Abstract: Samuel Pufendorf is known for his normative natural law philosophy, and particularly for his theory of sociability. This article concentrates on a topic that has received very little attention – his theory of the motivating character of passions in social life. It will demonstrate that individually and politically governed passions play a central role in Pufendorf’s description of the structure of human societies. I argue that for Pufendorf the norms of sociability are effective in social life because social interaction, guided by political governance, enables people to moderate their antisocial passions and habituate themselves to sociable passions.
CHRIS W. SURPRENANT
Abstract: This paper explicates and defends Immanuel Kant’s claims that respect for individual freedom justifies taxation to support the poor only to the extent that individuals receiving assistance are brought up to the level of subsistence and nothing more. I show that the promotion of individual autonomy lies at the center of Kant’s moral theory and that his political philosophy aims to establish and secure the external conditions that make individual freedom possible. Although Kant argues that one way of securing these external conditions legitimately is through coercion, he also claims that coercion is justified only in the limited cases where it is used to hinder hindrances to freedom.
ROBERTO STEFAN FOA & GRZEGORZ EKIERT
Abstract: During the last two decades, scholars from a variety of disciplines have argued that civil society is structurally deficient in postcommunist countries. Yet why have the seemingly strong, active and mobilised civic movements of the transition period become so weak after democracy was established? And why have there been diverging political trajectories across the postcommunist space if civil society structures were universally weak? This article uses a new, broader range of data to show that civil societies in Central and Eastern European countries are not as feeble as commonly assumed. Many postcommunist countries possess vigorous public spheres and active civil society organisations strongly connected to transnational civic networks able to shape domestic policies. In a series of time-series cross-section models, the article shows that broader measures of civic and social institutions are able to predict the diverging transition paths among postcommunist regimes, and in particular the growing gap between democratic East Central Europe and the increasingly authoritarian post-Soviet space.
Abstract: This paper analyzes voting behavior in parliamentary elections in which positional and identity issues sustain the party system. We extend the conventional spatial voting model to incorporate identity issues. Identity is tied to the race, language, religion or culture of the voters and both voters and political parties may belong to different identity groups. By identity voting we show that voters, who are otherwise centrist, move toward the parties that align with their identities. To illustrate the mechanics of identity voting, we provide an empirical analysis of parliamentary elections to the Basque Autonomous Community. Besides the two positional issues in the region—left–right ideology and nationalism—we show that language and Basque sentiment have significant effects on voting. Our analysis suggests that identity voting polarizes voters and can sustain stable multi-party systems. This finding is of immediate importance to other regions and countries where the electorate is divided by strong ties to different religions, languages or cultures.
LISA BLAYDES AND CHRISTOPHER PAIK
Abstract: Holy Land Crusades were among the most significant forms of military mobilization to occur during the medieval period. Crusader mobilization had important implications for European state formation. We find that areas with large numbers of Holy Land crusaders witnessed increased political stability and institutional development as well as greater urbanization associated with rising trade and capital accumulation, even after taking into account underlying levels of religiosity and economic development. Our findings contribute to a scholarly debate regarding when the essential elements of the modern state first began to appear. Although our causal mechanisms—which focus on the importance of war preparation and urban capital accumulation—resemble those emphasized by previous research, we date the point of critical transition to statehood centuries earlier, in line with scholars who emphasize the medieval origins of the modern state. We also point to one avenue by which the rise of Muslim military and political power may have affected European institutional development.
VINCENT PHILLIP MUÑOZ
Abstract: Due in part to the influence of Michael McConnell, free exercise exemptionism is generally thought to be compatible with, if not dictated by, the founders’ church-state political philosophy. This article rejects that position, arguing instead that America’s constitutional tradition offers two distinct conceptions of religious liberty: the founders’ natural rights free exercise and modern moral autonomy exemptionism. The article aims to distinguish these two approaches by clarifying how they are grounded upon divergent philosophical understandings of human freedom and by explaining how they advance different views of what religious liberty is, how it is threatened, and, accordingly, how it is best protected. The article also attempts to demonstrate how our modern approach expands the protection for religious liberty in some ways but limits it in others.