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.
Meet the Director—Dr. Allen C. Guelzo
The James Madison Summer Seminar on the Theory and Practice of Statesmanship
June 21–25, 2021 (sessions will be held between 12:30 PM and 5:00 PM ET and hosted via Zoom*)
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.
Additional information and a link to apply can be found here.