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Filippo Sabbetti
Civilization and Self-Government
The Political Thought of Carlo Cattaneo

"To all who are devoted to developing a firm intellectual foundation for the design of self-governing societies, I strongly recommend Filippo Sabetti's new book on the political thought of Carlo Cattaneo. Most of us want to support civilizations that are foundational for democracy, but Cattaneo recognized the deep challenges. Sabetti helps the modern reader take hold of the past so as to improve the future."—Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University, Bloomington and 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize Winner "Filippo Sabetti has produced a beautifully-written and richly-researched study of one of the major, if largely unknown, political thinkers of nineteenth-century Italy. In recovering the thought of Carlo Cattaneo, he not only takes us to the heart of debates about the causes of freedom and self-government but also deepens and revises our understanding of the broader traditions of liberalism and republicanism. Anyone interested in the intellectual history of Europe, and not only Italy, should read this book." —Jeremy Jennings, Queen Mary, University of London

"Carlo Cattaneo has been a neglected thinker in the English speaking world. And Cattaneo's project, the creation of a public science that can serve as a public philosophy for modern civilization, has been a neglected project (though less so recently). This book makes a powerful case that this has been a mistake. It corrects our view of our intellectual past, and makes its own important contribution to that public science of 'civilization and self-government,' whose great 19th century masters were Cattaneo, Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill." —Karol Soltan, University of Maryland

"For all its undeniable richness, modern Italian political thought has remained largely unknown in the English-speaking world to date. Gaetano Filangeri, Sismonde de Sismondi, Carlo Cattaneo, and Pellegrino Rossi produced an impressive number of original works that deserve to be retrieved from oblivion, and yet their works are either not translated into English or continue to be underestimated in the new world. Inspired by the approach of the Bloomington school of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom, Filippo Sabetti's much-awaited work on Cattaneo is a step in the right direction. It gives us the opportunity to discover a marvelously rich thinker whose ideas on liberty, civilization, self-government, and federalism can bring an important contribution to our scholarly and political debates today. In the pages of Sabetti's fascinating book, Cattaneo comes to life as our contemporary as well as the contemporary of the major thinkers of his time from Tocqueville and Guizot to Mill and Cousin. This is a highly original and broad-ranging book that will be of interest to political scientists, historians, sociologists, and philosophers." —Aurelian Craiutu, Indiana University, Bloomington


Civilization and Self-Government is the first systematic attempt to explicitly articulate the key elements of Carlo Cattaneo's pioneering attempt to advance freedom and self-government in nineteenth-century Europe. His public science combined two elements that constitute the two parts of this book: the study of incivilimento, and the art and science of self-governance. Cattaneo argued that people have to learn the arts of incivilimento before they can practice self-governance. Though a distinguishing feature of Italian political thought has been to stress the multiform nature of political rule, it was Cattaneo who first showed that it was possible, through a federal commercial republic, to harmonize and foster liberty, equality, and heterogeneity. Characteristically, he envisioned a federal commercial republic for Europe as well. Cattaneo's ideas recast, enrich, and broaden knowledge of the history of European thought beyond that generally available in English and French. This book reveals a strong affinity between Cattaneo's and Tocqueville's spirit and vision.


Filippo Sabetti is professor of political science at McGill University.

Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson have won the 2009 Nobel prize in Economic Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Monday, October 12, 2009. Indiana University's Ostrom and Williamson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, were awarded the prize for their work in the field of "economic governance," the academy said. Ostrom "has demonstrated how common property can be successfully managed" by associations of users, while Williamson developed a theory regarding how business firms can serve as structure for conflict resolution, the academy said. Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize, which was established in 1968 by the Swedish central bank.


January 27, 2012.

Prof. Jennifer Pitts (Political Science, University of Chicago), 218 Woodburn Hall, 12-1.30 pm

February 3, 2012.

Prof. Allan Wood (Philosophy, Indiana University), 218 Woodburn Hall, 3-4.30 pm

February 24 2012.

Ryan Hanley (Political Science, Marquette University), 218 Woodburn Hall, 12-1.30 pm

November 4, 2012

Professor Ronald Beiner (Political Science, University of Toronto)

Civil Religion: A Window into Perennial Themes of Political Philosophy
Civil religion is a notable theme within our tradition of political thought because many of the leading thinkers of modernity – Machiavelli, Hobbes, Harrington, Spinoza, Locke, Bayle, Montesquieu, Rousseau – came to the view that religion poses a decisive political problem, and were determined to seek out a variety of strategies for domesticating religion politically, civil religion (the political appropriation of religion in the service of the ends of politics, not those of religion) being one of those strategies. The full story is told in my book on Civil Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2011). In this talk, I sketch some major themes of the book. But I also try to pose some broader questions: What form of intellectual activity is enacted in reading and interpreting such texts? Is the purpose necessarily to solve specific practical predicaments in a particular time and place, or are the thinkers of the theory canon oriented towards more universal concerns? Arguably, civil religion as formulated by, for instance, Hobbes and Harrington was fairly quickly trumped by competing strategies of domesticating religion within the liberal tradition. Why, then, do the texts in which the civil-religion idea was articulated continue, centuries later, to exercise the degree of fascination that they do?

Ronald Beiner is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His books include Political Judgment (1983); What's the Matter with Liberalism? (1992); Philosophy in a Time of Lost Spirit (1997); and Liberalism, Nationalism, Citizenship (2003). His latest book, Civil Religion (2011), explores how thinkers from Machiavelli to Rawls have addressed the problem of politics and religion. He is also editor of Hannah Arendt's Lectures on Kant's Political Philo

Speakers for Fall 2012.

Prof. Patrick Deneen (Government, Georgetown University) will present a lecture on liberal education today.

Prof. Jonathan Allen (Political Science, University of Northern Michigan), will present a lecture on Tocqueville's visit to upper Michigan.

September 26, 2011

Dr. David Hart, Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund. Sept. 26th (MONDAY),
“Opposing Economic Fallacies, Legal Plunder, and the State:
Frédéric Bastiat's Rhetoric of Liberty in the Economic Sophisms (1846-1850)."
Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Tocqueville Room, 12-1.30 pm.
This event is organized by the Tocqueville program and co-sponsored by the Workshop.


Frédéric Bastiat was best known in his lifetime for his opposition to the French government’s policies of trade protection and subsidies in the 1840s and for his opposition to socialism as a Deputy in the Constituent Assembly and then the National Assembly during the 1848 Revolution and Second Republic between 1848 and 1850. His works remained in print throughout the 19th century and were published by that indefatigable classical liberal publishing firm of Guillaumin. He took as his model for achieving economic change the work of Richard Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League in Britain. Hence, Bastiat formed the Bordeaux Free Trade Association and then a national association based in Paris along with their affiliated newspapers and magazines, but his efforts were unsuccessful when the Chamber defeated a free trade motion in 1847.

Brief Bio

David Hart was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. He did his undergraduate work at Macquarie University, Sydney, writing a thesis on the radical anti-statist thought of the Belgian/French political economist Gustave de Molinari. After spending a year in Germany studying German Imperialism and the origins of the First World War at the University of Mainz, he completed an M.A. in history at Stanford University. While at Stanford he worked on student programs for the Institute for Humane Studies (when it was located at Menlo Park, California) where he was founding editor of Humane Studies Review. He received a Ph.D. in history from King’s College, Cambridge on the work of two leading French classical liberals of the early 19th century, Charles Come and Charles Dunoyer who pioneered a liberal class theory of history. He then taught for 15 years in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide in South Australia where he was awarded the University teaching prize. Since 2001 he has been the Director of the Online Library of Liberty Project at Liberty Fund in Indianapolis . The OLL has won several awards including a "Best of the Humanities on the Web" Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2006. His research interests include the history of classical liberal thought, war and culture, and film and history.

October 7, 2011

Steve Wrinn, Director, University Press of Kentucky, “How to Survive Grad School and Survive Series” organized by the Department of Political Science and co-sponsored by the Tocqueville Program, October 7, 11-2, Woodburn Hall 200.

Steve Wrinn, a well-established name in commercial and university press publishing, will discuss the current state of academic and trade publishing with the goal of improving attendees' chances of finding a suitable publisher. Beginning with an overview of the economic pressures currently influencing the publishing industry, particularly the state of book retailing, Wrinn will also discuss how editors evaluate projects under consideration. The workshop will emphasize strategies for identifying publishers who will be interested in your work, finding publishers appropriate to your professional needs, and creating proposals that attract the attention of overwhelmed editors. Wrinn will discuss the need for agents, the importance of contract negotiations, and what to expect during the publication process. Ample time will be reserved for questions and answers.

November 4, 2011

Prof. Maeve Cooke (University College Dublin), November 4th, 12-2pm,
"Deliberative Democracy in the Twenty-First Century."
Woodburn Hall, 218. Sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Tocqueville program.

Prof. Maeve Cooke, Head of the UCD School of Philosophy, University College Dublin, has received a Fulbright Award to conduct research into Truth and Social Theory at the University of California, Berkeley and Yale University. She is the author of many books and articles, including Language and Reason: A Study of Habermas's Pragmatics, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1994 and Re-Presenting the Good Society, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.

January 24, 2011

12-1.30 pm, 513 N. Park, Workshop in Political Theory,
Alan Kahan,
Florida International University
Translator of Tocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution, 2 vols. (University of Chicago Press, 1998, 2001)
Title: “Tocqueville and the Islam”

February 11, 2011

12-1.30 pm, 218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science
Annelien de Dijn
Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Notre Dame & Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam
Author of French Political Thought from Montesquieu to Tocqueville: Liberty in a Levelled Society (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Title: On Political Liberty: Montesquieu’s Missing Manuscript

February 25, 2011

12-1.30 pm, 218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science
Zouhair Ghazzal
History, Loyola University of Chicago
Professor Ghazzal will give the third memorial Harik lecture, co-sponsored by the Tocqueville program and organized by Abdulkadr Sinno, discussing the main theses of some of the books published by our former colleague, the late Iliya Harik, in Lebanon.

March 4, 2011.

12-1.30 pm, 218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science,
K. Steven Vincent,
Professor, Department of History, North Carolina State University
Title: “Constant and Liberal Pluralism”

March 25, 2011.

10-3 pm, 200 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science,
Steve Wrinn
Director, University Press of Kentucky, former editor at Rowman & Littlefield

Steve Wrinn will lead a one-day workshop for graduate students in which he will discuss various strategies for preparing dissertations for publication, and the future of book publishing.

April 8, 2011 (co-sponsored with the Department of Political Science)

12-1.30 pm. 218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science
Dana R. Villa
Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame
Title: Tocqueville and Hegel

Friday October 15, 2010,
218 Woodburn Hall

The event is jointly sponsored by Indiana University’s Institute for Advanced Studies, Department of French and Italian, The Renaissance Studies Program, Department of Political Science, the Tocqueville Program, and the Horizon of Knowledge Lecture Series at Indiana University, Bloomington. The Tocqueville program at IU was created with the generous funding of the Jack Miller Center and the Veritas Fund.

9.20-9.30: John Bodnar (Institute for Advanced Studies, IUB): Opening Remarks
9.30-10.00: Aurelian Craiutu (Indiana University) and Costica Bradatan (Texas Tech University): “The Paradox of Marginality” (Introduction of the Marginality Project)
Morning Session (Moderator: Costica Bradatan)
10.00-10.30: Giuseppe Mazzotta (Yale University), “The Margins of Thought” (Horizons of Knowledge lecture)
10.30-10.45: Response: Hall Bjornstad (Indiana University)
10.45-11.00: Coffee Break
11.00-12.15: Discussion of Giuseppe Mazzotta’s paper
12.30-2.00 Lunch (for panelists)
After-noon Session (Moderator: Hall Bjornstad)
2.00-2.30: John A. Hall (McGill University), “Marginality Imposed and Embraced, Understood and Interpreted: The Case of Ernest Gellner”
2.30-2.45: Response: Jeffrey C. Isaac (Indiana University)
2.45-4.00: Discussion of John A. Hall’s paper
4.00-4.15: Coffee Break
Round-Table Session (Moderators: Aurelian Craiutu, Costica Bradatan and Hall Bjornstad)
4.15-5.30: The Proper Study of Marginality”: Theoretical Framework, Conceptual Apparatus and Methodologies

September 24, 2010
12- 1.30 pm, Tocqueville Room, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 513 N. Park

Brian Danoff, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Miami University of Ohio

Title: "Lincoln and Tocqueville on Democratic Leadership and Self-Interest Properly Understood"

In certain respects, Abraham Lincoln's words and deeds help to confirm the wisdom of Tocqueville's ideas on the role of leadership in a democracy. But in other respects, Lincoln's thought exposes the weaknesses and limitations of Tocqueville's understanding of democratic leadership. Both Tocqueville and Lincoln believed that the task of leadership was to elevate and educate the citizenry. In order to accomplish this ask, they believed that leaders should rely largely - but not exclusively - on what Tocqueville called the doctrine of self-interest properly understood. Lincoln differed from Tocqueville, however, insofar as Lincoln suggested that leaders in a democracy must remain close to the people's fundamental values and aspirations. Lincoln was such an effective democratic leader in large part because he simultaneously critiqued and embraced those aspects of the American character which worried Tocqueville. Unlike Lincoln, Tocqueville usually failed to recognize the element of mutuality which effective democratic leadership requires.


Brian Danoff (Ph.D., Rutgers; M.A., New School for New Social Research; B.A., U.C. Santa Cruz) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of Educating Democracy: Alexis de Tocqueville and Leadership in America (SUNY Press, 2010). He is also co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Alexis de Tocqueville and the Art of Democratic Statesmanship (Lexington Books). His articles on modern political theory and American political thought have appeared in such journals as The Review of Politics, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Perspectives on Political Science. In his recent book, Educating Democracy: Alexis de Tocqueville and Leadership in America, Danoff argues that the best way to think through the problem of democratic leadership in America is through Tocqueville. Whereas many contemporary scholars of leadership and statesmanship focus on the "effectiveness" of leaders or on the superior qualities of character possessed by outstanding statesmen, Tocqueville suggests that great democratic leaders are those who educate, elevate, and empower their fellow citizens. Tocqueville thus reveals that certain kinds of leadership can enhance rather than diminish democratic self-rule. While Danoff finds considerable value in Tocqueville's ideas on democratic leadership, he does not treat these ideas as definitive or final. He use Tocqueville's ideas on leadership to set the terms of debate, but then demonstrates that the ideas of certain American thinker-statesmen - including the Antifederalists, Abraham Lincoln, and Woodrow Wilson - can be used to contest, build on, and sometimes improve upon Tocqueville's understanding of leadership. Throughout the book, Danoff aims not only to shed new light on Tocqueville, but also to provide an important new perspective on the place of leadership in American political thought and in democratic theory.


October 15, 2010

A one-day Seminar jointly sponsored by Indiana University's Institute for Advanced Studies, Department of French and Italian, Department of Political Science, the Tocqueville Program, and the Horizon of Knowledge Lecture Series
218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science
Friday, October 15, 2010


9.30-10.00: Aurelian Craiutu (Indiana University) and Costica Bradatan (Texas Tech University): Opening Remarks and Introduction of the Project "The Anatomy of Marginality"

10.00-10.30: Giuseppe Mazzotta (Yale University), "The Frontiers of Thought"

10.30-10.45: Response: Hall Bjornstad (Indiana University)

10.45-11.00: Coffee Break

11.00-12.15: Discussion of Giuseppe Mazzotta's paper

12.30-2.00 Lunch

2.00-2.30: John A. Hall (McGill University), "Marginality Imposed and Embraced, Understood and Interpreted: The Case of Ernest Gellner"

2.30-2.45: Response: William Scheuerman (Indiana University)

2.45-4.00: Discussion of John A. Hall's paper

4.00-4.15: Coffee Break

4.15-5.30: Round-Table Session: "The Proper Study of Marginality": Theoretical Framework, Conceptual Apparatus and Methodologies

7.00: Dinner

Papers should be made available (for pre-circulation) by October 1st.


October 29, 2010

12-1.30 pm, 218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science,

Françoise Mélonio, Professor, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne, editor of Tocqueville's Œuvres Complètes at Gallimard.

Talk: Reading and Editing Tocqueville Today


January 24, 2011

12-1.30 pm, 513 N. Park, Workshop in Political Theory,

Alan Kahan, Florida International University

Translator of Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the Revolution, 2 vols. (University of Chicago Press, 1998, 2001)

Talk: "Tocqueville and the Islam"


February 25, 2011.

12-1.30 pm, 218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science,

K. Steven Vincent, Professor, Department of History, North Carolina State University

"Constant and Liberal Pluralism"


April 8, 2011 (co-sponsored with the Department of Political Science)

218 Woodburn Hall, Department of Political Science

Dana R. Villa, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

Title: "Tocqueville and Hegel"


Creating Revolutionary Awareness: "Philosophy" as a main cause of the French Revolution (1770-90)

A Horizons of Knowledge Talk
Given By: Jonathan Israel
(School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton).
IMU State Room West
April 23, 2010 12:00-1:30pm.

Co-sponsored by the Tocqueville Program, Department of Political Science, Department of Religious Studies, The Eighteenth-century Institute, and Department of History.

Jonathan Israel’s work is concerned with European and European colonial history from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, with particular emphasis on the history of ideas, the Dutch Golden Age (1590–1713), including the Dutch global trade system, seventeenth-century Dutch Jewry and Spinoza, the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688–91 in Britain, and Spanish imperial strategy especially in Mexico, the Caribbean and the Low Countries. His books include European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550–1750 (1985); The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness and Fall, 1477–1806 (1995); Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650–1750 (2001); and Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670–1752 (2006). His recent work focuses on the impact of radical thought (especially Spinoza, Bayle, Diderot and the eighteenth century French materialists), and on the Enlightenment and emergence of modern ideas of democracy, equality, toleration, freedom of the press and individual freedom.

Ph.D., University of Oxford, 1972; University of Hull, Assistant Lecturer, 1972–73, Lecturer, 1973–74; University College London, Lecturer, 1974–81, Reader, 1981–85, Professor, 1985–2000; Institute for Advanced Study, Professor, 2001–; Fellow, British Academy, 1992; Corresponding Fellow, Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, 1994; University of Amsterdam, Honorary Professor, 2003; Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize in History, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2008.

In his most recent book, A Revolution of the Mind, Jonathan Israel traces the philosophical roots of these ideas to what were the least respectable strata of Enlightenment thought--what he calls the Radical Enlightenment.Originating as a clandestine movement of ideas that was almost entirely hidden from public view during its earliest phase, the Radical Enlightenment matured in opposition to the moderate mainstream Enlightenment dominant in Europe and America in the eighteenth century. During the revolutionary decades of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the Radical Enlightenment burst into the open, only to provoke a long and bitter backlash. A Revolution of the Mind shows that this vigorous opposition was mainly due to the powerful impulses in society to defend the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy--principles linked to the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, religious discrimination, and far-reaching privilege for ruling groups, In telling this fascinating history.


March 5, 2010

IU Memorial Union Indiana University, Bloomington
All meetings are scheduled to take place in the IU Memorial Union, Walnut Room.


afternoon: Arrival of participants at the Indiana University Memorial Union Hotel

6:30: Dinner (Finch's Brasserie)

FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2010:

Mike McGinnis (IUB): Welcoming remarks: Tocqueville and the Workshop in Political Theory
Aurelian Craiutu (IUB): Opening remarks: The Tocqueville Program at Indiana University

Roundtable on the Liberty Fund critical bilingual edition of Democracy in America (ed. E. Nolla, trans. J. Schleifer, 2010)

MODERATOR: Christine D. Henderson (Liberty Fund, Inc)

PANELISTS: Eduardo Nolla (Universidad San Pablo-CEU, Madrid), James T. Schleifer (College of New Rochelle), Christine D. Henderson : Editing, translating, and publishing Democracy in America

10:45-11:00: Break

Roundtable Discussion on Conversations with Tocqueville (Lexington Books, 2009)

MODERATOR: Filippo Sabetti (McGill University)

PANELISTS: Barbara Allen (Carleton College), Reiji Matsumoto (Waseda University, Tokyo), Filippo Sabetti (McGill University), Frederic Fransen (Founder, Donor Advising, Research, and Educational Services, LLC)

Lunch (for panelists): Tudor Room, IU Memorial Union

Roundtable Discussion on Tocqueville on America after 1840: Letters and Other Writings (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

MODERATOR: Russell Hanson (IUB)

PANELISTS: Jeremy Jennings (Queen Mary, University of London), Aurelian Craiutu (IUB) and Matthew Holbreich (University of Notre Dame)

3:15-3:30: Break

Open discussion: Tocqueville studies today and the relevance of these three new books to future research on Tocqueville.

MODERATOR: Barbara Allen (Carleton College)

6:30: Dinner (Samira Restaurant)

Saturday, March 6, 2010:

Breakfast and departure at the participants' convenience.


November 6, 2009
12 - 1:30pm
Matthew Mancini (American Studies, St. Louis University).
Tocqueville Today.

"What's Wrong with Tocqueville Studies, and What Can Be Done About It."
Tocqueville Room, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 513 N. Park

Select publications of Matthew Manicini:




"Too Many Tocquevilles: The Fable of Tocqueville’s American Reception," in Journal of the History of Ideas 69, no. 2 (April 2008).