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.

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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Exploring the 2016 US Elections

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The US’s November elections are especially critical. The world’s power structures are undergoing dramatic changes, and so the internal political process of this world leader has even greater global consequences.

Looking beyond just the US’s foreign policy is key to understanding its actions. Over the next few months, the teaching programs at several Costa Rican institutions will focus on the following:

  • An analysis of succession of power within institutional structures.
  • The role of political parties (polarization).
  • The influence of changing demographics.
  • The geographic expression of social change.
  • The effect of the democratic process in the formulation and implementation of the US’s foreign policy towards Latin American in particular.

The University of Costa Rica, through its School of Political Science, and the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos (CIEP), has joined forces with the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones y su Instituto de Formación y Estudios en Democracia (IFED), as well as with the University of Tulane, through its Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR), for a series of outreach activities during the second half of 2016. These activities will utilize the resources at these educational and research institutions to promote a better understanding of the electoral process in the US.

The results of this upcoming election will have repercussions for the world, particularly in Latin American and Costa Rica. A broader, deeper understanding of the current situation will be useful for both universities and public policy decision-makers.

Participating institutions are confident that a proper analysis of this political process will lead to improved understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Schedule of Activities


  • Thursday, 8/18: Talk on the United States’ electoral system by Diego Brenes, IFED.

  • Thursday, 9/1: Discussion on demographics and electoral geography in the US with Constantino Urcuyo and Jesús Guzmán.
  • Thursday, 9/22: Talk on Politics and Elections: Celeste Lay, Phd. Tulane University.

  • Thursday, 10/13: Discussion on elections and external politics: Carlos Murillo, Phd. in government and public policy.
  • Thursday, 10/27: Talk by Jenny Lincoln Fullbright from the US Embassy.

  • Monday, 11/10: Round table. Analysis of election results with Constantino Urcuyo, Felipe Alpízar, Nuria Marín, and Fernando Zeledón as moderator.