STARTINGPOINTS

A Journal of American Principles & American Practices

LATEST ARTICLES

What’s New
November 20, 2017 by Starting Points
- What’s New will be a gateway for readers to learn and benefit from the accumulated wisdom of the excellent scholars working to further our collective understanding of the American political tradition.
Historical Records and Historical Narratives about the Constitutional Convention
November 13, 2017 by Lynn Uzzell
- It is both prudent and just to question the reliability of the records we use when forming our historical narratives. But it is no less prudent to question the wisdom of forming constitutional narratives that seek to replace the historical records with the historian’s speculations.
Is the Administrative State Legitimate?
October 30, 2017 by Joseph Postell and Jennifer Selin
- A Starting Points Conversation featuring Joseph Postell and Jennifer Selin
Montesquieu and Despotism: Author Interview with Vickie Sullivan
October 9, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Vickie Sullivan about her new book, Montesquieu and the Despotic Ideas of Europe
Exit Left: Author Interview with Robert S. Taylor
October 2, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Robert S. Taylor about his new book, Exit Left
Free Time: Author Interview with Julie Rose
September 25, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Julie Rose about her new book, Free Time
What Did the Constitutional Convention Do with Slavery?
September 17, 2017 by Mary Sarah Bilder
- A Starting Points Constitution Day Conversation featuring Mary Sarah Bilder, author of Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention.
Living the Natural Law in an Age of Natural Rights
September 11, 2017 by Douglas Kries
- The natural law has much to contribute to our rights-focused political discourse. Three strategies can help those committed to the natural law to bring this contribution to bear in our time.
Do We Need a Natural Law Theory of the State?
September 4, 2017 by Lee Ward
- Is natural law equipped to ground a normative theory of the liberal democratic state in this era of the great struggle between globalization and its opponents?
Natural Justice and the Amistad
August 28, 2017 by Justin Dyer
- John Quincy Adams’ oral argument in the Amistad case is notable for its explicit appeal to the authority of the Declaration of Independence and to the practical political relevance of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
Executive Exoneration to Congressional Clemency
August 21, 2017 by Edward Green
- The presidential pardoning power is valuable, but it must be circumscribed to a much greater extent than it currently is if it is to continue to have a positive effect on the governmental system of the United States.
Author Interview with Mark Alznauer
August 12, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Mark Alznauer about his new book, Hegel's Theory of Responsibility
Trump’s Twist on Identity Politics
August 7, 2017 by James F. Pontuso
- Trump has been successful with his base because he has given voice to those who feel like victims for being patriots.
Feminism, Transgenderism and the Politics of Identity
July 31, 2017 by Scott Yenor
- Following the logic of the feminist revolution toward its embrace of transgender rights provides insights into its unpredictable character.
The Career of American Feminism and its Rolling Revolution
July 24, 2017 by Scott Yenor
- The success of the second-wave feminist project requires a fundamental revolution in society’s mores and institutions. This revolution is closely connected with Dewey’s progressive political project.
Author Interview with Peter Steinberger
July 17, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Peter Steinberger about his new book, The Politics of Objectivity
Author Interview with Steven Smith
July 10, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Steven Smith about his new book, Modernity and Its Discontents
From the Editor: The Declaration of Independence and the History of Ideas
July 4, 2017 by S. Adam Seagrave
- The Declaration echoed the united voices of the ancients and moderns on the idea of nature’s relevance for politics, and highlighted the constructive character of preceding European political thought.
Author Interview with Ryan Patrick Hanley
July 3, 2017 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review interview with Ryan Patrick Hanley about his new book, Love's Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity
Plutocrats and Demagogues: The Prophetic Warning of Montesquieu
June 26, 2017 by Nicholas W. Drummond
- The French political thinker Baron de Montesquieu predicted the divisiveness of our current political climate. He also anticipated the two major threats likely to emerge in large democratic republics like the United States: plutocrats and tyrant demagogues.
James Madison: Politician or Political Theorist? Part II
June 19, 2017 by James H. Read and Kevin R. C. Gutzman
- A Starting Points Conversation featuring James Read and Kevin Gutzman
James Madison: Politician or Political Theorist? Part I
June 12, 2017 by 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 by 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 by Ken Blanchard and Thomas J. Kaiser
- A Starting Points Conversation featuring Ken Blanchard and Thomas J. Kaiser
On Madison’s Majoritarianism
May 29, 2017 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by The Political Theory Review
- A Political Theory Review Podcast

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