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Mme de Staël and Political Liberalism in France

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  • © 2018


  • Considers Stael's original take of 'communal liberalism' through the prism of her main writings
  • Challenges conventional 19th century liberal thinking in debating the need for rigorous separation of public and private spheres
  • Focuses on hereditary peerage and a comparative analysis of Englightenment French and British societies

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About this book

This book sheds light on the unique aspects of ‘communal liberalism’ in Mme de Staël’s writings and considers her contribution to nineteenth-century French liberal political thought. Focusing notably on the ‘Considérations sur les principaux événements de la Révolution française’, it examines the originality of Stael’s liberal philosophy. Rather than contrasting liberalism with either multiculturalism or republicanism, the book argues that Staël’s communal liberalism challenges the conventions of nineteenth-century political thought, notably through her assertion of the need to institutionalize an organic intermediary connecting the two spheres, an idea later advanced by thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas. Offering a critical reappraisal of Staël’s multifaceted work, this book assesses the political impact of her work, arguing that the political influence of the ‘Considérations’ permeates the liberal historiography of the French Revolution up to the present day.

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Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Influence on Nineteenth-Century French Politics

  2. Influence on the Nineteenth-Century Liberal Historiography of the French Revolution


“In this elegant and lucid book, Chinatsu Takedarestores unjustly neglected thinker Germaine de Staël and her associative vision of politics to the history of French liberalism. It is essential reading.” (Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History,Yale University, USA)

“The liberal tradition in France is undergoing significant re-evaluation and this timely study of Germaine de Staël’s contribution to its development establishes both the importance of her political writing and the extent of her influence upon nineteenth-century successors.” (Malcolm Crook, Professor of French History, Keele University, UK)

“Chinatsu Takeda's well-researched book is a timely invitation to rediscover the richness of Germaine de Staël's political thought and revisit the rich historiography of the French Revolution.” (Aurelian Craiutu, Professor, Indiana University, USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Comparative Culture, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan

    Chinatsu Takeda

About the author

Chinatsu Takeda is Professor at the Faculty of Comparative Culture, Otsuma Women’s University, Japan. She was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo (2011) and at Columbia University (2005). She has among other publications contributed to the European Review of History and to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Thought.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Mme de Staël and Political Liberalism in France

  • Authors: Chinatsu Takeda

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-10-8086-9Published: 11 August 2018

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-13-4060-4Published: 19 January 2019

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-10-8087-6Published: 31 July 2018

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 366

  • Topics: Political Philosophy, Political History, Gender Studies

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