Tag Archive for government

Finn’s New Book Offers Moral, Philosophical Interpretation of Constitution

Book by John Finn.

Book by John Finn.

John Finn, professor of government, is the author of Peopling the Constitution (Constitutional Thinking), published by the University Press of Kansas on Feb. 24.

According to the University Press of Kansas, Peopling the Constitution outlines a very different view of the Constitution as a moral and philosophical statement about who we are as a nation. This “Civic Constitution” constitutes us as a civic body politic, transforming “the people” into a singular political entity. Juxtaposing this view with the legal model, the “Juridic Constitution,” Finn offers a comprehensive account of the Civic Constitution as a public affirmation of the shared principles of national self-identity, and as a particular vision of political community in which we the people play a significant and ongoing role in achieving a constitutional way of life. The Civic Constitution is the constitution of dialogical engagement, of contested meanings, of political principles, of education, of conversation.

Peopling the Constitution offers a new interpretation of the American constitutional project in an effort to revive a robust understanding of citizenship. It considers the entire constitutional project, from its founding and maintenance to its failure, with insights into topics ranging from the practice of deliberative democracy and the meaning of citizenship, to constitutional fidelity, civic virtue, the separation of powers, federalism, and constitutional interpretation. The Civic Constitution, in Finn’s telling, is primarily a political project requiring an active, engaged, and most importantly, constitutionally educated citizenry committed to the civic virtues of civility and tending. When we as citizens are unwilling or unable to tend to and sustain the Constitution, and when constitutional questions reduce to legal questions and obscure civic interests, constitutional rot results. And in post-9/11 America, Finn argues, constitutional rot has begun to set in.

Government’s Dancey, Fowler, Gallarotti, Lim, McGuire, Rutland, Schwartz, Wiliarty Published in 2013

Logan Dancey,  assistant professor of government, is the co-author of  “Heuristics Behaving Badly: Party Cues and Voter Knowledge,” published in American Journal of Political Science 57 No. 2, 312-325, April 2013.

Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, is the co-author of  “Political and News Media Factors Shaping Public Awareness of the HPV Vaccine,” published in Women’s Health Issues 23 No. 3, e143-e151, 2013.

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, professor of environmental studies, tutor in the College of Social Studies,  is the author of “The Enduring Importance of Hobbes in the Study of IR,” published in e-International Relations, Jan. 10, 2013.

Elvin Lim, associate professor of government, is the author of “The Anti-Federalist Strand in Progressive Politics,” published in Political Research Quarterly, 66 No. 1, 32-45, March 2013.

James McGuire, chair and professor of government, professor of Latin American studies, is the author of  “Political Regime and Social Performance,” published in Contemporary Politics, 19 No. 1, 55-75, March 2013.

Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, tutor in the College of Social Studies, is the author of “Neoliberalism and the Russian Transition,” published in Review of International Political Economy20 No. 2, 332-362, April 2013.

Nancy Schwartz, professor of government, tutor in the college of social studies, is the author of “Introduction: Generations,” published in  Polity 45 No. 2, 245-248, April 2013.

Sarah Wiliarty, associate professor of government, director of the Public Affairs Center, is the author of “Nuclear Power in Germany and France,” published in Polity 45 No. 2, 281-296, April 2013.

5 Questions with . . . Giulio Gallarotti on China-U.S. Relations

Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, tutor in the College of Social Studies, says all nations, even our closest allies, do things that cut against our geo-strategic interests.

In this issue of The Wesleyan Connection, we ask 5 Questions of Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government and author of several books and scholarly articles, including The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics. Lately he has turned his attention to the U.S.-China relationship and its place in the geo-political world.

Q: Your recent work has taken you to the transition in much of the world from a Cold War stance to the coming “cold co-existence” between the U.S. and China. How would you define “cold co-existence”?

A: The future U.S. relations with China will be far different than the Cold War relationship with the U.S.S.R., even if the Chinese get closer to nuclear parity with the U.S. The two nations will be far more interdependent economically than the U.S. and Soviets; hence their fates will be far more interlocked. While we had almost no major economic ties to the Soviets during the Cold War, we are now China’s major market (we ran a $295 billion trade deficit with China in 2011) and China is our largest lender (China presently holds over $1 trillion in American assets—largely bonds). In a sense, we are each other’s principal sources of revenues: trade revenues for China and loans for the U.S. government. This economic interdependence is here to stay, however, it will be embedded in a competitive environment, which will make the two nations anything but close allies. Add to the testy economic relationship friction over human rights, Taiwan, and disagreements over territorial claims in the South China Sea; and you have enough additional negative karma to generate a very “cold” posture between the two great nations.

Q: The economic competition between the two has received heightened scrutiny in the past few years, in part because China ignores the environmental laws employed by most western nations, controls its currency and exerts wage controls on its workers. How will these behaviors affect the relationship with the U.S. and the West in the next few years?

A: The battle of ideologies between communism and capitalism is withering quickly with the depreciation of the communist ideology among both Chinese leaders and people.

Rutland’s Opinion Piece Published in Moscow Times

Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland, professor of government, authored an opinion piece in the Dec. 29 Moscow Times titled “A Cold War Could Turn Hot in the Korean Peninsula.”

Rutland writes: “Much of the commentary about North Korea after the death of Kim Jong Il has sidestepped the question of reunification. While the nations of Germany and Vietnam were united, Korea remains split into two. In this part of the world, the Cold War is not over, and there is a real danger that it might turn into a hot war.

North Korea is committed to unifying the nation by military means. Its pursuit of nuclear weapons is not solely for defensive purposes. South Korea does not have its own nuclear weapons, and thus a U.S. withdrawal would leave them vulnerable to a nuclear-armed North.

Various scenarios could play out if the leadership transition goes sour. The worst case would be chaos and civil war, possibly leading to Chinese intervention.”

Read the full story online here.

Rutland also blogs about nationalism at www.nationalismwatch.com.

Lim’s Political Analysis in Faster Times

Elvin Lim, associate professor of government, provided a political analysis on “Why Republicans Can’t Find their Candidate” in the Nov. 10 Faster Times. He discusses politicians Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

“It is far from clear, then, that 2012 will be a Republican year,” he writes.”Conservatives have yet to explain away a fundamental puzzle: if government is so unnecessary, so inefficient, and so corrupt, why seek an office in it? This is possibly why the very brightest and savviest would-be candidates are in Wall Street, and can’t be bothered with an address change to Pennsylvania Avenue. Except Rick Perry and Herman Cain, of course.”

The article is online here.

5 Questions With . . . Anne Peters on Egypt Since the Arab Spring

Anne Peters, assistant professor of government, is a former Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academies in Washington, DC. Peters was assigned to develop new programs that would allow U.S. and Arab scientists to collaborate. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

This issue we ask “5 Questions” of Anne Mariel Peters, assistant professor of government who specializes in the Middle East. Her research interests include the durability of Middle Eastern Authoritarianism.

Q: We all saw the stirring images from Egypt in the spring, but there’s been very little coverage of what is happening there since. What happened in the days and weeks after the protest ended?

A: The Egyptian protesters were a diverse group of people with varying levels of policy goals and political sophistication who all coalesced around the need to remove the President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. That we now see acute fragmentation and intense rivalry among formal parties and informal groups is not surprising. However, this has put the groups in poor position to exert leverage over the military leadership, the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF), that asserted its role as a transitional government after Mubarak resigned from office.

Two major party coalitions have emerged. The first is the Democratic Alliance, which is headed up by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Although the Brotherhood was prohibited from forming a political party, under Mubarak’s rule it built a political bureau that fronted a number of “independents” in parliamentary and associational elections. Until recently, the Alliance comprised about forty Islamic and secular parties. Yet two-thirds of the original members have since left the Alliance (including leading salafi Islamist parties), after expressing concern that the FJP is trying to take the majority of nominees. The second coalition is the liberal Egyptian Bloc, which was established by Coptic Christian businessman Naguib Sawiris and consists of about twenty parties, fifteen of which have reportedly withdrawn because they fear that the dominant Egyptian Liberals Party is trying to hoard nominations.

Newer and smaller parties, then, are largely responsible for the fragmentation of the coalitions. A more liberal political parties law has allowed many new parties to register, but it also means that many of them are less cohesive and less organized. They fear the disproportionate power of leading parties in their respective coalitions. Although nobody knows its precise level of support, as an older organization the Brotherhood has the advantage of drawing upon pre-established networks. By contrast, the Egyptian Liberals Party is a new party, but has the advantage of resources and support from Egypt’s relatively organized business communities.

Q: It was an odd uprising in that there really wasn’t a single organized political group leading it. What were some of the factors that precipitated it?

A: In general, standards of living were being eroded by inflation and unemployment; the financial sector suffered from corruption and unequal access to capital; and educated Egyptians could not find gainful employment.

McGuire Book Wins International Prize

Book by James McGuire

James McGuire’s recent book Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2010) was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2010 and won the 2011 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. McGuire is professor and chair in the Department of Government and a member of the Latin American Studies Program at Wesleyan.

The Stein Rokkan Prize is awarded annually by the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), and the University of Bergen (Norway), in memory of Professor Stein Rokkan, who was an eminent social scientist at the University of Bergen. The ISSC was founded by UNESCO in 1952 and is “the primary international body representing the social and behavioral sciences at a global level.” The ECPR, which manages the Stein Rokkan Prize for the ISSC, awards the prize to a book “that is deemed a very substantial and original contribution to comparative social science research.”

James McGuire

McGuire will receive the prize at the annual meeting of the ISSC Executive Council in Durban, South Africa, on Nov. 26, at which time he will deliver a public lecture on the book.

More information about the 2011 Stein Rokkan Prize is online here.

The Stein Rokkan Prize citation for Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America is online here.


Glenn Discusses Constitutional Conservatives in Salon.com

Brian Glenn

An article by Brian Glenn, visiting assistant professor of government, was published on salon.com July 4.

In the piece, titled “What is a ‘constitutional conservative’ anyway?,” Glenn writes, “For conservative politicians, the name signals that they are identifying as Tea Party members, which means limiting government, balancing the federal budget, lowering taxes, ending redistribution from the wealthier to the poor, assigning a central position for God in the lives of Americans, even in courthouses and public schools, and asserting the right to bear arms. While God will always be given top billing, one gets the sense that lowering taxes and eliminating social programs are actually the most important pillars in the platform — so much so that many elected officials claim to be unwilling to compromise no matter what the short-term consequences.”

Read the entire article online here.



Touchton Discusses Kashmir’s Ski Industry, India’s Economy

Michael Touchton, assistant professor of government, spoke on “The Politics of Powder: The Ski Industry and the Developmental State in India” March 24 in the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies. Touchton discussed his experience skiing in Kashmir during the 2010 spring semester and the insights this experience offered on the role of India's state in promoting economic development.

Wesleyan Media Project: 2010 Campaign Ads Most Negative Ever

Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, is director of The Wesleyan Media Project.

The 2010 campaign season was the most negative in recent years, but, current political rhetoric aside, that actually may not be a bad thing.

These are among the findings and conclusions from a recent journal article published by Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of The Wesleyan Media Project, and her co-researchers in The Forum, a Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.

“Advertising Trends in 2010” by Fowler and Travis Ridout, associate professor at Washington State University and co-director of The Wesleyan Media Project, examined the data and trends in television campaign advertising from all Federal and Gubernatorial races during the 2010 cycle. This included such issues as negativity levels and tenor in ads and its effect; the top issues and themes used by Democrats and Republicans in House and Senate ads; and ad tone (Attack, Promote, Contrast) by party from 2000-2010.

McGuire Published in Latin American Living Standards, Human Development Report

James McGuire, professor of government, is the author of “Mortality Decline in Chile, 1960-1995,” published in Living Standards in Latin American History: Height, Welfare, and Development, 1750-2000, Cambridge, Mass: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, 2010; and “Political Factors and Health Outcomes: Insight from Argentina’s Provinces,” published in the United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2010, September 2010.

Gallarotti, Nelson on China’s Rising Power

Giulio Gallarotti

Michael Nelson

On a recent episode of WNPR’s Where We Live,’ Giulio Gallarotti, professor of government, and Michael Nelson, assistant professor of government, discussed China’s rising national profile and the Western perceptions of Chinese power.

According to the WNPR broadcast, China reports a $20.8 billion trade surplus for December, $191 billion for the year and the world is cowering in fear of China’s rapid rise to power. Goldman Sachs predicts China’s and U.S. economies will be equivalent in size around 2027.

As a result, recent polls show that Americans think the U.S. is in a downward spiral and China is the new rising superpower.

At 30:10, Gallarotti says ““There’s a natural tendency for military operations to go along with economic expansion  … What you’ll find is that as China’s economic wings stretch, also its military wings will stretch … to show they have the capacity, the muscle to back up their claims and protect economic networks.”

At 44:15, Nelson says : “There’s a natural tendency for military operations to go along with economic expansion  … What you’ll find is that as China’s economic wings stretch, also its military wings will stretch … to show they have the capacity, the muscle to back up their claims and protect economic networks.”