Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2013. Her research examines the intersection of political liberalization and American constitutional development with an eye toward policy implications for democratization across the globe.

Blog Posts

Presidents for life and the problem of democracy

A liberal democracy is not a machine that will run itself: it is run by people.

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War, diplomacy, and global uncertainty in the Trump era

Are Trump’s cabinet full of generals, his openness to torture, and the “peace through strength” message from the White House all signs that he plans to rely on military power.

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Trump inherits a super-powered presidency.

Now that the Electoral College has made Trump’s 2016 win final, this a good time to start thinking about what powers he will have when he comes into office in January.

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Identity politics elected Trump

While many did not predict the outcome of this election, everyone knew one thing: half of the country would be devastated.

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After the last debate, I’m convinced America needs to reform the two-party system

The Democrats and Republicans have largely been the only two choices in presidential and congressional elections since the Civil War. It’s for that to change.

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The Two Ideas that Made America

The American Revolution: That moment when we declared independence from Great Britain and created an unprecedented new society. While we all know the basic details, most people don’t stop to ask…

Programs

America’s Founding

Videos

America’s Founding, Ep. 6: Creating a Country

So we’ve declared independence (AKA committed Treason), have a small military not ready for war, and want to start America… now what?     In July 1776, the Founders really had their…

America’s Founding, Ep.5: Is There A Right To Revolution?

“We as a free people, have the right to stand up to an oppressor.” The colonists didn’t just declare war– they felt the need to justify themselves. Written in 1776, the…

America’s Founding, Ep. 4: The Ideas Behind A Revolution

“Freedom is hard to keep and easy to lose. For that reason, when government starts encroaching, it’s incumbent on a people to fight back.”   How did “No taxation without representation” become…

America’s Founding, Ep. 3: Taxes & Abuse Of Power

The colonists got sick and tired of the increase in taxes and encroachment on their freedoms. It may have been the last straw One major grievance colonists had against England is…

America’s Founding, Ep. 2: How The British Enraged The Colonists

In the decade before the revolution, British soldiers had started to act more like an occupying force than a source of security. Prof. Sarah Burns explains why this happened, and…

America’s Founding, Ep. 1: Why Our Founding Fathers Risked It All

Remembering the incredible risks our founding fathers took for us to live a life of freedom, choice, and fireworks on the 4th of July. When celebrating on Independence day, do you…