From Republican Polity to National Community

BookFrom Republican Polity to National Community

From Republican Polity to National Community

Reconsiderations of Enlightenment Political Thought

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2003:09


September 1st, 2003

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Toleration, freedom of thought and liberation from social and intellectual convention have long been recognised as the basic tenets of Enlightenment thought and social morality. In the political sphere, the response of radical social criticism to these ideals led to the emergence of revolutionary claims of egalitarian social justice – the Enlightenment as forerunner of the Revolution. But do we need revise our understanding of Enlightenment political thought?
In this volume, eleven scholars examine how Enlightenment political and literary concerns work in different cultural and linguistic contexts; appraise Enlightenment reflection on interstate relations, political morality and religious toleration; and look at the challenges posed by eighteenth-century radicalism and republicanism to the organisation of public life. In analysing the theories underpinning Enlightenment political thought, they provide a searching re-examination of the concepts of republican polity and national community and trace the emerging international theory in eighteenth-century Europe and North America.

'Overall, this superb volume underscores how new nationalist beliefs absorbed and subsumed the republican tradition [...] the book can be fruitfully read by political theorists and intellectual historians alike for its erudite contents, and it is essential for scholars working on the republican tradition in early modern political thought.'
British Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
Reappraisals of Enlightenment Political Thought10
I. Situating Enlightenment Politics26
The Republic's Nation: The Transformation of Civic Virtue in the Dutch Eighteenth Century28
Constitutions and Character in the Eighteenth-Century British World49
Du Théâtre Philosophique au Drame National: étude du Lexique Politique à Travers L'ère Des Révolutions. le Cas Grec71
II. Enlightenment Perspectives on Inter-State Relations96
'La Société Générale du Genre Humain': Rousseau on Cosmopolitanism, International Relations, and Republican Patriotism98
The Limits of the Enlightenment: Inter-State Relations in Eighteenth-Century Political Thought119
III. Radicalism, Republicanism and the Exigencies of Modernity150
Religious Toleration and State Neutrality in the Politics of the British Enlightenment152
Embracing Liberalism: Germaine de Staël's Farewell to Republicanism176
The Ancient City and the Medieval Commune: Liberty in the Light of the French Revolution200
Republicanism and Political Communities in America and Europe238