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Political Theory Institute

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
–Socrates

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

Fall 2019 Lecture Series

December 3, 5:30-7PM, Kerwin 301
Henry Higuera, professor emeritus, St. John’s College, Annapolis on “Philosophy, Poetry, and Politics in Don Quixote.”

November 13, McDowell Formal Lounge, 5:30-7PM
Danielle Allen on the Declaration of Independence

October 22, Butler Board Room, 5:30-7:15PM
Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, and Shikha Dalmia, Reason Foundation, discussing immigration.

October 1, Kerwin 301, 5:30-7PM
Jacob Howland, McFarlin Professor of Philosophy, University of Tulsa, on “Ideological Tyranny and Glaucon’s Fate: Plato’s Republic in Context.”

September 18, Kerwin Hall Room 301, 5:30-7PM
Greg Weiner, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Assumption College, will give our Constitution Day Lecture on “‘The God of this Lower World’: Burke, Lincoln and Constitutional Prudence."

Lincoln Scholar Lecture with Danielle Allen

Does the Declaration of Independence still speak to us today? The document famously expresses American aspirations to liberty and equality for all, yet it was written at a time marked by slavery and racial injustice. In the inaugural Lincoln Scholars lecture, based on her book Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, Dr. Danielle Allen discusses how old texts can reveal unexpected perspectives and transformative possibilities.

Immigration, What Should U.S. Policy Be?

Immigration is a divisive issue in U.S. politics. Americans are divided over who and how many immigrants to admit as well as how we should think about illegal immigration. Join us, as Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation and Ramesh Ponnuru of The National Review help us think through these issues.

Funding for this project was provided by the Institute for Humane Studies.

The Purpose of a Liberal Education

Robert George and Cornel West led a discussion on the purpose of a liberal education at American University.

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2018 Students

The Political Theory Institute prepares students for a diverse array of graduate programs and career paths.

Jonathan Rauch's Top Ten Reasons Not to Silence Speech

Jonathan Rauch's Top Ten Reasons Not to Silence Speech

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Civil War Cannon

Research ·

Professors Link Relevance of Civil War to Political Debate Today

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Upcoming Lecture Series

Stay tuned for our Spring 2020 Lecture Series.

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