Refereed Articles


The Suspension of Law During Crisis

Political Science Quarterly 127, no. 4 (Winter 2012–13): 627–57.
Abstract: Scholars who argue for an extralegal prerogative power make two related but distinct claims. One is that it is impossible to handle some crises according to the rule of law. The other is that it is better if we do not attempt to handle crises by law but instead choose to leave them to an extralegal prerogative. The first of these relies upon a peculiarly narrow understanding of law. The second is impractical, yet the arguments its supporters advance against accommodationism are sound. A full alternative or supplement to extralegalism has not been adequately theorized but begins to come to light when the arguments in favor of both versions of the extralegalist thesis are examined. [PSQ Online]


Locke’s Biblical Critique

Review of Politics 74, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 27–51.
Abstract: The essay clarifies the relationship between Locke’s political and his religious thought. To the extent that Locke’s political thought is an outgrowth of a particular strand of Christianity, its claims to universality would be significantly diminished. Several plausible interpretations of his political thought rely on his religiosity. Others maintain that this religiosity was a façade. Close attention to Locke’s analysis of the Hebrew text of Gen. 1:28 unambiguously points to a critique of the Bible on semantic grounds. Locke subtly argues that the wording of the Bible makes the interpretation of scripture by scripture alone impossible. The fact that Locke goes out of his way to critique the Bible refutes interpretations of Locke’s thought that rely on his religiosity and reestablishes the universalist claims of his political thought. [Cambridge Journals]


Political Theory Within Political Science

PS: Political Science and Politics 44, no. 3 (July 2011): 565–70.
Abstract: This article addresses Andrew Rehfeld’s attempt to ensure a place for political theory within political science, which he does partly by showing how political theory fits into a defensible definition of political science and partly by excluding much political theory from the discipline in order to safeguard the rest. His account of what the discipline should comprehend is overly narrow, however, and does not serve the interests of the sorts of political theory he strongly believes are worth doing. I argue instead that political science must be defined by its subject matter alone, and that political theory’s contribution to this subject matter must be defended. [Cambridge Journals]


The Question of Natural Law in Aristotle

History of Political Thought 30, no. 2 (Summer 2009), 229–50.
Abstract: Aristotle continues to be associated with natural law. Some scholars see this association as untenable; other adhere to Aquinas’ reading, even if unconsciously. This article departs from both. It restores the plausibility of an Aristotelian natural law, but concludes that it is ultimately incompatible with Aristotle’s doctrine. It is plausible because Aristotle does suggestively point toward it. He does so, however, in order to distance himself subtly from it. He must do so subtly because what he in fact points to is a confusion attendant with the virtue of justice. [IngentaConnect]


The Extraconstitutionality of Lockean Prerogative

Review of Politics 68, no. 3 (Summer 2006): 428–48.
Abstract: This article examines the relation between John Locke’s doctrine of prerogative and constitutional government. Scholars have shown increased interest in Locke’s doctrine in recent years, yet there is disagreement about its precise character. The Two Treatises of Government can be read such that this power is the result of the social compact and, thus, is a constitutional means of addressing emergencies. This paper instead argues that prerogative as it appears in the Two Treatises must be understood to be a natural power and, consequently, beyond constitutional control. It stands outside of the constitution because its logic denies that a good constitution is sufficient for liberal government. [Cambridge Journals]

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