Michael Federici

About Michael Federici

Michael P. Federici is Professor of Political Science at Mercyhurst University and Director of the National Humanities Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. He is the author of The Political Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton.

The Ethical Center of American Constitutionalism

By |2020-09-16T23:39:24-05:00March 24th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Democracy, Federalist Papers, Modernity, Timeless Essays|

The direction that constitutional practice has taken in the past hundred years shows that the Framers’ conception of republican government has passed and the era of populist democracy has arrived. The underlying transformation of the unwritten constitution renders efforts to return to the Framers’ original intent problematic. Much has been written in the past century [...]

An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the Life & Thought of Edmund Burke

By |2019-05-23T13:20:39-05:00January 11th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, History, Ian Crowe, Imagination, Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative|

The challenge for statesmen is to use historical experience as a guide to understanding civilization and then to reconstitute civilization in the specific circumstances of the day. Imagination is essential in the process of reconstitution because it is the human faculty that puts individuals in touch with what is possible… An Imaginative Whig: Reassessing the [...]

A Thinker You Should Know: Eric Voegelin

By |2017-12-27T10:34:20-06:00December 27th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Eric Voegelin, History, Philosophy, Western Tradition|

Eric Voegelin’s philosophical framework attempted to break down the ideological barriers to the search for order and the recovery of transcendent consciousness… Eric Voegelin’s work is not well known outside a relatively small group of academics and their students. Yet within this domain Voegelin’s influence is impressive. His work has inspired a growing secondary literature and [...]

The Legacy of Alexander Hamilton

By |2021-01-10T15:09:15-06:00January 11th, 2016|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Featured, Timeless Essays|

Alexander Hamilton’s political theory grapples with the enduring questions of political order, and it marks the great achievement of American constitutionalism in its understanding that civilization depends on a realistic understanding of the human condition. Few would dispute that Alexander Hamilton influenced the development of American economic and political institutions and public policies in the [...]

The Ethical Center of American Constitutionalism

By |2018-11-24T13:18:32-06:00August 5th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Constitution, Featured, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Modernity, Morality, Thomas Jefferson|

Much has been written in the past century about the state of American constitutionalism and the political culture that serves as its animating force. Some scholars have argued that American constitutionalism has evolved so far from its founding principles that political practice today would be unrecognizable by the eighteenth-century Framers. These critics submit that the [...]

Reassessing Russell Kirk: Three Critical Views

By |2021-04-28T15:36:17-05:00April 27th, 2014|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Featured, Gerald Russello, Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|Tags: , , |

Russell Kirk understood that politics was determined by deep cultural and intellectual influences that included the arts, literature, philosophy, religion, and community life. In short, he believed that it was not by politics alone that American and Western civilization would be restored. A Critical Biography of a Conservative Mind by James E. Person, Jr. Russell [...]

The Politics of Prescription: Russell Kirk’s Fifth Canon of Conservative Thought

By |2014-03-23T09:26:26-05:00March 23rd, 2014|Categories: Edmund Burke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|Tags: , |

Defending tradition is a difficult task in an age that is predisposed to innovation and change. Yet that has been the challenge to conservatives in the modern age. Modernity inverts the conservative prejudice for prescriptive wisdom; it favors change and innovation as the instruments of progress; it places faith in what Edmund Burke called the [...]

The 60th Anniversary of The Conservative Mind- What it Means to be Conservative

By |2014-01-21T11:25:21-06:00November 26th, 2013|Categories: Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|Tags: |

The sixty-year anniversary of The Conservative Mind is an opportunity to reflect on Russell Kirk’s achievement in shaping perceptions of conservatism. The book places conservatism in the larger tradition of Western civilization. It also connects it to particular thinkers who embodied the canons of conservatism Kirk describes in the first chapter. The canons intend to [...]

The Politics of Fear and Hatred

By |2019-10-01T15:47:36-05:00September 19th, 2013|Categories: Books, Democracy, John Lukacs, Populism|Tags: , |

Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred, by John Lukacs. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. 248 pp. There are few scholars whose intellectual achievements are so respected that their intuitions are as highly regarded as their more formal scholarship. John Lukacs is one of these rare individuals. He brings to his work a lifetime of devotion [...]

Imperialism Destroys the Constitutional Republic

By |2020-01-23T13:03:26-06:00October 27th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, Foreign Affairs, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Progressivism|Tags: , |

Because of its sober and realistic assumptions about human nature and the human condition, the American republic of the Constitution of 1789 is not designed to do the big things typical of empires. It is especially not designed to do that which has most characterized empire: conquer. When America does pursue empire, it undermines the [...]

The Legacy of Alexander Hamilton

By |2020-01-07T11:42:01-06:00July 12th, 2012|Categories: Alexander Hamilton, Books|Tags: |

Few would dispute that Alexander Hamilton influenced the development of American economic and political institutions and public policies in the early republic. His place in the development of American political thought, however, is not as clear. Because he was a practical statesman who often disparaged theory and because he did not produce a work of [...]

Conservatism Revisited: The Revolt Against Ideology

By |2017-12-12T16:06:39-06:00March 28th, 2012|Categories: Books, Claes Ryn, Conservatism, Ideology|Tags: , , |

Conservatism Revisited: The Revolt Against Ideology, by Peter Viereck. With a major new study of Peter Viereck and Conservatism by Claes G. Ryn Developments in recent American politics have raised questions about the intellectual roots and philosophical depth of conservatism. The direction of American foreign policy, for example, has inspired debates about the meaning of American [...]

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