Jeff Becker Presentation

jeffbeckerProfessor Jeff Becker recently returned from Vancouver, British Columbia where he presented a paper entitled “By Any Means Necessary? Political Power, Reform, and the Rule of Law.”

 Becker’s  essay argues that the democratic practice of peacefully transitioning 

from one elected regime of power to the next has become an unquestioned 

social norm, and an expectation.  As a result, arguments for reforming 

political values overlook the possibility that substantive changes in 

democratic political power necessarily involve measures of coercion and 

violence.  Using Hannah Arendt, and an analysis of the 2008 Presidential 

campaign, this essay argues that the real challenge for political reform is to 

prevent the recourse to force and violence by institutionalizing reasoned 

political deliberation, and instilling a public reliance on, and defense of, the 

rule of law.

Professor Becker also chaired and served as a discussant on a panel called “Topics in American Political Thought.”

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