A one-week online seminar for college undergraduates, The James Madison Seminar on the Theory and Practice of Statesmanship, seeks to help students answer the underlying question at the bottom of politics and public life: What is statesmanship?
From that, we will explore statesmanship’s defining qualities, why we seem to have so little of it in modern times, and whether we can aspire to statesmanship. We will examine four fundamental aspects of statesmanship:
1. The identifying characteristics (as opposed to ordinary political life, demagoguery, or tyranny)
2. What the classical political writers had to say about statesmanship (Aristotle, Cicero)
3. Lived examples: 18th-century (George Washington), 19th-century (Abraham Lincoln), and 20th-century (Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Konrad Adenauer)
4. Statesmanship in the Democratic Context – judicial statesmanship, administrative statesmanship, intellectual statesmanship
Readings will be in primary sources including Aristotle, Cicero, Plutarch, Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, Weber, and Havel.
Given current university policies, this seminar will be held virtually on Zoom. If university policy changes and we are able to host students in person, we will notify applicants right away.
This seminar for for college undergraduates.
The application period for 2022 is now closed.
Program fee includes course materials.
Financial aid is not available.