Lecture 23 - Democratic Statecraft: Tocqueville, Democracy in America

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: December 2006,   views: 3240
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Professor Smith discusses the moral and psychological components of the democratic state in the context of Tocqueville's Democracy in America. He goes on to explore the institutional development of the democratic state, the qualities of the democratic individual, and the psychological determinants of the democratic character. The ethic of self-interest is addressed, understood as an antidote to an ethic of fame and glory. Finally, Tocqueville is presented as a political educator and his views on the role of statesmen in a democratic age are expounded.

Reading assignment:

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, pp. 500-08, 535-39, 589-99, 661-65, 673-76 (Mansfield and Winthrop edition)

Resources: Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. Henry Reeve

Electronic edition deposited and marked-up by ASGRP, theAmerican Studies Programs at the University of Virginia, June 1, 1997

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