Spring AHI conference to celebrate publication of Democracy and the History of Political Thought

February 17, 2023

Democracy and the History of Political Thought, edited by three alums of Baylor’s PhD program, Stephen Patrick Sims, Stephen A. Block, and Patrick N. Cain, will be honored at this spring’s annual “Mary and David Nichols Conference on the Great Books.“ The volume provides a fresh perspective on current democratic theory and practice by recovering the rich evaluations of democracy in the history of political thought. Each author addresses a single thinker’s reflections on the virtues and defects of democracy and the relationship between democracy and other regimes. Together, these essays explore the tensions within the democratic way of life that arise from an attachment to equality, liberty, citizenship, law, and the divine. In the words of Harvey C. Mansfield of Harvard University, the book is a serious rival to “the placid complacency of today’s ‘democratic theory,’” and its chapters “uncover old truths and hidden depths.”

The book’s editors also have contributions to the collection, Sims (assistant professor, Rochester Institute of Technology) on Cicero, Block (senior lecturer at Baylor) on Aristotle, and Cain (Chair and associate professor at Lakehead University) on Aquinas. Other Baylor political science faculty and alums wrote essays for the book (Timothy Burns, Adam Carrington, David Clinton, Jerome Foss, David Nichols, Mary Nichols, Ann Ward, and Lee Ward) as well as many prominent political theorists such as Steven Forde (North Texas), Douglas Kries (Gonzaga), William Mathie (Brock University), Arlene Saxonhouse (Michigan), Susan Shell (Boston College) and Catherine Zuckert (Notre Dame).

The AHI conference on “Moral Foundations of Modern Democracy” is sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Institute in Clinton, New York, and will be held in Waco on April 14-15.