POSTS BY Robert Howse

The Retro Style in Liberal Politics: A Review of Mark Lilla’s ,The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics'

Columbia University’s Mark Lilla is an erudite and engaging historian of ideas, concentrating on political thought from the 18th century to the 20th.  In his latest book "The Once and Future Liberal", Lilla attacks the current style of liberal politics, exemplified by professors, intellectuals and activists in social movements, as contemptuous of real-world electoral politics and of ordinary Americans.

Continue Reading →

Thirteen Theses on Trump and Liberal Democracy

No one wants to go down in the history books like those fools who said in the 1930s, "well, Hitler isn’t such a bad chap really…" Protecting our egos from the imagined judgment of prosperity, the cautious course is to predict the worst for the Trump Presidency, the very destruction of the American constitutional regime, the collapse of liberal democratic values. I however am willing to risk being proven a fool, so here goes…

Continue Reading →

The Deal on Greek Debt: Political Gamechanger for Europe, Tactical Retreat (not Surrender) by Tsipras

The conventional wisdom, delivered before anyone could really ponder the fine print of the Greek debt deal, is that Tsipras surrendered to the creditors in a humiliating defeat. His referendum and prior tenacity in negotiations proved futile,according to the predominant account that has emerged in the media and the twitter and blog worlds. Wrong on all counts. And here’s why.

Continue Reading →

Residual Anxieties – A Reply to Ralf Michaels

Ralf Michaels describes me as having "taken offense" to his claim about  eternal supremacy of Germany in doctrinal scholarship. I wish immediately to clarify that I was not offended at all by his claim; I merely found it to be highly implausible, and rooted in a kind of historical or cultural determinism that is, to […]

Continue Reading →

Will Germany always really best the US (and the world) in doctrinal legal scholarship?

Germany’s Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued a report on the state of legal scholarship in the country. At first glance it is fairly interesting as an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the discipline. The report has attracted, however, a rather unusual response at Verfassungsblog from a professor at Duke, Ralf Michaels, who seems to hold to theories of cultural determinism in legal education. According to Michaels, "German doctrinal scholarship will always be superior to that of other countries,.."

Always? I am not sure what to make of this.Germany’s Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued a report on the state of legal scholarship in the country. At first glance it is fairly interesting as an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the discipline. The report has attracted, however, a rather unusual response at Verfassungsblog from a professor at Duke, Ralf Michaels, who seems to hold to theories of cultural determinism in legal education. According to Michaels, "German doctrinal scholarship will always be superior to that of other countries,.."

Always? I am not sure what to make of this.

Continue Reading →