Master Class on Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Feb 2, 2018
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Patrick DeneenUniversity of Notre Dame

  • Patrick Deneen - Interview

Open to current university students and faculty. Copies of Democracy in America will be available for participants who do not already have it.


  • What does Tocqueville mean by democracy?
  • Is democracy inevitable ("providential")? Is its corruption inevitable?
  • What, if anything, follows democracy? Democratic despotism?
  • Do Tocqueville's recommendations for the role played by religion as a corrective to democracy apply any longer? Can they?


Democracy in America (U of C Press, Mansfield translation):

  • Author’s Introduction: pp. 3-15
  • I.i. 2: pp. 27-45
  • I.i.5: (partial): pp. 57-65
  • I.ii.9:  (partial): pp. 274-302
  • II.i.1-3: pp. 403-415
  • II.i. 5-8: pp. 417-428
  • II.i.10-11: pp. 433-443
  • II.ii.1-2: pp. 479-484
  • II.ii.4-5: pp. 485-492
  • II.ii.7-10: pp. 496-508
  • II.ii.13: pp. 511-514
  • II.ii.15: pp. 517-521
  • II.ii.17: pp. 522-524
  • II.ii.20: pp. 530-532
  • II.iv.2-3: pp. 640-645
  • II.iv.6: pp. 661-665

Professor Deneen also gave a lecture on Why Liberalism Failed on Thursday, February 1.

To view photos of the master class, visit Lumen Christi's Facebook page.

Patrick J. Deneen is the David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a B.A. in English literature and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. Before coming to Notre Dame, he taught at Princeton University and Georgetown University. He is the author and editor of several books and numerous articles and reviews and has delivered invited lectures around the country and several foreign nations on the history of political thought, American political thought, religion and politics, and literature and politics. His books include Democratic Faith, Conserving America? Thoughts on Present Discontents, and most recently Why Liberalism Failed (Yale University Press, 2018).