Alexis De Tocqueville, the modern democratic nation-state, and its competitors

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1 Scopus citations


This paper draws on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America to distinguish three different types of modern democracy-(i) the democratic nation-state, (ii) the post sovereign, multinational democracy, and (iii) the populist national democracy. The paper argues that all three have characteristic deficits-respectively, a security deficit, a democratic deficit, and a liberal deficit. The paper discusses the likely impact of Brexit and Trump on these forms of democracy in modern Europe. The paper concludes that while Trump-and more especially, “Trumpism”-poses a challenge to the European Union, Brexit presents an opportunity to demonstrate to its own citizens the benefits of this type of polity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalTocqueville Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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