The Concept of Instability and the Theory of Democracy in the Federalist

by Furlow Sauls, Shanaysha M

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation describes instability as a problem with a variety of sources and explains Publius' contribution to understanding the importance of these problems for politics and political theory. Using the Federalist and Publius' reading in political theory, history, and politics to ground my analysis, I explain the concept of instability as a multi-faceted problem that requires different solutions. I show that instability arises from one or a combination of four distinct notions: stasis or factional conflict, corruption, the mutability of the laws, and changing global conditions. My dissertation suggests that one of the primary goals of ancient and modern democracies was to solve the political challenges posed by instability. I further argue that the sources of instability remain relevant because they allow us to describe the problem of instability in a way that is theoretically and practically useful for understanding the role that democracy plays in addressing them. Finally, I suggest that describing and addressing the patterns of instability were central to Publius' interpretation of history and political theory and that recognizing and tackling these patterns are a part of the scope of modern political science and are central to the study of democratic politics.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Grant, Ruth

School:Duke University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:political science general democracy instability publius the federalist ancient politics


Date of Publication:04/18/2008

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