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Conversations with Tocqueville: The Global Democratic Revolution in the Twenty-first Century Hardcover – February 16, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0739123010 ISBN-10: 0739123017

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Editorial Reviews


Conversations with Tocqueville is a stimulating book, full of powerful and provocative ideas. Aurelian Craiutu and Sheldon Gellar have produced a first-rate collection that significantly enhances our understanding of Tocqueville as a social scientist and shows how his mode of analysis, faithfully recast in the form of Tocquevillian analytics, can be used to uncover and assess the rich diversity of contemporary efforts to achieve democracy in different regions of the world. A masterful blend of political theory and comparative analysis. (Filippo Sabetti, McGill University)

In the introduction to Democracy in America, Tocqueville famously observed that a great 'democratic revolution' was in the process of radically transforming the entire civilized world. That 'revolution' might bring with it liberty or new and unprecedented forms of despotism, but it would surely bring an end—sooner in some cases, later in others—to all the 'old regimes' in the world. This splendid collection deepens our understanding of Tocqueville’s thought and allows us to better understand the 'democratic revolution' as it has unfolded over the last century and a half from Paris and Moscow to Tokyo and beyond. It will be of interest to students of political theory and comparative politics and to thoughtful citizens as such. (Daniel J. Mahoney, Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship, Assumption College)

Compellingly audacious engagement with Tocqueville's notion of democracy and its semantic frontiers. (Journal Of Democracy)

The variety of methodological and ideological perspectives mirrors Tocqueville's own multifaceted approach.Such a reactualization of Tocqueville's analytics, especially in light of today's global economic and financial crisis, can both prompt a broad audience to reconsider its perspectives on the challenges currently facing democracy, and challenge any scholars still hanging on to the pernicious ideal of a value-free social science. (Alin Fumurescu Perspectives on Political Science, Summer 2009)

Conversations with Tocqueville is a masterly demonstration that Tocqueville's analysis of democracy remains not only relevant in the twenty-first century, but essential. Tocqueville wrote of democracy in America to instruct democracies everywhere, and fittingly the essays of this volume ably adapt Tocqueville's central themes and questions to a variety of nations and circumstances. It is a rich and thoughtful collection informed by Tocqueville's capacious hopes for, and fears about, democracy, and will be of benefit to anyone interested in our diverse democratic future. (Patrick Deneen, Georgetown University)

About the Author

Aurelian Craiutu is associate professor of political science at Indiana University and author of Liberalism under Siege: The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaires, Le Centre introuvable, and In Praise of Moderation.

Sheldon Gellar is a research associate at Indiana University’s Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and author of Democracy in Senegal: Tocquevillian Analytics in Africa, Structural Changes and Colonial Dependency: Senegal 1885–1945, and Senegal: An African Nation Between Islam and the West.

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More About the Author

Aurelian Craiutu is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches courses in political theory and history of political thought. Born in 1966, he was educated in Romania and France, and earned his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University in 1999.
He has published extensively in the field of modern French political thought (from Montesquieu to Raymond Aron). Craiutu's publications include: Liberalism under Siege: The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaires (Lexington Books, 2003), Le Centre introuvable (Paris: Editions Plon, 2006), Tocqueville on America after 1840 (Cambridge University Press, 2009; with Jeremy Jennings), America through European Eyes (Penn State University Press, 2009, with Jeffrey C. Isaac), Conversations with Tocqueville (with Sheldon Gellar, Lexington Books, 2009).
He has also edited the works of two major French liberals: Francois Guizot's History of the Origins of Representative Government in Europe (Liberty Fund, 2002) and Madame de Staël's Considerations on the Principal Events of the French Revolution (Liberty Fund, 2008). His most recent book, A Virtue for Courageous Minds: Moderation in French Political Thought, 1748-1830, was published by Princeton University Press in March 2012.
Aurelian Craiutu also writes and publishes in Romanian. He is the author, among others, of Elogiul libertatii [In Praise of Liberty] (Iasi: Polirom, 1998) and Elogiul moderatiei [In Praise of Moderation] (Iasi: Polirom, 2006).