AUP graduation ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.


Tocqueville Colloque 2023: Autocratie vs. Democratie ? A new geopolitical landscape in France, Europe, and the United States?

University Room: David T. McGovern Grand Salon (C-104)
Friday, June 2, 2023 - 10:00 to Saturday, June 3, 2023 - 13:00

In a recent book entitled The Age of the Strongman, the journalist Gideon Rachman described the inexorable rise of autocracies over the past twenty years, during which democracies once thought to be solid, such as India, Brazil, Hungary, and Turkey, or exemplary, such as the United States, have fallen under the sway of “strongmen” elected “democratically,” without coups d’état, and thus swung over into the camp of autocratic regimes. The combination of nationalism, cultural conservatism, and defense of “the people” against “the elite” has proven to be a potent if not lethal cocktail.

What explains this crisis of so-called liberal democracy? Where will it end ? What can be done to counter it? These are the questions to be addressed in the 2023 Colloquium of The Tocqueville Society, which will bring together historians, political scientists, and philosophers from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the new “despotism” that Tocqueville foresaw, and which has begun to drop the mask of benevolence and to reveal the full dimensions of its cruelty and violence. By examining the recent history of a number of different countries, the colloquium will seek to analyze the meaning of “democratic authoritarianism” and the various factors that have led to these developments.

The colloquium is co-sponsored by The Tocqueville Society and the Center for Critical Democracy Studies at the American University of Paris, and will feature keynote addresses from Professors Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton University) and Pascal Ory (Académie française), as well as a series of roundtable discussions with leading international historians, political scientists, and philosophers.

The colloquium will take place at the American University of Paris at 6, Rue du Colonel Combes (room C-104).

To attend the colloquium in-person or online, please register here or via the button below. The complete conference schedule can be downloaded here