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Raymond Aron’s "Machiavellian" liberalism

Drochon, Hugo

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Recent interest in Raymond Aron has focused on his “Cold War Liberalism,” but he is neither a neo-liberal nor a Hayekian libertarian. Instead, this article will argue that Aron is a “Machiavellian” liberal – that his democratic theory is underpinned by an engagement with Pareto, Mosca and Michels. First, it will reconstruct Aron’s dialogue with Pareto. Second, it will explore his overlooked sociological writings on the ruling classes. Third, it will extend the thesis of a post-War French “Machiavellian Moment” to the Centre Raymond Aron, and ask in conclusion whether his theory of democracy can still shed light on today.


Drochon, H. (2019). Raymond Aron’s "Machiavellian" liberalism. Journal of the History of Ideas, 80(4), 621-642.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 17, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 16, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 2, 2020
Journal Journal of the History of Ideas
Print ISSN 0022-5037
Electronic ISSN 1086-3222
Publisher University of Pennsylvania Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 80
Issue 4
Pages 621-642
Keywords Philosophy
Public URL
Publisher URL


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