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dc.contributor.authorDuong, Kevin Trieu
dc.identifier.otherbibid: 9905958
dc.description.abstractDuring the struggle for democracy in France, political thinkers across the spectrum pressed into service an unusual image of violence. Rather than a source of anarchy and disorder, this violence generated social cohesion. Instead of fragmentation, it promised to retie the bonds of democratic society. This dissertation studies how a variety of writers and intellectuals weaponized this image of violence in the political culture of nineteenth century France. What could this violence accomplish that other languages of democratic agency could not? What were the sources of its appeal? To answer these questions, I consider four episodes where French thinkers believed social disintegration threatened the nation: the regicide of Louis XVI, early French colonization of Algeria, the Paris Commune, and the eve of World War I. In each episode, political thinkers warned of social breakdown spurred by democratization. In each case, they also claimed that violence by the people could repair the cohesion of the French social body. Studying these episodes underscores how no single intellectual tradition held a monopoly over regenerative violence in France, because the problem it hoped to answer was fundamental: how can the cohesion of the social body be repaired in the age of democracy? It was a problem that could not be remedied by simple appeal to constitutionalism or natural law theory. Thus, to repair the moral foundations of “the social,” French thinkers on both the left and right pushed towards a vision of democratic violence as social regeneration. To form a democratic society in history rather than in theory, French thinkers did not repudiate violence as anti-social or pre-political. Instead, they reached for it in the form of democratic terror.
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.subjectPolitical science
dc.subjectpolitical thought
dc.titleDemocratic Terror: Redemptive Violence and the Formation of Nineteenth Century France
dc.typedissertation or thesis University of Philosophy D., Government
dc.contributor.chairFrank, Jason
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRana, Aziz
dc.contributor.committeeMemberTraverso, Enzo
dc.contributor.committeeMemberKramnick, Isaac
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRobcis, Camille Alexandra

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