"At a time when the forces of administrative despotism are on the march and Winfreyesque rhetoric passes for moral leadership and intellectual sophistication, Brian Danoff and L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., have assembled a compelling collection of timely essays on the political thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, that liberal thinker of the first rank who endeavored to see `further than the parties' without any pretense to post-partisanship, who understood that more democracy is not always the answer to every problem of democracy, and who concerned himself with educating democratic peoples so that they may live together as free citizens rather than exist independently as dependent subjects. This fine collection situates Tocqueville within the history of ideas, ancient and modern, and examines the significance of his observations, predictions, and prescriptions as they pertain to a wide variety of topics with contemporary relevance. The chapters in this volume articulate the proper relationship between political theory, political science, and political practice, emphasizing the necessity for genuine republican statesmanship while honestly wondering about its chances given the trajectory of late modern America."---Travis D. Smith. Concordia University, Montreal In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville famously called for "a new political science" that could address the problems and possibilities of a "world itself quite new." For Tocqueville, the democratic world needed not just a new political science but also new arts of statesmanship and leadership. In this volume, Brian Danoff and L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., have brought together a diverse set of essays revealing that Tocqueville's understanding of democratic statesmanship remains highly relevant today. The first chapter of the book is a new translation of Tocqueville's 1852 address to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, in which he offers a profound exploration of the relationship between theory and practice, and between statesmanship and political philosophy. Subsequent chapters explore the relationship between Tocqueville's ideas on statesmanship on the one hand, and the ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, the Puritans, the framers of the U.S. Constitution, Oakeshott, Willa Cather, and the Second Vatican Council on the other. Timely and provocative, these essays show the relevance of Tocqueville's theory of statesmanship for thinking about such contemporary issues as the effects of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on civic life, the powers of the American presidency, the place of the jury in a democratic polity, the role of religion in public life, the future of democracy in Europe, and the proper balance between liberalism and realism in foreign policy.
Over the centuries, the question of "good" or "effective" governance has undergone several transformations and ramifications to fit within certain social, cultural and historical contexts. What defines political knowledge? What is the measure of expert political leadership? Various interpretations, perspectives, and re-conceptualizations emerge as one moves from Plato to the present. This edited book explores the relationship between political expertise, which is defined as "scientific statesmanship or governance," and political leadership throughout the history of ideas. An outstanding group of experts study and analyze the ideas of significant philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Kant, Burke, Comte, and Weber, among others. The contributors aim to interpret these thinkers’ approaches to "scientific statesmanship," deepening our understanding of the idea itself and decoding its theoretical complexities. In the face of the ongoing crisis of the traditional party system and the eroding structures within the new cultural-financial and political environment in the era of globalization, tracing the connection between Plato’s idealist statesmanship to twentieth-century modernist politics is an important and ever-challenging enterprise; one that promises to interest scholars of the history of western political thought, philosophy, classics and the classical tradition, political science, and sociology.
Inspired by Machiavelli, modern philosophers held that the tension between the goals of biblical piety and the goals of political life needed to be resolved in favor of the political, and they attempted to recast and delimit traditional Christian teaching to serve and stabilize political life accordingly. This volume examines the arguments of those thinkers who worked to remake Christianity into a civil religion in the early modern and modern periods. Beginning with Machiavelli and continuing through to Alexis de Tocqueville, the essays in this collection explain in detail the ways in which these philosophers used religious and secular writing to build a civil religion in the West. Early chapters examine topics such as Machiavelli’s comparisons of Christianity with Roman religion, Francis Bacon’s cherry-picking of Christian doctrines in the service of scientific innovation, and Spinoza’s attempt to replace long-held superstitions with newer, “progressive” ones. Other essays probe the scripture-based, anti-Christian argument that religion must be subordinate to politics espoused by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume, both of whom championed reason over divine authority. Crucially, the book also includes a study of civil religion in America, with chapters on John Locke, Montesquieu, and the American Founders illuminating the relationships among religious and civil history, acts, and authority. The last chapter is an examination of Tocqueville’s account of civil religion and the American regime. Detailed, thought-provoking, and based on the careful study of original texts, this survey of religion and politics in the West will appeal to scholars in the history of political philosophy, political theory, and American political thought.
This book is the first collection of essays in English devoted solely to the relationship between Aristotle’s ethics and politics. Are ethics and politics two separate spheres of action or are they unified? Those who support the unity-thesis emphasize the centrality for Aristotle of questions about the good life and the common good as the purpose of politics. Those who defend the separation-thesis stress Aristotle’s sense of realism in understanding the need for political solutions to human shortcomings. But is this all there is to it? The contributors to this volume explore and develop different arguments and interpretative frameworks that help to make sense of the relationship between Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics. The chapters loosely follow the order of the Nicomachean Ethics in examining topics such as political science, statesmanship and magnanimity, justice, practical wisdom, friendship, and the relationship between the active and the contemplative life. They have in common an appreciation of the relevance of Aristotle’s writings, which offer the modern reader distinct philosophical perspectives on the relationship between ethics and politics.
"Franck's reexamination of the place of natural law in the early Supreme Court is fresh, illuminating, and long overdue. His scholarship is incisive and profound; and the exegeses of early Supreme Court opinions are often brilliant". -- Robert L. Clinton, author of Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review.
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) occupies an eminent position in that small circle of nineteenth-century thinkers considered indispensable to an understanding of our modern condition. Born of aristocratic parents who barely survived the Terror of 1793, he became the century's most clear-eyed analyst of the new kind of democratic equality that was then emerging. Best known as the author of Democracy in America (1835, 1840), one of the greatest works in the literature of political science and philosophy, he also wrote one of the enduring classics of history, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856), perhaps the most influential single work on its subject. In addition, he wrote a penetrating, posthumously published memoir, the Recollections, and, in a series of essays and official reports, some of the most incisive analyses of the social problems facing the new world that was then coming into being problems ranging from slavery to imperialism to pauperism and crime. All the while he pursued an active public career as a lawyer and judge, a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1839 to 1849, a member of the Constituent Assembly after the Revolution of 1848, and France's Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1849. In this thoughtful exploration of Tocqueville's life and work, Matthew Mancini situates his writings in the context of the turbulent social and political world of the nineteenth century. He considers all of Tocqueville's major and many of his minor works, always in light of the social, political, economic, and intellectual context that produced them. After a succinct and cogent biographical chapter in which Tocqueville is seen defining and coming to terms with modernity, Mancini provides a two-chapter explication of Democracy and America, followed by analyses of Tocqueville's writings on socially marginal groups, slavery, race, imperialism, and revolution. He discusses the incompatibility of Tocqueville's views on equality, race, and slavery with those on the subject of French imperialism. He examines Tocqueville's judgments on revolution, on the emergence of democracy in France and America, and on the complex relation between democracy and despotism. Tocqueville is presented in this book as a classic "modern" figure - someone who recognized and tried to formulate for the first time questions about liberty, democracy, revolution, and culture in such a way as to allow us to recognize them as our questions. It is intended to help all readers, be they experts or neophytes, to understand Tocqueville's relevance for us, who inherited the world he did so much to explain, even as it was being shaped.
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like. What struck him most was the country's equality of conditions, its democracy. The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America. It remains the most often quoted book about the United States, not only because it has something to interest and please everyone, but also because it has something to teach everyone. When it was published in 2000, Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop's new translation of Democracy in America—only the third since the original two-volume work was published in 1835 and 1840—was lauded in all quarters as the finest and most definitive edition of Tocqueville's classic thus far. Mansfield and Winthrop have restored the nuances of Tocqueville's language, with the expressed goal "to convey Tocqueville's thought as he held it rather than to restate it in comparable terms of today." The result is a translation with minimal interpretation, but with impeccable annotations of unfamiliar references and a masterful introduction placing the work and its author in the broader contexts of political philosophy and statesmanship.
In this book a collection of scholars probe Democracy in America's understanding of the modern world from the perspective of political theory. The 18 authors provide original analyses, ranging from close textual exegeses to applications of Tocqueville's method - in one case to contemporary Asia. Race, women's liberation, capitalism, bureaucracy, individualism, religion and alienation are among the subjects covered. The book does not seek to cover every facet of Tocqueville's analysis of America, but rather to bring out significant themes, especially those of interest to political theorists, which have otherwise not been fully appreciated. The contributors treat Tocqueville as a serious political philosopher, though they disagree on whether theory or practice was his ultimate objective.