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The impossibility of reason
Author: Mads Qvortrup

This book presents an overview of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's work from a political science perspective. Was Rousseau — the great theorist of the French Revolution—really a conservative? The text argues that the author of ‘The Social Contract’ was a constitutionalist much closer to Madison, Montesquieu, and Locke than to revolutionaries. Outlining his profound opposition to Godless materialism and revolutionary change, this book finds parallels between Rousseau and Burke, as well as showing that Rousseau developed the first modern theory of nationalism. It presents an integrated political analysis of Rousseau's educational, ethical, religious and political writings.

Rousseau as a constitutionalist
Mads Qvortrup

3 Checks, balances and popular participation: Rousseau as a constitutionalist The liberty of the whole of humanity did not justify the shedding of blood of a single man. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, L. 5450) Rousseau’s denunciation of violence as a means to an end, in his letter to the Countess of Wartesleben, is in stark contrast to the picture painted of him by his adversaries (see the previous chapter). While it is generally acknowledged that J.L. Talmon (1952) was unduly one-sided (HampsherMonk 1995) when accusing Rousseau’s ‘Jacobin’ philosophy for requiring

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)
Sovereignty and registration of the laws
John J. Hurt

parlements court, copied them into folio registers and sent them in printed form to subordinate law courts. But the parlements claimed that registration involved more than this minimalist procedure.They argued that in registering the laws, they also validated them, bestowing a seal of approval and conferring public standing.3 A school of sixteenth-century legal scholars, known as ‘constitutionalists’, associated themselves with this premise. Like ‘absolutist’ theorists, with whom they shared many ideas and values, constitutionalists accepted that the kings held absolute

in Louis XIV and the parlements
John J. Hurt

morally and legally superior to the latter. Pussort thus led a verbal assault upon the fortress of constitutionalist thought, but he did not attack the bastions alone; other members of the Council endorsed his views.6 19 Louis XIV and the parlements François Verthamont, a councillor of state, agreed that the Parlement must implement any laws registered in a lit de justice without delay, any further deliberations on its part being out of order once a compulsory registration had occurred. Vincent Hotman, an intendant des finances, denounced the notion that the king

in Louis XIV and the parlements
John J. Hurt

other tribunals might join the fray.13 As Mesmes told the Parlement on 4 July, when he had the diatribe read aloud in a plenary session, d’Argenson’s words appeared ‘important’ in the sense that they enunciated principles which, if left unchallenged, would undermine the whole body of constitutionalist thought and confer an inestimable psychological advantage upon the government. The magistrates agreed at once, from the most senior to the youngest among them, on the grounds that d’Argenson had attacked ‘maxims as ancient as the Parlement’ in favour of principles ‘of

in Louis XIV and the parlements
John J. Hurt

1673, Colbert had instructed Pellot to set the agenda of the Parlement of Rouen so that it must either register the consignation des amendes or refuse it in an act of open defiance that the king could justifiably punish.60 The 1673 declaration compelled all the parlements to make this choice every time they voted on a new law. On the subject of obedience, the government of Louis XIV had peeled away the evasions and dispelled the mists of ambiguity created by more than a century of constitutionalist thought and precedent. Significantly, the crackdown on the parlements

in Louis XIV and the parlements
Mads Qvortrup

and absurd insistence that politics might be reduced to mathematics and algebra. Rousseau’s trust in natural conservatism provided him with the institutional means of avoiding radical and revolutionary change – something which he (like Burke) detested. He developed these views into a constitutionalist doctrine of gradual reform and piecemeal change, the principles of which were outlined in Du Contrat Social, the Discourse sur l’inégalité, and given a concrete form in Lettres écrites de la montagne. The latter is often – though unfairly – overlooked. For while the

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Open Access (free)
Patrick Doyle

exploring the intellectual development of the co-operative movement, it has been shown that the political economy of co-operation affected the development of Irish nationalism in the early twentieth century. One way in which Sinn Féin nationalists differentiated themselves from their constitutionalist rivals who dominated Irish politics was in the attitude towards co-operative societies. Sinn Féin's appropriation of a pro-co-operative position positioned the party as sympathetic to the socio-economic concerns of the farming population. Before the

in Civilising rural Ireland
Philip Lynch

the prospects of achieving their economic goals within a reformed EU. Baker, Gamble and Seawright distinguish between a ‘hyper-globalist’ position that advocates national economic independence outside the EU and a ‘national political economy’ perspective that opposes the euro but supports continued membership of a reformed Union.29 ‘National’ or ‘constitutionalist’ Euro-sceptics, meanwhile, emphasise the threat integration poses to national sovereignty and self-government, emphasising the importance of institutions and the constitution to British identity. On

in The Conservatives in Crisis
Sol Plaatje and W.E.B.Du Bois
Laura Chrisman

organisations the two men were active in. The early ANC, the Niagara movement and the NAACP overlapped in their constitutionalist, integrationist version of black nationalism: their formal emphasis fell on the franchise as the means to social justice and opportunity, and the legal protest against racial injustice.10 The case for Plaatje’s intellectual ‘influence’ by Du Bois seems to grow when we look at his 1916 masterpiece Native Life in South Africa, which is haunted by Du Bois’s 1903 The Souls of Black Folk.11 Like Souls, Native Life is a travelogue in which the writer

in Postcolonial contraventions