Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

GRAD WORKSHOP - Democracy and Citizenship

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

College Hall, Room 209 (Accessibility)
Free and open to the public / Lunch provided

Lillian Frost (George Washington University, Political Science)
"Unequal Citizens: State Resistance to Removing Discrimination toward Women from Nationality Laws"

Will Levine (University of Chicago, Political Science)
"Heinrich Heine and The Young Hegelians on Popular Agency, Social Transformation, and 'The Beautiful Error of an Ideal Future'"

IN HER PAPER, LILLIAN FROST points out that existing theories about policy formation incorrectly predict resistance to removing discrimination toward women (DTW) in nationality laws. This gap is critical because DTW in nationality laws often results in serious human rights violations and suffering for individuals, including statelessness, lack of access to public services, and child marriage. What accounts for DTW in nationality laws? Why do states resist reforming these policies? How is DTW in nationality laws different from women’s issues where progress has been made? To make sense of state decisions to resist removing DTW from nationality laws, she adapts the concept of “securitization,” in which authoritative figures successfully cast an issue as an existential threat calling for extraordinary measures beyond the routines and norms of everyday politics. She argues that when state representatives securitize women’s nationality reform, then international and domestic actors alike will fail to secure reform.

IN A CHAPTER FROM HIS DISSERTATION on radical Kantians, WILL LEVINE is less concerned with analyzing the uptake of specific ideas in Kant than it is with analyzing an analogy that a number of thinkers draw between the impact of the French Revolution on France and the impact of Kant’s philosophy on Germany. Specifically, he examines the claim by the so-called “Young Hegelians” that Kant’s revolution in thought must go into practice, and how this claim illuminates their accounts of the connection between political ideals and political practices. He focuses especially on how the poet, journalist, and critic Heinrich Heine takes up this idea in his criticism – and on the relationship of Heine’s work with that of the early Marx. While much of the work that this particular chapter does is historical, he foregrounds the stakes for democratic theory more generally.