Monthly Archives: June 2006

the meaning of Hamdan

The Hamdan decision is one of those texts whose meaning will only become clear once it has been thoroughly contested. Certainly, the 5-vote majority struck down the president’s unilateral authority to create tribunals like the ones established for Guantanamo prisoners. … Continue reading

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kids, communities, and online popularity

I am concerned that we are setting kids up for disappointment when we tell them that the Internet gives everyone the equivalent of a broadcast studio with which one can reach many people and change the world. Even if some … Continue reading

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it takes all kinds

I’m trying to meet a deadline on a big project, but meanwhile experiencing various subcultures. The Supreme Court, which I visited on Monday, was one. It offers a striking combination of grand and lush architecture, palpable power and respect, and … Continue reading

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the campaign finance decision

I happened to be in the Supreme Court chamber yesterday when the campaign finance decision was announced. Campaign finance law has been an interest of mine since I worked for Common Cause in the early 1990s; it’s the topic of … Continue reading

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group blogging for democracy

Joe Goldman has launched a new blog called The Democracy Movement. It’s a group effort, devoted to deliberative democracy and related themes. I’ve signed up to contribute regularly, along with fellow academics Archon Fung and Abby Williamson from Harvard, John … Continue reading

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the effects of canvassing–on canvassers

Canvassing is a common experience, especially for young activists on the left. In a 2002 survey available from CIRCLE, people were asked, “Have you worked as a canvasser–having gone door to door for a political or social group or candidate?” … Continue reading

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roots of American inequality

The Economist has a useful article on inequality in America, but even more useful is the collection of academic papers on that topic that the magazine has provided online. I picked a paper by Miles Corak entitled “Do Poor Children … Continue reading

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Las Meninas and mirrors

Last fall, after a business trip to Madrid, I posted a mini-essay about Velazquez’ great, complex, and enigmatic painting, Las Meninas. My essay was mainly about the difficulty of looking at and enjoying a work so famous and so heavily … Continue reading

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looking for deliberation in new places

I recently came across a very interesting paper by Nina Eliasoph entitled, “What if Good Citizens’ Etiquette Requires Silencing Political Conversation in Everyday Life? Notes from the Field.” It’s drawn from a large project and contains numerous insights, making it … Continue reading

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how to enjoy Venice

I love Venice. My family and I just returned from an idyllic week there and are mourning our departure. However, we noticed that a lot of the other visitors didn’t look very happy. Maybe they were having a better time … Continue reading

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