The James Madison Seminar on the Principles of American Politics
This seminar for upper-level high-school students and rising college freshmen will be taught as a one-week online seminar, for two consecutive weeks with separate groups of students. Participants will study the fundamental questions of equality and liberty in American political life. What have Americans meant by these principles from the founding to the present? What is their relationship with one another, with political power, with law, and with the private sphere of civil society? Are they in tension or in harmony? Readings will be in primary sources including The Federalist and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, as well as other basic texts from American history.
Applicants should indicate their preference for either the week of June 21–25 or June 28–July 2. We appreciate applicants’ willingness to be available for the seminar in either week. Therefore please indicate your first and second choice of weeks if possible. If you are available only for one of the weeks, please indicate that instead.Faculty: S. Adam Seagrave, Associate Professor, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, Arizona State University Jeffrey J. Poelvoorde, Associate Professor of Politics, Converse College Bradford P. Wilson, Executive Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University Matthew J. Franck, Associate Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University Program Fee: $100 (includes course materials)
Applications for our 2021 Summer Seminar on the "Principles of American Politics" are now closed.
The James Madison Seminar on the Theory and Practice of Statesmanship
This one-week online seminar for college undergraduates will ask a fundamental question lying at the heart of politics and public life: What is statesmanship? From that, we will explore statesmanship’s defining qualities, why we seem to have so little of it in modern times, and whether we can aspire to statesmanship. We will examine four fundamental aspects of statesmanship:
- The identifying characteristics (as opposed to ordinary political life, demagoguery, or tyranny)
- What the classical political writers had to say about statesmanship (Aristotle, Cicero)
- Lived examples: 18th-century (George Washington), 19th-century (Abraham Lincoln), and 20th-century (Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Konrad Adenauer)
- Statesmanship in the Democratic Context – judicial statesmanship, administrative statesmanship, intellectual statesmanship
Readings will be in primary sources including Aristotle, Cicero, Plutarch, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, Weber, and Havel.
Allen C. Guelzo, Senior Research Scholar and Director of the James Madison Program's Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship, Princeton University
Theresa MacArt, Arizona State University School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership
Nathan Pinkoski, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
Program Fee: $100 (includes course materials)
Applications for our 2021 Summer Seminar on the "Theory and Practice of Statemanship" are now closed.
The James Madison Seminar on the Moral Foundations of Law
This one-week online seminar, sponsored for the last dozen years by the Witherspoon Institute, is now sponsored by the James Madison Program. Under the direction of Professor Gerard V. Bradley of Notre Dame Law School, the seminar covers some of the most contested areas of inquiry in legal philosophy today, including legal positivism, practical reason, human good and positive law, morals legislation, pluralism, crime and punishment, property, and rights and duties. The seminar is designed as an intensive weeklong program investigating the relationship between sound norms of critical morality and civil law. Seminar discussions will examine key contemporary legal debates, such as religious freedom and conscience, beginning and end of life issues, and marriage legislation. A federal appellate judge will join the seminar for one day as a guest lecturer. Past guest lecturers include Judge Thomas Hardiman, Judge Edith Jones, Judge William Pryor, and more.
Current law students, graduate students who are studying jurisprudence in related fields (e.g., political science, philosophy), and recent graduates still early in their careers are encouraged to apply.Faculty: Gerard V. Bradley, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School John M. Finnis, Professor Emeritus of Law & Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford; Biolchini Family Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Notre Dame Law School Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program, Princeton University Adam MacLeod, Professor of Law, Jones School of Law, Faulkner University Matthew J. Franck, Associate Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University Grégoire Webber, Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law, Queen's University
Program Fee: $100 (includes course materials)
Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
*Due to the uncertainty of travel regulations and visitor restrictions this summer, we will be hosting this seminar virtually, via Zoom. (updated April 7, 2021)