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Democracy in Moderation
Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism

  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316560341

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About the Authors
  • Democracy in Moderation views constitutional liberal democracy as grounded in a principle of avoiding extremes and striking the right balance among its defining principles of liberty, equality, religion, and sustainable order, thus tempering tendencies toward sectarian excess. Such moderation originally informed liberal democracy, but now is neglected. Moderation can guide us intellectually and practically about domestic and foreign policy debates, but also serve the sustainability of the constitutional, liberal republic as a whole. Our recent theory thus doesn't help our practice, given our concerns about polarization and sectarianism in ideas, policy, and politics. A rediscovery of Montesquieu and his legacy in shaping America's complex political order, including influence on Washington's practical moderation and Tocqueville's philosophical moderation, addresses these enduring theoretical and practical problems. Moderation also offers a deeper theory of leadership or statesmanship, particularly regarding religion and politics, and of foreign policy and strategy rooted in liberal democracy's first principles.

    • Explains America and constitutional liberal democracy in a new light, as the product of the moderate Enlightenment
    • Addresses current concerns over polarization, looking for deeper sources
    • Connects political theory and practice through a more intellectually robust conception of leadership
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism, Paul O.Carrese puts the political turbulence of the present moment in perspective. The propensity toward partisanship and polarization so conspicuous in today's politics, he observes, has antecedents in America's founding. But also present at the founding, he argues, was a sophisticated 'philosophy of moderation' that underwrote American constitutional government.' Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316560341
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Tocquevillean Moderation in Philosophy and Founding:
    1. Montesquieu's philosophy of moderation - natural right, liberalism, constitutionalism
    2. Washington's harmony - the balance of traditions in the American founding
    3. Tocqueville's deepening of modern moderation
    Part II. Moderation and Statesmanship, at Home and Abroad:
    4. Religion and liberty in America - the spirit of Montesquieu and Tocqueville
    5. Moderation, American grand strategy, and Washington's statesmanship
    6. Constitutionalist political science - Storing's moderation and our polarization.

  • Author

    Paul O. Carrese, United States Air Force Academy
    Paul O. Carrese is Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy. He has been a Rhodes Scholar, research fellow at Harvard University, Massachusetts, Fulbright Scholar at the University of Delhi, and a Fellow of the James Madison Program, Princeton University, New Jersey.

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