Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Alexander Gourevitch ─ From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

4 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

Book signing and reception to follow.

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Freedom once presupposed slavery. In the nineteenth century, some began to argue that freedom was opposed to slavery. A true republic was one that had universalized republican liberty by eliminating slavery and extending economic independence to all. Over time, the language of republican liberty became a critique not just of slavery but of wage-labor and supported a demand to replace the 'wages system' with a national economy based on producer and consumer cooperatives. Freedom became the calling card not just for a new, cooperative economy, but for the dependent classes to emancipate themselves from their subjection. From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth is the story of how freedom became a radical idea.  

Commentators on the panel will include:

Aziz Rana, Professor of Law, Cornell University

Brandon Terry, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies,  Harvard University

Alexander Gourevitch, author and Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brown University

moderated by, Mark Blyth, Eastman Professor of Political Economy and Professor of International and Public Affairs

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