Starting Points

At Starting Points, we take the long view of American politics. Non-partisan and interdisciplinary, we aim to understand American politics by looking before and beyond our current political situation—before to the historical, cultural and intellectual roots of American politics, and beyond to the overarching ideas and guiding ideals of our unique political tradition.

LATEST ARTICLES

Supreme Court Expansion of Presidential Power: Unconstitutional Leanings
March 19, 2018 Louis Fisher

Starting with the Curtiss-Wright decision in 1936 and carrying forward to Zivotofsky v. Kerry in 2015, the Supreme Court has resorted to erroneous dicta and deference to promote independent executive power in external affairs. These judicial misconstructions have done severe damage to basic constitutional principles, including checks and balances and self-government.

Gaming the Framing: A New Way to Teach the Constitutional Convention
March 12, 2018 John Patrick Coby

Why study the Constitution through the medium of role-play? Students playing roles will better appreciate the difficulties of framing a constitution and better understand what was at stake and what was possible for the delegates who gathered in Philadelphia—better than if they simply heard or read about the event.

Ryan Anderson and the Continuing Challenge to Religious Liberty
March 5, 2018 Scott Yenor

The rubber for the marriage movement will meet the road on the issue of religious liberty. By conceding to “social harm” and “social meaning” arguments, Anderson and Girgis make it more difficult to defend religious liberty against anti-discrimination laws.

What Does “all men are created equal” Mean?
February 26, 2018 Morgan Keith

Two students from the University of Missouri take on this question at a time when many young people struggle with the promise of America juxtaposed against issues of institutional discrimination.

What Does “all men are created equal” Mean?
February 26, 2018 Mackinlee Rogers

Two students from the University of Missouri take on this question at a time when many young people struggle with the promise of America juxtaposed against issues of institutional discrimination.

Imagining a Federative Legislative Power
February 19, 2018 Mariah Zeisberg

To be rendered coherent in an age of US hegemony, the logic of our constitutional order calls for a legislative federative institution, through which the perspectives of domestic and foreign audiences can be considered in dialogue, and which can shape the way US power is projected abroad.

The Role of Christianity in Hobbes’s Political Project
February 15, 2018 David Soper

For Hobbes, religion is not inherently beneficial for society. Instead, good theology is required in order to make religion useful.

Common Core: Author Interview with Nicholas Tampio
February 12, 2018 The Political Theory Review

A Political Theory Review interview with Nicholas Tampio about his new book, Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy

Nietzsche’s Final Teaching: Author Interview with Michael Gillespie
January 29, 2018 The Political Theory Review

A Political Theory Review interview with Michael Gillespie about his new book, Nietzsche’s Final Teaching

The Problem of the West[ern]
January 18, 2018 Kiley Duhn

Three great Western films—Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and the contemporary No Country for Old Men—delve deep into the American psyche and make a broad claim that the American way of mixing freedom and rule is inherently flawed.