CALL FOR PAPERS

JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES
Vol. XXX 2018

THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: A REPUBLIC, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT

The American system of constitutional, democratic self-government presupposes a virtuous people; it is unsuitable for any other.  When asked at the end of the 1787 Constitutional Convention what kind of government the Founders established, Benjamin Franklin replied famously: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”  James Madison defined the major challenge of the new American system in Federalist No. 51 as enabling the government to govern, while limiting itself.  Madison recalled that if men were angels, no government would be necessary.  But, among men, every power and position would need a countervailing power and position to achieve a balance, limiting the exercise of power.  The Anti-Federalists were skeptical concerning a federal government that could concentrate power, undermining the states and the God-given, inalienable rights reserved for the people.  They did not want another king.  Alexis de Tocqueville marveled in Democracy in America (1835-40) at the American genius where the unifying role of religion–despite a great diversity of denominations–anchored a moral-cultural consensus animating self-rule. Yet Tocqueville foresaw the democratic penchant for equality of condition as necessitating ever more government intervention and concentration of power at the center, ultimately endangering both liberty and equality.  Can a nation dedicated to liberty advance the common good despite identity politics, and find unity in diversity by encouraging a more civil society rooted in moral-spiritual renewal aspiring to restore community?

Mss. Deadline: January 15, 2018.  Send 3 both-sided copies of: 15-25 page manuscript (ca. 4,000-65,000 words), each with a 150-word Abstract, typed, double-spaced, in-text citation format, author identification on a separate sheet (with postage for mss. return/SASE) to: Dr. O. Gruenwald, JIS Editor, Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, 1065 Pine Bluff Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA.  Early mss. submissions recommended.  View Mss. Guidelines.  E-mail inquiries: info at jis3.org.