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Chapter 5 - Democracy in America, Parliamentarism in France: Tocqueville’s Unconventional Parliamentary Liberalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2019

William Selinger
Affiliation:
University College London
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Summary

While Alexis de Tocqueville is most famous for his analysis of American democracy, this chapter argues that when it came to France, he preferred parliamentarism over the American constitutional model. During his long career in French parliamentary politics, Tocqueville in fact developed a distinctive theory of parliamentarism, which was different from Constant’s, but which also differed from the conception of parliamentarism propagated by Constant’s great rivals, the Doctrinaires. Tocqueville rejected Constant’s argument for a monarch who reigned but did not govern. However, he agreed with Constant that corruption posed a severe threat to the survival of French parliamentarism.

Type
Chapter
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Parliamentarism
From Burke to Weber
, pp. 144 - 163
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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