Academic Initiatives

The James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University is dedicated to exploring fundamental and enduring questions of political thought and constitutional law. The James Madison Program promotes a greater appreciation of the Western tradition of legal and political thought. It also supports the application of fundamental principles to modern social problems, particularly as they are manifested in the domain of public law. By supporting the study of foundational issues, the James Madison Program seeks to fulfill its mandate of offering civic education of the highest possible quality.

Program in American Ideas and Institutions (AIIP Track)

The Department of Politics, in collaboration with the James Madison Program, offers the Program in American Ideas and Institutions (AIIP), a departmental track for students who wish to further their understandings of the three branches of the federal government and the values, ideas, and theories that are animated by their workings. 

Sponsored Courses

The James Madison Program is pleased to participate in and contribute to the academic life at Princeton University through its support of courses related to its mission.  The Program provides funding support for courses that are of interest both to students in the Department of Politics and to students in other departments such as Religion, Philosophy, History , and the Woodrow Wilson School.  Offered regularly are courses on American statesmanship funded by the William L. Garwood family. The Program also cosponsors Freshman Seminars taught by it faculty directors and Visiting Fellows.

Summer Programs

The James Madison Seminar on the Principles of American Politics is a one-week residential seminar for upper-level high-school students and rising college freshmen. Students explore the fundamental questions of equality and liberty in American political life.

Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship

The mission of the James Madison Program’s Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship is to discern, understand and critique the substance and style of statesmanship in modern democratic societies; to encourage the study of statesmanship in the Anglo-American political tradition, as it was inherited from the Greek and Roman classical past, through the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War and the World Wars, to the present; and to present the findings of leading scholars of this statesmanship in public forums which will assist the general public in understanding and supporting examples of statesmanlike behavior in modern political environments.

Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression

The mission of the Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression at the James Madison Program is to promote, explain, and defend free speech and academic freedom. Through events, seminars, and other programming, the James Madison Free Speech Initiative creates opportunities for the Princeton community—faculty, students, staff, and the public—to learn how and why freedom of thought and inquiry is essential to the health of universities and free societies. 

EdX Online

Through a partnership with edX, Princeton Online offers free courses taught by James Madison Program Director and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Robert P. George.