Research Programs: Fellowships

Period of Performance

8/1/2021 - 7/31/2022

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

Moderation and the Rise of Democracy in France, 1830-1900

FAIN: FEL-267540-20

Aurelian Craiutu
Trustees of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)

Building upon the conceptual framework outlined in my previous book A Virtue for Courageous Minds: Moderation in French Political Thought, 1748-1830 (Princeton, 2012), this new interdisciplinary project fills a significant gap in the existing literature on French 19tth-century political thought. It explores how post-revolutionary thinkers (A. de Tocqueville, V. Cousin, F. Guizot, C. de Rémusat, liberal Catholics, É. Laboulaye, and J. Ferry) used the legacy of the French Revolution to build new representative institutions and promote key reforms, most notably in the field of education. The project also addresses several important contemporary concerns. I argue that far from being of mere historical interest, moderation is particularly relevant in an eclectic age such as ours, because it can also serve as a powerful normative stance in the fight against new forms of political extremism and religious fundamentalism.

Associated Products

The Sphinx of Democracy (Article)
Title: The Sphinx of Democracy
Author: Aurelian Craiutu
Abstract: A commentary on the main themes of volume XVII of Tocqueville's Oeuvres Completes published by Gallimard in 2021.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: History of European Ideas is devoted to the intellectual history of Europe from the Renaissance onwards. It is interdisciplinary in that it publishes articles on the history of ideas in a number of different fields: political and economic thought and international relations, philosophy, natural philosophy and science, theology and literature. History of European Ideas also publishes editions of texts or manuscripts from time to time. Proposals for special issues devoted to historical themes or to proceedings of conferences are also encouraged. All research articles published in History of European Ideas have undergone rigorous peer-review, involving initial editor screening and anonymized review by at least two referees.
Secondary URL: DOI: 10.1080/01916599.2021.1984154
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: History of European Ideas
Publisher: Taylor and Francis

Tocqueville's Correspondence and Its Surpises (Article)
Title: Tocqueville's Correspondence and Its Surpises
Author: Aurelian Craiutu
Abstract: An examination of Tocqueville's moderation through the lenses of his vast correspondence. To understand Tocqueville’s character, we must go beyond his published books and read his letters, even if they were private documents, not written in order to be published. Of course, we must be cautious not to infer from his correspondence ideas that Tocqueville never held, or to assume that his letters are of equal worth with his published works. Nor should we interpret them as if they are part of a larger theoretical framework that holds the key to his enigmatic persona. Many letters responded to particular circumstances or gave expression to his transitory moods. Nonetheless, they remain a diary sui generis of a lively mind in search for companionship and seeking to overcome the sense of solitude and isolation that he dreaded all his life. As such, Tocqueville’s letters do not diminish his status as a major thinker; on the contrary, they strengthen it considerably and make him even more interesting (and more political) than previously thought. Most of them go beyond anecdotes and mere gossip and shed light on the genesis and evolution of his ideas. They allow us to follow a lively and complex work in progress, with its own tensions, gaps, contradictions, and discoveries. More so than his published writings, his correspondence invites us to trace his hopes, fears, and disillusionment with the politics of his times.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: «Il Pensiero Politico» has asserted itself in Italy and abroad as the most important periodical on the history of political doctrines. Not only does it boast the collaboration of some of the best-known scholars on an international scale but also the rich bibliographical report compiled by a group of about 30 university professors who draw attention to most significant studies since the world began up to the present day.
Secondary URL:
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: IL PENSIERO POLITICO Rivista di Storia delle Idee Politiche e Sociali
Publisher: Leo S. Olshki (Florence, Italy)