Book Review, Andreas Kalyvas and Ira Katznelson, Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns
4 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2009
Date Written: June 18, 2009
This book review considers Andreas Kalyvas and Ira Katznelson's argument that there is less of an intrinsic tension between liberalism and republicanism than has been claimed by various students of the history of modern liberal thought. It fully endorses the authors' directing of our attention to the mode of thinking which is to be seen in their select group of subjects (Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, Germaine de Stael and Benjamin Constant). But it balks at their claim that their 'critical junctures' or 'heterogeneous and relational' interpretation of the rise of liberalism is superior to the 'linear' or 'trickle down' approach which sees this rise as a tale of the progressively strengthening influence of the 'giants' of political thought such as Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Montesquieu et. al. over lesser thinkers who were more absorbed in 'practical affairs.' The suggestion is made that what the authors take to be 'negotiable' differences of emphasis between the classically liberal and classically republican traditions may in fact be 'existential' oppositions which no single political order could overcome.
Keywords: liberalism, republicanism, Smith, Ferguson, Madison, Paine, de Stael, constant
JEL Classification: B, B12, B30, B31, N, N01, Y3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation