MARK BUTTON portrait
  • Associate Instructor, Political Science Department


  • Mark Button (date unknown). Suicide and Social Justice: New Perspectives on the Politics of Suicide and Suicide Prevention. Routledge Press. Accepted, .
  • Mark Button (date unknown). Political Vices (Oxford University Press, 2016) Historically speaking, our vices, like our virtues, have come in two basic forms: intellectual and moral. This book analyzes a set of specifically political vices that have not been given sufficient attention within political theory, but that nonetheless pose enduring challenges to the sustainability of free and equitable political relationships. Political vices like hubris, willful blindness, and recalcitrance are persistent dispositions .... Accepted, .
  • Button, Mark E. (date unknown). Political Vices. Oxford Univ Pr. Accepted, .
  • Mark Button (date unknown). Suicidal Regimes: Public Policy and the Creation of Vulnerability to Suicide. Routledge Press. Accepted, .
  • Mark Button (date unknown). Bounded Rationality without Bounded Democracy: Nudges, Democratic Citizenship, and Pathways for Building Civic Capacity. Perspectives on Politics. Vol. 16, 1034-52. Accepted, .
  • Button, M. E. (date unknown). Reading Emerson in Neoliberal Times: Contesting the Abandonment of Autonomy. SAGE Publications. Accepted, .
  • Mark Button (date unknown). "Suicide and Social Justice: Toward a Political Account of Suicide," Political Research Quarterly Abstract: While prominent cases of suicide frequently generate collective feelings of loss and grief, a collective sense of political responsibility for the enduring conditions of suicidality remains missing today. The aim of this essay is to develop the broad outlines of a political approach to suicide as a question of social justice. In contrast to the dominant psychological and... Accepted, .
  • Mark Button (date unknown). "Impartiality in Political Judgment: Deliberative not Philosophical," Political Studies (April 2016) Is impartiality possible or desirable within the conduct of political judgment? Most democratic theorists have answered this question with a resounding “no.” This essay provides an affirmative answer to this question based upon the empirical study of deliberative democracy within “mini-publics.” Through a reconstruction of the phenomenology of delibera... Accepted, .
  • Mark Button (date unknown). Reading Emerson in Neo-Liberal Times: Contesting the Abandonment of Autonomy 19th Century American political thinkers like Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman advocated for and sought to exemplify a life of self-direction and critical self-reflection, or personal autonomy, as a means of contesting entrenched routines of democratic-capitalist normalization and as way of resisting a host of instituti... Accepted, .

Research Statement

My overall research agenda is animated by an interest in the ethical and political conditions of modern democratic citizenship. The question that I am asking in nearly all of my work is: What are the necessary preconditions for cultivating and sustaining a vibrant democratic political society/culture? What moral, political, and institutional features must be present in order to balance the normative commitment to democracy with the fact of incommensurable value pluralism, and to balance the claims of autonomy and individual liberty with the claims of civic obligation and virtue? In general, how should late-modern political societies navigate the complex matrix of multidimensional pluralism, liberalism, and democracy?

Research Keywords

  • Fossil Fuel Production and Refining


  • Democracy in America: Past, Present, and Future, American History, Culture and Society Lecture Series, Salt Lake City Public Library, Utah Humanities Council, and KRCL radio. , Presented, 2018.
  • “Suicidal Regimes: Public Policy and the Creation of Vulnerability to Suicide,” Critical Suicidology Conference, Canterbury, June 29-July 1, 2017. , Presented, 2017.
  • Kindness in Politics? Challenges and Possibilities, Guest Lecture, Honors College Seminar, February 14, 2018. , Presented, 2018.
  • Norms, Nudges, and Civic Virtue: The Institutional Context of Democratic Citizenship, Political Research Colloquium Series. , Presented, 2016.
  • Virtue, Norms, and the Institutional Context of Liberal Citizenship, Manchester Center for Political Theory, Workshop. , Presented, 2016.
  • Rubber Meets the Road: Academics, Activists, and Policymakers having an Impact, The Great Polarization Conference, Department of Economics and Scholars Strategy Network, University of Utah, September 29, 2018. Panel, Presented, 2018.
  • Civility in Politics: Contrasting Visions and Tolerance – Finding Common Ground from Various Perspectives, Hinckley Institute Politics. Panel, Presented, 2018.
  • “The S Word,” Documentary Film and Discussion with Director, Lisa Klein, University of Utah, September 21, 2017. Panel, Presented, 2017.
  • Speakers’ Corner Salt Lake City, Think Tank Art Series, “On Democracy.” March 11, 2017, Sorensen Unity Center, SLC. Panel, Presented, 2017.
  • Invited Panelist, “Liberty and 1776,” Liberty Fund Conference. Panel, Presented, 2016.
  • “Beyond the New Behaviorism: The Democratic Costs of ‘Nudges’ and the Legitimacy of Cultivating Civic Virtues,” Association for Political Theory, October 13-15, 2017, University of Michigan. , Presented, 2017.
  • “New Behaviorism, the Neuroliberal State, and the Future of Democratic Citizenship,” Association of Social and Political Philosophy Annual Meeting, Sheffield University, June 27-29, 2017. , Presented, 2017.

Research Groups

  • Daniel Patterson, . Political Science. 2015 - present.