From Republican Polity to National Community

Reconsiderations of Enlightenment Political Thought

Edited by Paschalis M. Kitromilides

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ISBN: 9780729408226

Publication: September 1, 2003

Series: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2003:09

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
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.


P. M. Kitromilides, Reappraisals of Enlightenment political thought

I. Situating Enlightenment politics
Hans Blom, The republic’s nation: the transformation of civic virtue in the Dutch eighteenth century
Colin Kidd, Constitutions and character in the eighteenth-century British world
Anna Tabaki, Du théâtre philosophique au drame national: étude du lexique politique à travers l’ére des révolutions. Le cas grec

II. Enlightenment perspectives on inter-state relations
Georg Cavallar, ‘La société générale du genre humain’: Rousseau on cosmopolitanism, international relations, and republican patriotism
Lucian M. Ashworth, The limits of the Enlightenment: inter-state relations in eighteenth-century political thought

III. Radicalism, republicanism and the exigencies of modernity
Gregory Molyvas, Religious toleration and the question of state neutrality in the politics of the British Enlightenment
Andreas Kalyvas and Ira Katznelson, Embracing liberalism: Germaine de Staël’s farewell to republicanism
Martin Thom, The ancient city and the medieval commune: liberty in the light of the French Revolution
Hudson Meadwell, Republicanism and political communities in America and Europe


'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


Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

265 Pages

Copyright: © 2003

ISBN: 9780729408226

Publication: September 1, 2003

Series: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment 2003:09

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