April 20, 2017
Stanford Constitutional Law Center, R190

The Constitution & Civic Virtue

A Flourishing Society Lecture by Professor Robert P. George (Princeton)

Time & Location

April 20, 2017
Stanford Constitutional Law Center, R190
599 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA 94305, USA


How was our Constitution designed to protect liberty and prevent tyranny? After discussing the structural constraints the Constitution places on political power, and the ways in which the principles and institutions of federalism and the separation of powers function in our system of republican government, Professor George turned to the question of whether the system is intended to eliminate the need for virtue in the people, or whether, on the contrary, it presupposes and requires a reasonably virtuous citizenry. If the latter, how are essential civic virtues to be cultivated and maintained? In exploring this question we begin to perceive the critical importance of non-governmental institutions of civil society (beginning with the marriage-based family) to the success of the American experiment in morally-ordered liberty.




McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Professor of Politics, and Director, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University

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