Andrew Sabl

Why Empirical Political Scientists and Political Theorists Talk Past Each Other

The latest issue of Perspectives on Politics, which just went up, includes my article “The Two Cultures of Democratic Theory: Responsiveness, Democratic Quality, and the Empirical-Normative Divide.” I’m always behind the times when it comes to paywalls, but here’s my best shot at a link for “blogging”: The Two Cultures of Democratic Theory: Responsiveness, Democratic… Read more »

Toleration: As American as George Washington

Writing a book about toleration is a funny thing. There are some political values that everyone claims to be for while arguing about what they are: e.g. freedom, justice, and since 1945, democracy. There are other values whose meaning seems relatively clear (meaning that there’s room for several books about what they mean but not… Read more »

On Baltimore: Imprudent Protests and Real Grievances

Regarding what’s going on in Baltimore, there are three separate questions. First, are the citizens of Baltimore (especially the African-American ones) justified in noting, and opposing, what seems on excellent evidence to be rampant, long-standing, and unpunished violence committed by police? Second, is rioting, including the burning down of a drugstore and a half-built community… Read more »

Liberalism Doesn’t Just Displace Arbitrary Power. It Reduces It.

Paul Krugman in a recent post argues that opposition to the welfare state is rooted in attachment to “traditional hierarchy”: Both social insurance and civil rights are solvents that dissolve some of the restraints that hold people in place, be they unhappy workers or unhappy spouses. And that’s part of why people like me support… Read more »