Chicago Booth and UChicago alumni are invited to a BBQ and Conversation with Stephen W. Sawyer, AM '97, PhD '08 at the UChicago Center in Paris.


University of Chicago Center in Paris
6 rue Thomas Mann
Paris, France

Driving Directions:

(Métro ligne 14/ RER C Bibliothèque François Mitterrand)

Event Details

Join fellow alumni at the UChicago Center in Paris for a BBQ and Conversation with Stephen W. Sawyer, AM '97, PhD '08.

19:00 Conversation with Stephen W. Sawyer, AM '97, PhD '08
20:00 BBQ at the interior garden of the UChicago Center

Re-Assembling the Demos? Rethinking the Origins of Our Current Democratic Crisis with Steve Sawyer

The escalation of an economic and depoliticized neoliberalism in the early twenty-first century has introduced a paradox into our perceptions of democracy and the state. We are witnessing a frightening expansion of state capacity in such realms as security, surveillance, mass imprisonment, shadow as well as open military conflict across the world, and militarized police forces. At the same time, neoliberalism has increasingly eviscerated the demos – pinning the state into a corner, making it less and less responsive to popular pressures. This talk argues that an understanding of our current democratic malaise requires a historical perspective on the relationship between liberalism and democracy since the 1970s in France. I argue that far from announcing a neo-liberal triumph, new interest in the history and theory of liberalism from the 1970s to the mid-1990s was a means of posing the problem of how to craft a more robust democratic thought. This attempt to use liberalism and anti-totalitarianism as a means to reflect critically on the problem of democracy has been challenged by a neo-liberalism that reifies both liberalism and democracy as something to be saved or celebrated. 

We look forward to seeing you at the BBQ!




Register Online

Deadline: 6/16/2016

Speaker Profiles

Stephen W. Sawyer, AM '97, PhD '08 (Speaker), The American University of Paris

Professor Sawyer is chair of the History Department and co-founder of the History, Law, and Society program at The American University of Paris. After receiving fellowships from the EHESS, Fulbright, and Sciences Po, from 2005 to 2009, Sawyer served as part-time assistant to Pierre Rosanvallon at the Collège de France. A specialist in urban and political history, Sawyer earned his PhD at the University of Chicago (2008).

His work includes over sixty articles and reviews, in six countries and leading journals including The American Historical Review, Les Annales, The Journal of Modern History, The European History Quarterly and The Tocqueville Review. His translation of Michel Foucault lectures (University of Chicago Press) appeared in 2014. He has edited and co-edited numerous volumes including Boundaries of the State in US History (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Beyond Stateless Democracy (Tocqueville Review, Spring 2015) and In Search of the Liberal Moment(Palgrave/Macmillan, 2016) and is currently completing a manuscript on democracy and statebuilding in nineteenth-century France.


Sandra Valmier, '11 (EXP-16)