2018 Government Publications and Grants

*Indicates student co-author

Appel, Hilary. “How Neoliberal Reforms Lose Their Partisan Identity: Flat Tax Diffusion in Eastern Europe and Post-Soviet Eurasia." Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 70, issue 7, 2018, pp. 1121-1142.

Abstract: In the post-communist world, the flat tax was a popular neoliberal fiscal reform that initially spread through dense networks of rightwing politicians and parties. Over time, its symbolism and appeal broadened, making this specific fiscal approach attractive to a wider range of actors and regimes. By considering the full set of post-communist flat tax cases and the competitive dynamics in the region, this article examines the evolution of this reform and demonstrates how the structure and the symbolism of the flat tax offered advantages to governments that eventually transcended regime type and partisanship.


Appel, Hilary and Mitchell A. Orenstein. From Triumph to Crisis: Neoliberal Economic Reform in Postcommunist Countries.Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Abstract: The postcommunist countries were amongst the most fervent and committed adopters of neoliberal economic reforms. Not only did they manage to overcome the anticipated domestic opposition to 'shock therapy' and Washington Consensus reforms, but many fulfilled the membership requirements of the European Union and even adopted avant-garde neoliberal reforms like the flat tax and pension privatization. Neoliberalism in the postcommunist countries went farther and lasted longer than expected, but why? Unlike pre-existing theories based on domestic political-economic struggles, this book focuses on the imperatives of re-insertion into the international economy. Appel and Orenstein show how countries engaged in 'competitive signaling', enacting reforms in order to attract foreign investment. This signaling process explains the endurance and intensification of neoliberal reform in these countries for almost two decades, from 1989–2008, and its decline thereafter, when inflows of capital into the region suddenly dried up. This book will interest students of political economy and Eastern European and Eurasian politics.

Areshidze, Giorgi. “A Faith-Friendly Form of Rawls’s ‘Public Reason’? Barack Obama’s Civic Faith and the Challenge of Religion in Deliberative Politics.” American Political Thought, vol. 7, no. 2, 2018, pp. 304-336.

Abstract: Through a case study of Barack Obama, this article evaluates the “inclusive” form of public reason that John Rawls developed in his later writings to accommodate religion. Rawls anticipated recent attempts in liberal theory and practice to reopen liberalism to religion, and Obama contributes to this effort through his engagement with the civic role of Christianity in America’s reform movements. Opening liberalism to religion may lead us to three conclusions that challenge even this more “inclusive” form of public reason: (i) translation from religious to secular reasons may not be the most productive way to accommodate religion in democracy, (ii) it may be difficult to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable religious contributions without recourse to their underlying theological perspectives, and (iii) a more modest “constitutional consensus” may do a more effective job of accommodating religion in democracy than the “overlapping consensus” that Rawls and Obama recommend.


Areshidze, Giorgi. Review of American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present, by Philip Gorski. American Political Thought, vol. 7, no. 2, 2018, pp. 347-350.

Ascher, William. “Safeguarding the Enthusiasm for Environmental Studies: Small is Even More Beautiful than Before.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 8, issue 1, 2018, pp. 104-109.

Abstract: Several strategies ought to be considered to reduce the disillusionment and potentially paralyzing impact of the current political climate and anti-environmental stance of the US administration, which risk diminishing both environmental activism and the attractiveness of environmental studies courses. Examples demonstrate the potentials for refocusing both environmental activism and education on subnational levels, broadening the appeal of participation in environmental groups by bolstering socio-emotive rewards, capitalizing on the increasing convergence of environmental and corporate interests through internships, and linking environmental education more closely with subjects less vulnerable to the current mood. Additional efforts could be focused on bringing conservatives into environmental activism through a reorientation of environmental communications to correspond more closely to their interests (e.g., hunting and its dependence on habitat conservation) and their distinctive moral-value orientations.

Bessette, Joseph M. “In Defense of Polarization.” Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order, edited by Zachary Courser, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller. University Press of Kansas, 2018, pp. 176-192.

Blitz, Mark. “Beyond Original Meaning: The Task of Interpretation.” Scalia's Constitution, edited by Paul Peterson and Michael McConnell, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Abstract: A discussion of the meaning and limits of Antonin Scalia's principles of interpretation, with special attention to his decisions in education cases.


Blitz, Mark. “Heidegger During the War.” The Political Science Reviewer, vol. 42, no. 1, 2018, pp. 72-88.

Abstract: A discussion of some of Heidegger's writing during the Second World War, with emphasis on the Beitrage.


Blitz, Mark. “Mastery of Nature and Its Limits: The Question of Heidegger.” Mastery of Nature: Promises and Prospects, edited by Svetozar Y. Minkov and Bernhardt L. Trout. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018, pp. 193-205.


Blitz, Mark. “Montesquieu: From the Harem to the French Church and Court.” Law and Liberty, July 30, 2018

Abstract: A review of a new translation and discussion of Montesquieu's Persian Letters.


Blitz, Mark. Review of Brill’s Companion to Leo Strauss’ Writings on Classical Political Thought, edited by Timothy W. Burns. Polis, vol. 35, issue 2, 2018, pp. 569-571.

Abstract: A review of a new translation and discussion of Montesquieu's Persian Letters.

Busch, Andrew E. “Why Trump Won.” Review of The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump, by Alan I. Abramowitz, and The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics, by Salena Zito and Brad Todd. Claremont Review of Books, vol. 18, issue 4, 2018, pp. 17-20.

Abstract: These two books attempt to unravel the mystery of Donald Trump's victory in 2016. Abramowitz is a political scientist who uses an historical and scholarly approach to review the developments in American politics over the last four decades. Zito is a journalist and Todd a political consultant, and they conduct a number of interviews with Trump voters in key rust belt states. The review compares and contrasts the findings.


Busch, Andrew E. and Melinda K. Busch, eds. This Week in Estes Park: The Story of Our Town, by Mel Busch. Andrew Busch, 2018.

Abstract: From 1982-84, Mel Busch wrote a series of articles for the Estes Park Trail-Gazette titled "This Week in Estes Park History." The columns, based on research Busch did in back issues of the Trail-Gazette and other local newspapers, memoirs of participants, and public records, examined key personalities and events in Estes Park history. This volume brought together 57 of the articles, and is currently being offered online and in stores in the Estes Park area. When the museum is reopened in the Spring of 2019, it will also be carrying copies of the book.

Camp, Roderic Ai. “Cabinet Leadership: Does it Mirror Democratic Change in Mexico?” Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 60, issue 2, 2018, pp. 83-102.

Abstract: An exploration of cabinet leadership in Mexico has always provided insights into political recruitment trends for leading policymakers. An examination of the present cabinet from 2012 through 2016 is valuable for four reasons. First, to what extent does the current leadership reflect changes in compositional patterns of the most influential policymakers as a result of a democratic electoral process dating from 2000? Second, does the return of the PRI reflect traditional patterns established by the last two PRI presidential administrations, or has the present cabinet taken on features that can be attributed to the two previous PAN administrations? Third, have significant patterns emerged, reflected in recent appointments, that suggest influential characteristics exercising broader influences in the future? Fourth, will the most influential cabinet figures under the PRI presidency reestablish their dominance as leading contenders for their party’s presidential election in 2018?


Camp, Roderic Ai. “The Cartoons of Abel Quezada.” Journalism, Satire and Cartoons in Mexico, edited by Paul Gillingham, Michael Lettieri, and Benjamin T. Smith. University of New Mexico Press, 2018, pp. 203-220.


Camp, Roderic Ai. La Política en México. ¿Consolidación Democrática o Deterioro? [Politics in Mexico: Democratic Consolidation or Decline, Spanish edition], translated by Guillermina del Carmen Cuevas Mesa. Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2018. 

Abstract: Thoroughly grounded in Mexican history and based on extensive field research, this acclaimed introduction examines the roots of Mexico's contemporary political culture and its democratic transformation. Now in its sixth edition, Politics in Mexico: Democratic Consolidation or Decline? has been revised and updated in order to address three major changes that have occurred since 2006: the broad effort of Mexico to consolidate its democracy, President Calderon's aggressive, proactive strategy against drug cartels, and the effects of the 2008 global recession. 

Courser, Zachary. “Parties Against the Constitution.” Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order, edited by Zachary Courser, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller. University Press of Kansas, 2018, pp. 157-175.


Courser, Zachary, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller. “Introduction.” Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order. University Press of Kansas, 2018, pp. 1-14.


Courser, Zachary, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller, eds. Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order. University Press of Kansas, 2018.

Abstract: The United States has become ever more deeply entrenched in powerful, rival, partisan camps, and its citizens more sharply separated along ideological lines. The authors of this volume, scholars of political science, economics, and law, examine the relation between our present-day polarization and the design of the nation’s Constitution. The provisions of our Constitution are like “parchment barriers”—fragile bulwarks intended to preserve liberty and promote self-government. To be effective, these barriers need to be respected and reinforced by government officials and ordinary citizens, both in law and in custom. This book asks whether today’s partisan polarization is threatening these constitutional provisions and thus our constitutional order.

Kesler, Charles R. “America’s Cold Civil War.” Imprimis, vol. 47, no. 10, 2018, pp. 1-5.


Kesler, Chares R. “Between Liberalism and Democracy.” Review of The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It, by Yascha Mounk. The National Review, vol. 70, no. 11, June 11, 2018.


Kesler, Charles R. “Breaking Norms Will Renew Democracy, Not Ruin It.” The New York Times, August 23, 2018.


Kesler, Charles R. “Trump’s Debt to Reagan.” The New York Times, January 31, 2018.


External Grant: Kesler, Charles R. Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Bradley Prize, 2018, $250,000.

External Grant: Koch, Lisa and Matthew S. Wells. "Still Taboo? Citizens' Attitudes Toward the Use of Nuclear Weapons," Reinventing Civil Defense Research Grant: $20,000 funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Abstract: Can citizen attitudes toward the use of nuclear weapons be moderated through citizen education? Recent research has found that a significant proportion of the American public is willing to approve the use of nuclear weapons in defense of U.S. interests. U.S. President Donald Trump's public statements regarding the American nuclear arsenal and the North Korean nuclear program have renewed public debate over the potential use of nuclear weapons against foreign enemies. We plan to determine if there are factors not yet addressed in studies of nuclear attitudes that heighten citizens' appreciation of nuclear risk and mediate their willingness to use nuclear weapons. We will conduct a series of experiments to test whether either of two selected factors influences nuclear attitudes: a detailed explanation of the uniquely devastating effects of a nuclear blast, and the risk of retaliation by a nuclear-armed adversary.

Jay Martin. “The Massing of Forces—The Forging of Masses.” The Rise of Silas Lapham, Norton Critical Edition, by W.D. Howells and edited by Paul R. Petrie. W.W. Norton Co., 2018, pp. 333-343.


Martin, Jay. Recollections in Tranquility: A Chronicle of Literary Memory. Jay Martin, 2018.

Abstract: At the age of sixteen Jay Martin mailed letters to the leading American poets of the 1920s and 30s—Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, E.E. Cummings, Archibald MacLeish, and Conrad Aiken—enclosing a different poem of his own to each. He wrote of his admiration for each and of his own aspirations as a poet. Except for Ezra Pound, who was confined in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., the poets all answered him. Conrad Aiken invited him to make a visit and eventually Martin made long stays with him in Brewster, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, and frequent visits to Aiken’s New York City flat. Soon Martin was introduced to a large number of Aiken’s friends—Edmund Wilson, Malcom Cowley, Allen Tate, and many others. Later, Martin wrote distinguished biographies of Nathanael West and Henry Miller, and through hundreds of interviews for these books, he made the acquaintance and friendship of a wider array of writers and artists—S.J. Perelman, Lillian Hellman, James T. Farrell, Dorothy Parker, Lawrence Durrell, and Man Ray, among others. In Recollections in Tranquility he writes of his encounters with scores of writers that he knew when he was a young man, from about sixteen to twenty-six, even as he has now arrived at the ages of the writers he knew then. His accounts give many special, exciting personal insights into the lives of authors and, by extension, the character and conditions of literary life and practice in America between 1920 and 1980.

Courser, Zachary, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller. “Introduction.” Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order. University Press of Kansas, 2018, pp. 1-14.


Courser, Zachary, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller, eds. Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order. University Press of Kansas, 2018.

Abstract: The United States has become ever more deeply entrenched in powerful, rival, partisan camps, and its citizens more sharply separated along ideological lines. The authors of this volume, scholars of political science, economics, and law, examine the relation between our present-day polarization and the design of the nation’s Constitution. The provisions of our Constitution are like “parchment barriers”—fragile bulwarks intended to preserve liberty and promote self-government. To be effective, these barriers need to be respected and reinforced by government officials and ordinary citizens, both in law and in custom. This book asks whether today’s partisan polarization is threatening these constitutional provisions and thus our constitutional order.


Helland, Eric, and Kenneth P. Miller. “Polarization and the Administrative State.” Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order, edited by Zachary Courser, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller. University Press of Kansas, 2018, pp. 97-118.

Nichols, James H., Jr. Review of The Black Circle: A Life of Alexandre Kojève, by Jeff Love. H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences, December 2018.


External grant: Nichols, James H., Jr. Bradley Foundation Research Fellowships, $25,000 to be awarded by Professor Nichols to graduate students on the basis of academic merit.

Pei, Minxin. “China in 2017: Back to Strongman Rule.” Asian Survey, vol. 58, no. 1, 2018, pp. 21-32.

Abstract: Strongman rule returned to China in 2017 when Xi Jinping secured near-total political dominance. Repression remained intense while the Chinese economy performed reasonably well due to credit support. US-China relations are entering an uncertain phase. Strongman rule is likely to increase the risk of major policy mistakes and deliver few concrete achievements.


Pei, Minxin. “How Not to Fight Corruption: Lessons from China.” Daedalus, vol. 147, issue 3, 2018, pp. 216-230.

Abstract: The most effective anticorruption strategies combine prevention and enforcement. Yet the political payoffs are greater for enforcement-centered strategies, even though they often fail to achieve durable objectives. Autocratic regimes with endemic corruption thus tend to prefer enforcement-centered anticorruption strategies: they are easier to contain, while prevention-centered strategies risk undermining the rulers’ bases of power. This explains why the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has consistently favored an enforcement-centered anticorruption strategy. However, an overemphasis on enforcement, in the Chinese political context at least, has resulted in the politicization of anticorruption efforts and a lack of sustainability of such efforts.


Pei, Minxin. “A Play for Global Leadership.” Journal of Democracy, vol. 29, no. 2, 2018, pp. 37-51.

Abstract: Since 2010, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has adopted a comprehensive, assertive foreign policy underwritten by its rapidly growing power. President Xi Jinping has not only embraced this policy, but also invested significant resources and personal prestige in the expansion of Chinese power and influence around the world. The transformation of China into a revisionist power has alarmed and encountered resistance from the West as well as from China’s neighbors. China risks imperial overreach and a strategic conflict with the United States that could undercut the PRC’s security, endanger its long-term economic prospects, and jeopardize the survival of the ruling Communist Party.

Pitney, John J., Jr. “Trump, Trouble, and Teaching.” Trumping Ethical Norms: Teachers, Preachers, Pollsters, and the Media Respond to Donald Trump, edited by L. Sandy Maisel and Hannah E. Dineen. Routledge, 2018, pp. 99-108.

Abstract: How does one teach in a dispassionate and detached manner about a president who departs from democratic norms? One answer is to focus on the social and economic conditions that fostered his election.

Rose, Shanna and Greg Goelzhauser. “The State of American Federalism 2017-2018: Unilateral Executive Action, Regulatory Rollback, and State Resistance.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism, vol. 48, issue 3, 2018, pp. 319-344.

Absract: The state of American federalism in 2017-2018 is characterized by federal policy reversals, as the Trump administration and congressional Republicans continue to undo many of the Obama administration’s policies. Two themes are highlighted in this essay. First, major policy changes continue to be undertaken primarily through unilateral executive action, even with Republicans holding the presidency and both the House and Senate. Ideological divisions within the Republican Party prevented Congress from enacting major legislation, save for a tax reform measure, and resulted in policy changes on health care, immigration, and the environment being made through executive and administrative action. Another prominent feature of governance in the early part of the Trump administration has been state resistance to federal directives, taking the form primarily but not exclusively of state attorney general (AG) lawsuits. Democratic AGs filed lawsuits challenging Trump administration actions on immigration and clean energy in particular. Democratic governors and state legislators also took a variety of other actions to resist Trump administration policies. The federal courts also continue to play an active role in shaping and adjudicating controversies impacting federalism.

Rossum, Ralph A. Review of John Adams’s Republic: The One, the Few, and the Many, by Richard Alan Ryerson. Political Science Quarterly, vol. 133, issue 1, 2018, pp. 173-175.

Muravchik, Stephanie and Jon A. Shields. “How Catholics and Jews Remade American Politics—and Why We Slight Their Contributions.” Journal of Church and State, vol. 60, issue 4, 2018, pp. 614-635.


Shields, Jon A.A Conservative Case for Identity Politics.” The New York Times, January 23, 2018.


Shields, Jon A. “The Disappearing Conservative Professor.” National Affairs, no. 37, 2018, pp. 138-150.


External Grant: Shields, Jon A. Koch Foundation course development grant, 2018.


External Grant: Shields, Jon A. Randolph Foundation research grant, 2018, $21,221.

Research grant to conduct fieldwork for a book on Trump Democrats.

Bertelli, Anthony M. and J. Andrew Sinclair. “Democratic Accountability and the Politics of Mass Administrative Reorganization.” British Journal of Political Science, vol. 48, issue 3, 2018, pp. 691-711.

Abstract: Governments face different incentives when they reorganize many administrative agencies at one time rather than making infrequent, case-by-case changes. This article develops a theory of mass administrative reorganizations, which posits that the politics of reorganization is focused on government accountability. Viewing mass reorganization as a structured decision, it argues that choices about independence, agency organization and functional disposition have different impacts on the political costs of administrative policy making. Analyzing novel data from a recent British reorganization with sequential logistic statistical models provides substantial support for these claims. The study challenges the focus on organizational survival in the existing literature. By eschewing more fundamental political questions of democratic accountability, the prevailing approach masks essential politics, and in the context of this study, all influence of conflict due to party and agency policy positions.


Sinclair, J. Andrew and Ian O’Grady. “Beyond Open and Closed: Complexity in American Primary Election Reform.” Routledge Handbook of Primary Elections, edited by Robert Boatright. Routledge, 2018, pp. 427-445.


Sinclair, J. Andrew, Ian O'Grady, Brock McIntosh, and Carrie Nordlund. "Crashing the Party: Copartisan General Elections Under the Top-Two Primary." Journal of Public Policy, vol. 38, issue 3, 2018, pp. 329-360.

Abstract: California and Washington recently replaced traditional partisan elections with nonpartisan “top-two” election procedures. Some reform advocates hoped that voters would behave in a way to support moderate candidates in the primary stage; the limited evidence for this behaviour has led some scholars to conclude that the reform has little chance to change meaningful policy outcomes. Yet we find that the nonpartisan procedure has predictable and disparate political consequences: the general elections between two candidates of the same party, called copartisan general elections, tend to occur in districts without any meaningful crossparty competition. Furthermore, copartisan elections are more likely to occur with open seats, when a new legislator will begin building a network of relationships. The results, viewed through the lens of the Advocacy Coalition Framework, suggest that opportunities exist for coalitional rearrangement over time.

Sinha, Aseema. “Building a Theory of Change in International Relations: Pathways of Disruptive and Incremental Change in World Politics.” International Studies Review, vol. 20, issue 2, 2018, pp. 195-203.

Abstract: Fundamental transformations in the distribution of power among nations have re-focused the attention of the International Relations (IR) subfield on how to understand change and power transitions. I add to this larger literature by presenting a typology of change drawn from comparative politics that incorporates attention to incremental or slow moving change, and path-dependence as a theoretical tool to explain discontinuous change such as wars, and the fall of the former Soviet Union. I offer a distinction between process of change and its outcome. Change may be incremental or disruptive and could lead to continuity with existing institutions or their transformation. This typology allows us to explore the process of change and develop theories of change in a new way. In essence, I argue for broadening our conceptions of change to account for endogenous sources of change (internal to the system) and incremental yet significant change.

Kleinerman, Benjamin and George Thomas.How Woodrow Wilson Got Us Donald Trump.” The Weekly Standard, August 30, 2018.


Kommers, Donald, John Finn, Gary Jacobsohn, George Thomas, and Justin Dyer. American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes. Vol 1: Governmental Powers and Democracy and Vol II: Liberty, Community, and the Bill of Rights, 4th edition. West Academic Publishing, 2018.

Abstract: American Constitutional Law, Volume 2: Liberty, Community, and the Bill of Rights is a unique casebook that encourages citizens and students of the Constitution to think critically about the fundamental principles and policies of the American constitutional order. In addition to its distinguished authorship, the book has two prominent features that set it apart from other books in the field: an emphasis on the social, political, and moral theory that provides meaning to constitutional law and interpretation, and a comparative perspective that situates the American experience within a world context that serves as in invaluable prism through which to illuminate the special features of our own constitutional order. While the focus of the book is entirely on American constitutional law, the book asks students to consider what, if anything, is unique in American constitutional life and what we share with other constitutional democracies. Each chapter is preceded by an introductory essay that highlights these major themes and also situates the cases in their proper historical and political contexts. This new edition offers updated and expanded treatment of a number of important and timely topics that have been addressed by the Supreme Court in recent years.


Thomas, George.Don’t Forget About Kavanaugh’s Troubling Legal Philosophy.” The Washington Post, October 2, 2018.


Thomas, George. “The Madisonian Constitution, Political Dysfunction, and Polarized Politics.” Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order, edited by Zachary Courser, Eric Helland, and Kenneth P. Miller. University Press of Kansas, 2018, pp. 15-34.


Thomas, George. “Religious Liberty, Same-Sex Marriage and Public Accommodations.” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 16, issue 1, 2018, pp. 58-72.

Abstract: Against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, many advocates of religious liberty argue that those who adhere to “traditional” understandings of marriage should not be forced to “recognize” same-sex marriages. This includes exempting individual business owners engaged in commercial activity from anti-discrimination laws. I argue that such exemptions overreach. Equal access to the commercial arena is an essential feature of life in America’s commercial republic, which means that public accommodations should not be given exemptions on religious grounds. Yet this does not require business owners to morally approve of same-sex marriage; nor does it require them to grant same-sex marriages “equal concern and respect.” Rather, it requires simple toleration, which is compatible with moral disapproval. Indeed, I argue that this is the very sort of toleration at the foundation of religious liberty in America. Efforts to grant religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws invite the return of religious conflict and discrimination. Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations is necessary not only for equal citizenship, but to maintain the regime of toleration that undergirds religious liberty in a pluralistic democracy.