Tocqueville's Political Economy

By Richard Swedberg | Go to book overview
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1. Mary Simpson, ed., Correspondence & Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834 to 1859 (London: Henry S. King, 1872), 1:iii, emphasis added.

2. I have chosen to translate “moeurs” as “mores” and to see them as an early version of what Durkheim calls “social facts” and Weber “convention.” For a discussion of how to translate Tocqueville's term moeurs, see chapter 4, note 18.

3. The situation in scholarship on Tocqueville may well be about to change, thanks especially to the works by Jean-Louis Benoît, Michael Drolet, and Eric Keslassy. See Jean-Louis Benoît, Tocqueville moraliste (Paris: Honoré Champion éditeur, 2004); Jean-Louis Benoît and Eric Keslassy, eds., Alexis de Tocqueville: Textes économiques (Paris: Agora, 2005); Michael Drolet, Tocqueville, Democracy, and Social Reform (New York: Palgrave, 2003); Eric Keslassy, Le libéralisme de Tocqueville a` l'épreuve du paupérisme (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2000), and “Question sociale et démocratie dans l'oeuvre de Tocqueville” (Ph.D. diss., Université Paris Dauphin, 2006). See also in this context the following two early texts: Seymour Drescher, “Industrialization and Democracy,” in Dilemmas of Democracy: Tocqueville and Modernization (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968), 51–87, and Michael Hereth, “Der Verlust der Freiheit durch Hingabe an die Ökonomie: Versuch über die Stellung der Ökonomie im Denken von Alexei de Tocqueville,” in Michael Hereth, Grundprobleme der Politischen Ökonomie (Munich: R. Piper and Company, 1977), 246–58.

4. For social economics, see Richard Swedberg, Schumpeter: A Biography (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991) and Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).

5. Joseph Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1954), 12–24.

6. Max Weber, The Methodology of the Social Sciences (New York: The Free Press, 1948), 64–65.

7. Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, 820.

8. Tocqueville, Oeuvres complètes (Paris: Gallimard, 1977), vol. 13, part 1, pp. 361–62 (my trans.). Tocqueville to Louis de Kergorlay, September 28, 1834. About a year earlier Tocqueville had planned to start a journal in “economics and politics” with his friends Gustave de Beaumont and statistician André-Michel Guerry; see André Jardin, Tocqueville: A Biography (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1988), 192.

9. John Stuart Mill, Essays on Politics and Society, Part 1 (On Liberty), vol. 18 of Collected Works (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977), 18:156.


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