This term I have been teaching a new seminar entitled, "State Making and State Breaking." It's basically about state formation and capacity building from medieval Europe to contemporary Africa ("state making") plus secessionism, irredentism, de facto statehood, and other challenges to sovereignty ("state breaking"). We've now reached about the halfway point, having dealt with the … Continue reading State Making Quotations
Happy Earth Day (unless you are a Republican in Congress, then it is Happy Tuesday) The courts may force the most transparent administration in history to become transparent. How is that possible? Beauty and the Beast (of inequality). Can we infer that libertarians think they are more attractive? Regardless of levels of attractiveness, it may … Continue reading Links
Libertarians often bemoan the expansion of the federal government over the centuries and cite Thomas Jefferson's quotation, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yeild [sic], and government to gain ground." Of course, there have been important advances for liberty in the U.S. in the 20th and 21st centuries too, yet overall, government's … Continue reading A Law of Political Entropy?
Having finally turned the corner on a brutal, 11-day (and counting) cold, I feel up to getting back to my blogging routine. First up: a followup to last month's post, "Why So Little Decentralization?" To review, that post posed a puzzle (a problem for political scientists to ponder, you might say). The puzzle is this: … Continue reading Why So Little Decentralization? Part Two: Secession Prevention
The Census Bureau is changing its annual survey, making it difficult to measure the impact of the Affordable Care Act. As the NYT reports: An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a ‘total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the … Continue reading The Empirical Record
The Congressional Budget Office has released its updated budget projections. Good news: CBO now estimates that if the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit in fiscal year 2014 will be $492 billion. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit—at 2.8 percent of gross domestic product … Continue reading Good News, Bad News and Silence
Tomorrow (Friday) at 5 PM, I will be at McGill University in Montreal to give a talk on "The Ethics and Economics of Secession." All are welcome. Here are additional details: Jason Sorens PhD, the founder of the Free State Project will be in Montreal for a guest lecture at McGill. The event is an … Continue reading Montreal talk