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Richard Bessel

How are we to assess changing levels of violence in the modern world? The answer put forward by Canadian-born Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker is unambiguous: “Violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably

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Modern Women in a Modern State

Public Discourse in Interwar Yugoslavia on the Status of Women in Turkey (1923–1939)

Anđelko Vlašić

Turkey, as it shifted toward a modern nation-state, occupied the attention of the public discourse in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (or Kingdom of SHS), which was established in 1918 and changed its name in 1929 to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia

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Modern Revolutions and Beyond

An Interview with John Dunn

Benjamin Abrams and John Dunn

Almost anyone writing on the subject of revolution today will remember having read John Dunn’s Modern Revolutions (1972, 1989 ). The book, published before Dunn was appointed a lecturer at Cambridge, went on to meet with immense success, and

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Science, Customs, and the Modern Subject

From Emulation to Education in the Semantics of Spanish Enlightenment

Pablo Sánchez León

The first modern Spanish constitution, promulgated in Cádiz in 1812, devoted a whole section to education ( instrucción pública ). It decreed the creation of elementary schools “in all the localities of the Monarchy,” as well as the selection of a

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Lawrence Hamilton

I argue that 'negative' freedom or freedom as absence of impediment is better described as freedom within a putative 'private' sphere, where individuals are allegedly protected from the coercive interference of other agents. As such it is characterised by four problems as an account of freedom under modern conditions. I then consider two alternatives, within which freedom is identified with politics or political action, and argue that they are therefore also inappropriate for understanding modern freedom. Yet, I do not discard them completely. In the main part of the paper, I draw on Machiavelli's emphasis on institutionalised class conflict as constitutive of freedom and propose a conception of freedom that captures the manifold conditions for freedom of action today. This realistic, modern conception of freedom identifies freedom with power across four domains; and it follows from this, I argue pace Pettit, that representative, partisan political institutions are requirements for freedom and democracy.

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Emanuel Stelzer

Two quotations have guided this study. The first quotation comes from Michael MacDonald and Terence R. Murphy’s superb study Sleepless Souls: Suicide in Early Modern England : ‘There are no examples at all of love-suicides who received lenient

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Khaled Furani

’s science’, Tylor charged the modern study of human diversity with the following mission: “Theologians all to expose,—/’Tis the mission of Primitive Man” (quoted in Larsen 2014: 30 ). Whether anthropologists deign to avoid or expose it, theology

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Masquerading Early Modern Disability

Sexuality, Violence, and the Body (Politic) in Richard III

Lauren Coker

Building on Katherine Schaap Williams’s (2009) reading of the play, this article uses a disability studies approach to consider Richard Loncraine’s 1995 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Loncraine’s adaptation allows modern-day viewers to experience a highly visual (and often intimate) exchange with Sir Ian McKellen as Richard Gloucester. Specifically, Gloucester’s verbal claims of a disability that renders him unsuitable as a leader and a lack of sexual prowess are juxtaposed alongside sexually violent visual actions and imagery—particularly in the form of phallic symbols. The juxtaposition of verbal passivity in opposition to visual aggression demonstrates how Richard showcases or hides his disability as he pursues the throne: the first half of the film features Richard masquerading ability, while the second half features him masquerading disability.

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The Other Secular Modern

An Empirical Critique of Asad

Steve Bruce

Talal Asad explains the marginalization of religion in liberal democracies by invoking the modern state's desire to control. This paper argues that, in the Anglophone world, self-conscious secularism played little or no part in the secularization of public life. The expansion of the secular sphere was primarily an unintended consequence of actions by religious impositionists. Far from leading the promotion of the secular, the state had to be pressed by the demands of religious minorities to reduce the powers of established religion. The state provision of secular social services was usually a reaction to the inability of competing religious organizations to continue their provision. As this review of church–state relations in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand shows, the reduction in the social power of religion owed more to the failure of Christians to agree than to a deliberately secularizing state.

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Christopher J. Paskewich

Which of the regimes of the modern world is the best? The political philosopher Leo Strauss provides a useful context for this issue by weighing the three primary regimes he finds available to modernity: traditional regimes, liberal regimes, and the universal state (in the manner of the French philosopher, Alexandre Kojève). He posits a new cycle of regimes for the modern world, just as Plato and Polybius did for the ancient world. Strauss suggests that the post-Enlightenment tendency is toward a universal state, but he asserts that a highly traditional, but liberal, regime is the most desirable for us.