Charles Zug: “The Republican Theories of Rousseau and the American Anti-Federalists”

Abstract: For almost four decades preceding the 1787-88 ratification debates—during which American Federalists drew severe criticism from the Anti-Federalists—Enlightenment politics in Europe had been undergoing equally severe criticism from Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Though largely unaware of each other, both of these critics advanced distinctive republican theories based on civic virtue and individual liberty. Rousseau argued for a republic which would require the near-total alienation of retained natural rights, abstention from bourgeois commerce, and complete conformity to the general will. The Anti-Federalists, by contrast, envisioned a republic based on retained natural rights, one that would reconcile the communitarian spirit of antiquity with the commercial values and individual rights of modernity. By comparing and contrasting the most salient features of these contending visions, whose theoretical trajectories are—I argue—crucially opposed, we can glimpse the inherent conflicting requisites of republican government and therewith some of the enduring dilemmas of republican theory.

“The Republican Theories of Rousseau and the American Anti-Federalists,” has been accepted for publication at the Australian Journal of Politics and History.

Charles Zug: 2 new publications

“The Rhetorical Presidency Made Flesh: A Political Science Classic in the Age of Donald Trump,” has been accepted at Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society and will be published in volume 30, issues 3-4 (double issue) of that journal.

Also, “Demagoguery as Pathology: Interpreting European Politics Today,” has been accepted at Perspectives on Political Science.

Christina Bambrick Publication in Publius: The Journal of Federalism

“Neither Precisely National nor Precisely Federal”: Governmental and Administrative Authority in Tocqueville’s Democracy in America


Tocqueville’s insights on local politics in Democracy in America have led some scholars to ask where he fits into longstanding debates about the balance of power between the national government and state governments in American constitutionalism. Although Tocqueville’s observations speak to these questions, he also transcends them by developing the concepts of governmental and administrative (de)centralization. In differentiating governmental and administrative capacities, Tocqueville offers language by which to understand and evaluate the federal system in terms of the nature of the authority each level of government exercises, rather than simply by the objects of national, state, and municipal powers. The purpose of this article is to clarify Tocqueville’s understanding of governmental and administrative (de)centralization and thereby contribute to a better understanding of political authority in the American federal system.


Charles Zug: Can Political Science Become Diagnostic? Restoring a Forgotten Method

Charles Zug’s article “Can Political Science Become Diagnostic? Restoring a Forgotten Method” has been accepted for publication in Perspectives on Political Science.

Abstract: Political philosophers and their commentators frequently analogize human bodies and bodies politic, evaluating individual cities and empires in terms of health and sickness much the way a doctor would evaluate a patient. Today, however, the field of political science has all but renounced the task of which its ancient counterpart held itself worthy. Accordingly, many scholars have explained why political science, once prescriptive, gradually turned descriptive, concentrating above all on the turn to “value-free” social science. By contrast, the following paper examines the possibility of, and tries to sketch out, a diagnostic approach to politics, one that would restore to the study of politics its pre “value free” practical task: advising particular regimes on the basis of their particular political needs.

2017-18 Race and Social Science Workshop

Fall 2017
13-Sep: Anthony Brown (UT)
4-Oct: Eric McDaniel (UT)
18-Oct: Kevin Cokley (UT)
15-Nov: TBA
6-Dec: Yasmiyn Irizarry (UT)

Spring 2018
7-Feb: TBA
7-Mar: TBA
21-Mar: Mechele Dickerson (UT Law)
11-Apr: TBA
2-May: Trevon Logan (The Ohio State University)

All meetings with be at 12pm in BAT 5.108. Lunch provided.

2017-18 Comparative Politics Speaker Series

Fall 2017

September 25: Caitlin Andrews (UT- Government)
October 9: David Laitin (Stanford University)
October 23: Laron Williams (University of Missouri)
November 6: Holger Albrecht  (University of Alabama)
November 13: Jason Brownlee (UT)
November 20: David Samuels (University of Minnesota)
December 4: Tom Pepinsky (Cornell University)

All meetings are at 12pm in BAT 5.108

Spring 2018 TBD

2017-18 American Politics Speaker Series

Fall 2017

Wednesday, September 27: John Petrocik (University of Missouri)
Wednesday, October 11: EJ Fagan (UT)
Wednesday, November 8: Christine Wolbrecht (University of Notre Dame)
Wednesday, November 29: Brian Richter (UT)

Spring 2018 Dates TBD

Peter Enns (Cornell University)
Justin Kirkland (University of Houston)
Bat Sparrow (UT)
Nadine Gibson (UT)
Maraam Dwidar (UT)

All meetings are at noon in BAT 5.108

2017-18 International Relations Speaker Series

FALL 2017
15 Sept: Mike Findley, UT Austin
This will also be an introductory meeting for students interested in IR.
29 Sept: Elizabeth Saunders, George Washington University
27 Oct: Paul Staniland, University of Chicago
This talk is jointly sponsored with the South Asia Institute.
16 Nov (Thu): Erik Voeten, Georgetown
3:30 – 4:30
** 17 Nov (Fri) – 18 Nov (Sat) ** UT Austin will be hosting the annual conference of the International Political Economy Society (schedule). All are welcome.
UT Austin presenters: Carolina Moehlecke, Xiaobo Lü, Nate Jensen, Rachel Wellhausen

19 Jan: Dipali Mukhopadhyay, Columbia
This talk is jointly sponsored with the South Asia Institute.
2 Feb: David Carter, Washington University in St. Louis
23 Feb: Layna Mosley, UNC Chapel Hill
2 Mar: Cyrus Samii, NYU
This talk is sponsored by Innovations for Peace and Development.
30 Mar: Pre-ISA student talks and professionalization session.
20 Apr: Fotini Christia, MIT
27 Apr: Erica Owen, Texas A&M
4 May: Pat McDonald, UT Austin

All meeting are at 1pm in BAT 5.108, except Nov. 16