• Political existentialism: Carl Schmitt, the Black Panthers, and the Jewish Defense League

      DeTurris, David (2022-05)
      In this paper, I want to argue against the ordinary understanding that radical political actors like the Black Panthers and the Jewish Defense League are crazed and irrational actors. Instead, I propose that the actions of both the Black Panthers and the Jewish Defense League were legitimate reactions to the existential threats — either real or perceived — posed by their enemies, that their reactions show a deep understanding of the stakes of political conflict, and that the two groups excelled in properly distinguishing between their friends and enemies. To do this, I will be borrowing some ideas from the German political philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt.
    • “The Rent is Too Damn High”: why renters deserve more affordable housing policies in the United States, such as good cause eviction

      Bale-Crowder, Sarah (2022-05)
      The housing crisis in the United States has plagued our country and will continue to persist without further governmental action. Across the country, renters face housing insecurity, which was made worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the housing crisis, state and local lawmakers in New York proposed the Good Cause Eviction bill to prevent community members from being unfairly forced out of their homes. The proposed legislation gives additional rights to renters, making sure the most vulnerable are not being pushed out of their community. The housing crisis hurts everyone in the housing market, but it is especially hard on low-income, people of color. The legislation has sparked debate among both Republicans and Democrats around the state. The Good Cause Eviction Law has not yet passed at the state level but has gained support and passage in cities across New York State, including Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and Albany. As the law continues to gain support in towns and cities across New York, it is clear that Good Cause Eviction law is a first step in helping renters yet appears to be a temporary solution to a much deeper, affordable-housing crisis that requires more attention from federal, state, and local governments. While the scope of this paper focuses on current and past legislation within New York, the paper will examine policies and research from across the country.
    • Weak State caused long duration of insurgency between 1995 to 2016

      Abukosi, Vincent (2017-12)
      Saddam Hussein’s government and the Taliban regime were both toppled in the early months of U.S. invasion. Nevertheless, the U.S. and coalitions’ supported government in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been battling insurgencies since the U.S. invasion. To be exact, the U.S. has been conducting counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan since 2002, and in Iraq since 2003. Why would such operations last so long despite U.S. military might? Many scholars have argued differently on the causes of long duration insurgencies but none has given an argument that can explain all cases of prolonged insurgencies. In this paper, I used the theory of political opportunity structure which posits that “repertoires for protest have traditionally been seen as influenced by political opportunity structure, consisting of both a formal, institutional aspect and an informal, cultural one (Porta 2008, 223)” to argue that weak states caused long duration insurgency between the years of 1995 to 2016. My argument gives another alternative argument that can explain the causes of long duration insurgencies. Using 66 cases of insurgency, from the Global Terrorism dataset, I showed that state weakness caused long duration insurgency between the periods of 1995 to 2016, but the only indicators of state weakness that are statistically significant to the duration of insurgency are security effectiveness score and security legitimacy score. Therefore, my policy recommendation is that for states to carry on successful Counterinsurgency campaigns they need to focus on improving the capability of their security forces, and seek public approval of their security apparatus .