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 coherent...an 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
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.