Julia Azari

A Mandate for Beer? Interpreting Cantor’s Primary Loss

The twenty-first century is an age of mandate politics – we are preoccupied with understanding the meaning of elections after they take place. Politicians take this seriously and frequently explain their decisions with “I’m doing what I was elected to do.” Pundits and even political scientists – notorious buzzkills obsessed with models and predictions and… Read more »

Party “Civil Wars?” Rules, Not Factions, Are the Problem

According to New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, only Hillary Clinton stands between the Democratic Party and “dissolution.” Other commentators have not so subtly wondered if the Republican Party can continue to be a big enough tent for evangelicals, libertarians and neocons. So, our two major parties are so fractured and internally diverse that they… Read more »

Defending the Nation, Defending Themselves: The Politics of Presidential Doctrines

This week, Obama gave the commencement address at West Point. The speech has received wide attention as the articulation, at long last, of an “Obama doctrine” of foreign policy. In the course of this discussion, it seems that many people treat presidential doctrines as purely intellectual products, derived from philosophical thoughts and isolated from politics…. Read more »