In the third week of Political Studies, fellows will consider the liberal tradition and its expression in America. The first section will consider the question of American national character through a close reading of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. The second section will take a more wide-ranging approach—with selections from Burke, Tocqueville, the Federalist, and contemporary thinkers—to reflect on the moral content of liberalism.

Both courses will engage great champions and critics of liberalism to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our political and social order. Fellows will examine how liberalism rightly understood can promote individual freedom amid moral order, and what might be required today to sustain (or revive) our free society.

Images: Centennial mirror, poster commemorating 100 years of Independence of the United States

Yuval Levin on creating unity in a diverse society


Yuval Levin

Yuval Levin is a Resident Scholar and Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the Editor of National Affairs magazine. Mr. Levin served on the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush.

Jenna Silber Storey

Jenna Silber Storey is a senior fellow in the Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the co-author of a book with Benjamin Storey: Why We Are Restless: On the Modern Quest for Contentment.

Preview the Syllabus by Week/Session

Other Courses You Might Be Interested In

The Supreme Court & Precedent

Consider landmark decisions that could be overturned and their implications for American politics.

Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence

Compare America and Europe, aristocracy and democracy, in Wharton's classic novel.

The Words That Made Us

Revisit key constitutional questions through the lens of history and law.

National Identity & Why It Matters

Explore the idea of national identity and its role in maintaining a successful political order.

Religion & Politics

Consider the proper role of religion in public life.

The Federalist & Contemporary Debates

Consider The Federalist Papers anew through the lens of current events.