Identifier

etd-01122015-174341

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Many in the West today talk about the emergent unity of humanity, as social scientists examine the world through “global values,” assessing “global opinion”; economists study the “global economy” and “global finance”; historians write of “universal history;” legal scholars speak of “global domestic politics” and “world society,” while advocating “transnational justice”; political pundits announce the death of the nation-state. One could list additional examples illustrating the same apparent fact: a growing sense of global unity, and a universalist perspective on things social, economic, legal, historical, and political. To what extent, however, is this phenomenon—often referred to as “globalization”—an extension of liberalism, or instead an accident following upon it? Do all liberal thinkers embrace it, whereas opponents are necessarily anti-liberal thinkers? While some are partisans of universalism, and certain others are partisans of particularism, there is nonetheless a moderate, middle, and liberal, perspective. The works of Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Pierre Manent shed light on this view, offering resources for understanding the importance of particular political communities within a broader theoretical horizon of humanity. Each in their own way defends the integrity of political bodies, denies that the universal perspective is the only legitimate one, and recognizes that without differences and distinctions across the political landscape, self-government and the freedom of action is impossible. The liberalism of Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Manent, demonstrates that the human condition is a political condition. Thus, the mediation of political forms is requisite for human flourishing—particular communities are necessary for individuals and peoples to manifest their universal humanity.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Stoner, James R.

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