18 May 2020 12:30pm - 2:00pm CRASSH Meeting Room, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT


We regret that due to the current COVID-19 crisis this event has had to be cancelled.

The seminars provided a supportive, intellectually stimulating environment in which to share work and receive feedback from people in various disciplines.” (Chana Morgenstern (Early Career Fellow in  Michaelmas 2018)

Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress Seminar Series. All welcome but please email Michelle Maciejewska to book your place and to request readings. A sandwich lunch and refreshments are provided.

Dr Isaac Nakhimovsky

The post-Napoleonic Holy Alliance, proclaimed in 1815 by the Russian Emperor Alexander I, is now remembered in terms set by Karl Marx and Giuseppe Mazzini. For Marx, as readers of The Communist Manifesto will recognize, the Holy Alliance was a label for attempts to defend existing power structures against the specter of revolution. For Mazzini, it was the reactionary foil for the emergence of a peaceful international order of democratic nation-states. I will set out to explain the reasons why, initially, the Holy Alliance was seen by many contemporaries as the dawning of a liberal future. In doing so, it will challenge the typologies that are often applied not only to the Holy Alliance but to the broader landscape of nineteenth-century political history and intellectual life. 



Isaac Nakhimovsky is the Quentin Skinner Fellow 2019-20 and will be giving the annual Quentin Skinner Lecture on Thursday 4 June, 'The Most Libera of All Ideas: The Holy Alliance and the History of Global Order.

Isaac Nakhimovsky is Associate Professor of History and Humanities at Yale University. His first book, The Closed Commercial State: Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte (Princeton, 2011), showed how, in the context of the French Revolution, the German philosopher J.G. Fichte came to undertake a systematic treatment of economic independence as an ideal, or the political theory of what John Maynard Keynes later termed “national self-sufficiency.” He has also collaborated on an edition of Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation (Hackett, 2013), and 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). His next book, A World Reformed: Liberalism, the Holy Alliance, and the Problems of Global Order, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.

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