Liberalism Under Siege

Liberalism Under Siege : The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaires

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Liberalism under Siege: The Political Thought of the French Doctrinaries is a compelling examination of the French Doctrinaries, a largely neglected group of liberal thinkers in post-revolutionary France who were proponents of a nuanced sociological and historical approach to political theory. The first systematic interpretation of the French Doctrinaries' political writings to appear in English, Liberalism under Siege combines textual analysis and historical interpretation to explore the Doctrinaires' ideas on the French Revolution, democracy, political power, sovereignty of reason, publicity, capacity, and representative government. Aurelian Craiutu's detailed work is not only an argument for the reappraisal of the Bourbon Restoration as a golden age of political thought; it is also a passionate and persuasive addition to contemporary debates about the diversity of liberalism.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • 073915155X
  • 9780739151556

Review quote

Using extensive quotations from [the Doctrinaires'] writings and speeches, most of which are unavailable in English, and organizing them in a topic-by-topic analysis, Craiutu easily shows that we have been kept from a veritable treasure trove of profoundpolitical thought. . . . although Liberalism under Siege is essential for scholars of Tocqueville or French political history, it also should interest all concerned with the proper theoretical basis of liberalism.... With wonderful clarity, sure-footedness, and even exuberance, Aurelian Craiutu guides us through the thinking of the Doctrinaires and reveals their surprising relevance to some of the deepest problems of political theory today.....--Stephen Holmes, New York University School of Law Professor Craiutu rescues from oblivion a worthy school of European liberalism, and opens therewith new perspectives on our discontents. His book will accomplish an act of justice which, under the current circumstances of the world, is even more courageous and pertinent....--Pierre Manent, Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron (EHESS, Paris) Aurelian Craiutu's Liberalism Under Siege lets his readers hear the voices of the French Doctrinaires--and especially, of Francois Guizot--too long muted in the tradition of liberalism. Craiutu's work is a triumph of scholarship, faithful to text and context, weaving Craiutu's mastery of detail into a grander narrative. And in letting his subjects speak for themselves, Craiutu also lets them speak to our time....--Wilson Carey McWilliams, Rutgers University The French nineteenth century is a vast, unexplored territory in the history of modern political thought. Apart from Tocqueville and, more recently, Constant, the authors of the period are little read, even though their central concerns -- the nature of modern liberty, the challenge of moderating democracy, the paradoxes of secularization -- are as important today as when they wrote. Professor Craiutu has performed a great service in publishing such a lucid account of the thinking of the French 'Doctrinaires, ' one of the period's most important schools of thought. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned with modern intellectual history and political theory ...--Mark Lilla, Columbia Universityshow more

About Aurelian Craiutu

Aurelian Craiutu is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the editor of Fran_ois GuizotOs History of the Origins of Representative Government in Europe (Liberty Fund, 2002)show more

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