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Political Theory Institute

Founded by Alan Levine, this lecture series has brought noted speakers to campus for over 15 years.
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Political Theory Institute 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

Contact Us

Phone: (202) 885-2940 Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu Undergraduate programs: aupublicaffairs@american.edu

Kerwin Hall

Public Affairs, School of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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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



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.
Political Theory Institute lecture

Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Political Theory Institute is now accepting submissions for its 2017 Undergraduate Essay Contest.

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Fall 2017 Lectures

  • Friday, December 1
    Kerwin, Room 301, 5:30-7:00 PM
    Prof. Ryan Hanley, "Adam Smith: From Love to Sympathy"

  • Friday, November 3
    Hughes Formal Lounge, 5:30-7:00 PM
    Prof. Robert Bartlett, "On Getting Lucky: Political Philosophy and the Problem of Chance"

  • Tuesday, October 24
    Kerwin, Room 301, 5:30-7:00 PM
    Prof. Christopher Lynch, "Machiavelli's Philosophical Denigration of Philosophy"

Jacob T. Levy, Of Sanctuaries and Safe Spaces

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Event Videos

  • The Role of Art in Democracy

  • Annual Conference 2014

  • Debate on Economic Inequality