The 2014 Lafayette Debates in Washington D.C.(April12-April 13)
Are you going to be in D.C. this week-end to check out the beautiful cherry blossoms? You should consider a stop at the Elliott School for International Affairs of the George Washington University, where a one-of-a-kind tournament will be in full swing.
In an echo to the mutual aid and friendship between France and the United States, the French Embassy along with the George Washington University have launched the Lafayette Debates. The aim of the debates is to foster and promote Franco-American relation by engaging future leaders on timely topics of mutual interest to the United States and France. The name of the series commemorates the role of General Marquis de Lafayette in the American Revolution.
The tournament consists of a series of collegiate online debates culminating in an on-campus tournament, hosted by the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies of the George Washington University, scheduled to take place on April 12th and 13th 2014. This year the topic addresses the question of the calue of cultural expresssions in the context of International trade. Resolved: that “states should maintain, adopt and implement policies and measures that they deem appropriate for the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions on their territory.”
In attendance at this year’s on-campus debates will be 29 universities including; Harvard, Cornell, NYU, Penn State, the University of California-Bekeley, The United States Military, Naval, and Air Force Academies and the French Military Academy “École de Guerre”. The judging panels are composed of a wide variety of professionals from notable DC think tanks, universities, and embassies. Upon hearing the news of their invitations to the tournament, many universities such as James Madison University, Penn State, and Gonzaga have expressed their excitement in being able to participate in such rigorous and important dialogue with some of the best debaters the country has to offer. Glen Frappier, director of forensics and senior lecturer in Gonzaga’s communication studies department stated, “We are really excited at this opportunity to promote Gonzaga’s ongoing mission of global engagement.”
The semifinalists of the debates will be awarded a study tour to Paris this summer where they will serve as Young Ambassadors for the United States and be able to continue their exploration of the tournament topic firsthand. They will be able to build relations by meeting with various French policymakers, scholars, and professionals.
For more information on the debates, please visit