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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

Jeffrey Tulis

Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Chicago

Associate Professor of Government
Jeffrey Tulis

Contact

Biography

Professor Tulis's interests bridge the fields of political theory and American politics, including more specifically, American political development, constitutional theory, political philosophy and the American presidency.  His publications include The Presidency in the Constitutional Order (LSU, 1981; Transaction, 2010), The Rhetorical Presidency (Princeton, 1987), The Constitutional Presidency (Johns Hopkins 2009), The Limits of Constitutional Democracy (Princeton, 2010) and recent journal articles and chapters on constitutional interpretation, the logic of political change, and the meaning of political success. Four collections of essays on The Rhetorical Presidency with responses by Tulis have been published, most recently a special double issue of Critical Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Politics and Society, (2007), where his book is described as "one of the two or three most important and perceptive works written by a political scientist in the twentieth century."

He has served as President of the Politics and History Section of the American Political Science Association.  He received the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Texas. He has held research fellowships from NEH, ACLS, Olin Foundation, Harvard Law School, and the Mellon Preceptorship at Princeton University, where he taught before moving to Texas. He has held visiting positions at Notre Dame and Harvard. He has served as associate chair of the Department of Government from 1989-2001 and was acting chair during 1992-93. and for part of each year between 1989 and 2001. During the academic year 2008-09, he was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton.

Recent publications include "Andrew Johnson and the Politics of Failure" (with Nicole Mellow), in Stephen Skowronek and Matthew Glassman, eds. Formative Acts: Reckoning with Agency in American Politics, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. His forthcoming books include: Democratic Decay and the Politics of Deference (Princeton, 2012), Legacies of Loss in American Politics , with Nicole Mellow (Princeton, 2013), and an expanded edition of The Rhetorical Presidency (Princeton, 2013). For two decades he served as co-editor of the Johns Hopkins Series in Constitutional Thought, and he currently co-edits (with Sanford Levinson) a new series titled Constitutional Thinking, at the University Press of Kansas.

Interests

Political Theory, and American Politics

CTI 335 • Regime Persp On Amer Politics

34575 • Spring 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as GOV 379S, LAH 350 )
show description

This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity.   To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.

 

To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.

 

Requirements:

 

Three take home analytic essays, chosen from a list of topics I provide, each weighted 25% of the course grade.  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency.

 

OR as an option: you may write the two short essays (both together weighted 25%) and do a longer 15 page paper on a topic of your choice in consultation with me (weighted 50% of your course grade).   Government honors students who are thinking of doing an honors thesis next year may prefer this option to begin to develop research and writing skills for longer work.  Students who prefer this option will need to designate their preferred third short essay and have discussed with me a topic for their long paper by March 30. 

 

Texts:

The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Essays, speeches and articles by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison

CTI 326 • Regime Persp On Amer Politics

34177 • Spring 2011
Meets W 330pm-630pm BAT 5.102
(also listed as GOV 379S, LAH 350 )
show description

This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity. To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.

To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within it.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.

 

Requirements:

Four take home writing assignments.  Analytic essays, each 1000-1500 words.  (Grades weighted: 10%, 25%, 25%, and 25%)  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency. Regular preparation and class participation: 15%.

OR as an option:   By prior arrangement with me by the due date of the second analytic essay, students may substitute one longer research paper (15 – 20 pages) for two of the last three analytic papers  This paper will be on a topic of the students choosing , if I approve, and the due date will be the same as the last assigned analytic essay.  This project would count 50% of the students course grade.

 

Texts:

The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Selected writings by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin

Solzhenitsyn, “A World Split Apart”

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Publications

Tulis, JK (2011), "Plausible Futures," in Dunn, Charles W. (ed.) The Presidency in the Twenty-First Century, University Press of Kentucky.

Tulis, J.K. and Macedo, S. (2010) The Limits of Constitutional Democracy, Princeton University Press.

Tulis, J.K. and Macedo, S. (2010) "Constitutional Boundaries," in The Limits of Constitutional Democracy, Princeton University Press.

Tulis, JK (2010), "The Possibility of Constitutional Statesmanship," in Tulis, JK and Macedo, S (eds.) The Limits of Constitutional Democracy, Princeton University Press.

Tulis, J. (2009) The Constitutional Presidency. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Tulis, J. (2009) Impeachment in the Constitutional Order. In J. Tulis & J.M. Bessette (Eds.), The Constitutional Presidency. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Tulis, J. & Bessette, J.M. (2009) On the Constitution, Politics, and the Presidency. In J. Tulis & J.M. Bessette (Eds.), The Constitutional Presidency. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Tulis, J (and Bessette, J.M) (2010) The Presidency in the Constitutional Order: Historical Perspectives,  Reissued Classics Series, Transaction Publishers,

Tulis, J and Bessette, J.M. (2010, "Introduction to the Transaction Edition," The Presidency in the Constitutional Order: Historical Perspectives, Transaction Publishers.

 

 

Tulis, JK, (2009) "The Two Constitutional Presidencies," in Nelson, Michael (ed.) The Presidency in the Political System, Congressional Quarterly Press.

Tulis, J. & Mellow, N. (2007) Andrew Johnson and the Politics of Failure. In S. Skowronek & M. Glassman (Eds.), Formative Acts: Reckoning with Agency in American Politics. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Tulis, J. (2007, September) The Rhetorical Presidency in Retrospect. Critical Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Politics and Society, 19(2&3).

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