Yale University: A Book Colloquium on Parliamentarism

Opening of the first parliament

Center for the Study of Representative Institutions: “Parliamentarism: A Book Colloquium”


On February 21, 2020, the Center for the Study of Representative Institutions at Yale University, a JMC partner program, will be holding a book colloquium revolving around two books on parliamentarism published in the last year:  Parliament the Mirror of the Nation: Representation, Deliberation, and Democracy in Victorian Britain by Gregory Conti (Princeton) and Parliamentarism from Burke to Weber by William Selinger (UCL). In their respective monographs, Professor Conti and Professor Selinger re-establish parliamentarism—the ideal of a free state governed by representative assembly—as a central concept in 19th century European politics and chart its significance for contemporary debates about diversity, liberalism, and representation in modern democratic societies. Giulia Oskian, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale, and Noah Rosenblum, Program Affiliate Scholar at the NYU School of Law and Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University, will offer comments before opening the discussion for an audience Q&A.

Friday, February 21, 2020 • 3:00 PM
Whitney Humanities Center, Room 208 • Yale University

Free and open to the public

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Gregory Conti is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University. His research focuses on the history of modern political thought, especially in Britain and France, and on the lessons that can be drawn from that history for contemporary debates in political philosophy. Recently, his primary interests have concerned the relationship between ideas of democracy, liberalism, and representative government. He has also addressed, among other subjects: toleration and freedom of speech; deliberative democracy and theories of deliberation more broadly; the development of electoral systems and political parties; Enlightenment political philosophy; the history of utilitarianism; the thought of John Stuart Mill and its reception; and modern French political theory. His book Parliament the Mirror of the Nation: Representation, Deliberation, and Democracy in Victorian Britain was released by Cambridge University Press in the Spring 2019. In addition, he has published in a number of journals in political theory and the history of political thought.

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William Selinger is a Lecturer in European History, 1700-1850 at University College London. He is a historian of political thought whose research has focused on the emergence of representative democracy in the modern world and on the crises to which this political form has repeatedly been subject. His first book, Parliamentarism: From Burke to Weber, winner of the 2017 Montreal Annual Political Theory Manuscript Award, was published by Cambridge University Press in the Ideas in Context series. His next book, tentatively titled Montesquieu: The Birth of Social Theory is under contract with Princeton University Press. It will be the first comprehensive study of Montesquieu’s life and thought in half a century.

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The Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions (YCRI) at Yale University is an interdisciplinary pilot program, established for the purpose of developing the study of the theory and practice of representative government in the Anglo-American tradition. It is hosted by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University.

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