Search

Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Mackubin Thomas Owens, Stephen F. Knott
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: As Americans, we take for granted the idea of a government that is both free and yet strong enough to preserve the security of its citizens. But the fact is that such a government is a recent invention, first emerging as a result of political thought and practice in eighteenth century England and only coming to full flower in Philadelphia with the drafting of the American Constitution of 1787. As Harvey Mansfield wrote in his book Taming the Prince, “the combination of freedom and strength does not arise easily or naturally,” a fact confirmed “both by the grand outline of modern history and the experience of the ancients.” Throughout history, strong governments have generally been monarchies, but at the expense of freedom. It was in republics that freedom was supposed to reside but, before the creation of the American Republic, the republican form of government had a mixed record at best. Ancient republics were characterized by constant struggle between the few (oligarchs) and the many (the demos) that led to instability and weakness. Modern republics also either came to grief (the German cities) or faded into irrelevance and obscurity (Venice and the Dutch Republic). But in Philadelphia, the Founders created a government that combined the freedom of republics with the strength of monarchies. The Founders’ innovation that permitted this pairing of freedom and security to work was the “executive.” In Mansfield’s words, “the executive provided the strength of monarchy without tolerating its status above the law, so that monarchy would not only be compatible with the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution, but would also be expected to serve both. Furthermore, the recasting of monarchy as executive power made it dependably democratic as well as legal and constitutional.”
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Governance, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Eric Langenbacher (ed), Yossi Shain (ed)
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: Collective memories have long influenced domestic politics and especially international affairs—a fact most recently exemplified by the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. The events and the memories resulting from them became powerful motivating forces for Americans almost overnight. At home, an infrastructure of commemoration quickly arose—in films like United 93 ( 2006 ); memorials including one unveiled at the Pentagon in September 2008 and the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center opened in 2006; and even in political campaign discourse, as at the 2008 Republican National Convention. 1 Yet, as with other collective memories worldwide, there is no consensus as to the overall meaning and lessons of September 11 over time. Instead, the continued vehemence of discussions about 9 / 11 reveals still-unresolved struggles over the construction, content, and power of the memory. What degree of prominence should this memory have in American political culture? What historical narratives are offered as explanations? Most importantly, what values and policy implications—both domestically and abroad—ought to follow?
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, Politics, Political Theory, History
  • Political Geography: Europe