Tuesday 21 January 18:00 - 20:00

IAS Common Ground
Ground Floor, South Wing, UCL
Gower Street
London
WC1E 6BT

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Two book launches by William Selinger and Iain Stewart

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IAS Book Launch

Parliamentarism: From Burke to Weber by William Selinger (History, UCL).

Raymond Aron and Liberal Thought in the Twentieth Century by Iain Stewart (History, UCL).

Discussants: Mira Siegelberg (Cambridge), Or Rosenboim (City University London), and Georgios Varouxakis (Queen Mary).

In a moment when liberal democracy is widely believed to be in crisis, two new books challenge our conventional notions about liberalism’s history. In Parliamentarism: From Burke to Weber, William Selinger argues that the defining aim of French and British liberalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was to establish parliamentary control over the executive and a vibrant culture of parliamentary debate and deliberation. Offering new interpretations of Burke, Constant, De Stael, Tocqueville, Mill, Guizot, and Bagehot, Selinger shows how these authors, many of whom served in parliament, grappled with such dilemmas as legislative and electoral corruption, factionalism and polarization, gridlock and cabinet instability, executive usurpation, and the question of how to accommodate parliamentarism with mass democracy. Raymond Aron, the influential French political commentator and theorist, viewed himself as the twentieth-century heir to this liberal tradition. In Raymond Aron and Liberal Thought in the Twentieth Century, Iain Stewart provides the first historically situated study of Aron’s thought. Chronicling Aron’s engagements with fascism, decolonization, and the Cold War, Stewart explains Aron’s place in the history of French liberalism and his role in the reconfiguration of liberal thought during the mid-twentieth-century.

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