Democracy in Modern France
A&C Black, 2005 M12 8 - 221 pages
With its unique blend of political history and political theory, this book is a welcome addition to the series on Politics, Culture and Society in the New Europe. Nick Hewlett begins his fascinating study with a discussion of the various ways in which the concept of democracy has been interpreted. He continues by tracing the effect of France's revolutionary tradition on the theory and practice of democracy since the Enlightenment, looking in particular at both republican democracy and direct democracy.
Hewlett examines the implications for democracy of profound social and political conflict in France and offers an unusual critique of the institutions and structures of formal politics, suggesting that their relationship with democracy is more tenuous than is often assumed. The political philosophy of `new liberals' such as Luc Ferry and Marcel Gauchet is also discussed in detail. Thought-provoking, original and closely-argued, this book explores some key aspects of politics in France whilst making a strong case for greater direct participation of ordinary people in politics.
Nick Hewlett is Professor of French Studies and Director of the Centre for European Research at Oxford Brookes University. He is author of Modern French Politics. Conflict and Consensus since 1945 (1998), co-author of Contemporary France (with Jill Forbes and François Nectoux, 1994 and 2001), and co-editor of Currents in Contemporary French intellectual Life (with Christopher Flood, 2000) and Unity and Diversity in the New Europe (with Barrie Axford and Daniela Berghahn, 2000).
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