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Title: Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Carlyle on democracy
Author: Currie, George Henry William
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 3939
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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The aim of this thesis is to examine and compare the thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Carlyle on modern democracy. Throughout their works, Tocqueville, Mill and Carlyle showed a profound engagement with the phenomenon of democracy in their era. It was the crux around which their wider reflections on the period revolved. Tocqueville, Mill and Carlyle located democracy's causes deep in history. They defined its contours broadly and contextualized it within ancient and modern notions of democracy. Each approached democracy with a significant degree of scepticism and outlined its negative consequences for their contemporaries. But, Tocqueville, Mill and Carlyle also offered solutions to the problems they saw in the modern democratic world, many of which were novel. The present thesis suggests that in these areas there exists a profound similarity between the ideas of Tocqueville, Mill and Carlyle. It has become commonplace to compare the thought of Tocqueville and Mill. Equally, it has become just as commonplace to draw a sharp division between the ideas of Tocqueville and Mill, on the one hand, and Carlyle, on the other. However, the similarities between their respective conceptions of democracy, its causes, problems and the solutions these men offered suggest that such a division could be arbitrary and, consequently, allow us to reassess the intellectual relationship of these three men.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Queen Mary College, University of London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Modern democracy ; Democracy and society