New Additions to the Faculty Library
’Buddhism and Political Theory’
My past work has focused on issues of value pluralism, the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and political theory as a profession. I’ve sort of followed my nose from topic to topic as different issues caught my attention. I have a personal interest in Buddhism and meditation. I’ve been a regular meditator since 2005, and I started to get curious about whether the Buddha had ever said anything about politics or government. It took me a while to figure out what the major collections of the Buddha’s teachings were, and also to find earlier scholarship on Buddhism and politics. The Buddha’s teachings take up about 12,000 pages in translation, and there’s a lot of repetition. I’ve read a big chunk, and I’ve found all of the passages that are relevant to politics. Oxford University Press will publish “Buddhism and Political Theory” in April 2016.
Ron Den Otter
’In Defense of Plural Marriage’
My book explores the issue of how civil marriage ought to be defined, with a particular focus on plural marriage. My intention isn’t to defend any particular kind of plural intimate relationship. Rather, I argue that the U.S. Constitution should require states — which give marriage licenses to couples that meet the valid eligibility requirements — also give them to thruples and moresomes. What matters is whether plural marriage enthusiasts are being denied the kind of marriage they want to have without adequate legal justification. For me, the issue isn’t whether someone has good or bad personal reasons for wanting to marry at all or have some kind of plural marriage. As long as he or she is a consenting adult, the state should be indifferent to his or her reasons; they are his or hers and as such, are entitled to be respected. The point of the book is to explain why the arguments against legal recognition of plural marriage aren’t particularly strong. In fact, they resemble those that have been used in the case against same-sex marriage. Cambridge University Press published “In Defense of Plural Marriage” in 2015.
‘Governed through Choice: Autonomy, Technology and the Politics of Reproduction’
I argue in the book that the idea that individuals have choice and control over their reproduction actually often heightens outside scrutiny of individual decisions. The idea of choice has such appeal and sway in our society, but simply increasing choices doesn’t always or necessarily increase an individual’s autonomy. For example, having more choices can actually increase pressure on an individual to choose in the “right” way. This makes it possible for experts and state actors to judge some people as bad at governing themselves when they make reproductive decisions that challenge dominant ways of thinking. I also argue that, although autonomy is a really appealing idea in some ways, it often plays a role in justifying pretty horrific practices — like sterilizing incarcerated women, for example. The reasoning goes that it is appropriate and beneficial to impose expert understandings of appropriate decision making on individuals who are seen as lacking the ability to make good decisions. In practice, individuals are often only thought to have autonomy if they make the “right” decisions.
At the same time, however, I also think that there is something really appealing and potentially emancipatory about some understandings of autonomy. In fact, there’s an alternative understanding that focuses on autonomy as challenging norms and hierarchies. And so the book looks at that understanding as well and examines its utility for reproductive law and politics. NYU Press published “Governed through Choice: Autonomy, Technology and the Politics of Reproduction” in July 2015.
CHRIS DEN HARTOG
Den Hartog, C. & Monroe, N. (2015). The Jeffords switch and legislator rolls in the U.S. Senate. Public Choice, 165(1-2): 25-43.
RON DEN OTTER
Den Otter, R. (2015). Three may not be a crowd: The case for a constitutional right to plural marriage. Emory Law Journal, 1977-2046.
Lowham, E. & Lowham, J. (2015). Civic meanings: Understanding the constellations of democratic and civic beliefs of educators. Democracy and education, 23(1), Article 1.
Lowham, E. & Schilla, A. (2015). Participation, commitment and dynamics: Lessons in integrative graduate education. In Hughes, Munoz & Tanner (eds.) Beyond interdisciplinary: A handbook of integrative curriculum, pedagogy and learning. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press.
McGann, A.J, Smith, C.A., Latner, M. & Kenna, J.A. (2015). A discernible and manageable standard for partisan gerrymandering. Election Law Journal, 14(4), 295-311.
Moore, M.J. (2015). Teaching political theory. In Ishiyama, Simon, and Miller (eds.), Handbook of teaching and learning in Political Science and International Relations. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Moore, M.J. (2016). The dialectical contrarianism of Richard Flathman. Theory & Event, 19(1): n.p.
Moore, M.J. (2016). Pluralism and elitism. In S.L. Schecter (ed.), American governance. Detroit, MI: Macmillan.
Vergine, D., & Hosman, L. (2015). Designing technology for inclusive growth. In Dutta, Geiger & Lanvin (eds.) The global information technology report 2015: ICTs for inclusive growth. Geneva: World Economic Forum. Pp. 93-99. Available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Global_IT_Report_2015.pdf.
Williams, J.C. (2015). ‘Stand up and be counted’: The politics of a homeless enumeration. In Skidmore (ed.), Poverty in America: Urban and rural inequality and deprivation in the 21st century. Washington, D.C.,: Westphalia Press.
SHANRUO NING ZHANG
Zhang, S. (2016). Confucianism: An actionable account of authoritarian political culture. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.