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Isaac Nakhimovsky (Yale University) will give the public lecture ‘The Most Liberal of All Ideas: The Political Thought of the Holy Alliance’ in the The Utrecht/Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History. Comments will be provided by Beatrice de Graaf (University of Utrecht).

Event details of Public lecture by Isaac Nakhimovsky (Yale University)
Date 7 June 2022
Time 16:00 -17:30
Location Oudemanhuispoort
Room A0.08


The Holy Alliance of 1815—usually taken to be an ideological mask for Russian power, now most familiar as a label for conspiratorial reaction—was initially embraced by many contemporary liberals as the dawning of a peaceful and prosperous age of progress. In order to explain why, this talk examines the Enlightenment origins of the Holy Alliance and the connections between its history and the better known transatlantic history of nineteenth-century movements to abolish slavery, poverty, and war. In doing so it expands the scope of histories of international law as well as histories of empire in the Atlantic world, and offers a fresh map for understanding the broader history of federalism and global order.


: Isaac Nakhimovsky is Associate Professor of History and Humanities at Yale University. He is the author of The Closed Commercial State: Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte (Princeton, 2011), and has written on many other topics in the history of political thought since the eighteenth century. He has collaborated on an edition of Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation (Hackett, 2013) as well as two volumes of essays on eighteenth-century political thought and its post-revolutionary legacies: Commerce and Peace in the Enlightenment (Cambridge, 2017), and Markets, Morals, Politics: Jealousy of Trade and the History of Political Thought (Harvard, 2018). He is currently finishing a book on liberalism and the Holy Alliance.


Room OMHP A0.08
(please note this is not our usual address in Amsterdam)

Online: please ask the organizers for the Zoom link.


Register by sending an e-mail to: Please, specify whether you would like to participate online or in person.


Room A0.08

Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
1012 CN Amsterdam

About the Seminar

The Utrecht/Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History is a platform for researchers from different faculties and departments at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University who are working in the field of intellectual history and related disciplines. These include, among others, the history of historical, legal and political thought, conceptual history, the social and cultural history of ideas, as well as research at the intersection between intellectual history, institutions, politics, and practices.

Worldwide, intellectual history is moving into new, exciting directions. Tapping into new source materials, covering longer stretches of time, dealing with broader geographical spaces, making comparisons and drawing connections on a global scale, as well as combining established and new (digital) methods, both young and up-coming as well as established experts are in search for new answers – and perhaps more importantly – new questions. The Utrecht/Amsterdam Seminar Global Intellectual History contributes to this development by providing a venue for presenting and discussing frontline research.