Nouvelle publication : Joshua Bandoch, The Politics of Place. Montesquieu, Particularism, and the Pursuit of Liberty

University of Rochester Press, 2017

Many Enlightenment thin­kers sought to dis­co­ver the right poli­ti­cal order for all times and all pla­ces, and scho­lars often view Montesquieu as wor­king within this pro­ject. In this reas­sess­ment of Montesquieu’s poli­ti­cal thought, Joshua Bandoch nds that Montesquieu broke from this ideal and, by taking into account the varia­tion of socie­ties, o ered a more fruit­ful approach to the study of poli­tics.

Through a care­ful rea­ding of Montesquieu’s poli­ti­cal wri­tings, Bandoch shows that for Montesquieu the poli­tics, eco­no­mics, and morals of a society must t a par­ti­cu­lar place and its peo­ple. As long as sta­tes com­mit to pur­suing secu­rity, liberty, and pros­pe­rity, sta­tes can—in­deed, should—de ne and advance these goals in their own par­ti­cu­lar ways. Montesquieu saw that the cir­cum­stan­ces of a pla­ce—its reli­gion, com­merce, laws, ins­ti­tu­tions, phy­si­cal envi­ron­ment, and mores—­de­ter­mine the best poli­ti­cal order for that place. In this sense, Montesquieu is the great inno­va­tor of what Bandoch calls the “poli­tics of place.”This new rea­ding of Montesquieu also pro­vi­des fresh insights into the American foun­ding, which Montesquieu so hea­vily in uen­ced. Instead of having dis­cer­ned the “right” poli­ti­cal order, Bandoch argues, the Founders ins­ti­tu­ted a good poli­ti­cal order, of which there are nume­rous ver­sions.

JOSHUA BANDOCH ear­ned his PhD in poli­ti­cal science from the University of Notre Dame. He has taught at Brown University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

272 pages, hard­co­ver

November 2017

ISBN : 9781580469029

PDF - 211.2 ko