Robert Martin, the Sidney Wertimer Professor for Excellence in Advising and Mentoring, was recently invited to present a paper at the Pioneer Valley Political Theory Workshop, sponsored by the Five College Consortium, and co-hosted by Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges.
He presented “‘In a Peaceable and Orderly Manner’: Town Meetings and Popular Assemblies at the American Founding,” an English language version of “‘D'une manière pacifique et ordonnée’: Town meeting et assemblées populaires à l'époque de la fondation des États-Unis,” which appeared in Participations in 2016.
Martin said “the New England town meeting has often been seen as the archetypical deliberative citizen forum” and that “political theorists have begun to appreciate the way in which any particular public forum might be better understood as part of the larger deliberative system.”
According to Martin, “a return to the American founding era reveals that while town meetings are often praised and have many democratic virtues, they also embody a limitation on popular action generally and especially on democratic dissent.”
Martin also participated in the Western Political Science Annual Conference in San Diego. He chaired and was a discussant for a panel on “American Political Thought in the Long 20th Century.”