Lucien-Anatole Prévost-Paradol and the Democratization of Government
This chapter examines the writings and thought of Prevost-Paradol, a French journalist and publicist who wrote extensively on what governments might be “democratic” in response to the democratic dictatorship imposed on France by Napoleon III. Prevost-Paradol drew a distinction between the external government and its democratic foundations, distancing his critiques from any particular form of democratic government. He identified these foundations as the degree to which the government matched the desires and forms of its society. After tracing Prevost-Paradol’s journalistic career and this chapter identifies the influence and legacy of the government-democratic distinction: most notably as guidelines for ensuring that a supposedly democratic government could actually govern democratically.
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