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Recent books, essays, think-pieces, interviews, and videos by Stanford Civics Initiative faculty, postdocs, students, and friends

Critical Review Cover

Isaiah Berlin

Alicia Steinmetz argues in an article forthcoming in Critical Review that Isaiah Berlin’s passionate defense of personal freedom and value pluralism remain relevant today because he forces us to reflect in more responsible ways on what we are doing when we pursue our political ideals.

Spirit of Rights

Natural Rights and Government

Dan Edelstein’s book On The Spirit of Rights is featured on New Book Network. Dan explains how the how in the 18th century a new conception of natural rights led to the challenges to monarchy. Dan discusses his book in a webinar. And it was reviewed in the New York Review of Books.

This View of Life

Biological and Cultural Evolution

Josh Ober was interviewed by leading evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson about what the development of the ancient Greek world might tell us about the surprising similarities between biological and cultural evolution.   

Antigone Cover

Humans as Political Animals

Josh Ober’s essay in the new online Classics journal Antigone, asks whether Aristotle’s conception of humans as “political animals” still has relevance for us today.

China and Constitutional Democracy

Dongxian Jiang argues in an article in the Journal of Confucian Philosophy and Culture that instead of developing more Confucian justifications for constitutional democracy, what is more urgently needed in China is for social critics to provide extra-Confucian reasons about the desirability of constitutional democracy in Chinese society.