I came across this video today of my short, 5 minute opening statement before the House Science Committee last March. The focus of my testimony was to ask members of Congress not to spend their time going after scientists whose work they don’t like and instead, to defend the importance of scientific assessments for obtaining robust answers to their questions.
Understanding how political parties function is an area where recent research in political science has contributed major insights. Political parties are a fairly recent phenomenon. Prior to the 19th century, there were factions and loose groupings – the Optimates and Populares in Republican Rome, Tories and Whigs in late 17th century England, and Girondins and Jacobins in the French Revolution – but not organized parties. They were looser groupings that centered around dominant individuals – a Marius or Sulla, a Lord Shaftsbury, or a Brissot or Robespierre; but not parties with structured platforms and a deep well of local support.
I recently reviewed Daniel Ziblatt‘s recent book Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy for the Journal of Economic History (gated and ungated). Ziblatt provides new insights into the key role played by conservative parties in the formation and stabilization of democracy in Western Europe. Ziblatt’s thesis…
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In the high-profile decision in Lee v Ashers, the Supreme Court had to consider a customer’s rights against discrimination along with the baker’s right to freedom of expression. In its finding for the baker, the Supreme Court took an important step in developing a domestic doctrine against ‘compelled speech’. While the outcome of the case divides opinion, the reasoning of the Court requires further consideration of when a person has a right not express a particular view.
The facts of the case are well known. Mr Lee sought to buy a cake with the message ‘support gay marriage’. The bakers refused to go through with the order on the grounds that it went against their religious beliefs. The customer then complained that the refusal amounted to unlawful discrimination. The Supreme Court found that the refusal did not amount to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, as the bakers…
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by Emily Williams
Emily is a 20-year old college junior at a selective liberal arts university in the US. She is using a pseudonym for obvious reasons. All respectful commenters welcome, as always, but if you’re also a college/university student, we’d especially like to hear from you.
I have always been empathetic and sensitive to suffering. From a young age, I remember worrying about families who lost their health insurance, the exploitation of women, and the huge discrepancies of wealth in the world. So when I first heard stories about transgender teens, I was very troubled.
I got my Instagram account when I started high school six years ago. That’s when I started learning about the transgender community. I stumbled across their images without even trying. Most were young, 14 or 15, and laid a tragic narrative of being sickeningly confined to breasts and intolerant parents. Many of these internet…
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