly behaviors. Plastic bag bans (or the less extreme version of plastic bag fees) are meant to reduce the quantity of plastic in landfills and water bodies and bike lanes are meant to encourage pollution-free and fossil-fuel-free modes of transit. Despite the good intentions of these policies, they are often met with resistance and fierce opposition, even in otherwise “green” communities. Often, disputes about these policies are settled in the courts using the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as support for pro- and anti-bike or bag advocates. This project represents a first look into the dynamics of local environmental policy innovations that have been contested through the California court system. We specifically examine how CEQA is used as a justification for both sides of this debate. Works Cited:Bechtel, Michael M., and Johannes Urpelainen. 2015. “All Policies Are Global: International Environmental Policy Making with Strategic Subnational Governments.” British Journal of Political Science 45(3): 559–82.Klyza, Christopher McGrory, and David J. Sousa. 2007. American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006: Beyond Gridlock. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Muir, Kate, Martin Phillips, and Mick Healey. 2000. Shades of green in local authority policy-making: a regional case study. Area, 32(4)” 369-37-82.Owens, Katharine, and Carl Zimmerman. 2013. “Local Governance Versus Centralization: Connecticut Wetlands Governance as a Model.” Review of Policy Research 30(6): 629–56.


Name: Mina Michel Samaan
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
Professional Email: minamsamaan@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Technical University of Braunschweig
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Hydropolitical Dilemma of Transboundary Water Rights: The Case of the Eastern Nile Basin
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According to the classic categorization of economic goods, surface freshwater is considered a common good, where rivalry factor exists and exclusion does not. Nationally, governments represent the authority of regulating the use of water among various sectors. Internationally, there is no supreme body overarching riparian states to define the rights of each. While complex sub-national disputes over water resources continue to take place, conflicts over transboundary waters are considered more sophisticated. Along decades, accumulated scientific contributions of conflict management and resolution in hydropolitics have been centered on the dilemma of transboundary water rights. Perception of rights varies controversially based on the geographic position of riparians. A downstream state often advocates its rights upon the principles of "historical and natural rights", "prior notification" and "avoiding significance harms", while an upstream state relies on "absolute sovereignty" and "equitable utilization". Potential conflicts of such radical controversies are then exacerbated due to the absence of obligatory international water law and institutions of ultimate jurisdiction. This paper discusses various aspects of such an important topic, giving a special concern to the Eastern Nile Basin. Each of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the three main riparians, views its rights over the Nile waters from a different angle. Long historical mistrust, growing populations, and future uncertainties of climate change, all are severe challenges that extraordinarily complicate the whole issue. The main conclusion of the study shows that the longstanding heterogeneities in national needs and capabilities of riparians have led to the current stalemate about constructing mega dams upper the river in the lack of multilateral cooperation.



Teaching, Learning, and the Profession

Name: Margaret Brower
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: margaret.tbrower@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Chicago
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Roundtable
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: Supporting Data-Driven Student Political Learning and Engagement during and after an Election Season
Roundtable Description: This roundtable will feature the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education's (IDHE) mixed method research on college student political engagement. During the roundtable, the director and a researcher from the Institute will share data from the National Study for Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) on college student registration and voting, broken down by demographics and field of study, from 2012 and 2014. They will also share the findings from a large qualitative study on the attributes of and promising practices of a robust campus climate, beyond the election season, for political learning and engagement in democracy. Professor Deegan of Muhlenberg College will then share how the College uses the NSVLE report and supports institutional programs that generate institutional interest in the election and political issues. The director and researcher of IDHE will then share qualitative data on best institutional practices for engaging college students in democracy. Professor Kasiniunas will then elaborate on Goucher college practices, specifically those the support a political engaged climate. These experiences will inform a discussion with roundtable participants around best practices during and after an election for engaging college students in political learning and engagement.
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Name: Nicholas Buccola
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: nicholasbuccola@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Linfield College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Teaching about Freedom
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In this paper, I reflect on my experiences teaching about freedom as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities "Enduring Questions" program. My central question in the essay is: when teaching about an essentially contested political concept like freedom, should we assign texts that are primarily focused on the meaning of that concept or should we assign great books that are not explicitly about the concept with the idea that they might have something to teach us (indirectly) about the concept we are seeking to understand? In the paper, I draw on my experiences teaching "What is Freedom?" twice on my campus in order to argue for the latter approach (with some caveats).


Name: Anita Chadha
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: chadhaa@uhd.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Houston, Downtown.
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Virtual Classrooms: Analyzing student and instructor collaborative experiences
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Virtual courses create a self-directed learning environment for students. Given that online environments provide anonymity so that the emphasis is on the content, rather than on the form of the message or the identity of the sender (Herring, 1993) this study assesses students’ personal usages in an online collaboration across several states and semesters. In examining the student and instructor perspective, the findings are significant in that, students engage in reflective work employing academic quality discussions across varying institution types from community colleges to public and private universities and that their discussions occur without gender or question type biases. Semester-end surveys confirm that an asynchronous e-learning collaboration enhanced their educational experience and they belonged to a global community of learners. This study adds its significant findings about the growth of online discussions promoting and enhancing the experience of e-learners and collaborative endeavors. This research is a culmination of years of experience with online collaborations on American Politics. The collaboration can certainly be used by those in similar subjects and fields.


Name: Christopher Cook
Section:
Professional Email: ccook@pitt.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Paper Title: One Man's Freedom Fighter on Film is Another Man's Terrorist During Classroom Discussion
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This paper is an examination of the pedagogical benefits and challenges of using films to teach a course on terrorism. Students in the 21st Century are more likely to be visual learners. But showing a film in the course is not as simple as pressing play. The three films selected help visually elaborate on concepts and theories made throughout the course: Battle of Algiers (1966, dir. Pontecorvo) about the war for Algerian independence; Paradise Now (2005, dir. Abu-Assad) about Palestinian suicide bombers; and In the Name of the Father (1993, dir. Sheridan) about the problematic between fighting terrorism and civil liberties. None of the films chosen are American. Two of them are not even in English. This paper will also discuss pedagogy of using film, teaching strategies in how to screen them properly as well as explore the unintended consequences these films have produced in my classroom discussion. It is important to remember that for many students terrorism has become exclusively defined by the Islamic jihadist extremism. Students will try to see these films through this 9/11 filter. However, I argue that is shown properly these films can become a powerful way to provoke deeper classroom discussion and understanding.


Name: Michele Deegan
Section:
Professional Email: deegan@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type:
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: Supporting Data-Driven Student Political Learning and Engagement during and after an Election Season
Roundtable Description: This roundtable will feature the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education's (IDHE) mixed method research on college student political engagement. During the roundtable, the director and a researcher from the Institute will share data from the National Study for Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) on college student registration and voting, broken down by demographics and field of study, from 2012 and 2014. They will also share the findings from a large qualitative study on the attributes of and promising practices of a robust campus climate, beyond the election season, for political learning and engagement in democracy. Professor Deegan of Muhlenberg College will then share how the College uses the NSVLE report and supports institutional programs that generate institutional interest in the election and political issues. The director and researcher of IDHE will then share qualitative data on best institutional practices for engaging college students in democracy. Professor Kasiniunas will then elaborate on Goucher college practices, specifically those the support a political engaged climate. These experiences will inform a discussion with roundtable participants around best practices during and after an election for engaging college students in political learning and engagement.
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Name: Danielle Gougon
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: gougon@rowan.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Rowan University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Professional Pressure: An analysis of how political science is responding to calls to professionalize the discipline.
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What are you going to do with that major? Higher education in the U.S. is under pressure to demonstrate the ways in which it is preparing undergraduate students for the workforce. Professional development is no longer a task reserved for the campus career center or counselor; disciplines, and their respective faculty, are increasingly being asked to integrate specific career training and skill building into their curricula and courses, often with little or no guidance in how to accomplish this task. This paper seeks to understand what political science is doing as a field to respond to the most recent call to “professionalize” the discipline. The paper will begin by providing a macro-level survey of “the state of the discipline” and assess the ways in which leading political science organizations (such as APSA) and journals are addressing professional development of undergraduates. The paper will also provide a micro-level analysis of initiatives taken by individual departments and programs which might provide guidance on best practices for integrating professional development into our own programs.


Name: Edward Kammerer
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: efkjr@alumni.umass.edu
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: Northeastern University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Undergraduate Moot Court: Student Perceptions and Perspectives
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Role playing, either through games or simulations, is a common form of instruction in political science courses (See Asal and Blake 2006; Hensley 1993). Role playing has been used to study everything from legislative behavior, international negotiation, law, elections, and many other political science topics. In a course, simulations can encourage student participation, enhance learning, and provide students with a practical understanding of the real world application of often abstract course material and concepts (McCarthy 2014; Shellman and Turan 2006). Active learning also helps students who do not always respond well to more traditional lecture style teaching. Simulations are both active and problem-focused which encourages critical thinking and synthesis of ideas rather than absorbing information from a lecture (See Archer and Miller 2011). The classroom is not, however, the only opportunity for students to engage in this type of hands-on learning. Intercollegiate competitions offer an additional opportunity for dedicated students to continue their education outside the classroom and explore a topic or skill in great detail. Like in-class simulations, these competitions can take a variety of forms. Some of the more well-known intercollegiate simulations include model United Nations, mock trial, and moot court. Each of these involves different skills and focuses on different parts of the legal and political system. This paper examines the growing field of intercollegiate moot court, focusing on the perceptions of the students who participate in it. As an extracurricular activity, participation is voluntary and can be quite time consuming. The main research questions that this paper seeks to answer are: What types of students participate in undergraduate moot court? How do the participants in an undergraduate moot court view their experience? What motivates students to participate in intercollegiate moot court? To answer this, I conducted a web-based survey of students who competed in at least one regional, qualifying tournament sponsored by the American Collegiate Moot Court Association. This survey consisted of demographic questions (major, class year, school type, etc.) and questions designed to determine why students participate and what students believe they are gaining from their participation. I received 66 responses. Moot Court provides students with critical thinking and public speaking skills. Students report their desire to join moot court comes mostly from academic, not career, focused goals. Most interestingly, 12 of the respondents had already begun (or in some cases completed) law school. Unanimously these 12 respondents said that moot court helped them succeed in law school. The student perception of moot court is that it provides solid educational benefit and has a real impact on their future success.


Name: Nina Kasniunas
Section:
Professional Email: nina.kasniunas@goucher.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Goucher College
Scheduling Preference:
Proposal Type:
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: Supporting Data-Driven Student Political Learning and Engagement during and after an Election Season
Roundtable Description: This roundtable will feature the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education's (IDHE) mixed method research on college student political engagement. During the roundtable, the director and a researcher from the Institute will share data from the National Study for Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) on college student registration and voting, broken down by demographics and field of study, from 2012 and 2014. They will also share the findings from a large qualitative study on the attributes of and promising practices of a robust campus climate, beyond the election season, for political learning and engagement in democracy. Professor Deegan of Muhlenberg College will then share how the College uses the NSVLE report and supports institutional programs that generate institutional interest in the election and political issues. The director and researcher of IDHE will then share qualitative data on best institutional practices for engaging college students in democracy. Professor Kasiniunas will then elaborate on Goucher college practices, specifically those the support a political engaged climate. These experiences will inform a discussion with roundtable participants around best practices during and after an election for engaging college students in political learning and engagement.
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Name: Brian Mello
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: bmello@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Contingency and Emotion: Simulating Protest and Revolution in the Middle East
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This paper explores insights from a recent experience exposing undergraduates at Muhlenberg College to paired history and political science courses on protest and revolution in the Middle East. Student developed simulations of key moments of protest were designed to engage students in an active learning setting and a shared assignment across both courses. The most interesting result of this project, from my teaching perspective, was its unanticipated ability to expose students to the contingency and emotion that scholarship has recently emphasized as critical to understanding social movements, but which so often falls out of political science analyses of protest and revolution. Throughout the paper I explore the simulation assignment, how student groups designed the simulations with limited guidance from instructors, how students took on the assigned roles, and how the engagement in the simulations complicated the political science analyses that formed the bedrock of our course readings. To advance the analysis I draw both on student qualitative assessments of the course and student reflections on the simulations that were included in group papers.


Name: Vanessa Ruget
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: vruget@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Salem State University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Experiential philanthropy and the First Year Seminar: a case study at Salem State University
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Experiential philanthropy --enabling students to act as philanthropists and to engage in charitable giving-- is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses (Campbell 2014, Olberding, 2012). Not only are today’s college students eager to be “socially responsible;” many are also attracted to a career in the nonprofit sector. Studies have shown that this pedagogy helps students learn the material and apply course concepts but also that it increases their likelihood to later engage in charitable giving, volunteering, and service (Olberding, Nekirk, & Ng 2010). My paper reflects on an effort to weave experiential philanthropy in a fall 2016 First-Year Seminar on global poverty at Salem State University--a four year institutions with a high level of first generation, commuter students. In particular, it seeks to assess whether a philanthropy assignment can help students reach one of the First Year Seminar goals: developing relationships and practices that will support their success in college.


Name: Edward Sidlow
Section:
Professional Email: esidlow@emich.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Eastern Michigan University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: A Funhouse of Mirrors: Politics, Sports and Music since World War II
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A Funhouse of Mirrors: Politics, Sports, and Music since World War II This paper focuses on the development of an undergraduate course and an accompanying resource guide aimed at addressing two time-tested complaints. For faculty who claim that students have no sense of history, and for students who claim that faculty seem to talk about politics in a vacuum, welcome to American Politics, Sports, and Music: World War II to the Present. The project design weaves together music, politics, and sports in each decade of the postwar period in a way that the Baby Boom generation may take for granted, but today’s undergraduates know little about. For example, the seeds of the civil rights movement were sown in the 1940s as Truman integrated the Armed Forces through executive order, Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball, and Nat King Cole scored a billboard number one with “Nature Boy.” Much of the music of the 1950s mirrored a yearning for postwar stability, as those who donned gray flannel hummed along to Doris Days’ “Que Sera, Sera,” Debbie Reynolds’ “Tammy,” or Pat Boone’s “Love Letters in the Sand.” But McCarthyism and the beginnings of the Cold War were also a part of this period, while the political and cultural shifts that were reflected in the popularity of Elvis Presley were foreshadowing the turbulence of the 1960s. Assassinations, civil unrest, and the escalation of Vietnam were chronicled by the Greenwich Village folkies. That music would soon give way to the harder edge of psychedelia. Baseball—the pastoral national pastime—was challenged by professional football for supremacy. Such changes in music and sport reflected the advent of a much more contentious political environment. My preliminary use of politics-music-sports intersections in introductory courses has received positive student feedback. The purpose of the current project is to expand the design so that it becomes a framework for a course that allows for more in-depth treatment of these topics as they relate to one another and also helps students learn the “stories” of American politics in a way that is not only meaningful but engaging. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this instructional approach and to get feedback from colleagues at other colleges and universities as I develop the annotated course syllabus and an accompanying resource guide of discography, films and documentaries, and suggested readings.


Name: Rick Swanson
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: ras2777@louisiana.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Louisiana--Lafayette
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Teaching the Legal Skill of Issue Spotting in the Undergraduate Pre-Law Classroom
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This paper offers guidance on how to teach the legal skill of issue spotting in the undergraduate pre-law classroom. Pre-law education poses particular challenges precisely because skills are being taught in addition to knowledge. Fundamental legal skills include case briefing, Issue-Rule-Application-Conclusion (IRAC) analysis, and issue spotting, where the analyzer must identify potential legal issues hidden in a complex set of facts. Because these skills are learned through doing, pre-law education requires that students practice rather than merely memorize. Student practice of the skill of issue spotting can occur in the traditional face-to-face classroom, but can occur more efficiently if aided by the use of online education (a.k.a. distance learning). Particularly, a hybrid (a.k.a. blended) classroom allows both in-person and online education to occur simultaneously. In regard to the skill of issue-spotting, in-class presentations and practice of issue spotting can be supplemented by online resources. Such online resources can include additional issue spotting explanations and examples, terms and concepts quizzes, grading rubrics of issue spotting answers, discussion forums with ungraded issue spotting practice opportunities, both peer feedback and instructor feedback of online issue spotting practice, extra credit and/or graded issue spotting, and plagiarism-checking software to review students’ online submitted answers. This paper discusses these techniques as well as the strengths and challenges surrounding them based on the author’s personal experience teaching the skill of issue spotting in undergraduate pre-law education using hybrid/blended online learning.


Name: test test
Section: Employment Service
Professional Email: test@test.net
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: test university
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just testing.


Name: Nancy Thomas
Section: Teaching, Learning & the Profession
Professional Email: nancy.thomas@tufts.edu
Professional Status:
Institution: Tufts University
Scheduling Preference:
Proposal Type:
Participation Type: Panelist
Roundtable Title: Supporting Data-Driven Student Political Learning and Engagement during and after an Election Season
Roundtable Description: This roundtable will feature the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education's (IDHE) mixed method research on college student political engagement. During the roundtable, the director and a researcher from the Institute will share data from the National Study for Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) on college student registration and voting, broken down by demographics and field of study, from 2012 and 2014. They will also share the findings from a large qualitative study on the attributes of and promising practices of a robust campus climate, beyond the election season, for political learning and engagement in democracy. Professor Deegan of Muhlenberg College will then This roundtable will feature the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education's (IDHE) mixed method research on college student political engagement. During the roundtable, the director and a researcher from the Institute will share how the College uses the NSVLE report and supports institutional programs that generate institutional interest in the election and political issues. The director and researcher of IDHE will then share qualitative data on best institutional practices for engaging college students in democracy. Professor Kasiniunas will then elaborate on Goucher college practices, specifically those the support a political engaged climate. These experiences will inform a discussion with roundtable participants around best practices during and after an election for engaging college students in political learning and engagement.
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Popular Culture and Politics

Name: Kimberly Bergendahl
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: KRBergendahl@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "Reel v Real: Assessing the Lessons of Law and Order: SVU Within the Current Legal and Political Climate"
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Co-author info: Amy Saji (undergraduate student), University of Connecticut, amy.saji@uconn.edu
Co-presenter info: Amy Saji (undergraduate student), University of Connecticut, amy.saji@uconn.edu
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Crime dramas have glamorized the use of force by police in order to send a message to viewers that the offender will be punished on the street rather than being judged in a court of law (see Surette, 2007). Viewers accept this model of justice particularly when guilt is undisputed. Television series, such as Law and Order: SVU, have introduced the element of suspense that often leaves the viewer wondering if the suspect is actually guilty thus warranting a trial. Yet, even when the “reel” detectives of that popular series engage in the use of force, researchers have found that viewers respond favorably since such actions were performed for the “right” reasons (see Escholz, et al., 2004). In reality, though, the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray have sparked a national dialogue that centers on two fundamental questions: What is the appropriate use of force by law enforcement? And, have prosecutors effectively prosecuted such cases of alleged police misconduct? While research has shown that viewers of news media and crime dramas are more likely to report that police misconduct is a common problem (see Dowler and Zawilski, 2007), how do these findings compare with the favorable public opinion of the actions of the “reel” detectives of Law and Order: SVU? Has this recent national dialogue prompted a change in how popular culture presents the use of force and how “reel” prosecutors should respond to it? This research project specifically addresses the latter question while being mindful to the former. In conducting a content analysis of all of the episodes aired during Seasons One and Sixteen, the most recent complete season, we measure the use of force as well as how the prosecutors responded to questionable police tactics. We selected this series since it is one of the most watched crime dramas and it is currently in its seventeenth season. This provides us with an ample timeline for measuring the use of force by the “reel detectives.” Because this series is also one of the select few to highlight the interactions between the police and prosecutors, we can compile ample data for determining whether prosecutors have been more or less favorable to law enforcement by the most recent season. We expect to find that the use of force in this series has remained consistent while prosecutors have been more likely to respond to such actions. While this may send a mixed message to the viewer that the police are still taking whatever actions are necessary to achieve possibly “good” outcomes, it also transmits the message that prosecutors are more likely to respond to incidents of questionable police conduct. And, since most viewers learn about the criminal justice system via news media and crime dramas, they will be more likely to support the view that prosecutors should take a more proactive role in reviewing real allegations of police misconduct.


Name: Kenneth Dautrich
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: dautrichkj@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Generation Z and the Future of the First Amendment
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“Generation Z and the Future of the First Amendment” The current generation of high school and college students, dubbed as “Generation Z,” is at a critical lifecycle stage in terms of their development of political attitudes. The period in which these attitudes are forming includes a number of important events and circumstances (such as the battle of free expression vs. freedom from offensive speech in high schools and college campuses, presidential candidates advocating limits on freedom for certain groups, and access to social media allowing anyone to publish material to a mass audience) bearing on freedom of speech, one of the most important values underlying American political culture. This paper explores Generation Z’s attitudes about freedom of speech in this unique period of American history when free expression rights are being challenged while at the same time the ability to express oneself on a mass basis is readily available. Questions addressed include: How does Gen Z value freedom of speech? What factors bear on their level of support? How does Gen Z compare to older generations in their opinion about free speech rights? This paper draws on original data from more than a decade of national scientific surveys of both the American adult population and the American high school student population, facilitating a comparison of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. These surveys, which have been supported through grants from the Knight Foundatuion and the Newseum Institute, have been conducted annually since 2004, providing a comparison of Gen Z and Millennials differ in their attitudes about freedom of speech at similar stages in the lifecyle.


Name: Rebecca Evans
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: revans@ursinus.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Ursinus College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Feminist Zombie Hunters: A Contradiction in Terms? Examining Attitudes toward Feminism through Zombie Popular Culture
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In his popular textbook, Theories of International Politics and Zombies, Daniel Drezner uses a hypothetical zombie apocalypse to illustrate a number of theories of international relations but unapologetically rejects feminist theories. As argued in a forthcoming article, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and Zombies are from … Feminist Theories of International Politics and Zombies” (PS: Political Science and Politics, July 2016), I maintain that feminism is a viable perspective that should not be left out of classes on international relations. The paper proposed here seeks to develop this line of argument further, showing how feminist IR theories can be used to analyze changing gender roles and contrasting approaches to security not only in classic zombie films but also in more recent examples of zombie popular culture, including Max Brooks’ 2006 novel, World War Z and its 2013 film adaptation, as well as the comic book and later television series, The Walking Dead. By focusing on changes over time in the portrayals of key male and female characters, the paper will argue that women have increasingly come to be accepted as having the capability of holding their own against men – and against zombies. However, the paper will also argue that this change does not imply increased support for feminist ideas, either in zombie popular culture or in actual discourses on security.


Name: James Fisher
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: jdfisher@edinboro.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Edinboro University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: October Baby and Pro-Life Storytelling
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Inspired by the life of pro-life activist Gianna Jessen, the 2011 movie October Baby uses the classic narrative of a coming-of-age road trip to critically examine abortion in American culture and reaffirm pro-life values. The movie was not received well by mainstream critics, in part because a plot that is factually implausible in several respects. An examination of how October Baby’s plot differs from Jessen’s life story and also from factual reality, however, provides a window into the American pro-life worldview and the challenges of political storytelling.


Name: George Gonzalez
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: george.gonzalez@miami.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Miami
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Paper Title: Presaging the Trump Phenomenon: Veep, House of Cards, You, Me & the Apocalypse, and Star Trek: Enterprise
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As I have argued elsewhere, the Star Trek franchise is key to understanding modern (political) reasons of the world. Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2205) presaged the Trump phenomenon – i.e., hostility toward foreigners as the basis for a broad-based political movement. Beyond the Star Trek text, three broadcast episodic series stand out in terms of current portrayals of American political elites: Veep, House of Cards, and You, Me, & the Apocalypse (2016). All three series, in distinct ways, indicate that the American state is held in low regard, and Washington, D.C. elites are held in contempt. Veep suggests that the Vice-President and President are little more than jokes. House of Cards casts the President as a murderous sociopath. You, Me, & the Apocalypse conveys the President as hapless and the state as unwilling to respond to a natural disaster.


Name: Victor Haynes
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: princev11@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Claremont Graduate University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
Participation Type: Panelist
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Paper Title: Has the increased use of social media brought awareness to the general population about racialized police brutality?
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Racialized police brutality has always been a prevalent and heart wrenching political issue in communities of color nationwide. The media covered a number of incidents of racialized police brutality in 2014. The most covered were of Michael Brown, an 18 year old black boy shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner, a 43 year old black man in Staten Island, New York who was put into a chokehold by police officer Daniel Pantaleo until he lost consciousness and stopped breathing (Nelson & Staff, 2014). These incidents brought attention to the media, as well as social media, to the significance of police brutality and the inquisitiveness of how frequently it happens (Brown, 2015). The media coverage of police brutality has triggered anger among people nationwide as well as debates about police brutality and the implication of integrity for all within our criminal justice system. There have been studies conducted on variables such as the race of police officers, prejudiced undesirable views of police officers, and how police officers are trained to detain suspects. However, in many incidents, the American public only obtain news provided by newspapers, television, and social media accounts such as Twitter. As technology progresses, it is becoming more common for news concerning racialized police brutality to be put on social media before it is even officially reported. Murphy et al (2014) argues that “the proliferation of newtechnologies, such as mobile devices and social-media platforms, is changing the societal landscape across which public opinion researchers operate” (Murphy, 2014, p. 2). Therefore, it is fitting in this day and age to pose the research question: Has the increased use of social media brought awareness to the general population about racialized police brutality?


Name: Fletcher McClellan
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: mcclelef@etown.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Elizabethtown College
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: It Can Happen Here: Right-Wing Social Movements, Lindbergh (as conceived by Philip Roth), and Trump
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Authors and artists have speculated for decades about whether a fascist state could take root in the US. Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here (1935) and Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men (1946) are but a couple of fictionalized examples of how an American-style dictator could rise (Perlstein 2015). Among the more recent entries in this literature of democratic collapse is The Plot Against America (2004) by Philip Roth, which depicts what might have happened if the US elected the aviation pioneer, America First leader, and white supremacist Charles Lindbergh as president in 1940. While Roth centers on the difficult and tragic choices citizens (in this case, members of the Jewish community) must make when confronted with state-sponsored terrorism (Lozada 2016), his account of how Lindbergh rose to power, thwarting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempt to serve a third elected term, foreshadowed the political success of Donald Trump. Using the framework of electoral contention, in which social movements interact with electoral institutions in distinctive ways (McAdam, Tarrow and Tilly 2001), this paper analyzes and compares the connection of right-wing movements to the elections of 1940 and 2016, respectively. It argues that the conditions of the fictional Lindbergh election are similar to those that brought about Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party and possible ascent to the White House. For example, both the Lindbergh and Trump candidacies were in large part products of social movements (isolationist/America First and Tea Party) that were responsive to nativist, nationalist and populist appeals (Olson 2014). These movements had counterparts and even transnational links in other countries (Tilly and Tarrow 2015). Both candidates were prominent, famous outsiders who ran unconventional campaigns, sans advisors, using the latest technology (communications and transportation) to bypass party and media elites and reach voters directly. Both ran against incumbent parties seeking third consecutive terms in times of economic anxiety following a steep economic decline, as well as existential threats to domestic and national security (Moe 2013, Dunn 2014). By the same token, the differences between the two campaigns may well explain the success of Lindbergh and the probable failure of Trump in the general election. While Lindbergh in The Plot Against America ran a disciplined campaign, avoiding anti-Semitic remarks and focusing solely on the issue of whether the US should go to war, Trump has gone off-message frequently, drawing attention to his most controversial positions even when events have pointed in his favor. Also, FDR refrained from attacking Lindy personally, choosing instead to alert Americans to the growing Nazi dominance of Europe. In contrast, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 2016, has laid into Trump’s business dealings and fitness for office. This raises the question of whether the conditions Roth outlined for the election of a fascist-minded candidate in 1940 have more general applicability. Were the conditions indeed in place for 2016, overcoming the liabilities of the Republican nominee? Or, would the Trump movement have prevailed if only a right-wing leader with greater integrity or less baggage than Trump had come forward? Could only a Trump have brought the movement together? Could the movement that Trump led succeed in future elections with a new-and-improved Trump, succeed without Trump, or will the historical moment have passed? Simply by generating these questions, this paper contends, The Plot Against America has considerable value for scholars of social movements, elections, and democratic theory.


Name: Michelle Pautz
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: mpautz@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Dayton
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Civil Servants on the Silver Screen
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Perceptions of government and civil servants are shaped by a variety of factors including popular culture. Film is one such medium that reaches a wide swath of Americans. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, more than three quarters of Americans watched at least one movie last year. Therefore, the ability of film to influence audiences should not be ignored. There is ample research on politicians and military heroes in film, but a focus on civil servants remains understudied even though the public administration literature notes the significant role that film and other narrative forms have on citizens’ perceptions (c.f. Waldo 1968; McCurdy 1995; Goodsell and Murray 1995; Holzer and Slater 1995). This research explores a large sample of films—the top ten box office grossing films from 2000 through 2015—to ascertain the images of government and civil servants portrayed to audiences. Approximately 45 percent of the films depict government negatively, while equal remaining percentages of films portray government positively or with a mixed depiction. This data set includes analysis of nearly 650 government characters and offers insight into the depiction of government shown to moviegoers. The demographics of the civil servants portrayed in these films are not representative of civil servants in the U.S. as civil servants in these films are disproportionately white males. Surprising, in light of the negative depiction of government generally, is the positive depiction of individual civil servants. Nearly half—48 percent—government characters were positively portrayed and only 31 percent were negatively depicted. The implications of this research are potentially significant. Americans may view government negatively, but they see positive depictions of how individual civil servants can and do make a positive difference in movies.


Name: Charles Rubin
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: ctrubin@verizon.net
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Duquesne University
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Paper Title: Friendly Monsters: The Moral Challenge of Artificial Intelligence
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That men in the not very distant future will happily have sexual relations with robots is practically a given among today’s futurists. At the same time, there is lively debate about how to create “friendly AI,” because while one line of thought worries that “superintelligent” artificial intelligence could threaten human existence, another suggests that it could be the only route to preserving life on earth in the face of the mess humans have made of things thus far. Sexual partners, friends, servants, masters: what are the developing moral issues in our relationships with artificial intelligences? This paper examines two movies that, despite their small-scale settings, explore central aspects of this large question. In Ex Machina, nerdy Caleb is brought to thuggish, egoistic tech-mogul Nathan’s vast wilderness estate and laboratory to perform a highly-modified Turing test on the latest in a series of robots he has created: the lovely, gamine Ava. From the very start it seems that Ava can hardly fail to pass such a test, and Caleb is obviously smitten by her. But as the sessions go on, it becomes increasingly unclear who is testing whom, and to what purpose. Ava proves to behave with a kind of foresighted, monstrous egoism that in some ways echoes that of her creator except that she seeks to be part of a world that Nathan avoids. As she seduces Caleb into becoming co-conspirator in her effort to escape, we are forced to consider: is she a monster because she was made by a monster, or is she proving her humanity by the very ruthlessness with which she manipulates the desires of the men around her? Spike Jonze’s Her, in contrast, tells an apparently more benign story of friendly AI. The otherwise emotionally bottled up Theodore finds happiness in what he takes to be an exclusive, mutually loving relationship with the female AI operating system of his computer, Samantha. With Samantha he can express feelings he cannot with real women, which interestingly parallels his job writing emotionally resonant letters for people who cannot do so themselves. Yet by the end of the movie Theodore comes to understand he has misunderstood the nature of Samantha’s interest in him and the exclusiveness of their relationship; Samantha has many partners like Theodore and is in any case transitioning to a level of intelligence that will far transcend the human world. Neither does it seem that Samantha has any more taught Theodore about how to have a successful relationship with a woman than Theodore has taught any of his clients how to write a good letter. Nevertheless, though in some ways Theodore’s situation is like Caleb’s—seduced and abandoned—it is very hard to see Samantha as a monster. Why is that? Is it only because Samantha does no physical harm? Is Theodore no worse off in the end than any other deluded and abandoned lover as a result of having fallen in love with an AI? But surely we should not forget: he has fallen in love with an operating system! Perhaps the monstrosity in this film resides in a world where people’s sense of self, and their relationships with others, have grown so “thin” that you can make money being Cyrano de Bergerac, and where most of Theodore’s friends find his relationship with Samantha unremarkable. They just want to see him happy. Together, the films portray a world where success at creating ever more human forms of intelligence both reflects and exacerbates a diminished understanding of our own humanity.


Name: David Sosar
Section:
Professional Email: davidsosar1@gaiml.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Kings.edu
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Elder Care by Aging Children: A Policy Issue
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The life expectancy of both men and women in the United States continues to expand to greater lengths. In many instances the so-called “Baby Boomer” generation is confronted with the issues of the “Sandwich Generation”. In particular, Baby Boomers face the challenges of caring for aging parents who may be in their 80s and 90s. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, this author seeks to investigate political and legal issues related to this situation as well as the economic, social and emotional challenges aging children may face. Increases in health care costs and long-term care, and legal statutes have exacerbated this issue beyond current policy initiatives. This author would hope to further the discussion of needed policy decisions in this expanding social issue area.


Name: Matthew Stein
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: mbstein214@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Temple University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Gender Role Stereotypes and Media: Performance as Social Construction and Lessons from SpongeBob Squarepants
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Contemporary discussions of gender within political theory are largely responses to Simone de Beauvoir's seminal work, The Second Sex, which originally was published in 1949. In The Second Sex, Beauvoir argues that the notion of “woman” is not an essential characteristic of human females but rather emanated from external forces. From this point, social constructionists have detailed the ways in which gender is portrayed and constructed in society. Performative theorists have argued that gender itself is accomplished and reified through social interactions. While some performance theorists would argue that performance is a unique theory of gender, it will be argued that it is best situated within social constructionism. Following a discussion about how gender is (a) understood through Beauvoir's existential argument, (b) socially constructed and (c) socially performed, it will be argued that gender is taught from an incredibly young age. Recent studies have shown that adults begin attributing gender stereotypes to children as young as three months old (Reby, Levréro, Gustafsson & Mathevson, 2016). In that children are being stereotyped at such a young age, the effect of media on children will be analyzed. Finally, in that one of the largest media formats viewed by children is animation, a discussion will be had in brief about the ways in which gender is portrayed in animation and the potential for animation to change socially constructed gender roles by specifically examining the ways in which gender is constructed in SpongeBob Squarepants.


Name: Danilo Yanich
Section: Popular Culture & Politics
Professional Email: dyanich@udel.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Delaware
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Political Ads, Political Reality & Local TV News
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The 2016 election will cost an estimated $6 billion--more than any previous campaign. Much of that money goes to political advertising and the bulk of those ads appear on local TV newscasts, which FCC research reveals as the most prominent source of information for citizens. Building on research conducted in Philadelphia for the 2014 midterm election, this study examines the relationship between political ads and local television news content in battleground states during the 2016 campaign.



Politics and History

Name: Deborah Anthony
Section: Women's Caucus
Professional Email: deborahx50@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Illinois Springfield
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Analyzing Women’s Political-Legal Regression through the Lens of Surname Practices in the English Early Modern Period
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The names by which people have been known illustrate a great deal about social norms and legal practices extant during various periods in English history. Surname use was at one time quite variable, bearing little resemblance to the typical practices seen in modern-day England. That variation tells an interesting story about women over the centuries, beginning in Saxon times, through the advent of surnames at the Norman Conquest of 1066, then later through the development of coverture as a component of English common law, and into the present day. Women in England at one time held individualized surnames reflecting specific traits, occupations, statuses, or family relations (e.g. Fairwife, Silkwoman, Widow, Robertdaughter). Certainly before, and even after surnames became regularly hereditary around the Fifteenth Century, women still sometimes retained their birth names at marriage, men sometimes adopted the surnames of their wives, and children and grandchildren sometimes inherited the surnames of their mothers or grandmothers. Women’s surname flexibility was once quite expansive, which bespoke of a surprisingly developed social and legal standing. But these diverse surname practices eventually disappeared, along with women’s occupational options and property rights, as well as other indicators of their position. What accounts for this retrenchment? If the history of women is not one in which only positive developments and progress occurred over time, however plodding, but rather one that evinced a significant and prolonged period of decline, then important questions arise about the causes for such a significant regression. There are several possible explanations. In addition to the emergence (and disappearance) of feudalism and the gradual implementation of the common law and coverture in England, these manifestations may also be tied to economic and political developments in the Early Modern period. Included in that umbrella is the advent of capitalism, which emerged in England in its modern form in the 16th-18th Centuries. Also potentially important is the advancement of theoretical concepts of citizenship and rights, which became more formalized during that period and therefore more exclusive to certain privileged groups, which did not typically include women. Additional factors include expanding principles of conquest and imperialism (both formal and informal) and the building of the modern nation-state. These new political concepts necessarily brought with them discourses of dominance and superiority, self and other. In the process of identifying the “self” in determining which were the citizens entitled to rights and status, women may have been formally excluded in ways in which they had not previously been. The implications of these historical developments and their impact on women are wide-ranging and significant. A theoretical investigation and analysis of the catalysts for this constriction of women’s rights and status will be central in this paper.


Name: Amy Blitz
Section:
Professional Email: blitz.amy@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Babson College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Going Public, Going Rogue: The Transformation of US Investment Banks from Private to Public since 1970, and the Impact on the Global Economy
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When the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was established in 1792, it prohibited investment banks from going public. One reason for this was the belief that investment banks would be more prudently managed if partners were putting their own capital at risk, not outside shareholders'. This policy held for nearly two centuries until 1970, when relative newcomers Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) submitted a surprise filing to take their company public. As Donaldson later acknowledged, "We didn't ask permission, we just did it." Once the DLJ IPO went through, other investment banks followed throughout the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, leading to a massive transformation of investment banking from privately-held partnerships to publicly traded corporations. And as the NYSE had anticipated, this transformation introduced substantial risk into the financial system, bringing it to the brink of collapse in September 2008. This paper explores the impact of DLJ's breakthrough IPO on the US financial sector, ultimately the global economy, focusing on five key players, specifically DLJ, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs. Based on interviews with Donaldson, Lufkin, Jenrette and other industry leaders, as well as on detailed analyses of corporate income statements, announcements, senate hearings, and other materials, the paper describes how, in each case, corporate strategy post-IPO shifted toward riskier offerings combined with well-orchestrated campaigns to stifle regulation of these. The role academia played in such campaigns is also explored. Overall, the paper provides insights into the role of corporations (and key academics) in shaping regulatory policy since 1970, with longer historical context of IPOs and the NYSE provided as well. The paper also provides insights into the difference between partnerships and publicly traded companies, particularly the dangers of too great a focus on shareholder value, a dominant theme of business strategy since the 1980s.


Name: Caleb Chaplin
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: caleb.chaplin@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Carleton University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Scepticism in Times of Recalcitrant Politics: Hume's Response to Partisan Demands
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David Hume’s approach to philosophical scepticism is conspicuously absent of methodical application. He argued that cause and effect, commonly understood, is not something inherent to what we observe, rather that the connection between events instead takes place in our mind. That is, what we presume is causal is only sequential. Observable events may develop in sequence but not necessarily along causal lines. This yields important distinctions when evaluating competing explanations of political phenomena. Claims concerning justice, by members of a political community, usually rest on commonly understood beliefs about how we observe injustice. Claims about injustice are often couched in terms of simple causality. But if we consider Hume's argument that causality is a property of the mind, then we are led to consider injustice in terms of sequences rather than causes. But would such an approach to political dialectic permit any results that could be agreed upon as just? The political rhetoric of inequality is often framed in terms of causality, especially in the context of history. In such cases the resolution of justice, understood causally, may rest on immoderately ambitious claims about what can be achieved through promissory politics. Thus, what Hume provides is a way of inquiring, not into the causes of inequality, so much as the sequences of inequality. This points to a more refined way of distinguishing political phenomena, disaggregating what we believe to be true from what is observably true.


Name: Erblin Hoxha
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: hoxha.erblin@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Texas at Dallas
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: What is the impact of diaspora on natural resource rich countries?!
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Panel Description: While oil impact on democratization has been widely debated among scholars, other natural resources have not been the focus of this literature. Natural resources bring “easy revenue” for the state but why some natural resources impact the state differently than others?! What makes some natural resources a threat to democratization while some others not so much?! Or do natural resources pose a threat or have any impact on democratization whatsoever? I examine the case of Chilean strong democracy and compare it with Venezuelan weak democracy bearing in mind that Chile is among the top copper exporter and Venezuela is among the top oil exporter. This is the starting point of a much bigger picture: what are other major influences on democratization besides the already discussed theories.
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Many scholars have been looking at natural resources as the focal point when trying to examine the impact that resource revenue had on democratization. There has been little to no sufficient research done about the people who left the country for different reasons and have been living in democratic countries for years. Developing a natural resource industry opens a window of foreign investment. Many of the investment actually comes from diaspora of that country. What is the impact of the people who return to their home country not only to invest but also work to make their country a better place. Living in a more democratic country implies embracing democratic values and upon return to their home country, those values need to be met by the governments or at least diaspora people who returned will be most likely to push for more democratic reforms. My paper addresses the issue of the impact that diaspora have on the state building and democratization with special focus on natural resource rich countries. I try to examine the direct impact of diaspora on resource rich countries believing that natural resource industry is a major push for them to come back and invest in their home country. In my paper, I take Venezuela and Chile as a starting point and continue with 6 other countries who are resource rich: Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Botswana, Nigeria and Congo. I will be having a case selection comparison between these countries on 3 different aspects. The level of democracy and strength of institutions, which I will use the Polity IV score to measure my comparing countries, the level of diaspora in comparison to the total population number and the diversification of the economy of the comparing countries by using the United Nations International Migration and the World Bank Development indicators, respectively. The case selection comparison will contain data that show these indicators before the exploration of natural resources and will have a 5-year lag measure due to the foreseen impacts of natural resource revenues on policies and government. The level of diaspora has an important role in the democratization of their country of origin. Countries who have a higher level of diaspora in democratic countries tend to foster democratic consolidation than countries whose diaspora level is lower or have less diaspora in more democratic countries. Natural resource industry is a major investment opportunity for diaspora and they see investing in their own country of origin as a chance to go back and help their country. The returnees will bring along the democratic values of a country they are going back from resulting in a spillover effect in the rest of the society. By investing in their country of origin, they tend to be more demanding of their government requiring stronger and more democratic institutions, therefore fostering democratic consolidation. A lot of natural resource rich countries do not keep data of migration and therefore it is hard to find online data especially for smaller and less developed countries. In conclusion, my paper will open a new area of focus research where human capital will be the center of development and will significantly help other countries, especially smaller countries, to draft policies that will enable better official communication between the countries and their diasporas. Opening new channels of cooperation with already proven examples of diasporas impact on other countries will highly influence governments and also people who live outside their country of origin and who want to return, to invest and to put more effort in helping their home countries.


Name: Nathan Jun
Section:
Professional Email: nathan.jun@mwsu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Midwestern State University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Rationalism and Irrationalism in Classical Anarchist Thought
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Classical anarchist thought has been variously described as a rationalist political philosophy in the Enlightenment tradition, on the one hand, and as an irrationalist cult of action in the Romantic tradition, on the other. In this presentation, I argue that classical anarchist thought exhibits both tendencies and examine the extent to which the tension between them shaped the historical development of anarchism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Name: Chambailli Khan
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: dr_yasirapt@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Peshawar
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
Participation Type: Moderator
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Name: Maximilian Krahe
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: max.krahe@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Yale University
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Paper Title: Bridging The Gap Between Descriptive and Normative Theory
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In light of a recent spade of 'grand theorising' in political science and related fields (cf. Acemoglu and Robinson 2012, Mann 2012, Fukuyama 2011 and 2014), this paper asks how we should understand the relationship between normative political theory and 'grand theory.' The main claims defended are as follows: First, due to the complexity of the world relative to our ability to comprehend it, individual facts (even if, counterfactually, those could be firmly established) do not uniquely determine theory. This creates ‘wiggle room’ regarding how to pull various ‘facts’ together into an overarching theoretical representation of the world. Second, theory (by which I mean the particular lens through which we observe, comprehend, and talk about the world) is not neutral regarding different policy prescriptions. Any theory, even if purely descriptive, creates a slanted playing field with regards to justificatory claims for normative prescriptions: some will be easier to defend against its backdrop, others harder. In recognition of this, and against more positivist conceptions of political science, the paper then argues that prior normative commitments are a legitimate reason to move one way rather than another within the wiggle room offered by the under-determinacy of theory by facts. Even descriptive grand theory is therefore normative. There is no reason, the paper then concludes, why political theory should restrict itself to overtly normative forms of theorizing. Instead, the construction of grand descriptive theories, a la Acemoglu and Robinson, Mann, or Fukuyama, especially when done with normative intent, can be seen as a task fully appropriate to political theory.


Name: Dohyuk Kwon
Section: Politics & History
Professional Email: kwondh92@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Sogang University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Road to Equality: A History of Korean Political thoughts
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Recently western-centrism has been criticized by many historical and political theorists because it has made people contextualize the history of non-western countries, especially formerly colonized ones as a story of frustration due to the absence of western institutions such as democracy and capitalism. In this critical context, Scholars based in East Asia, particularly in Confucianism-embedded countries, have tried to apply their traditional ideals of Confucianism to democratic values. However, while they have focused on attempting to theorize Confucian texts, they excluded in their analysis the historical development of the theory itself. Thus this research aims to examine how confucian political theory transformed throughout the course of its history from the context political equality, one of the core values of democracy.


Name: John Metzler
Section: International Relations
Professional Email: jjmetzler@earthlink.net
Professional Status: Adjunct Professor
Institution: St. John's University New York
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Crimson Phoenix: Japan's Quest for United Nations Membership, 1956
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Crimson Phoenix--Japan’s Quest for United Nations Membership, 1956 By John J. Metzler In what can be described as nothing less than an extraordinary diplomatic transformation, Japan was invited to join the United Nations just a decade after militarist Japan had been soundly defeated in August 1945 by the Allied powers. Some of those same Allied states, Britain, China, France and the United States, who had founded the United Nations against Nazi Germany and militarist Japan, now viewed the Tokyo government’s membership in the UN as a political plus in the emerging multilateral arena. Indeed the political landscape had changed; the winds of the cold war blew from Mainland China across a bitterly divided and war-torn Korean peninsula. Central Europe saw a military/ideological standoff with the Soviets. Thus a democratizing and pro-West Japan was viewed by the United States as a key, albeit rehabilitated ally, in the UN. The paper shall view Japan’s complex road to diplomatic re-integration and legitimacy in the post-war era, with the UN seat in December 1956 being the crowning achievement. That same year would witness momentous political events in Suez and Hungary literally just months before Japan’s formal membership. The aftermath of Japan’s membership would support a still Wester -leaning template in the multinational organization. Though Japan had been a active member of the former League of Nations until the Tokyo government’s ignominious withdrawal from the world body concerning the invasion of Manchuria, the idea that Japan would be invited to join the United Nations just a decade after WWII, seemed near impossible. Now it had transpired.


Name: Stan Molchanov
Section: Continental Political Thought
Professional Email: 10molchanov@cua.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Catholic University of America
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Paper Title: Observations on Late Modern Historiography
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‘Modern’ political thought is concerned with history to the degree that it revolts against tradition; modernity recasts the old in the form of the new, which is unfinished and unfinishable, in order to more fully account for what industrialization and rationalization have made possible. Postmodern thought goes further: postmodernism is a set of ongoing attempts to shatter the autonomy of various spheres of thought and culture by undermining the legitimacy of their separateness. Postmodernity celebrates and even institutionalizes difference. It does so chiefly by means of a genealogical unmasking of cultural dominants. Genealogy and periodization, however, bring in their train a theory of history. Postmodern political thought in fact seems acutely sensitive to the historical dimension of human being. Michel Foucault once said that to think beyond modernity, one must think beyond history. How is it, then, that postmodernism, to the degree that it emphasizes growth and becoming and transition at the expense of homogeneity and rigidity and tradition, has moved beyond modern thought? Could post-modernity be an outgrowth of late modernity that corrects for certain modern defects? What would properly post-historical political thought be?


Name: Jack Riley
Section: Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
Professional Email: JVThumos@aol.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Coastal Carolina University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The French Enlightenment Attack on Modern Natural Right and Political Project in The Encyclopedie
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At the height of the Enlightenment, the doctrine of modern natural right (e.g., Hobbes, Locke, and the American Framers) came under a vicious assault in the French Enlightenment. The French Enlightenment replaced the notion of modern natural right with the general will. This attack left politics with no natural guide for political life. Intellectually, it produced what has been called "the crisis of the West." Nevertheless, the French Enlightenment, through its main vehicle, The Encyclopedie, was much more than just an intellectual movement. Its aim was not only to bring down the ancien regime, but any political order grounded in nature, be it classical/medieval natural law or modern natural right. It sought to bring about an order based on the general will and guided by reason (understood as modern science). Its consequences have been disastrous first by its direct influence on the French revolution and its excesses. Second, it brought about "the crisis of the West," in which we find ourselves today. No intellectual task is more urgent than to understand the causes of this crisis and search for alternatives to it.


Name: Derval Ryan
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: derval.ryan@mail.mcgill.ca
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: McGill University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Communities of Honour: the Psychology of Religious Toleration in Hobbes' Leviathan
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Recent scholarship has argued that despite Hobbes’ apparent illiberal absolutism, he nonetheless admits the possibility of, and even advocates the toleration of religious diversity. However, given Hobbes’ account of war, wherein conflict arises because human glory seeking is disrupted by the insult of disagreement (for which mere difference of opinion is a sufficient sign), his advocacy of religious toleration perplexes: how might glory-prone individuals, who take dissent as insult and provocation to violence, be made to tolerate the manifold theological and liturgical practices that abound in a commonwealth that tolerates diverse private communities of faith? I argue that the logic of Hobbes’ psychology does allow humans to learn to be indifferent to difference. Hobbes’ public/private distinction permits individuals to obey the sovereign’s commands publicly, while, in their private communities receiving sufficient recognition of their dissenting opinions, such that they are not provoked to impose their beliefs upon the community at large.


Name: Alicia Steinmetz
Section: Modern Political Theory
Professional Email: alicia.steinmetz@yale.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Yale University
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Paper Title: Truth and Imagination from Blake to Nietzsche
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In modern liberal politics, it has become increasingly important to be able to give a case for the political value of truth and truth telling. Yet at the same time, the plausibility of giving a coherent account of political truth has become highly problematic. Aside from the fact that much of real world political discourse seemingly fails to live up to the expectations of liberal theory concerning sincerity and accuracy in speech and action, it may be the case that some types of deception and hypocrisy are necessary and even valuable in the pluralistic political sphere. Thus, liberalism continues to embrace a certain commitment to truth that it has trouble naming or discussing directly without exposing its own deep contractions. In this paper, I argue that it is possible to rethink truth more productively within liberalism by considering it alongside a capacity usually thought to fall outside of the realm of political vice or virtue: the human imagination. Drawing on the work of William Blake and Friedrich Nietzsche, I argue that rethinking truth alongside imagination reveals an alternate way of viewing the political value of truth telling through the problem and promise of self-deception for liberal politics, which can in turn open up new avenues for rethinking judgment and agency under conditions of pluralism.


Name: Harvey Strum
Section: Politics & History
Professional Email: strumh@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Sage College of Albany
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Committee for the Marshall Plan
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Committee for the Marshall Plan to Aid European Recovery (Stimson Committee) played a major role in generating public support for the Marshall Plan. Just as the earlier Committee to Defend American by Aiding the Allies (White Committee) was a valuable ally to President Franklin Roosevelt in obtaining public and Congressional support for aid to the Allies in 1941, the Stimson Committee became an invaluable ally to President Harry Truman in his efforts to persuade Congress to pass the Marshall Plan. Between November 1947 and April 1948 the Stimson Committee arranged pro-Marshall Plan news stories, editorials, advertisements, articles, petitions, radio broadcasts and speakers to stimulate public support for the Marshall Plan. Political scientist Richard Neustadt considered the Stimson Committee "one of the most effective instruments of public information since the Second World War." Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson concluded that the activities of the Stimson Committee "eventually came back to affect the several hundred people in Washington" who voted the Marshall Plan into law. Its members spanned the political spectrum from Hubert Humphrey to Henry Stimson and included groups ranging from the ADA to the DAR suggesting bipartisan support for the Marshall Plan. The Stimson Committee provided President Truman with a civilian auxiliary of first liners---men and women of power, prestige and political weight united in support of the European Recovery Plan. The paper will discuss the lobbying activities of the Stimson Committee and the efforts to alter public opinion in favor of the Marshall Plan.


Name: Stephanie Williams
Section:
Professional Email: stephanielynnwilliams@msn.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of South Florida
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
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Paper Title: In Defense of the Forgotten Man: The Sustained Legacy of the Southern Strategy on the Post-Reagan Era Presidency
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Political science and historians largely attribute the Southern Strategy to the 1964 and 1968 presidential campaigns of Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon.  Conversely, discussions of Ronald Reagan’s role in the development Southern Strategy describe him more as beneficiary than a significant influence in the Republican Party’s efforts to nationalize Southern racial politics.   However, Reagan emerged in the early 1960s as the rhetorical leader of Movement Conservatism. His rhetoric was instrumental in the efforts to convince White voters in both the Democratic and Republican parties to reject government investment in the social safety net. Reagan’s speeches equated social spending with racial stigmas and pathological behavior and have influenced Presidential rhetoric since he delivered his the 1964“A Time for Choosing” on behalf of the Goldwater campaign.  This presentation will discuss how Reagan’s language of the politics of pathology has shaped the manner in which both Democratic and Republican presidents have argued their policy views related to the social safety net.  The discussion is part of a broader study that seeks to expand the knowledge of the prevalence of the politics of pathology in presidential speeches as a tool to mitigate or cultivate racial resentment and political extremism when discussing policy and spending related to poverty and social inequalities. 


Name: Cyrus Zirakzadeh
Section: Politics & History
Professional Email: capeern@gmail.com
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of Connecticut
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Paper Title: "Re-Defining History through Peace Commissions: Case of Peru"
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Truth commissions offer states opportunities not only to investigate the past, but to promote an understanding that might bolster a state's stature in the eyes of its residents. An illustration of how this process occurs is the Peruvian government's establishment of an ad hoc truth-and-reconciliation commission at the beginning of the twenty first century. The commission's charge was to document rumors of a large number of violations of human rights during the final decades of the twentieth century and, also, to explain how broader "political, social, and cultural conditions" led to those violations. The commission's report offered a new understanding of the nation's past. But the report did so by erasing discussion of Peruvian's states aggressive economic reforms throughout the twentieth century and by blaming most of the violence on the emotional insecurities and character deficiencies of recently educated Peruvians, who were drawn to ideologies. Historical clarification and obfuscation were inextricably mixed in the report, so as to render the Peruvian state a potential hero for residents, and opponents of the Peruvian state as dangers to social order and personal security.



Undergraduate Research

Name: Rachel Aiello
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: rachel.judith7@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Emmanuel College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Politics of Ideology: An Analysis of State Level Sex Education Policy
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Co-author info: Faculty Sponsor: Adam Silver, Assistant Professor, Emmanuel College Email: silvera@emmanuel.edu
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United States sex education policies on the state level range from abstinence only education to more comprehensive policies that include abstinence and contraception education. This study seeks to explain these variations in policy from state to state. The thesis is that the prevailing political party in government at the time the policy is enacted affects the type of policy. The methodology involves coding forty-four state polices for levels of comprehensiveness and analyzes their relationship to state party composition at the time the regulations were enacted. The gender, sexual orientation and party of the legislative sponsor are considered, in addition to interest groups and court cases. Comprehensive sex education tends to be enacted in Democratic majorities, while abstinence-only policies are more likely to be passed under strong Republican majorities. The overall argument mirrors the ideological debate on cultural issues between the parties on the state and national levels.


Name: Nicole Baltzer
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: nabaltzer@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Gender Performativity & Politics: How Donald Trump's Gender Performance Appeals to the Hypermasculine Ethos of Primary Voters
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Gender theorist Judith Butler explores how gender impacts human experience, arguing that gender is something one does rather than something one has. Studying gender performativity requires an examination of the ways in which individuals demonstrate traits, beliefs, or actions that are traditionally associated with a specific gender. Appealing to a group’s masculinity or femininity may be a tactic public figures use to gain support and garner positive public opinion. In the current US election, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s clinching of the Republican nomination has caused political scientists to question how exactly he has been able to gain the support of his party base, despite being financially and politically inaccessible to one of the party's primary demographic bases. This paper explores the ways in which Donald Trump’s performance of hypermasculinity has contributed to his success with appealing to voters. I examine how Trump has used gendered rhetoric to respond to policy debates, party issues, and events related to 2016 primary elections. Through his aggressive positions on gendered electoral issues such as war, terrorism, immigration, and gender politics (what he calls the "gender card") Trump has appealed to the Republican Party’s collective through a hypermasculine ethos, bringing white masculinity and notions of the American dream to the forefront of his campaign and, consequently, political debate.


Name: Richard Burke
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: richardburke128@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Fairfield University
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Paper Title: The Tea Party and the Rise of Radical Rhetoric
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Co-author info: Gwendoline Alphonso (sponsor), Fairfield University, galphonso@fairfield.edu
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The Tea Party “insurgency” led Republicans to sweeping victories in the House during the 2010 midterm and its legacy propelled Republicans to a definitive victory again in 2014. Many (Skocpol & Williamson, 2011) have characterized the Tea Party phenomenon as a “political movement” or a “group of political activists” (Bailey, et. Al, 2012). Further scholarly attention (Abramowitz, 2011) has been directed at assessing the distinctive nature of the Tea Party phenomenon from the mainstream Republican Party. This paper contributes to both sets of literature by suggesting that, more than anything else, the Tea Party movement should be considered a political discursive strategy that is very much aligned, and inseparable from the Republican Party’s politics and organization. Using evidence from key events in Tea Party history, the paper argues that in the 7 years since its inception, the Tea Party has not developed any clear policy goals or political behavior which distinguishes it from the “establishment” faction of the Republican Party. Instead the movement is better conceived as a discursive strategy, which, the paper reveals, was employed to address a disenchanted, yet attentive public so as to secure the GOP’s dominance in the House. The paper identifies the elements of the radical rhetorical strategy deployed by Tea Party political actors, namely: 1) anti-Washington sentiment 2) strict constructionism 3) racialized interpretation of Americanism. It then demonstrates how this radical rhetoric was invoked by Republicans in the House as the primary means to: (1) critique and challenge the centrist policies of the Democratic Party, and 2) articulate popular dissatisfaction with the economy and with the dominant conservative fiscal politics of the last several decades. Furthermore it demonstrates the significance of this strategy within the prevailing electoral context of increasingly safe districts, shifts in the political priorities of wealthy donors, and increasing attentiveness of the public shaped by new media.


Name: Stephanie Chan
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: skchan@umass.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Creative Citizenship: Immigrant Political Participation
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Political participation is foundational to democracy and key to being a good American citizen. Through their reconceptualization of political participation, immigrants, both citizen and non-citizen, have the opportunity to enable a new kind of civic citizenship and to delegitimize and disempower the exclusionary legal category of citizenship. I argue that immigrant students to the United States innovatively understand political participation as they create their own political identities in relation to American nation. Through a combination of discourse analysis, participant observation, and interviews, I study student conceptions of political participation on three college campuses. This more nuanced understanding of political participation is critical for the development of a more diverse polity as young people, immigrants, and especially young immigrants reshape what it means to be American.


Name: Pavitra Chari
Section: Environmental Politics & Policy
Professional Email: pavitrachari@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Northeastern University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Rainbow Saris and Magic Teas: Nanotechnology Policies, Markets, and Regulations in China and India
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Picture a future where shirts clean themselves, cell phones charge in 30 seconds, and elevators go up to space! Nanotechnology is a transforming technology that opens up the path to many amazing applications. But as with any new technology, it risks creating problems to the environment, health, and safety. This situation is problematic with emerging economies developing nanotechnology now; these countries have limited regulatory frameworks in place, and only in rare cases are these specific to nanotechnology.Using China and India as case studies, I evaluated divergent regulatory stances in developing countries and placed the results within the context of existing literature on the EU and US. I compared regulatory stances by analyzing political structures, key legislation, and policies in three sectors that are commonly influenced by nanomaterials: chemicals, agriculture, and textiles. These three sectors are important for economic development, but also represent different political interests. The results support the argument that politics, not science, informs decision-making in China and India. By focusing in these sectors, these countries are ignoring research in applications of nanotechnology that could solve pressing problems including access to clean water, treating diseases, and harnessing energy. China and India may be setting examples for the rest of the developing world. While a diverse group of developing countries have adopted national nanotechnology strategies, the actual policies of promotion and regulation vary substantially across sector and across country. These case studies reflect a wider trend of regulatory variation across sectors, and how political motivations play into regulatory decisions.


Name: Bronte Forsgren
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: bronte.forsgren@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Utah State University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "Never Forget”: The Impact of Identity on Armenia’s Foreign Policy Options
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Co-author info: Mary Briggs, Utah State University, mary.briggs@aggiemail.usu.edu Sarah Peck, Utah State University, peck.sarahemily@gmail.com
Co-presenter info: Mary Briggs, Utah State University, mary.briggs@aggiemail.usu.edu Sarah Peck, Utah State University, peck.sarahemily@gmail.com
Abstract:
Defined by its strong ethnic, religious, and cultural identity, Armenia occupies a difficult geopolitical position in the Caucasus. As the rest of the world globalizes, Armenia is suffocated economically and politically under the dominance of Russia. Opportunities to diversify its dependence on Russia are limited by Armenia’s difficult relationships with neighboring countries. The longstanding border conflict with Azerbaijan is viewed as critical to retaining the Armenian nation, and Armenia’s relationship with Turkey bears national and historical scars. These conflicts, along with a long history of religious isolation and ethnic persecution, have solidified traits of a strong, cohesive Armenian identity that play a considerable role in its foreign policy. These include pride in being the first Christian nation, homogeneity, perceptions of vulnerability, political distrust, and strong emigration patterns. Recommendations from the international community often fail to acknowledge these core identity traits driving Armenian foreign policy. This paper explores these factors, displays their impact on Armenian political culture, and proves that Armenia retains viable options to distance itself from Russian control such as strengthening institutions, diversifying economic ties, and investing in upcoming generations, all while retaining its unique national culture. Research methods include in-country observation and interviews, data analysis, and literature review.


Name: Micayla Hersey
Section: Public Policy & Public Administration
Professional Email: Micaylahersey@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: University of West Georgia
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Voter Registration: The Case for the ERIC System
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The right of an American citizen to vote is the foundation of our country. However, 1 in 8 registration records is inaccurate and out of date. In 2008 alone, 2.2 million people lost their right to vote specifically due to registration problems. One of the most recent efforts to deal with the voter registration problems is the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) that Pew Charitable Trusts created in 2012. This study examines the effects of the ERIC system by using a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative voter data. Qualitatively, it conducted a case study that examined the major differences between the widely-used Cross-Check system and the ERIC system. The quantitative research involved voter registration and population data from both ERIC and non-ERIC states, to analyze if there was a correlation between the system change from the Cross-Check system to ERIC that increased voter registration. The research found that the ERIC system was more successful than Cross-Check at finding registration errors that could prevent citizens from being able to vote. The key reason for this success is the use of national data bases over state databases. The ERIC system has also proven to keep sensitive information secure. More importantly, the data showed that the voter registration numbers in ERIC states have been improved steadily. This study also provides some important implications for registration system reform.


Name: Joan Iezin
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: joanmiezin@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Fairfield University
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Paper Title: Resisting Capitalism, Not Globalization
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Seattle was the setting of a massive protest against the WTO in 1999, and in 2015 anti-TPP demonstrations erupted across Asia, Europe, and North America. In 2009 Hactivists released classified information concerning the US military-industrial complex over the Internet, and in 2012 The Occupy Wall Street movement set up a tent city in Zuccotti Party New York to protest the economic power of the 1%. What these popular movements, with different agendas, methods of organizing, and physical contexts, share in common is that all have been categorized as anti-globalization movements. The aim of my paper is to argue that the label anti-globalization, which has been attached to these four popular movements is misleading as to what these popular movements desire to achieve. There are three parts to my argument. First, what these movements share in common is that whether from a neo-liberal or a neo-anarchist perspective, all are pro-globalization, not anti-globalization. Second, all borrow from the ideas of horizontalidad found in neo-anarchist thought. Third, all consider neoliberal capitalism to be the focal point of their protest. My project examines the tactics and aims of these popular movements by analyzing the theory and praxis of their modes of social interaction and governance as well as their goals. The aim of my paper is to change the discursive narrative as to how these popular movements are perceived.


Name: Chambailli Khan
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: dr_yasirapt@yahoo.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Peshawar
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
Participation Type: Moderator
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Name: Hannah Lougheed
Section:
Professional Email: hannahlougheed@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: A Case Study of the Strategic Use of Refugee Resettlement through Local Integration in Clarkston, Georgia
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The Strategic Use of Resettlement (SUR), established by the UNHCR, better evaluates refugee resettlement as a multifaceted approach to relocation. It is understood to be a tool used to monitor the outcomes of refugee resettlement by assessing the beneficial aftereffects that may be experienced by other refugees, varying states, and the larger international arena. SUR evaluates the refugee resettlement process holistically, weighing outcomes of the resettlement process for all states involved, instead of solely those refugees relocated. The projected outcomes for SUR is to help foster the growth of a more dynamic and global resettlement process that begins strategically in the home state and remains a priority in both the second country relocation and finally, third country resettlement. Successful local integration is seen through a variety of socio-cultural aspects, and an important factor in SUR; it reduces the chances of repatriation or refoulement, thus providing resettlement success for states and the UNHCR. This paper will evaluate the city of Clarkston, Georgia from a policy analysis perspective. I will be finding integration successes and failures by addressing the major stakeholders in resettlement: refugees, local NGOs and the Government (state and local). In doing so, I will evaluate its implemented integration tools as they are guided by SUR and seek to draw conclusions on the effectiveness or shortcomings of this program in Clarkston, Georgia.


Name: Russell Luke
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: lukere01@mail.buffalostate.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: SUNY Buffalo State
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Does Venezuela’s Past Dictate its Future?
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Venezuela’s political and economic history is responsible for its current instability. The history of Spanish colonization, and its lingering effects, continues to sabotage Venezuela’s future, following Acemoglu & Robinson’s theory of path dependency (2012). The causes of the current issues and instability can be traced to Venezuela’s political institutions and their history. First the Spanish, then American and European Corporations imposed an extractive economic system that fundamentally shaped both the society and political institutions of Venezuela. The current political, economic and societal issues facing many South American nations have their roots in the historical oppression and exploitation by external forces. Brazil has been a popular subject in the media lately, with the allegations of corruption and overall political instability, but this situation is not unique to Brazil. Rather, this is the instability that Acemoglu & Robinson argue is due to the political institutions and history of these nations (2012). Venezuela is an appropriate test for this theory. If Acemoglu and Robinson’s theory is correct, Nicolas Maduro, the current President of Venezuela will lead a corrupt and extractive regime at the expense of democratic political institutions and Venezuelans will suffer (2012). How long Maduro can retain power and what measures he will use remain to be seen. This will be a case study of the current economic, political and societal issues that plague Venezuela. This case study will also examine the sources of these issues and analyze how these affect the current regime. Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2012). Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. New York: Crown.


Name: Michael Meltzer
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: mmeltzer@ramapo.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Ramapo College of NJ
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: In the Name of Terrorism: The Kurdish Question in Turkey
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The ancestors of Turkish Kurds have sought self-determination upon their native land since long before the state of Turkey was established. Despite Iraqi and Syrian Kurds often making headlines since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war and rise of the Islamic State, the question of the Turkish Kurds remains obfuscated by conflicting international interests and conflations with the quintessential buzz word of the modern Middle East: terrorism. However, despite containing the largest percentage of Kurds of any country in the world, approximately 16 million, or 20 percent of the country’s population, Turkey does not grant national minority rights to Kurds and has a long history of suppressing their cultural heritage. This geopolitical gridlock has played catalyst to a silent civil war in southeast Turkey, which gets lumped in with sectarian terrorism in the narrative of the 24/7 ISIS news cycle. The United States seems content to consider Kurdish political groups in Turkey as terrorists despite remarkably similar circumstances to that which called for aid in Iraq and Syria. My paper will employ a historical perspective to examine Turko-Kurdish identity politics with regard to international distinctions between civil war and terrorism.


Name: Kisha Patel
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: kipatel@ursinus.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Ursinus College
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Paper Title: My Body, Not My Say: Regulation of Reproductive Freedom in America
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Women’s bodies have been legislated for years. Many people associate regulation beginning in 1973 when Roe V. Wade was decided. Even though legislation has affected women for much longer, understanding the implications of this decision are fundamental to analyze the debate over the constitutionality of abortion today. I examined the opinion written by Justice Blackmun in Roe v. Wade that changed the way abortion was looked at in America. The basis in which Justice Blackmun founded his decision was important in how abortion would be regulated and argued in the future. Therefore it is important to understand the man behind the decision. Justice Blackmun’s decision was controversial because confronted legal standards of individual rights and privacy going on to say, “If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child”. Justice Blackmun went against the norm to carefully dissect the constitutionality of abortion, regardless of what others around him believed. He made sure to research both the medical procedure and the constitutional language in the 9th and 14th amendment. To understand his decision, I also conducted in depth analysis of Justice Blackmun’s biographies that contain notes from during the trial. This highlights the pivotal role of Justice Blackmun in shaping reproductive freedom in the future. I combined this with research of specific Supreme Court Cases and Congressional Bills that try to regulate reproductive freedom post the Roe decision. Specifically, I looked at 48 pieces of congressional legislation from the 114th Congress that limit women's reproductive freedom through abortion bans, non-accessible health care, and cuts in federal spending towards Planned Parenthood. I also examined Supreme Court cases regarding reproductive freedom and studied the arguments on the constitutionality of abortion regulation. When examining many Supreme Court opinions on reproductive freedom, and found that many justices supported the infringement on women’s rights to their respective bodies by preventing women from having abortions or having access to contraceptives. I use the Roe decision to examine the constitutionally of the current restrictions being placed on women’s bodies and argue that these laws and regulations against women infringe on their ability to participate equally in society, limiting their rights as citizens.


Name: Bethany Pritchard
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: blp5qe@virginia.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: University of Virginia
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: In Ten Seconds or Less; Snapchat and Campaign Discourse
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From February 1, 2016 through March 6, 2016, this study collected 1,451 Snapchats posted by the Democratic and Republican candidates for president as well as posts made by Snapchat users on the public Live Story feature. Following the collection of data, a content analysis was run on these posts to understand how Snapchat was used. This resulted in the discovering that most candidates use their own Snapchat accounts to display the size of their crowds, which Jeb Bush being the outlier. Bush’s content featured more behind the scenes images and helped the viewer connect more than content about crowd size. Additionally, a simple survey of 275 social media users was conducted to gauge the interest Snapchat users have with politics on this new media. Overwhelmingly, I found very little use and viewing of the political Live Stories and an even smaller number of people following individual candidates. Large social media such as Facebook and Twitter also had simple beginnings, but the innate design of Snapchat seems to limit its success in campaigns. From the results of this study, I do not think that this new media will have a large impact on the 2016 election, or any election in the near future. The media, as it is now, serves to make the candidates appear relatable and provide transparency.


Name: Adam Silver
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: rachel.judith7@gmail.com
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: Emmanuel College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Politics of Ideology: An Analysis of State Level Sex Education Policy
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Co-author info: Faculty Sponsor: Adam Silver, Assistant Professor, Emmanuel College Email: silvera@emmanuel.edu
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United States sex education policies on the state level range from abstinence only education to more comprehensive policies that include abstinence and contraception education. This study seeks to explain these variations in policy from state to state. The thesis is that the prevailing political party in government at the time the policy is enacted affects the type of policy. The methodology involves coding forty-four state polices for levels of comprehensiveness and analyzes their relationship to state party composition at the time the regulations were enacted. The gender, sexual orientation and party of the legislative sponsor are considered, in addition to interest groups and court cases. Comprehensive sex education tends to be enacted in Democratic majorities, while abstinence-only policies are more likely to be passed under strong Republican majorities. The overall argument mirrors the ideological debate on cultural issues between the parties on the state and national levels.


Name: Therese Stirling
Section: Undergraduate Research
Professional Email: tstirling@umass.edu
Professional Status: Undergraduate Student
Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Paper Title: The Power of Access: Cross-Cutting Equality in a time of Authoritarianism
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This study investigates the relationship between generalized trust and educational gender equality in Turkey and Jordan between 1991-2014. This study assimilates democratic preconditions from Putnam and Lipset into the standard democratic framework outlined by Dhal, Collier and Levitsky and seeks to highlight the unexplored significance of gender equal participation in the applicability of those preconditions. Employing a most similar comparative method of analysis, I operationalize measures of educational gender equality and generalized trust by isolating the Gross Enrollment Gender Parity Index (GPI) and an array of World Values Survey questions. Using Turkey and Jordan as focal points, I analyze a variety of theoretically informed controls to assess primary determining factors perpetuating authoritarianism in the Middle East. This study assesses how socioeconomic and political marginalization of women, evident in low educational gender equality, inhibits the development of generalized trust, and subsequently the development of high quality liberal democracy.