Although the French Doctrinaires built up one of the most important political theories of the 19th century and had a decisive influence on Tocqueville, Marx, and J. S. Mill, they have remained largely unknown in the English-speaking world. This article examines the Doctrinaires’ theory of political power by concentrating on François Guizot’s Des moyens de gouvernement et d’opposition dans l’état actuel de la France(On the Means of Government and Opposition in the Current State of France) and Prosper de Barante’s Des (...) communes et de l’aristocratie(On the Communes and the Aristocracy), both published in 1821. Special attention is paid to Guizot’s rejection of laissez-faire and his critique of Rousseau. I then present Guizot’s theory of the ‘new means of government’ that stressed the importance of communication between government and society. Guizot predicted that the growth of liberty would be accompanied by a simultaneous extension of state power and understood that the development of representative government would inevitably lead to a considerable extension of state power over society, made possible by a social demand unseen before. In the final section, I seek to nuance the conventional image of the Doctrinaires as rigid defenders of centralization and critically discuss the virtues and limitations of their elitist liberalism. After commenting on the specificity of French political tradition, I point out a few lessons for contemporary political theorists interested in issues such as political power and the mutual empowerment of state and society. (shrink)
This article examines Victor Jacquemont's reflections on American democracy and society occasioned by his travel in the United States in 1827. A close friend of Stendhal, Jacquemont (1801?32) was one of the most prominent representatives of the new French generation that came of age around 1820. After a presentation of Jacquemont's political and intellectual background, the essay examines his remarks on slavery and the future of the red race, the different forms of religion, domestic manners, associational life, and newspapers in (...) America. Because Jacquemont grasped the impact of equality on individual lives and mores in America, he might be regarded as a forerunner of Tocqueville. (shrink)
The main focus of this special issue is on marginality, a multifaceted concept that requires a cross-disciplinary approach. The papers selected here deal with marginality in the formation of the epistemic canon (?the mainstream?) and the production of knowledge in the humanities and social sciences. By employing the vocabulary of marginality (?marginal,? ?margins,? ?luminal,? ?threshold,? as well as dichotomies such as ?minor-major,? ?center-periphery?), we propose a shift from a discussion of the canon in terms of just one category of ?marginals? (...) (a certain race, class, gender etc.) to considering this complex concept in terms of a plurality of players and factors related to marginality broadly defined, some of which have little or nothing to do with power structures and dichotomies. Marginality is thus conceived of as an epistemic category and not as a power status. (shrink)
This essay examines the method of the French Doctrinaires by focusing primarily on the historical writings of their most prominent representative, François Guizot . After a brief introductory presentation of the Doctrinaires’ group, the essay discusses the role of historical studies during the Restoration and provides an in-depth analysis of the Doctrinaires’ historical and sociological mode of argument. Special emphasis is put on the Doctrinaires’ distinction between social and political condition. In order to illustrate the Doctrinaires’ method, the essay examines (...) Guizot's nuanced analysis of modern egalitarian society to be found in his book On Death Penalty. (shrink)
Abstract In nineteenth?century Europe, democracy was not embraced with the same enthusiasm it now enjoys. Conservative critics questioned central democratic normative principles, while liberals tried to correct the limitations of actual democratic practice. While accepting the inevitability of democracy, nineteenth?century liberals often resisted the idea that universal suffrage guaranteed the wisdom of the people's choices. Nothing better illustrates this difficult apprenticeship of democracy than the writings of François Guizot, whose political thought focuses on the relationship between liberalism and democracy.
This review-essay discusses two recent books on the political vision of Joseph de Maistre and Alexandre Stourdza who defended two different types of conservatism in Western and Eastern Europe. A former advisor to Tsar Alexander I and later secretary of Jean Capodistrias, Stourdza stood for the principles of Eastern Christianity and emphasized their unique contribution to the development of the European spirit. Special attention is paid to the controversy triggered by the publication of Stourdza's Considéations sur la doctrine et l'esprit (...) de l'Eglise orthodoxe followed by Maistre's Du Pape . The essay concludes with a few remarks on the importance of comparative political thought and cross-cultural analysis. (shrink)
In the United States, the debate on civil associations has coincided with the revival of interest in the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, particularly Democracy in America (1835; 1840) in which he praised the Americans' propensity to form civil and political associations. Tocqueville regarded these associations as laboratories of democracy that teach citizens the art of being free and give them the opportunity to pursue their own interests in concert with others. Tocqueville's views on political and civil associations cannot be (...) properly understood unless we also take into account the larger intellectual and political background of his native France. The main sections of this essay examine Tocqueville's analysis of civil and political associations in America. Special attention is paid to the strong relationship between democracy and civil and political associations and the effects that they have on promoting democratic citizenship, civility, and self-government. (shrink)
The volume draws attention to the unknown and unexplored areas, trends and ways of thinking under the communist regime. It demonstrates how various bodies of knowledge were produced, disseminated and used for a wide variety of purposes: from openly justifying dominant political views to framing oppositional and non-official discourses and practices.
In the United States, the debate on civil associations has coincided with the revival of interest in the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, particularly Democracy in America in which he praised the Americans' propensity to form civil and political associations. Tocqueville regarded these associations as laboratories of democracy that teach citizens the art of being free and give them the opportunity to pursue their own interests in concert with others. Tocqueville's views on political and civil associations cannot be properly understood (...) unless we also take into account the larger intellectual and political background of his native France. The main sections of this essay examine Tocqueville's analysis of civil and political associations in America. Special attention is paid to the strong relationship between democracy and civil and political associations and the effects that they have on promoting democratic citizenship, civility, and self-government. (shrink)