Participants

Ewa Atanassow teaches at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin, Germany, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University. Her research focuses on the problem of nationhood in the liberal tradition in political thought, with particular emphasis on the nineteenth century. She is presently at work on a book-length manuscript on the question of the nation in Tocqueville’s oeuvre.

Paul Berman writes about politics and literature for The New Republic, Dissent, The New York Times Book Review, and other journals. He is the author of Terror and Liberalism, and a two-volume history of the generation of 1968 in various parts of the world, A Tale of Two Utopias and Power and the Idealists. His books have been published in many languages. His most recent book is an edited anthology, Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems, published by the American Poets Project of the Library of America. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

Richard Boyd is Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University. His research interests include French liberal thought, the intellectual history of liberalism, civil society and pluralism, economic and sociological theory, and immigration and citizenship policies in the United States. His books Uncivil Society: The Perils of Pluralism and the Making of Modern Liberalism (2004), and Membership and Belonging: On the Boundaries of Liberal Political Theory (forthcoming) both include chapters on Tocqueville.

Nestor Capdevila is Professor of Political Philosophy at the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. He is the author of Las Casas, une politique de l’humanité : l’homme et l’empire de la foi (1998); Le concept d’idéologie (2004); Tocqueville et les frontières de la démocratie (2007); and a French translation of B. de Las Casas, La Controverse entre Las Casas et Sepúlveda, prefaced by “Impérialisme, empire et destruction” (2007).

Paul Cheney is Assistant Professor of European history at the University of Chicago, specializing in Old Regime France. His forthcoming book, Revolutionary Commerce: Globalization and the French Monarchy (2009), takes Montesquieu as a central point of reference for examining the political impact in France of Europe’s economic expansion into the Atlantic world. He has taught in New York, Berlin and Belfast.

Robert T. Gannett Jr. is an independent scholar who has worked as a community organizer in Chicago for the past thirty-six years.  A 1998 graduate of the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, he is the author of Tocqueville Unveiled: The Historian and His Sources for “The Old Regime and the Revolution” (2003).  He currently serves as Executive Director of Chicago’s Institute for Community Empowerment.

Ran Halévi is Director of Research at the CNRS and Professor at the Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron (EHESS). He also holds an editorial position at Éditions Gallimard. His work focuses on the political history of France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the French Revolution. He is the editor of Le savoir du prince du moyen age aux lumieres; co-author, with François Furet, of La Constitution de 1791; and co-editor, with François Furet, of Orateurs de la Revolution Française. His most recent book is L’Expérience du passé: François Furet dans l’atelier de l’histoire.

Ralph Lerner is the Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus in the College and professor emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His scholarly interests include Jewish and Islamic medieval political philosophy, early modern European political thought, and American constitutionalism. Among his books, two in particular – The Thinking Revolutionary: Principle and Practice in the New Republic, and Revolutions Revisited: Two Faces of the Politics of Enlightenment – engage with Tocqueville’s political and historical analysis.

Robert Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor of Social Thought, Philosophy, and in the College at the University of Chicago. He has published extensively on the modern German philosophical tradition, the problem of modernity, theories of self-consciousness, the nature of conceptual change, and the problem of freedom. His interdisciplinary interests involve the relation between philosophy and literature, modern art, and contemporary film. He has recently finished a book about political psychology and the American identity in the classic Hollywood Westerns.

Jennifer Pitts is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Her interests include the history of modern political and social thought, with a focus on British and French thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the author of A Turn to Empire (2005), and editor and translator of Alexis de Tocqueville: Writings on Empire and Slavery (2001). She is now writing a book on European debates about international law, and about legal relations with non-European societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She received her PhD from Harvard and taught previously at Yale and Princeton.

Nathan Tarcov is Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Political Science, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is author of Locke’s Education for Liberty and articles on Machiavelli, Locke, Strauss, and American political thought and foreign policy; translator, with Harvey C. Mansfield, of Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy; and editor, with Clifford Orwin, of The Legacy of Rousseau.