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Political Theory Institute


  • Political Theory Institute

Mailing Address
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  • Janus: The god who looked two ways
  • Annual Conferences
  • Political Theory Colloquium

Welcome to PTI

The mission of the Political Theory Institute (PTI) is to encourage the serious study of the great questions of political theory and to bring the insights of political theorists to bear on current issues and events.

Mission Statement

Upcoming 2015-2016 Events

September 18, 2015

Ward Circle Building, 5:30-7:00PM
Jean Yarbrough, Bowdoin College, "Teddy Roosevelt and the Founders' Constitution"

September 24, 2015

Ward Circle Building 6, 5:30-7:00PM
Paul Carrese, US Air Force Academy, "Tocqueville's Philosophy of Moderation"

October 23, 2015

Mary Graydon Center Room 2-3, 5:30-7:00PM
Harvey Flaumenhaft, St. John's College, Annapolis, "Reluctance, Risk, and Reputation: George Washington Decides to Preside"

November 20, 2015

Susan Collins, Notre Dame, "Sparta and the Problem of War in Ancient Political Philosophy"


Previous 2014-2015 Events

September 30 at 5:30 pm, Hughes Formal Lounge

Arthur Melzer, Michigan State University, on "Philosophy and Secrecy: On The Forgotten Practice of Esoteric Writing"

November 6 at 5:30 pm, MGC 203-205

Charles Rubin, Duquesne University, on "Human Ends and the End of Humanity"

November 19 at 5:30 pm, Kay Spiritual Life Center Lounge

Jason Brennan, Georgetown University, on "Why Not Capitalism?"

December 5 at 5:30 pm, MGC 203-205 

Luke Mayville, American University, on "Wealth, Birth, and Beauty in the Writings of John Adams"

February 5 at 5:30 pm, MGC 203-205

James W. Ceaser, University of Virginia, on "Tocqueville on America's Two Foundings: Natural Rights and History"

February 26 at 5:30 pm, MGC 247

Stuart D. Warner, Roosevelt University, on "Muslim Travelers in a Christian Land: Montesquieu's Labyrinthine Persian Letters"

March 25 at 8:00 pm, Butler Boardroom

Larry Bartels, Vanderbilt, v. Tyler Cowen, George Mason, on "The Future of Inequality"

April 10 at 5:30 pm, Hughes Formal Lounge

Nathan Tarcov, University of Chicago, on "Leo Strauss and the Meaning of Modernity"

Director Alan Levine


A specialist in the history of Western political thought, Professor Levine's teaching and research interests include the theoretical principles of the United States, the concept of "America," and ancient, renaissance, modern, and postmodern political theory.

PTI Faculty

Associate Director Thomas Merrill

Read More

An Archive of Theory

  • View videos of our Janus Forum Debates on Gay Marriage (Rauch v. Raimondo) the 2012 Election (Kristol v. Galston), and U.S. Foreign Policy (Preble v. Fly). 
  • Watch each of the three panels of our conference on the "Morality of Capitalism."
  • Review a list of our 2012-2013 lectures and speakers.

Event Videos

The Role of Art in Democracy

Annual Conference 2014

Debate on Economic Inequality