Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Come to Montreal: IPSA, July 2014 International Political science Association World Congress, Montreal, July 19-24 2014 Congress theme: Challenges of Contemporary Governance Political scientists are often seen not merely as analysts of political matters, but as something akin to engineers sculpting the organisation of power. Globalisation has profoundly altered the work of political scientists, intensifying communication and exchange on issues pertaining to the way in which communities, societies, nations and the world itself are governed. The ambition of this international political science congress, to be held in Montreal, is to reflect upon contemporary evolutions in governance in the face of numerous challenges: Political, economic and social systems have become increasingly fragmented, rendering global strategic initiatives ever more complex The variety of values, attitudes and behaviours exhibited by individuals and groups makes for a greater and more diverse demand for inclusion and participation As the structures through which these interests are represented continue to expand, systems of governance become increasingly complex, more difficult to interpret and understand and less responsive to the uninitiated citizen There is a growing risk that the democratic quality of our political systems will deteriorate as a result of the rising influence and decision-making capacity of technical-administrative and technocratic experts For a given sector or type of organisation, comparative analysis and an experimental methodological approach should help better evaluate the performance of different forms of governance It may also be fruitful to focus on the various competitive strategies and means by which models of governance are promoted, or even imposed (in the name of ‘good governance’ demanded by international institutions, for example) Faced with these challenges, the multi-faceted phenomenon of governance requires a global, comprehensive and multi-tiered approach: from the local association or political party up to the international community, via regional integration or the national regulation of an economic sector. Adopting an approach to political science which is resolutely open to the opportunities offered by interdisciplinary collaborations, we must also support the circulation of theoretical frameworks and empirical approaches which are applicable in the northern and southern hemispheres, to the most developed nations and the panoply of emerging and developing countries. The main focus of this congress will be to generate the greatest possible number of concrete, innovative answers to the questions of citizens, their political, associative and socio-economic representatives and the policy makers who are working constantly to improve the quality of governance. The principal themes covered by this congress will be: International Political Economy International Relations Public Policy Analysis and Administrative Science Comparative Politics and Institutions Political Theory, Gender and Politics Urban and Regional Politics and Policies Political Attitudes and Behaviour Deadline for open panel proposals: July 1, 2014 Deadline for paper proposals (and closed panel proposals): October 7, 2014

The living constitution

[The Voting Rights Act's] "Section 4's formula is unconstitutional in light of current conditions." Roberts for the majority (including Scalia) in Shelby County. Scalia in oral arguments on the DOMA case: "I'm curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868? When the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted?... Well, how am I supposed to how to decide a case, then, if you can't give me a date when the Constitution changes?" I'm curious, Justice Scalia: when did the evolving standards of the living constitutional text of Amendment 15 section 2 change to make the VRA Section 4 unconstituional? Can you give me a date on that?

Quick reaction: Adoptive Couple vs Baby Girl

Thomas' concurrence in Adoptive Couple vs Baby Girl is shocking. He manages to concoct a story whereby the Constitution granted Congress *less* power relative to the states than the Articles had when it came to Indian affairs. He claims that the Indian Commerce Clause only applies to tribes in the unorganized west, outside state boundaries altogether. This is very nearly backwards. Madison very deliberately *removed* the restriction in the Articles limiting Congressional authority to "Indians, not members of any of the States."

(I discuss this in this paper. http://www.academia.edu/422868/Indians_in_Madisons_Constitutional_Order ).

Thomas is right that the Indian Commerce Clause should not be read in the Lone Wolf/ Kagama way to grant plenary power over all Indian affairs. But he's so utterly wrong about the jurisdiction to which the clause applies that the conclusion ends up backward: he would grant plenary power *to the states*, and declare the clause a dead letter now that there is no part of Indian Country that lies outside state boundaries. There is simply no evidence that the Founders envisioned the extinction of Indian Commerce Clause jurisdiction and a complete transfer of power to the states.

It's worth saying that I don't actually have a clear view about the merits of the case. ICWA cases are hard, and require knowing not only federal Indian law but also family law. I know essentially nothing about the latter. (I suspect that this is true of some of the justices, too-- ICWA cases are about the only family law cases the Court ever has to hear-- but they have clerks.) Indeed, Thomas' outlandish view here is (on his own telling) irrelevant to the case. I have sometimes admired his urge to make his points about the Constitution's original meaning even when he was clearly on his own. But in this case he has got it the wrong way around.

See more here (and in comments), and here (from longtime friend of the blog and former Supreme Court clerk Will Baude) (and in comments.) I also strongly recommend Gregory Ablavsky, "The Savage Constitution," forthcoming Duke Law Journal.

Another update:
Michael Ramsey says
I'm not sure Professor Levy is reading Thomas right. Off the top of my head, I can't see anything in the Constitution's text that would limit Congress' Indian Commerce power to tribes beyond state boundaries. Nor is it obvious why that limit would be assumed -- at the time, some of the tribes within state boundaries were extremely powerful, and relations with them seemed to call for a national approach. But I don't read Thomas as imposing that limit; all he says is that Congress' power is only to "regulate trade with Indian tribes — that is, Indians who had not been incorporated into the body-politic of any State", which (I would think) could include Indians living in tribes either within or outside a state.

To which I reply with a quotatiom from Thomas' opinion:

"The ratifiers almost certainly understood the Clause to confer a relatively modest power on Congress — namely, the power to regulate trade with Indian tribes living beyond state borders."

To this I'll add one more:

"It is, thus, clear that the Framers of the Constitution were alert to the difference between the power to regulate trade with the Indians and the power to regulate all Indian affairs. By limiting Congress' power to the former, the Framers declined to grant Congress the same broad powers over Indian affairs conferred by the Articles of Confederation."

This claim-- that the Constitution gave Congress less authority than did the Articles with respect to Indian affairs-- can't survive reading the text of those two documents and Madison's commentary on the change between them. My piece linked to above, and Ablavsky's far more comprehensively, provide the evidence; and the claim should startle even readers who don't know or care about the Indian power as such, given the relationship between the Articles and the Constitution.

Even if Natelson is right that Congressional and state power run concurrently (and I don't think that he is), Thomas' view goes implausibly far beyond that.

Stanford Ethics Center: Associate Director position

McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society PhD position The McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society seeks a full time associate director to supervise our post-doctoral fellowship program, implement programming for graduate students, and in general support the Center initiatives. Our Center, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is committed to bringing ethical reflection to bear on important social problems through research, teaching, and engagement. We have a core group of highly respected faculty and a robust post doctoral fellowship program with talented young scholars. In addition, we have a strong undergraduate honors program that attracts students from throughout the University. For more information about our Center, please visit http://ethicsinsociety.stanford.edu/. Direct the Center’s post doctoral fellow program (50%) Coordinate and supervise all aspects of the Center’s post-doctoral fellow program, including advertising, recruitment, and participation in selection of fellows; coordinating appointments of postdocs and arranging for entry into Stanford life; manage the post doc workshop, work with fellows to develop excellent teaching skills, mentor fellows on best practices for advising students; coordinate post-doc mentoring with undergraduate honors students. Attend weekly workshops, review and comment on works in progress. Handle the appointment process for the post-doctoral fellows and all financial transactions related to the fellow (e.g., salary, reimbursements, and research funds) Programming for graduate students (25%) Working closely with the Director, Center staff and campus partners, develop and implement programming for graduate students. Responsible for implementation of all graduate student programming. Support Center initiatives (25%) Research, write and submit grants for Stanford and outside funding to support Center initiatives, work closely with Stanford faculty interested in promoting ethical reasoning and the discussion of ethical issues in their courses, support the Center’s research, explore development opportunities, and perform assorted tasks as needed to meet broader Center goals. Responsible for keeping working papers section of the website up to date and for assisting with the connection of Center research to the broader public. Qualifications A Ph.D. in a Humanities, Social Science, or related discipline with significant focus on ethics and/or political philosophy. The ideal candidate will have a PhD in Philosophy, Political Science or a Law degree with extensive teaching experience and a track record of publishing on ethical topics. Commitment and ability to foster appreciation and understanding of ethics across the curriculum and ability to work with diverse constituencies. The job will involve strategic planning, academic programming, committee work, and grant writing. Proven ability to be a team player (with a wide range of people including faculty, administrative staff, and students), as well as demonstrated leadership ability with excellent communication and organizational skills. Familiarity with university requirements, fellowship opportunities, and academic resources is a plus. This is a 3 year fixed term position (with possibility of renewal). http://stanfordcareers.stanford.edu/job-search?jobId=10077843

Monday, June 24, 2013

Strauss Prize winner: Alin Fumurescu

Alin Fumurescu, PhD Indiana University, has been awarded the 2012 APSA Leo Strauss Prize for the best dissertation in political theory, for “Compromise and Representation: A Split History of Early Modernity,” now adapted into a book from Cambridge University Press.