Political Science

A Republic If You Can Keep It

Richard D. Brown— In 1787 when Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention a lady famously asked “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic,” Franklin replied tartly, “if you can keep it.” Now, 230 years later, Franklin’s observation on our Founders’ great experiment haunts us.

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What Can “Deep Minority” Democrats Do Now?

Matthew N. Green— Things look bleak for congressional Democrats. Though they gained seats in the U.S. House of Representatives last November, and have enough Senators in their ranks to filibuster legislation, they remain a minority party in both chambers. Even worse for them, the incoming president is a Republican, which

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What Washington Gets Wrong

Benjamin Ginsberg— At a Washington dinner party, I happened to mention to the woman seated to my right, an executive of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency responsible for Americans’ health care, that a colleague and I had undertaken a survey of Washington officials to find out what the

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Resisting the Narrative of Fear against Refugees

M. Jan Holton— Fear is a daily course in the life of refugees fleeing from war. Consider for example the citizens of Aleppo facing bombings, torture, starvation, and death. The title of a New York Times article about the final days before the fall of Aleppo says it all “We

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The View from the Postcolonial Caucasus

Rebecca Gould— High in the mountains running along the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia, in the garrison town of Zaqatala, former outpost of the famed Imam Shamil who in the mid-nineteenth century led the longest resistance to Russian rule, I meet an elderly woman crossing the street. “Come inside and

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Unveiling a Bribery Culture in the Soviet Union

James Heinzen— I first became fascinated with the social and cultural dimensions of everyday bribery in the Soviet Union when I was robbed in Moscow in 1992, just after the collapse of the USSR.  My wallet was swiped by a group of kids while I was walking in central Moscow. When

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Debunking Myths About North Korea

Jieun Baek— I’m often asked what are some misunderstandings people may have about North Korea. For this article, I’d like to expand that question out to lessons I learned and observed throughout the process of trying to better understand this country.   Myth: North Korea is a monolith. North Korea—as

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The Rise of the Arab Gulf States

Rory Miller— In the early 1970s, the six Sunni Muslim monarchies of the Arab Gulf—Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait—took control of their own fortunes. Since then, they have used their oil and gas wealth to pursue stability at home and influence abroad. In

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Does Donald Trump Believe in American Civil Religion?

Walter McDougall— Americans are saying good riddance to the ugly 2016 campaign. Many believe that Donald Trump, having won, will cease the shock-jock talk and govern as the pragmatic businessman he purports to be. Most experts predict that Trump, like every president before him, he will be constrained by the Congress,

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The Success Gospel of Norman Vincent Peale and Donald Trump

Christopher Lane— “Trust God, have faith, stick it out.” In the depths of the Great Depression, following years of worry and instability, these words by Norman Vincent Peale were a balm to millions of Americans. They offered hope and encouragement, paired belief in oneself with a sunnier future for all,

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