Fifteen Eighty Four


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  • 29 Sep 2023
    Tamar Groswald Ozery

    Law and Political Economy in China’s Market Development Puzzle

    The conventional premise for embracing law in the context of economic reform calls for a modern legal system as a prerequisite for economic development. The premise suggests that economic exchange between unfamiliar parties requires reliable and uniformly applicable norms and institutions, to protect the rights of economic participants and provide credible commitments for growth (secure […]

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  • 12 Sep 2023
    James Bernard Murphy

    The Case for the Prophetic Office

    When we think of a prophet, we might well imagine a bearded and eccentric biblical seer delivering God’s judgment on his people. But the prophetic office did not end with the sealing of the biblical canon. Thomas Aquinas said that God would always raise up new prophets for the reform of the Church. Inspired by […]

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  • 24 Aug 2023
    Jacob Eisler

    Balancing Justice and Autonomy in Democratic Design

    As democracy across the globe faces new stresses and dramatic challenges, the power of the judiciary to reshape electoral procedure is increasingly important. Yet underlying any judicial intervention – for good or for ill – in how people rule themselves is a threshold question: why does the judiciary have authority over the essence of democracy […]

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  • 17 Aug 2023
    Fred Paxton

    When (Local) Government Restrains Radicals

    Populist radical right parties and their threat to European democracies continue to develop at the local level of politics. A recent episode highlighted the importance of events in this often ignored arena: the unprecedented electoral victory of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the East German district of Sonneberg in June 2023. Securing 53% of […]

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  • 11 Aug 2023
    Waller R. Newell


    It has been widely observed that in recent years political debate has degenerated into ever more aggressive partisan mudslinging and character assassination, with no room for a reasoned and non-rancorous discussion of competing alternatives in assessing the policy issues of the day.  This trend is only likely to intensify as we enter a Presidential election […]

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  • 26 Jul 2023
    Amy S. Patterson, Tracy Kuperus, Megan Hershey

    African Youth Say There’s More to Citizenship

    In summer 2023, Senegalese youth helped to lead massive protests against President Macky Sall’s government, protests that ultimately extracted a promise that Sall would not run for a third term. Stories like this illustrate the power of youth, as well as their demographic significance in sub-Saharan Africa, where 60 percent of the population is under […]

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  • 17 Jul 2023
    Robert Kubinec

    Arabs Want Democracy—But Not With Corruption

    Despite the costly efforts of Arab activists and citizens over the past decade of the Arab Uprisings, today no Arab state can claim to be fully democratic. Two countries, Egypt and Tunisia, traveled farthest down the path towards democracy, and Tunisia witnessed ten years of democratic elections–but today neither country protects the rights of citizens […]

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  • 5 Jul 2023
    Stephen G. F. Hall

    The Authoritarian International: Learning, Adaptability, and Persistence

    In 2012 during the height of the Arab Spring Head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, flew to Algiers to meet with his Algerian counterpart, Rachid Lallali, to discuss ‘the developments of the situation in the Middle East’. This vague phrasing provided on the Security Council website masks the real purpose of the visit. […]

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