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March 27: James Madison: The Founder of Founding Lecture-Professor James W. Ceaser, University of Virginia

March 27 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Please join the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University for a lecture by Professor James W. Ceaser, University of Virginia, titled James Madison: The Founder of Founding.

We all speak today of Madison (and a few others) as our “founders,” and we use this term easily and naturally.  But who thought of these founders as founders in 1787? Who had in mind the idea or notion of “founding?” In fact, founding or lawmaking was an idea at the time that was associated with the ancient times (like Lycurgus or ‘Sparty” as we say at MSU). Professor Ceaser argues that the idea or notion of founding and founders had to be re-discovered and revived before we could have a founding or founders. Madison is the one who performed this task—against prevailing theories of politics that rejected the relevance of this idea in modern times. Madison is the modern founder of the idea of founding.

James W. Ceaser is Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection, Liberal Democracy and Political Science, Reconstructing America, and Nature and History in American Political Development.


March 27
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Dustin Sebell


Club Spartan, Case Hall