Indiana University: Patriotism and Loyalty

American flag, 1914

Tocqueville Program: “Patriotism and Loyalty”


On October 25, 2019, the Tocqueville Program and Department of Political Science at Indiana University-Bloomington is hosting JMC faculty partner Steven Smith for a lecture on loyalty and patriotism.

Patriotism is a form of loyalty but what is loyalty? Loyalty is the first virtue of social institutions without which much of human association would be impossible. But loyalty is also a deeply problematic quality. We admire loyalty to family, friends, and country – up to a point. But loyalty sits uneasily with other virtues we also admire such as fairness, justice, mercy, and open-mindedness. What if loyalty to family or country forces one to be unfair to others? Professor Smith will consider patriotism as a particular species of loyalty and how it can be distinguished from nationalism and cosmopolitanism. He will also consider the ever-present problem of conflict of loyalties.

Friday, October 25, 2019 • 11:00 AM
Ostrom Workshop, 513 N. Park Ave. • Indiana University, Bloomington

Free and open to the public

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Steven SmithSteven Smith is the Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is the Co-Director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Representative Institutions (YSCRI) that focuses on the theory and practice of representative government in the Anglo-American world. Professor Smith’s research focuses on the history of political philosophy with special attention to the problem of the ancients and moderns, the relation of religion and politics, and theories of representative government. He is the author of several books, including Modernity and Its Discontents: Making and Unmaking the Bourgeois from Machiavelli to Bellow (Yale University Press, 2016), Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism (University of Chicago Press, 2006), and Spinoza’s Book of Life: Freedom and Redemption in the Ethics (Yale University Press, 2003). Most recently, he is working on a new book, In Defense of Patriotism.

Professor Smith is a JMC faculty partner.

Learn more about Steven Smith >>



The Tocqueville Lecture Series is co-organized by the Tocqueville Program directed by Professor Aurelian Craiutu. Lecture series are open to the public, and all are welcome to bring lunch.

Learn more about the Tocqueville Lecture Series >>



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