Political Theory

Self-determination: The Democratization Test

Self-determination is the process by which people, who are governed by a foreign power, gain self-government. Often the people first form a sense of community—a sense of a shared identity, destiny, and core values—and then seek to invest those in a state, forming a nation (defined as a community invested in a state). The term self-determination is also used to refer to the normative principle that is evoked to justify breaking away from the old regime to form a new one.

When Rights Collide

“When Rights Collide,” in Rise Axelrod and Charles Cooper, (Eds.) Reading Critically, Writing Well, (Second ed.), New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.

Compliance, Goals, and Effectiveness

“Compliance, Goals, and Effectiveness,” in Jay M. Shafritz and J. Steven Ott, (Eds.) Classics of Organization Theory, (2nd ed.), Chicago: The Dorsey Press, (1987), pp. 177-187.

Planning–An Historical and Intellectual Perspective

“Planning–An Historical and Intellectual Perspective,” in Robert W.

Toward a Critical and Objective Sociology

“Toward a Critical and Objective Sociology,” et al, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Summer, 1968), p. 11.

Non-Conventional Uses of Sociology as Illustrated by Peace Research

Sociologists who study disarmament are at a doulde disadvantage: both the contibutions of sociology as a discipline and the investment of the society as a whole in this field are so small that the study of disarmament is a prime “underdeveloped” area.

DNA Tests and Databases in Criminal Justice: Individual Rights and the Common Good

This chapter examines several issues raised by the extensive use of DNA tests and databases in advancing public safety. The examination draws on a communitarian perspective that balances the common good with individual rights rather than presuming that rights routinely trump the common good.

China: Making an Adversary

“China: Making an Adversary.” International Politics 48.6 (November 2011) p. 647-666.

The Tea Party is Half Right

About the kindest labels appended to them are "rednecks," "highly volatile" and "laughable." Young research assistants at George Washington University see them as "psychopaths," "racists," "anti-Semites" and "homophobes" and hold that, in the political arena, "one cannot talk to them; one must defeat them."

Creating a Sense of Community

The current crisis in Europe has led many to call for building stronger shared economic institutions and stronger EU governance. Actually what is missing most is a demos, a true sense of community. Binding EU-wide referendums on the same day in all the member states on issues of great importance are needed.

Bottom-Up Nation Building

The tired debate between those who believe in nation-building and those who scoff at it glosses over a major difference between top-down and bottom-up society-building. The starting point for a bottom-up approach is the communitarian recognition that societies — even modern, so-called “mass” societies — are not composed of just millions upon millions of individual citizens.

Social Analysis and Social Action

My interest over the last ten years has moved from the study of smaller social units to that of larger ones, from greater concern with conceptualization to an emphasis on the social relevance of social science, and from a fair segregation of the role of the sociologist and the active citizen to a greater effort to articulate the two.

Hispanics and Asian Immigrants: America’s Last Hope

The claim that large waves of "nonwhite" immigration will have a significant effect on the American creed, identity, and society is not without foundation. Immigration waves have continually change American society since its earliest days. However, these immigrants have made their mark not by undoing the established creed, thus leaving a normative vacuum and sowing societal dissent, but by recasting the framework that hold the United States together and often making it the better for it.

Foreword: A United Nations for the 21st Century

“Foreword.” A United Nations for the 21st Century: From Reaction to Prevention. Detlev Wolter. Germany: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2007.

Foreword: Civic Service Analysis Has Come of Age

Local, national, and international civic service is again a hot topic in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq (Dionne, Drogosz, and Litan 2003; Schulman 2002: Wilheml and Williams 2002; Dionne and Drogosz 2003; Galston 2001). Questions are raised about the distribution of the burden of military service among various social groups, the need for a draft, and the need for alternative services.

Transnational Moral Dialogues

“Transnational Moral Dialogues.” After Terror, ed. Akbar Ahmed and Brian Forst. (Polity Press, 2005) pp. 79-84.

Oversight is Crucial

Here we go again, jerking the steering wheel to the left after we oversteered to the right (in an effort to correct a left bias), vainly seeking a reasonable, middle road between the pull of public safety and that of individual rights. The events of 9/11 led Congress to enact the USA Patriot Act, granting enormous new powers to law enforcement agencies. Now, we are once more trying to correct the overcorrection with little hope of striking the right balance. (Just wait for the next terrorist attack to witness additional overreactions.)

The Capabilities and Limits of the Global Civil Society

“The Capabilities and Limits of the Global Civil Society.” Millennium, Journal of International Studies. Vol. 33, No. 2 (December 2004), pp.341-353.

The Emerging Global Normative Synthesis

Out of discordant, often strident, conflicting voices that emanate from the East and the West, a new composition is slowly arising. The synthesized tune has a limited register and on many issues divergent voices will continue to be heard.

On the Need For More Transnational Capacity

Professor Dinh raises the right issue higWighted by the 9/11 Commission: what should be the post-Cold War organizing principle for the global order?! Historians may well consider the period between 1989 and 2001 a confused interim, in which it was unclear what would replace the bipolar world.