Ewa Atanassow

Ewa Atanassow is Professor of Politics at Bard College Berlin. She holds a PhD from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, an MA in psychology from the Jagiellonian University of Kraków, and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her research and teaching range across the history of political thought, focusing on questions of nationhood and democratic citizenship, with emphasis on Tocqueville. She is the author of Tocqueville’s Dilemmas and Ours: Sovereignty, Nationalism, Globalization (Princeton University Press, 2022), and the co-editor of Tocqueville and the Frontiers of Democracy with Richard Boyd (Cambridge University Press, 2013); Liberal Moments: Reading Liberal Texts with Alan S. Kahan (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017); and When the People Rule: Popular Sovereignty in Theory and Practice with Thomas Bartscherer and David Bateman (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press). She was a Józef Tischner Fellow at the IWM in 2019.



How can liberal democracies withstand the challenges of nationalism and globalization? Engaging with critiques of liberalism from both the left and the right, this book argues that global democracy’s liberal prospects depend on the way political thinkers and actors tackle three hard-wired dilemmas concerning the institutionalization of popular sovereignty, the meaning of nationhood, and the possibility of global governance. As these are significant, if neglected, dimensions of Alexis de Tocqueville’s thought, his writings provide a powerful framework to help understand and address the crisis of liberal democracy in the twenty first century.