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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tocqueville scholars to meet for conference at IU Bloomington

March 2, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Scholars from North America, Europe and Asia will be at Indiana University this week for a conference that examines the work of 19th century French political thinker and author Alexis de Tocqueville in light of recent scholarly publications.

Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville

"Alexis de Tocquevillle: New Perspectives on His Works" will take place Friday (March 5) in the Walnut Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. It is organized by the Tocqueville Program at IU Bloomington in collaboration with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, the Department of Political Science and Liberty Fund Inc.

Admission to the conference is free and registration is not required. For more information, including a schedule, see

Sessions include:

  • A roundtable discussion of the Liberty Fund critical bilingual edition of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, with panelists Eduardo Nolla of Universidad San Pablo-CEU in Madrid, the editor of the edition, and James T. Schleifer of the College of New Rochelle, the translator
  • A roundtable discussion of Conversations with Tocqueville, The Global Democratic Revolution in the Twenty-First Century
  • A roundtable discussion of Tocqueville on America after 1840: Letters and Other Writings
  • An open discussion of Tocqueville studies today and the relevance of the three new books to future research

The Tocqueville Program, created in 2009 with support from the Jack Miller Center, is directed by Aurelian Craiutu, associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is editor and co-translator of Tocqueville on America After 1840: Letters and Other Writings; co-author of Conversations with Tocqueville: The Global Democratic Revolution in the Twenty-First Century; and co-editor with IU political scientist Jeffrey Isaac of America through European Eyes, which includes sections on Tocqueville and other French travelers to America.

In addition to this week's conference, the program will co-sponsor a lecture April 23 at IU Bloomington by Jonathan Israel of the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, on "Creating Revolutionary Awareness: 'Philosophy' as a main cause of the French Revolution (1770-90)."

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) was a French political philosopher and politician who, as a young man, spent nine months traveling across the young American republic, taking notes on society, government and the economy. His classic work Democracy in America, published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840, analyzed why representative democracy was succeeding in the U.S. when it had failed elsewhere.

For more information on the Tocqueville Program, see