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political history



  • How the Meaning of Infrastructure Has Changed Over Time

    by Peter A. Shulman

    Economists who have criticized the broad working definition of "infrastructure" in the Biden bill need to consider the history of the term, as "the means to build something greater." 



  • What Was the Fascism Debate?

    by Udi Greenberg

    What are the stakes in the academic debate over whether the Trump administration was fascist? 



  • The Fissure Between Republicans and Business is Less Surprising than it Seems

    by Jennifer Delton

    Friction between the Trump-led Republican Party and big business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce over supposed "woke capitalism" isn't a new story. Big business's partisan allegiances have shifted according to capital's interests for decades. 



  • Social Fissures have Made Building a Broad Liberal Coalition Hard for 50 Years

    by Steven M. Gillon

    Hostility toward the welfare state, frequently driven by the idea that government programs unfairly benefit minorities at the expense of whites, has prevented the Democratic party from consolidating a political majority for decades. Worshipping fallen heroes like Robert Kennedy obscures the political work needed to build and keep a coalition.



  • Beyond the Nation-State

    by Claire Vergerio

    Much of what has been told about the rise of the nation-state from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 is wrong. Reevaluating the history of the nation-state is essential for conceptualizing solutions to local and global problems that defy the logic of the nation-state.


  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 


  • The Post-Trump GOP: Rebirth or Stillbirth?

    by Michael A. Genovese

    The Republicans are betting that sticking with Trump's MAGA posture will usher in a political realignment with a broader GOP base. History shows that with anger and resentment standing in for a substantive policy agenda that meets the challenges of the times such a realignment is unlikely.



  • From Guns to Gay Marriage, How Did Rights Take Over Politics?

    Writer Kelefa Sanneh examines recent books that diagnose America's polarization as a product of a "rights revolution" under which Americans have been trained to identify their social and political preferences with absolute rights. Does the language of rights discourage Americans from working out pragmatic solutions to disagreements?



  • Are We Entering a New Political Era?

    A group of younger progressive activists is seeking to push the Democratic Party to see a new political alignment where active government and public programs are no longer considered impossible. Some members of the group of historians and scholars who met with President Biden in March also relayed that message.



  • Black Politics After George Floyd

    Protests over the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police have exposed a rift in Black politics, with an establishment group seeking to control the moral authority of the Civil Rights movement by stripping it of its historical commitment to disruption. 


  • Cultures of Resentment among the Hitlerites and Trumpers

    by Walter G. Moss

    Recent essays have begun the work of understanding the resentments of Trump supporters. If this movement is to be stopped, proponents of liberal democracy need to address some of them, without necessarily condoning their motivations.



  • The U. S. Needs a New Populist Progressivism

    by Walter G. Moss

    The American left can win by demonstrating its commitment to inclusivity and expressing a populism that is for all the people. There are models, if we know where to look for them.