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

James Madison: Politician or Political Theorist? Part I
June 12, 2017 James H. Read and Kevin R. C. Gutzman

A Starting Points Conversation featuring James Read and Kevin Gutzman

Are “All Men Created Equal” after Darwin? Part II
June 5, 2017 Ken Blanchard and Thomas J. Kaiser

A Starting Points Conversation featuring Ken Blanchard and Thomas J. Kaiser

Are “All Men Created Equal” after Darwin? Part I
June 5, 2017 Ken Blanchard and Thomas J. Kaiser

A Starting Points Conversation featuring Ken Blanchard and Thomas J. Kaiser

On Madison’s Majoritarianism
May 29, 2017 Cary Federman

As Madison argued both in 1833 and in 1787-88, majority rule reflects the best version of democratic governance given the limitations of human nature and our constitutional arrangements.

Author Interview with John T. Scott
May 25, 2017 The Political Theory Review

A Political Theory Review Podcast Interview with John T. Scott about his new book, The Routledge Guidebook to Machiavelli’s The Prince

The May Resolution and the Declaration of Independence
May 22, 2017 John Schmeeckle

A common starting point for analyzing both the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Bill of Rights is a neglected earlier document: the Continental Congress’s Resolution of May 10 and 15, 1776.

Thanks, Moms
May 14, 2017 Mary Beth McConahey

Much has changed for American mothers over the past two hundred and forty-one years, but like the mothers who preceded us, we’re raising children. We’re making citizens. We’re perpetuating the project of 1776.

A Nation Without a Soul? A Response to Sarah L. Houser’s “Accountability Nationalism”
May 8, 2017 Aaron Q. Weinstein

Nationalism and religious life are intricately intertwined in the United States. A “civil religion of the Nones,” if it comes into existence, could portend significant changes in American nationalism.

Author Interview with Catherine H. Zuckert
May 4, 2017 The Political Theory Review

A Political Theory Review Podcast

Civic Myth in the Age of Trumpian Reality: Part I
May 1, 2017 Alan Gibson

The sweep of American history yields four distinct narratives of American identity, or civic myths. An ethnically inclusive, multicultural narrative of national identity fused from our most prominent American stories has the best chance of promoting economic prosperity while also projecting a superior normative vision of America to its own citizens and the world.