Structure of Liberty Seminar

Credit Hours: 2
Semesters Taught (subject to change): Fall

This seminar will examine the manner in which constitutions may be designed to protect liberty, with an emphasis upon and a close reading of the debates of the Framers at their Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. The debates are the greatest and least read set of deliberations upon liberty and democracy, and have the excitement of a fine detective novel. The course will also examine the empirical literature of how presidential and parliamentary regimes have fared, when it comes to protecting liberty, and students will read Bagehot’s The English Constitution. The seminar will end with a look at the expansion of executive power in the U.S.