https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/issue/feed The Political Science Reviewer 2022-06-30T00:00:00+00:00 The Political Science Reviewer politicalsciencereviewer@gmail.com Open Journal Systems <p><em>The Political Science Reviewer </em>was established in 1971 as a venue for political theory in a field that had drifted away from its philosophical roots. The journal still resists established conventions within the discipline that have promoted hyper-specialization and insularity, and has instead sought to give voice to a range of scholars.</p> https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/752 Editor's Note 2022-06-13T17:39:13+00:00 Richard Avramenko avramenko@wisc.edu <p>Editor's Note</p> 2022-07-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/749 Political Theology in the Twenty-first Century 2022-05-19T16:16:14+00:00 Lee Trepanier LTREPANI@SAMFORD.EDU <p>An introduction to the symposium, Political Theology in the Twenty-first Century.</p> 2022-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/703 With Reason Attentive to Grace 2022-01-14T13:47:37+00:00 Daniel J. Mahoney dmahoney@assumption.edu <p>The distinguished contemporary French political philosopher Pierre Manent is less a political theologian than a political philosopher who sees the Western adventure as being ultimately rooted in an inspired effort “to govern oneself by the guidance of one’s reason and with attention to gracc.” In its classical Christian expressions, the West aimed for a “collaboration of human prudence and divine Providence,” humility and magnanimity, and free will, conscience, and grace. By looking at Manent’s two most recent books, <em>Beyond Radical Secularism</em> (2016) and <em>Natural Law and Human Rights: Toward a Recovery of Practical Reason</em> (2020), I aim to show how Western liberty presupposes not only an institutional “separation” of Church and state but also a “union” (much more philosophical and spiritual rather than institutional) of religion and politics rooted in an enduring covenant between grace and freedom, communion and liberty. Such an understanding is diametrically opposed to theocracy, totalitarianism, and an aggressive and reductive secularism and scientism. It has classical and Christian foundations while respecting the genuine achievements of the regime of modern liberty.&nbsp;It owes more to the dialogue of the Christian proposition with political philosophy than it does to political theology per se.</p> 2022-06-03T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/699 Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Limits of Political Theology 2021-09-26T09:52:51+00:00 Carol B. Cooper cbcooper@central.uh.edu <p>This article demonstrates how Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theology of love, which he claims is the only “credible” alternative to older theological conceptions whose organizing principles are no longer plausible justifications for belief, cannot operate as a political theology. This impossibility raises questions of credibility for the field of political theology as a whole. To demonstrate this challenge, the article compares Balthasar’s theology to three major concepts of political theology: the friend-enemy distinction, sovereignty, and the totality of the political. The article concludes by arguing that the only possible, credible approaches to political theology would be limited ones—ones which do not claim to combine or identify politics with theology, which do not claim to explain the whole of reality via politics, and which are aware of and content within the proper limits of this methodology.</p> 2022-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/724 Emancipation from the Legal Order 2022-01-12T18:23:59+00:00 Sandrine Baume Sandrine.Baume@unil.ch <p>In this paper, I discuss the strategic place of miracle in Carl Schmitt’s political theology. God’s transcendence of the natural order and the possibility of escaping the laws of nature via miracles are analogous, on the one hand, to the sovereign—the one who decides on the exception—and, on the other, to the sovereign’s emancipation from the legal order. The paper shows that transcendence, which Schmitt upheld against a Kelsenian conception of power as immanent, was translated institutionally into the neutral power vested in the Reich president during the Weimar period. The sovereign receives the powers of exception because of its superior and sacred mission: the preservation of public order. In Schmitt’s controversial interpretation, only the Reich president can embody transcendence in the democratic order. I also present Hans Kelsen’s objections to Schmitt’s attempt to establish the independence and, by analogy, the transcendence of the Reich president. In Kelsen’s view, the prevailing interdependence between the various organs as provided for in the Constitution of the Weimar Republic does not allow for the establishment of an independent, neutral power in Schmitt’s sense of the term. The Kelsenian critique is therefore relevant because it questions Schmitt’s endeavors to introduce an element of transcendence into a democratic order— a crucial issue in his political theology and a recurrent element in the disputatio between Schmitt and Kelsen, especially during the interwar period.</p> <p> </p> 2022-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/695 Does Politics Need a Theology? 2021-08-06T17:08:39+00:00 Grant Havers havers@twu.ca <p>Leo Strauss was one of the few political philosophers of the last century to see a life of religious faith as the most serious alternative to a life of philosophical inquiry. Strauss insisted that political philosophy and political theology are fundamentally distinct. Despite this surgical distinction, however, he was deeply interested in Hegel’s attempts to integrate religion into the realm of philosophy. In two seminars (1958 and 1965) devoted to Hegel’s lectures on the philosophy of history, Strauss subtly shows how Hegel’s interpretation of Protestant Christianity as essential to the proper functioning of a constitutional regime amounts to a political theology. I discuss how Strauss’s approach to Hegel’s political theology raises important questions about the role that political theology plays in modern secular politics. Most importantly, Strauss’s interpretation of Hegel’s philosophy reveals the profound influence of the Bible (especially the Genesis narrative) on modern political philosophy as a whole.</p> 2022-04-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/698 Apocalypse of Reality 2022-01-12T19:08:55+00:00 J. David Franks newcityrising@gmail.com <p>In his later works, Eric Voegelin (1901–85) sharpened his attack on Christian theology as a historical enterprise: the more continuity he saw between modernity and the dogmatic corruption of philosophy soon after its birth in the classical age, the more responsibility he assigned to theology for the modern deformations of consciousness. By contrast, Plato exemplifies maintaining equilibrium of consciousness despite having experienced destabilizing divine revelation of the structure of reality and its movement beyond itself toward transfiguration. For Voegelin, the philosopher is the true guardian of revelation, while the professional theologian—with his dogmas—obscures divine presence and the reality of worldly constraints. Voegelin’s elevation of philosophy over theology is assessed, his philosophical mysticism brought into conversation with the political theology of Johann Baptist Metz.</p> 2022-06-03T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/696 Why Church Matters 2021-08-06T16:17:08+00:00 Charles R Pinches charles.pinches@scranton.edu <p>From the beginning of his long career as a theologian and ethicist, Stanley Hauerwas has resisted the accommodation of the Christian church’s distinctive theological convictions and language to the politics of nation-states, especially America. The Christian church’s key political task is to be itself, a servant community capable of living peaceably in a violent world. Although sometimes accused of sectarianism, Hauerwas has demonstrated a settled habit of dialogue with others outside the church, resisting grand political theories while engaging in discussion about formation, virtue, and shared practices.</p> 2022-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/700 Muhammad Iqbal's Reconstructed Islam 2021-07-31T17:27:13+00:00 Scott P Segrest ssegrest@citadel.edu <p>Muhammad Iqbal is little known to Western political theorists, yet he was one of the most brilliant thinkers of modern times and presented a vision of human nature and society of extraordinary power and insight, and a specifically Islamic vision that has inspired Muslim political thinkers and leaders across South Asia and the Middle East.&nbsp; Unfortunately, the analyses of Iqbal's political theory available in English do not address the elements of his political vision with adequate theoretical depth and comprehensiveness.&nbsp; This article attempts to provide a more adequate theoretical map of that vision through a close consideration of three of Iqbal's most important works: <em>The Secrets of the Self</em>, T<em>he Mysteries of Selflessness</em>, and <em>The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam</em>.</p> 2022-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/719 Nature, Grace, and "the Drama of Atheist Humanism” 2022-01-12T19:15:32+00:00 Steven Waldorf swaldorf@uchicago.edu <div><a name="_GoBack"></a></div> <p>This article examines Henri de Lubac’s account of the origins and nature of modernity as developed in <em>The Drama of Atheist Humanism </em>and later works. De Lubac argues that modernity is essentially characterized by an “atheist humanism” that rejects a transcendent God so as to realize human autonomy and that this humanism can be traced back to the Scholastic theory of “pure nature” with its putative separation of nature from grace. In the article, I assess De Lubac’s narrative as an account of the modern project, arguing that although he fails to demonstrate a connection between Scholastic theology and modern secularism, his claim that modernity is defined by its rejection of the transcendent is valuable for explaining what many scholars have identified as a central element of the modern project: the rejection of nature as a normative standard for human living. I conclude by considering how De Lubac’s distinctive anthropology can contribute to a recovery of the normativity of human nature in a contemporary philosophical context.</p> 2022-06-23T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/736 Author Meets Critics: Kenneth B. McIntyre's Nomocratic Pluralism 2022-01-12T19:36:22+00:00 Kenneth McIntyre kbm014@shsu.edu Luke Sheahan sheahan@duq.edu W.J. Coats wjcoa@conncoll.edu Michael Federici Michael.Federici@mtsu.edu Richard Gamble rgamble@hillsdale.edu 2022-06-03T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/741 Author Meets Critics: Steven B. Smith's Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes 2022-04-22T19:55:08+00:00 Steven Smith steven.smith@yale.edu Wilfred McClay wmcclay@hillsdale.edu Jeremy Bailey jdb@ou.edu Sanford Levinson slevinson@law.utexas.edu Yiftah Elazar yiftah.elazar@mail.huji.ac.il Nicholas Buccola nbuccol@linfield.edu Michael Walzer walzer@ias.edu 2022-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/677 Silicon Valley Stoics? 2021-10-01T21:48:01+00:00 Philip Bunn pbunn@wisc.edu <p>This paper seeks to highlight and critically examine a particular oddity of the technological age: the tendency of Silicon Valley executives to turn to Stoic thinkers and Stoic discipline while embracing a view of nature and accompanying view of technology that is, at its core, fundamentally unstoic. I first explain and explore what I take to be the Silicon Valley approach to technology, nature, and the human body by examining the peculiar phenomena of life-hacking and transhumanism. In the absence of clear discussions on Stoic approaches to technology, the paper then turns to selected Stoic writings and interpreters to sketch what such a Stoic approach might look like. This preliminary sketch and comparison demonstrates tension between Stoicism and Silicon Valley, but more importantly offers a tentative explanation for the appeal of the Stoics to those who reject the bounds of nature.</p> 2022-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/710 “Had Every Athenian Citizen Been a Socrates” 2021-10-07T21:27:37+00:00 John von Heyking john.vonheyking@uleth.ca <p>Rainer Knopff is one of Canada’s great political scientists who taught a generation of Canadians important principles of liberal democracy. His scholarship is informed by a philosophical understanding of the fundamentals of liberal democracy, which can be seen in a series of works on controversies in early Canadian political history that he describes as “regime politics.” While his treatment of liberal democracy as a “regime” is in line with republicanism, which form of republicanism it follows is unclear. Knopff himself raises the question of whether his republicanism is ancient or modern when he lists James Madison and Plato as his two biggest intellectual influences. This essay tries to make sense of how he combines Madison and Plato and what this combination means for our understanding of liberal democracy.</p> 2022-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/675 Thucydides at Melos 2021-06-16T17:36:12+00:00 Linus Recht lrecht@nd.edu <p>This paper presents a new interpretation of Thucydides's Melian dialogue that avoids the by-now-traditional alternative of reading it either as simply a statement of ‘realism,’ or else as a conflict between Melian ‘traditionalism’ and Athenian ‘rationalism.’ Rather, the Melians are oligarchs and the Athenians democrats, and inasmuch each speaks according to an understanding of justice, politics, and history befitting democracy and oligarchy as Thucydides presents them in the Archaeology. The belief in saving gods is found to be based in the deep Spartan past. The belief that ‘he who can, rules’ is found similarly based in the deep Athenian past. This reading can help us understand the Melian dialogue in its peculiar character as a dialogue, as well as enable us to treat both the Melian and Athenian positions with the respect Thucydides seems to have believed they deserved; and this can point the way to further reflection on the fundamental presuppositions of democracy, and the tension between democracy and imperialism. I engage a wide range of secondary literature.</p> 2022-04-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/692 Re-Reading Plato's Timaeus-Critias Politically 2021-07-01T16:29:07+00:00 Gerald Mara marag@georgetown.edu <p>Does first philosophy have a place in political theory? For different but overlapping reasons the modern consensus answers “no”. This essay reconsiders this question through an interpretation of the Platonic dialogues <em>Timaeus</em> and <em>Critias</em>. The significance of these texts for Plato’s political philosophy is admittedly ambiguous. Both are centered around monologues delivered by the title characters. Timaeus speculates on the origins of the cosmos; Critias recounts an ancient Athenian triumph against invaders. The dialogic Socrates seems a marginal participant.&nbsp; Nonetheless, I argue that these dialogues are political in several registers.&nbsp; First, while their narratives are seemingly disconnected from the practical world, conflictual political circumstances inform both the substance of the speeches and the interactions of the interlocutors. Second, the dialogues’ internal pragmatics reflect a struggle for discursive control. Third, this struggle does not simply reduce first philosophy to a power move, for these narratives invite scrutiny of their originating historical conditions and cultural templates, encouraging the interactive politics of Socratic questioning. &nbsp;Fourth and finally, although the dramatic texture of these dialogues interrogates political power, the abrupt conclusion of <em>Critias </em>implies that conversations that should happen will not because of power’s distortions. Returning to the initial concern, many voices in modern and postmodern political theory reject first philosophy as either an applied metaphysics that threatens to displace practice or a surreptitious power move that aims to dominate it. Contrasting, these dialogues imply that (always controversial) concerns about the nature of the world and the place of human beings within it are inevitably arise within political theory.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2022-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/714 Leo Strauss on the Machiavellian Moment(s) in Aristotle 2021-10-22T19:58:19+00:00 John Boersma jboersma2@wisc.edu <p>This article examines Leo Strauss’s account of the political philosophy of Aristotle and Machiavelli. It makes the case that while Strauss provides a surface presentation that exaggerates the differences between the political philosophy of each thinker, he subtly reveals that there are numerous parallels in their thought on a number of important points. Strauss views the cosmology of Aristotle and Machiavelli to be similar and to have had a practical impact on their political philosophy. In addition, he makes clear while each thinker prioritized philosophy over politics, both saw it as necessary that philosophy take politics into account, or that it be politically responsible. Finally, Strauss believes that both Aristotle and Machiavelli presented their teaching in a guarded, esoteric manner. The article concludes with some speculation as to why Strauss presents the political philosophy of these thinkers in a way that exaggerates their differences, while only subtly revealing their similarities.</p> 2022-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System