Publius's Guile and the Paranoid Style

Joseph M. Parent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


When foreign dangers become domestic threats, how should governments respond? This article turns to the past to better understand the present. Three rebellions in early American history—Shays's Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, and Fries's Rebellion—illustrate how similar domestic events elicited different governmental responses, depending on changes in the international environment. The ethical implications are mixed, but the policy recommendations suggest that quick executive action and slow judicial action are appropriate responses. A necessary cause of these events, both in government officials and those opposing them, is traced back to imbalances of power. The argument builds on Richard Hofstadter's Paranoid Style in American Politics, and elaborates the strategic logic of political paranoia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-238
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Integrity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Public Administration
  • Law


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