CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Lecture by Professor Robert Adcock, (The George Washington University): "Liberalism, Democracy, and the Transatlantic Gaze: The Case of Political Science"

April 7th, 2011
2 p.m.

Location
Jones Hall 204

Political debates during the Obama presidency over healthcare and the deficit have seen repeated invocations of European experiences as negative warnings or positive lessons for America. This talk locates the nascent American academic political science of the mid-to-late 19th century at the intersection of such transatlantic gazes. Doing so highlights change in the field’s political theoretical commitments from a democratized classical liberalism to the competing visions of progressive liberalism and disillusioned classical liberalism. These three alternative liberalisms disagreed about the character and potential of democracy, and their disagreements were articulated in the form of competing accounts of how American democracy led, lagged, or was traveling a different political path from, Britain, France, or Germany.

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