The Lafayette Debates is an international platform for student dialogue and debate founded by the Embassy of France to the United States and The George Washington University in the belief that now, more than ever, a vigorous and respectful transatlantic dialogue is of the utmost importance not only to the citizens of France and the United States, but also the world.
The Lafayette Debates tradition began in 1824 during the "hero's tour" to the United States of General Marquis de Lafayette and his son, George Washington Lafayette. The Lafayette Debates were revived in 2013 by Emilienne Baneth-Nouailhetas, former Attache for University Cooperation, and Paul S. Hayes, Director of Debate for The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society. For more information on the history of the Lafayette Debates, click here.
The 2019 Lafayette Debates U.S. National Championship was held at the Embassy of France to the United States in Washington DC on April 19-20. The top ranked students at the tournament won study tours to Paris on which they explored the Lafayette Debates topic area in meetings with French scholars, activists and thought leaders.
The 2019 Lafayette Debates challenged U.S. students to scrutinize the following topic, "Democracy is the best hope for peace." During the debates students researched and critiqued democratic peace theory in the transatlantic context. Debates occurred at five different universities over the Spring semester, culminating at the Embassy of France in Washington DC. For 2019 Lafayette Debates tournament information, click here.