The Demands of Liberty: Civil Society in France since the Revolution

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $35.52
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 3%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $35.52   
  • New (4) from $35.52   
  • Used (2) from $45.75   

Overview

How does France reconcile the modern movement toward pluralism and decentralization with a strong central governing power? One of the country's most distinguished political historians offers a radical new interpretation of the development of democracy in France and the relationship between government and its citizens.

Since the publication of Tocqueville's Ancient Regime and the Revolution, French political structures have been viewed as the pure expression of a native Jacobinism, itself the continuation of an old absolutism. This interpretation has served as both a diagnosis of and an excuse for the inability to accept pluralism and decentralization as norms of a modern democracy, as evidenced in such policies as the persistence of the role of prefects and the ban on headscarves in schools.

Pierre Rosanvallon, by contrast, argues that the French have cherished and demonized Jacobinism at the same time; their hearts followed Robespierre, but their heads turned toward Benjamin Constant. The Demands of Liberty traces the long history of resistance to Jacobinism, including the creation of associations and unions and the implementation of elements of decentralization. Behind the ideological triumph of the state lies the conflicting creation of an active civil society.

In exploring these tensions, Rosanvallon takes the debate far beyond traditional views of liberalism versus republicanism and offers an innovative analysis of why the French system has worked despite Jacobinism.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New Republic

Pierre Rosanvallon [is] one of the most important writers of history in France today...His ideas have a clarity and a power similar to Furet's.
— David A. Bell

Choice

Rosanvallon brilliantly demystifies the "illiberal mentalité" of men like Maximilien Robespierre, the "Incorruptible." Democracy emerges as complicated, valuable, and fragile.
— L. A. Rollo

Michael J. Sandel
In this unique synthesis of political theory and social history, Pierre Rosanvallon gives us a masterful interpretation of the French political experience from the Revolution to the present. He explores the tension between the Jacobin tradition, with its deep suspicion of civil society as partial and divisive, and the emergence in modern France of a robust associational life. More than a brilliant analysis of French politics and society, this book is a rich meditation on the theory and practice of democracy, past and present.
New Republic - David A. Bell
Pierre Rosanvallon [is] one of the most important writers of history in France today...His ideas have a clarity and a power similar to Furet's.
Choice - L. A. Rollo
Rosanvallon brilliantly demystifies the "illiberal mentalité" of men like Maximilien Robespierre, the "Incorruptible." Democracy emerges as complicated, valuable, and fragile.
Choice
Rosanvallon brilliantly demystifies the "illiberal mentalité" of men like Maximilien Robespierre, the "Incorruptible." Democracy emerges as complicated, valuable, and fragile.
— L. A. Rollo
New Republic
Pierre Rosanvallon [is] one of the most important writers of history in France today...His ideas have a clarity and a power similar to Furet's.
— David A. Bell
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674024960
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Harvard Historical Studies Series , #154
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierre Rosanvallon is a Professor of Political History at the Collège de France and Director of Studies at L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

Arthur Goldhammer received the French-American Translation Prize in 1990 for his translation of A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Democratic Pathways and the French Case

Part I. Utopian Generality

1. Generality as Social Form

2. Generality as Democratic Quality: The Principle of Immediacy

3. Generality as Mode of Regulation: The Cult of Law

4. The Question of Origins

Part II. Trials and Recompositions

5. The Imperative of Governability

6. The Sociological Trial

7. The Requirement of Liberty

8. Resistance and Recomposition

Part III. Jacobinism Amended

9. The Great Turning Point

10. The Trade Union Exception

11. Liberty and Institutions

12. Polarized Democracy

13. The Network State

14. Differences and Repetitions

Notes

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)