The Tocquevillian Liberalism and Political Sociology Of Raymond Aron

Stuart L. Campbell, "The Tocquevillian Liberalism and Political Sociology Of Raymond Aron,"  The Historian, v53 n2 (1992): 303-316.


“At the time of his death in October 1983, Raymond Aron was frequently referred to as the 20th century’s Alexis de Tocqueville, France’s renowned historian who lived from 18 052-1859. The tendency to link these 2 thinkers arose out of Aron’s postwar attempt to revitalize French interest in Tocqueville and 2 used token billion concepts to affirm certain liberal political values. As a tribute to his success in these endeavors, the Tocqueville foundation in 1979  awarded Aron its 1st Tocqueville prize, thereby placing its imprimatur or on the Erin–Tocqueville connection. At present, the association between the 2 men remains close for those who study contemporary French political thought.

This article neither compares the ideas of Aron and Tocqueville nor attempts to establish Aron’s credentials as a significant figure in the French postwar rediscovery of Tocqueville Liam liberalism. Rather, the paper chronicles and assesses Aron’s utilization of token billion precepts during the course of the postwar. Highlighting certain features in the evolution of Aron’s political thought. Aron employed at Tocqueville’s ideas to address the problems of an era marked by political turbulence. As issues involved and conjured up unforeseen developments, errands to treatments of Tocqueville, although remarkably consistent in several points, underwent a series of important shifts. As a result, the investigation of Aron’s use of  token billion concepts provides a perspective for observing the changes in political attitudes of France’s leading 20th century liberal theorist over a 30 year period.

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