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How might a close reading of the language of revolutionary-era anti-slavery petitions contribute to a broader understanding of the politics of the American founding? This chapter focuses on one of the earliest surviving examples of African American political writing, the petition submitted to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in January 1773, by an author named FELIX. Revolutionary republicans came to disparage the petitionary form, because it had failed to persuade King George to defend his colonial subjects. The petition’s conventional language of deference and its tendency to “pray” or plead rather than to demand or insist led many colonists to reject the form in favor of far more assertive declarations of individual and collective right. By reanimating the petition, however, African Americans like FELIX not only contributed to the work of anti-slavery agitation; they also, as this chapter suggests, registered resistance to some of the dominant political ideas of the republican revolution. Drawing on historical studies of the significance of the petition in the colonies as well as accounts of the petition’s key formal and rhetorical features, this chapter makes the case for a specifically African American contribution to the political discourse of the founding.
Political life in Renaissance Italy was held together by political principles which underlay, or were used to justify, political proposals and decisions in practice. This wide-ranging comparative survey examines these political principles, as expressed in sources such as council debates, preambles to legislation and official correspondence, in the mid-fifteenth to the mid-sixteenth century Italy. Focusing especially on the five republics - Florence, Venice, Genoa, Siena and Lucca - the book also considers princes and signori, and the principles underlying relations between states, particularly relations between major and minor powers. Many of the ideas articulated by those confronting practical political problems ranged beyond the questions dealt with in formal treatises of political thought and philosophy. Drawing on extensive archival research, Christine Shaw explores the relationship between 'reason and experience' in the conduct of political affairs in Renaissance Italy, and the gap between theory and practice.
Like many countries around the world, Chile is undergoing a political moment when the nature of democracy and its political and legal institutions are being challenged. Senior Chilean legal scholar and constitutional historian Pablo Ruiz-Tagle provides an historical analysis of constitutional change and democratic crisis in the present context focused on Chilean constitutionalism. He offers a comparative analysis of the organization and function of government, the structure of rights and the main political agents that participated in each stage of Chilean constitutional history. Chile is a powerful case study of a Latin American country that has gone through several threats to its democracy, but that has once again followed a moderate path to rebuild its constitutional republican tradition. Not only the first comprehensive study of Chilean constitutional history in the English language from the nineteenth-century to the present day, this book is also a powerful defence of democratic values.
Suite à la loi 101, la Politique québécoise du développement culturel a visé à faire en sorte que la culture québécoise soit commune à tous et puisse s’enrichir d’apports en provenance des minorités culturelles. Puis, divers écrits ont contribué à faire évoluer le concept de convergence culturelle, à le critiquer ou à répondre à ceux qui le critiquent. À la lumière de cette politique et de ces écrits, on peut associer ce concept à sept principes : lien consubstantiel entre la langue française et la culture québécoise, impératif de la préservation du statut majoritaire de la culture québécoise et de la langue française, refus de l’assimilation des minorités culturelles, intégration, appropriation identitaire, mixité, et rôle vital des œuvres et productions artistiques. Reprenant ces principes et respectant certains critères de la légistique (clarté, cohérence, concision, véracité), le présent article propose le texte d’une loi-cadre sur la convergence culturelle, et la situe théoriquement.
Chapter 2 introduces selections from Aristotle, Polybius, William Blackstone, and Edmund Burke, and lays out the basic tenets of classical republicanism. By focusing on the “res-publica”, the common good, republicanism embraces a corporatist and organic vision of both the people and the state. The political community is envisioned as a human body, suggesting that the body politic grows naturally; each organ or member contributes a different task and the health of the whole depends on the well-being of each member. Moreover, republican theorists suggest the need to adapt political institutions to the character and changing circumstances of the people. Selections from Aristotle focus on the organic origin of the political community and on the mixed regime. Polybius introduces the idea of checks-and-balances and the importance of religious beliefs for the stability of the political order. Blackstone and Burke tried to accommodate some of the new liberal ideas in their theoretical framework, attempting to reconcile theoretically opposed visions—an approach that would prove particularly popular during the American founding.
The first chapter offers a general overview of the interpretative framework that guides the selections and commentary in this volume. One thing has remained a constant fixture in American history: the enduring belief in an American exceptionalism. This book suggests that, besides the remarkable endeavor of leaving the Old World and of framing a new government by the people for the people, what has made American political thought exceptional is the unique combination of theoretical influences that were intertwined during the founding era. American statesmen combined two languages—liberalism and republicanism—and two conceptions of the people: the understanding of the people as a corporate entity and as a multitude of individuals. This paradigm of the people’s two bodies may be nothing more than a fiction, but it shaped American history and institutions profoundly. The guiding threat of the subsequent chapters is to trace the combination of republican and liberal ideas about the people and about representation in the primary sources from the Puritans’ arrival on the shores of New England to the Civil War.
The epilogue shows how Ovid’s early modern legacy leads to the defense of two famous women, the Biblical Eve and the Augustan Julia, as Ovidian heroines whose life stories record their relations to parrhesia and republicanism. Milton’s Eve is the greatest Ovidian and republican creation of Paradise Lost, the first of Our First Parents to represent the “filial freedom” that counts as “true authority in men” and also the essentially republican conviction that God can and should be found in the peers drawn together within republics and social contracts. Wharton’s Julia is Eve’s counterpart. She is the first reader of Ovid who believes in the power of his poetry to create a commonwealth of letters that can and will survive his own life as well as his exile. This chapter brings to a conclusion the book’s broad concern with women as readers of Ovid who move the poet’s political convictions forward to new generations and epochs. It simultaneously gestures toward the further work that may be done to show how Ovid’s poetic legacy has long worked toward patterns of social and political change.
This chapter introduces the concept of parrhesia (licentia in Latin) and, in particular, its hitherto unexplored relationship to the idea of poetic license (also licentia in Latin). It further establishes the pivotal, galvanizing role played by Ovid, the boldest poet of the Augustan age, in passing down to early modern English writers the model and theory of poetic indecorum as a form of political resistance. It finally considers the role played by Augustus’s banishment of the poet, Ovid, in the history of early modern English poetry and political thought.
It is a mistake to think that Ben Jonson spent his time and art in a disapproving posture toward Ovid as the boldest of the Augustan love poets. This chapter treats a large body of evidence in what may be viewed as Jonson’s repertoire, all of which testify to his great respect for Ovid and his sense of duty to defend the liberties the Roman poet and his Elizabethan imitators took with the decorums of the early empire. The chapter deals with his marginal notes in his personal copies of classical texts, the commentaries in the humanist texts he consulted, his poems and plays, and his subsequent commentators. Of particular interest are Jonson’s marginal notes on his personal copy of Martial; his poetic sequence The Forest; and especially his play Poetaster, or the Arraignment, both in its dramatic iteration and its textual forms. Jonson’s work on the poetry of Ovid and his successors shows, above all, that he wished to cast himself as Ovid’s public defender, a legal advocate of the Roman poet’s boldness in exercising the liberty of speech.
The range of poetic invention that occurred in Renaissance English literature was vast, from the lyric eroticism of the late sixteenth century to the rise of libertinism in the late seventeenth century. Heather James argues that Ovid, as the poet-philosopher of literary innovation and free speech, was the galvanizing force behind this extraordinary level of poetic creativity. Moving beyond mere topicality, she identifies the ingenuity, novelty and audacity of the period's poetry as the political inverse of censorship culture. Considering Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Milton and Wharton among many others, the book explains how free speech was extended into the growing domain of English letters, and thereby presents a new model of the relationship between early modern poetry and political philosophy.
Nineteenth-century British and French intellectuals set the terms by which Europe evaluated Irish and American cultures before World War I. Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America proposed that democratic literatures would be deformed by social levelling and market forces and unable to rival aristocratic literatures for distinction. Rare exceptions might occur at brief tipping points when democratic and aristocratic cultures mutually contested and energized each other, but the emergence of a new mass culture less sophisticated than classical or aristocratic literatures seemed inevitable. In Studies in Celtic Literature, Matthew Arnold proposed that though the Celtic peoples of the United Kingdom were too unruly to govern their own affairs, their literatures possessed qualities of lyrical imagination that might usefully correct the worst elements of a materialist modern English culture. Nineteenth-century literary renaissances in Ireland and the United States were founded upon and reacted against these discourses. William Butler Yeats and Ezra Pound emerged as especially important figures, daringly reworking received literary discourses to set the terms for a brilliant new modernism that sometimes became stridently anti-democratic in its bid to challenge the degradation of taste that nineteenth-century liberal writers like Tocqueville and Arnold had forecast.
Rainer Knopff's scholarship on Canadian constitutionalism has offered some of the most trenchant criticism of the exercise of judicial review under the Charter, yet his theory has largely been misunderstood (as has that of his frequent co-author F. L. Morton). This article exposes two prominent critiques of Knopff's constitutional writings as straw man arguments and provides a republican account of his constitutional theory. The first straw man argument is that Knopff supports a majoritarian or populist conception of direct democracy. This claim is belied by Knopff's embrace of representative democracy and institutions structured to encourage reflexive deliberation. The second straw man argument is that Knopff is a moral rights skeptic. Knopff's rights skepticism is a legal skepticism about the determinacy of many rights that is merely a function of his inclusive legal positivism. The article concludes by reflecting on the republican lessons that Knopff's constitutional scholarship continues to offer, including how holding legislatures responsible for settling reasonable disagreements about legally indeterminate Charter rights might help counteract the twin threats of populism and juristocracy.
Contemporary critiques of the administrative state are closely bound up with the distinctively American doctrine that republican freedom requires that the legislative, executive, and judicial powers be exercised by separate and distinct branches of government. The burden of this essay is to argue that legislative delegation and judicial deference to the administrative state are necessary, or at least highly desirable, features of a democratic separation of powers regime. I begin by examining the historical and conceptual roots of the separation of powers doctrine, paying particular attention to the unique way in which it was adapted to fit the American case. I then examine three concerns that the resulting constitutional system raises about the republican freedom of those who are subject to it—which I call the accountability, legitimacy, and stability concerns—and argue that the administrative state is a useful, albeit imperfect, tool for reducing the unavoidable tension between these concerns. The thrust of this discussion is to push us away from “in principle” objections to the administrative state, and back toward the kinds of prudential considerations that are associated with ordinary liberal politics. More importantly, the aim of the essay is to encourage sober reflection on the real dangers that face the American constitutional system under current circumstances.
This chapter engages with the neglected correlation between the religionization of the Israeli military and the religionization of politics. It is argued that we can identify four main stages of the relationship between the religionization of military and politics. During the formative period of the state and the military (1950s–60s), the partial religionization of the military reflected similar processes in the general society. In the second stage, following the 1967 War, the responses to the war’s aftermath strengthened ethno-national religionization. However, ethno-national religionization prompted the proponents of this process – the national-religious sector – to develop an extra-military avenue for upward mobility in the form of the settlement enterprise in the Occupied Territories. The third stage (1980s–90s) was characterized by the denationalization of Israeli politics with the Oslo Accords at its center, during which the national-religious sector increased its strongholds in the military by leveraging new opportunities created by the partial retreat of secular groups from the military as an avenue of upward social mobility. The fruits of this move were felt in the fourth stage (2000s), when the religionization of the military occurred in tandem with, and was bolstered by, the religionization of politics.
Seamus Deane was one of the most vital and versatile authors of our time. Small World presents an unmatched survey of Irish writing, and of writing about Irish issues, from 1798 to the present day. Elegant, polemical, and incisive, it addresses the political, aesthetic, and cultural dimensions of several notable literary and historical moments, and monuments, from the island's past and present. The style of Swift; the continuing influence of Edmund Burke's political thought in the USA; the echoing debates about national character; aspects of Joyce's and of Elizabeth Bowen's relation to modernism; memories of Seamus Heaney; analysis of the representation of Northern Ireland in Anna Burns's fiction – these topics constitute only a partial list of the themes addressed by a volume that should be mandatory reading for all those who care about Ireland and its history. The writings included here, from one of Irish literature's most renowned critics, have individually had a piercing impact, but they are now collectively amplified by being gathered together here for the first time between one set of covers. Small World: Ireland, 1798–2018 is an indispensable collection from one of the most important voices in Irish literature and culture.
Any new account of privacy, especially one with the unusual combination of elements as is presented here, will require a conducive institutional environment. The environment proposed here is based on a new notion of regulation, in the broad sense of social control rather than the narrower sense of subsidiary legislation and despite the successes claimed for that latter form. In this broad sense, present regulation derives from the spread of power from sovereign institutions as means by which that sovereign power is transformed but still empowered and which can be seen in such shapes as biopower and the algorithmic determinism of human behaviour. The presently dominant form of regulation, responsive regulation, is best seen as mythological, especially through the manner in which it is informed by the republicanism of Pettit. In response, the new sense of regulation as social control focuses on the reimagining of institutions and the promotion of the existential interests of the individual to centre-stage. This is the reverse of current priorities.
This introduction opens with an analysis of the way that black intellectuals from throughout the French Empire and the United States understood their relationship to Western civilization more broadly and the Republics of France and America in particular. It positions this book in the heart of contemporary historiographical debates about the relationship between anti-racist and anti-colonial activism and claims to citizenship and human rights. In so doing it brings into conversation the two disparate historiographies of rights and race in the United States and the French Empire and makes an argument for breaking down the division between the “interwar” and “postwar” periods when thinking about these histories.
This chapter surveys how Decadent writers engaged with contemporary politics. It defines the Decadents as anti-modernists drawn to modernity in literary form but deeply resistant to modernity in social and political life. Like other anti-modernists they channelled their frustrations into dreams of idealized pasts or utopian futures and like them they fulminated loudly against the prevailing order. The chapter considers Decadent engagements with politics in terms of three key examples: the use by writers in the movement of tropes from the tradition of republican political theory; their enthusiasm for elite, underground and countercultural communities like the eighteenth-century libertines that provide historical alternatives to contemporary politics; and recurrent images of crowds, political protest and political forms of writing (like the manifesto) in their works, which comment more directly on the age. The chapter argues that Decadent writing arose from and responded to the politics of its historical moment, one rife with real and imagined political disorder and one that demanded the imagination of alternative possibilities for expression and association.
The final chapter reads Othello as a study in the failure of Venetian republicanism to manage global and racial heterogeneity. And also as a play shot through with Seneca. Othello originally presents himself as an embodiment of Ciceronian decorum, reconciling in himself the various personae discussed in Cicero’s De Officiis. But in Cyprus, under the influence of Iago, he opts for a different, Senecan mode of constant self-performance, one that is more individualistic and less social in its orientation. Iago, who imagines himself to be in a revenge play, likewise has a Senecan psychological profile, derived from the virtuosity and weird projective psychology of Seneca’s Atreus. By persuading Othello to abandon belief in a republican public arena, he is able to steer Othello into becoming a Senecan monster like himself – one who then is seen by others as embodying the racial stereotypes discussed in the previous chapter. Othello imagines his suicide as being purgative, like the death of Hercules in the pseudo-Senecan Hercules Oetaeus.
Shakespeare's tragic characters have often been seen as forerunners of modern personhood. It has been assumed that Shakespeare was able to invent such lifelike figures in part because of his freedom from the restrictions of classical form. Curtis Perry instead argues that characters such as Hamlet and King Lear have seemed modern to us in part because they are so robustly connected to the tradition of Senecan tragedy. Resituating Shakespearean tragedy in this way - as backward looking as well as forward looking - makes it possible to recover a crucial political dimension. Shakespeare saw Seneca as a representative voice from post-republican Rome: in plays such as Coriolanus and Othello he uses Senecan modes of characterization to explore questions of identity in relation to failures of republican community. This study has important implications for the way we understand character, community, and alterity in early modern drama.