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Montesquieu's Liberalism and the Problem of Universal Politics

Montesquieu's Liberalism and the Problem of Universal Politics

c.$34.99 ( )

Keegan Callanan,
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  • Publication planned for: August 2018
  • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2018
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108450232

c.$ 34.99 ( )

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About the Authors
  • Dubbed “the oracle” by no less an authority than James Madison, Montesquieu stands as a theoretical founder of the liberal political tradition. But equally central to his project was his account of the relationship of law to each nation's particular customs and place, a teaching that militates against universal political solutions. This teaching has sometimes been thought to stand in tension with his liberal constitutionalism. In this book, Keegan Callanan argues that Montesquieu's political particularism and liberalism are complementary and mutually reinforcing parts of a coherent whole. In developing this argument, Callanan considers Montesquieu's regime pluralism, psychological conception of liberty, approach to political reform, and account of “the customs of a free people,” including the complex interaction of religion and commerce. Callanan concludes that, by reorienting our understanding of liberalism and redirecting our attention toward liberty's distinctive preconditions, a return to Montesquieu's political philosophy leaves us better prepared to confront liberal democracy's contested claim to universality.

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: August 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108450232
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from August 2018
  • Table of Contents

    1. Montesquieu and Classical Particularism
    2. Montesquieu and Humanist Constitutionalism
    3. Regime Pluralism
    4. Understanding Liberal Culture
    5. Religion, Secularism, and Liberal Society
    6. “The Spirit of Tolerance and Gentleness”
    7. Political Change and the Psychology of Liberty

  • Author

    Keegan Callanan, Middlebury College, Vermont
    Keegan Callanan holds the Christian A. Johnson Junior Professorship in Political Thought at Middlebury College. His research and writing have appeared in publications such as History of Political Thought, Political Research Quarterly, and The Wall Street Journal. He has held visiting fellowships at the University of Virginia and Princeton University. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Callanan received his Ph.D. from Duke University.


    Keegan Callanan,

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