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A keynote lecture by Quentin Skinner (Queen Mary London) as part of 'Freedom: Liberalism, Republicanism and Beyond: A Workshop in Honor of the 20th anniversary of Quentin Skinner’s Liberty Before Liberalism' organised by the Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought and co-sponsored by the Vossius Center.

Detail Summary
Date 24 May 2017
Time 16:15 - 17:15
Location Korte Spinhuissteeg 3
Room Venue: Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS)
Venue: NIAS


The lecture begins by tracing the emergence of a neo-Roman way of thinking about individual and civic liberty as one of the leading vocabularies of opposition in pre-revolutionary England.  It is then argued that, once the centrality of this understanding of what it means to be a free person is recognised, it becomes possible to suggest some fresh answers to three major questions about the revolutionary decade of the 1640s.  Why did England slide into civil war in the summer of 1642?  What was at stake in the Leveller debates about the franchise in 1647?  And how was the rule of the Commonwealth government legitimised after the abolition of the monarchy in 1649?

About the speaker

Quentin Skinner is the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary University of London. One of the world's leading intellectual historians, he is author of The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Visions of Politics, and Liberty Before Liberalism.


The lecture is free and open to the public; registration is required. Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. To register, please email

Korte Spinhuissteeg 3
Korte Spinhuissteeg 3

Room Venue: Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS)

Korte Spinhuissteeg 3
1012 CX Amsterdam

Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought