Voting and Civic Participation in Ancient Athens

The Acropolis of Athens. Dominating the acropolis is the Parthenon, built between 447 and 432 BCE in the Age of Pericles, and dedicated to the city’s patron deity Athena. / Photo by Mark Cartwright, Creative Commons Ancient Athenians actively served in the institutions that governed them, and so they directly controlled all parts of the political process. By Mark Cartwright / 04.03.2018 Historian[…]

Adolf Hitler and ‘Nationalism’

Adolf Hitler and his entourage take a stroll in Paris on June 23, 1940 / German Federal Archives, Wikimedia Commons Examining Adolf Hitler’s conceptualization of Nationalism – the Nation and who, in Hitler’s thinking, comprises it. By John Cai Benjamin Weaver / 05.16.2011 Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political and Economic Studies University of Helsinki Adolf[…]

Ostracism as a Political Process in Ancient Greece

Pottery ostraka identifying Themistocles, 482 BCE. These were used in Athens to vote a particular citizen to be ostracised from the polis. From a well on the north slope of the acropolis of Athens. (Museum of the Ancient Agora, Athens) / Photo by Mark Cartwright, Creative Commons Ostracism was the supreme example of the power of the ordinary people, the demos, to combat abuses of[…]

Henry David Thoreau: Founding Father of American Libertarian Thought

This  great writer, great naturalist, and great advocate of self-reliant individualism was also one of the founding fathers of American libertarian thought. By Jeff Riggenbach / 07.15.2010 Henry David Thoreau was born David Henry Thoreau on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts, a small country town about 20 miles northwest of Boston. Nancy Rosenblum of the[…]

Oligarchy, Tyranny, and Democracy in Ancient Greece

Ostraka for Ostracism / Museum of the Ancient Agora, Wikimedia Commons Although the Greek city-states differed in size and natural resources, they came to share certain fundamental political institutions and social traditions. By Dr. Thomas R. Martin Jeremiah W. O’Connor, Jr. Professor of  Classics College of the Holy Cross Introduction Although the Greek city-states differed in[…]

Common Sense: From Monarchy to an American Republic

Radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine advocated a republic: a state without a king. By Dr. P. Scott Corbett, et.al. Professor of History Ventura College Introduction While monarchies dominated eighteenth-century Europe, American revolutionaries were determined to find an alternative to this method of government. Radical pamphleteer Thomas Paine, whose enormously popular essay Common Sense was first published[…]

Political Culture and Socialization in America

1952 Democratic Convention / Wikimedia Commons People gain an understanding and acceptance of the political culture of their nation through a process called political socialization. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Americans have strong positive feelings about the country’s flag. Government leaders and candidates giving speeches often are flanked by[…]

Political Parties in the Information Age

Political parties thrive when they are able to manage the media and effectively promote their candidates, leaders, and causes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.22.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Political parties thrive when they are able to manage the media and effectively promote their candidates, leaders, and causes. Their goal is to use the[…]

Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau on Government

The Storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789, by Jean-Pierre Houël / Bibliothèque nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons Starting in the 1600s, European philosophers began debating the question of who should govern a nation. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.07.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Starting in the 1600s, European philosophers began debating the question of[…]

And the Lot Fell On…Sortition in Ancient Greek Theory and Practice

Pnyx hill in Athens by Qwqchris. / Wikimedia Commons In the matter of the dēmokratia (‘People-Power’) that the Greeks invented (the word as well as the thing) ancient Greece was a desperately foreign country – they did democracy very differently. By Dr. Paul Cartledge / 03.31.2016 A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus University of Cambridge Some four decades[…]

Contentious Politics: Hobbes, Machiavelli, and Corporate Power

Did the Roman arenas of political conflict support the common good? Trey Ratcliff/flickr, Creative Commons History offers countless examples of social change that is now consolidated and popularly supported, but which was only achieved through protests that were judged at the time to be extreme. By Dr. Sandra Leonie Field / 11.19.2015 Assistant Professor of Humanities (Philosophy) Yale-NUS College[…]

The Power of Ordinary People Facing Totalitarianism

A 1969 photo of political theorist and scholar Hannah Arendt. AP Photo Hannah Arendt, a political theorist, fled Germany during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and later wrote about ‘the banality of evil.’ Her work has recently become a best-seller. Here’s why. By Dr. Kathleen B. Jones / 03.14.2017 Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies San Diego State University In the weeks since[…]

The Political Science of Campaigns, Elections, and Participation

The 33rd President of the United States of America, statesman Harry S Truman (1884 – 1972), waving from a train. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.17.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Elections 1.1 – Types of Elections From the broad and general to the small and local, elections are[…]

The Legal System in the United States

Gordon County Courthouse in Calhoun, GA / Photo by Brent Moore, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt has this vital role in our criminal procedure for cogent reasons. The accused, during a criminal prosecution, has at stake interests of immense importance,[…]

A History of Interest Groups and Political Parties in American Politics

President Lyndon Johnson signs a gun-control law in 1968—passed with the N.R.A / Public Domain Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.09.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction 1.1 – Constitutional Right to Petition the Government The Supreme Court has ruled that petitioning the government by way of lobbying is protected by the Constitution as[…]

Defining, Forming, and Measuring Public Opinion

Photo by Stephen Melkisthenian, Flickr, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.06.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Defining Public Opinion 1.1 – Introduction Voter Poll: Voter polling questionnaire on display at the Smithsonian Institution Public opinion or Political opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Public[…]

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights in Political Science

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights 1.1 – The Bill of Rights 1.1.1 – Overview The Bill of Rights of the United States of American: The United States Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution, and[…]

A History of Federalism in the United States

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Federalism in the Constitution 1.1 – Introduction Federalism is the system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units. It is based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between[…]

An Introduction to Political Science and American Government

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Forms of Government Forms of government are categorized by the power source and power structure of any given state. 1.1 – Government and Its Forms Countries of the World, by Type of Government in 2011: This map shows all the countries of the word,[…]

The Constitution and the Founding of the United States of America

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.17.2018 Historian Breminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The First American Government 1.1 – Government in the English Colonies The way the British government was run in the colonies inspired what the Americans would write in their Constitution. Parliament: Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1808–1879) being introduced in the House of Commons,[…]

The Concept of ‘Oriental Despotism’ from Aristotle to Marx

Terracotta Army detail, Xi’an, China / Photo by Peter Morgan, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Rolando Minuti / 05.03.2012 Fernand Braudel Fellow, Professor of History European University Institute Abstract The concept of Oriental Despotism has shaped the European interpretation and representation of Asiatic governments and societies for many centuries. Its origins can be found in Aristotelian[…]

The French Revolution: Lightning and the People’s Will

Detail from La Liberté Triomphante (1792), showing Liberty brandishing a thunderbolt in one hand and a Phrygian cap on a stick in the other / National Library of France Kevin Duong explores how leading French revolutionaries, in need of an image to represent the all important “will of the people”, turned to the thunderbolt — a natural[…]

Herodotean Democracies

By Dr. Joel Alden Schlosser / 04.17.2017 Assistant Professor of Political Science Bryn Mawr College Schlosser, Joel Alden. “Herodotean Democracies.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:SchlosserJ.Herodotean_Democracies.2016 I. Fragment from Herodotus’ Histories, Book VIII on Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2099, dated to early 2nd century CE / Papyrology Rooms, Sackler Library, Oxford University To study the past, let alone antiquity, at a[…]

‘Ketman’ and Doublethink: What It Costs to Comply with Tyranny

Poet and Nobel Prize winner Czesław Miłosz speaking onstage to a crowd of students at Warsaw University, Poland, 1981. Photo by Keystone/Getty By Jacob Mikanowski / 10.09.2017 In the spring of 1949, poet Czesław Miłosz was working as a cultural attaché in the Polish embassy in Washington, DC. Just four years earlier, he had been on[…]

Simone de Beauvoir’s Political Philosophy Resonates Today

Simone de Beauvoir in Paris in 1949. / Photo from Elliot Erwitt, Magnum By Dr. Skye C. Cleary / 03.10.2017 Lecturer Columbia University, City College of New York Simone de Beauvoir is rightly best known for declaring: ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.’ A less well-known facet of her philosophy, particularly relevant today, is[…]

Political Ideologies and Isms

The SLECO (Socialism, Liberalism, Conservatism and Ecology) chart is a proposed alternative to the Nolan Chart and the Hans Slomp projection of the European political spectrum. It should be able to capture more political schools. / Ben Burgers, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. T.M. Sell / 11.30.2014 Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Introduction People sometimes develop[…]