In times of crisis, countries naturally yearn for leaders who can defend the public good within the sphere of politics and governance, and in less turbulent periods, the sound political management of a country is also valued. The term typically used to describe these abilities among national leaders is “statesmanship.” In November, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish a long-awaited volume on political leadership entitled American Statesmanship, edited by Joseph R. Fornieri, Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. The volume will include a chapter on John C. Calhoun by East Georgia State College professor Dr. Lee Cheek, Professor of Political Science and the former dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the college. Dr. Cheek also directs the college’s Correll Scholars Program.
According to Fornieri, “Our project was greatly enhanced by Dr. Cheek’s contribution. As a leading scholar of American political thought, especially the political thought of the American South, his work balances our understanding of statesmanship and political leadership.”
The book, including Cheek’s scholarship, suggests the principles of statesmanship should view leaders’ commitment to the common good versus private interest; a sacrificial view of public service; and, the ability to distinguish between the proper use of persuasion and coercion.
Cheek’s previous books include Political Philosophy and Cultural Renewal (Transaction/Rutgers, 2001; reprinted, Routledge, 2018 [with Kathy B. Cheek]); Calhoun and Popular Rule, published by the University of Missouri Press (2001; paper edition, 2004); Calhoun: Selected Speeches and Writings (Regnery, 2003); Order and Legitimacy (Transaction/Rutgers, 2004; reprinted, Routledge, 2017); an edition of Calhoun’s A Disquisition on Government (St. Augustine’s, 2007; reprinted, 2016); a critical edition of W. H. Mallock’s The Limits of Pure Democracy (Transaction/Rutgers, 2007; reprinted, Routledge, 2017); Confronting Modernity: Towards a Theology of Ministry in the Wesleyan Tradition (Wesley Studies Society, 2010); an edition of the classic study, A Theory of Public Opinion (Transaction/Rutgers, 2013; reprinted, Routledge, 2017); Patrick-Henry Onslow Debate: Liberty and Republicanism in American Political Thought (Lexington, 2013); and, The Founding of the American Republic (Notre Dame University Press, 2023 [forthcoming]).