Compass is an online journal that provides a space for the work of talented undergraduates who have original and well-articulated insights on important ideas and issues relating to American democracy understood in the broad contexts of political philosophy, history, literature, economics, and culture. Compass is a project of the Tocqueville Forum at Northern Illinois University, in partnership with the Center for Political Thought and Leadership (in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership) at Arizona State University.
Published essays will usually be 1500-2000 words in length. The editorial team works closely with authors to prepare their essays for eventual publication.
Please submit your essays to Compass Editor Prof. Andrea Radasanu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Benjamin Gross (Ph.D., University of North Texas) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Jacksonville State University. He specializes in the history of political thought with a focus on modern thought, happiness, and science. In addition, he utilizes quantitative methods to study mass political behavior in American government.
He served as the lead editorial assistant for the American Political Science Review while it was hosted at the University of North Texas. Currently, he is the director of the Tocqueville Lecture Series. He is also associated with the Honors Program at Jacksonville State University.
His recent works focus on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, including a chapter in Making Sense of Diseases and Disasters: Reflections of Political Theory from Antiquity to the Age of COVID (Routledge Press). At the moment, he is working on ideas of happiness, education, and modern science in the thought of Rousseau, Francis Bacon, and John Locke.
Mr. Nathan McCormick (MA, Northern Illinois University) is a Ph.D. candidate at Northern Illinois University where he is writing a dissertation that examines the role that public opinion plays in Alexis de Tocqueville’s political science. His broader research interests include modern political philosophy and American political thought.
At Northern Illinois University, he has taught courses on the history of political philosophy and American government and has received commendation for his teaching by the Department of Political Science.
Nathan McCormick began his work on Compass as a junior editor in 2017 and became co-editor of the journal in 2021.
Professor Radasanu (MA, Ph.D, University of Toronto) is the Director of the University Honors Program at Northern Illinois University, as well as associate professor in the Department of Political Science specializing in the history of political thought.
She has published several articles and chapters on the foundations of liberalism in the eighteenth century, with a focus on Montesquieu’s thought. She also edited a volume called The Pious Sex: Essays on Women and Religion in the History of Political Thought (Lexington 2010), which deals with the controversial relationship between women and piety.
She is currently working on the relationship between political theory and the development of the concept of international law in the thought of Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and others.
Adam Seagrave (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is Associate Director and Associate Professor in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University.
His research focuses on the central ideas of the American political tradition, both in the American context itself as well as its antecedents in the history of political thought. His first book, The Foundations of Natural Morality: On the Compatibility of Natural Rights and the Natural Law, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2014. He has also published Liberty and Equality: The American Conversation (University Press of Kansas, 2015) and The Accessible Federalist (Hackett Publishing Co., 2017).
In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Seagrave serves as managing editor of the journal American Political Thought, as well as founder and co-editor of the journal Starting Points, and associate editor of the journal Compass.