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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Reed alumna Deborah Baumgold ’71, a political science professor at the University of Oregon, will speak on "Ancien-Regime Contract Theory" on Tuesday, April 4, at 5 p.m. in Reed's Vollum lounge. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is supported by the Reed political science department and the Elizabeth E. Ducey lecture fund. For more information, call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

The social contract is customarily labeled one of the most important of modern political ideas. Yet this orthodox view ignores the fact that the great contract theories were composed in the context of ancien-regime monarchies. Focusing on Hobbes and Locke and their eighteenth-century critics, Hume and Burke, Baumgold treats the social contract as a solution to ancien-regime political problems. The genre became obsolete, in her view, when electoral politics replaced rebellion as the mechanism for unseating a legitimate government.

Deborah Baumgold ’71, the author of Hobbes's Political Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1988), has taught at Oberlin College and the University of Florida. She is presently a member of the political science department of the University of Oregon.

Elizabeth Ducey, once a Washington, D.C., staff assistant to Senator Richard Neuberger of Oregon, had a lifetime interest in socially progressive politics and social issues, as well as a longtime interest in Reed College. Ducey, who went to Smith College as a 1915 graduate of the Catlin Gabel School, lived for 25 years on a Sauvie Island farm. She was active as a conservationist and gave generous philanthropic support to many local organizations, including Reed's art and music associates, the Portland Art Association, and the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge. In 1953 Ducey established the Ducey Lecture Fund at Reed College with the aim of promoting lectures on national and especially local and regional affairs.

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