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American University: The Crush of Democracy – Tocqueville and the Egalitarian Mind
February 24, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
On February 24, 2022, the Political Theory Institute at American University hosted JMC fellow Richard Avramenko for a discussion of Tocqueville and equality:
Today one hears only about increasing inequality, and it is true in terms of income distribution, but Alexis de Tocqueville argues that equality itself is the source of many of the problems democracies decry most, such as feelings of citizen apathy and withdrawal, tendencies to conformity, and the rise of an overbearing big government that satisfies particular wants even as it further debilitates citizen self-reliance. Explore Tocqueville’s analysis of the crushing power of equality with noted scholar Richard Avramenko in conversation with PTI Director Alan Levine.
Thursday, February 24, 2022 • 5:30 PM EST
A virtual event • Baylor University
Free and open to the public
Richard Avramenko is a Professor of Political Theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Political Science Reviewer. He is the author of Courage: The Politics of Life and Limb (2011), the co-editor of Friendship and Politics: Essays in Political Thought (2008), Dostoevsky’s Political Philosophy (2013), and Aristocratic Souls in Democratic Times (2018). He has recently published articles in the Review of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Polis, the Political Science Reviewer, and Political Theory.
Professor Avramenko is a JMC fellow.
The Political Theory Institute at American University’s School of Public Affairs encourages the serious study of the great questions of political theory and brings insights of political theorists to bear on current issues and events. American University has a long tradition of vigorous political debate. Behind every serious political controversy, however, lies a disagreement about political principles, justice, what constitutes “the good life,” or fundamental assumptions about human nature. A thoughtful and morally serious engagement with the controversies of the day, therefore, requires serious reflection on the underlying questions of political theory.
Open to all ideas and perspectives, the Political Theory Institute promotes vigorous and thoughtful discussion and critical engagement by American University faculty, the national and international political theory community, and policy makers with the problems confronting liberal democracies. It supports scholarship that informs and enriches the larger conversation about political ideas. Above all, the Political Theory Institute fosters a spirit of enlightened citizenship—at once thoughtful and engaged—that takes intellectual disagreements seriously without being ideological.
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