• Tocqueville in India, par Jean Alphonse Bernard
After an opening account of India's specifics, Jean Alphonse Bernard invites Tocqueville to join him on a tour of today's Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala before drawing his own conclusions in more theoretical terms. Although all of the riddles cannot be solved, Tocqueville in India explores the enduring dialogue between the State and Society. Following neither Fukuyama nor Huntington, this essay should attract the attention of those concerned by Indian issues as well as every reader interested in political philosophy or world affairs.

Jean Alphonse Bernard's career in the French Treasury Department took him to New York, Copenhagen, Moscow, New Delhi (1960–64) and Kuweit. He returned to India after his retirement and has since devoted many years to a study of politics in the subcontinent and political philosophy in general. The author of a number of books and articles on India in French, he wrote Tocqueville in India in English in order to present it directly to the broadest possible audience.

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Tocqueville in India, par Jean Alphonse Bernard

In Democracy in America, Tocqueville proclaimed that equality of social class would eventually prevail everywhere. In The Old Regime and the French Revolution, he analysed the long and painful struggle between a centralising modern State and an old and complex society based on rank. His "Notes on India" written in the early 1840s revealed a penetrating understanding of Indian mores and customs in his time. What, then, if he went to India today to see for himself how the sub-continent is coping with its contradictions ?

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Mots-clefs : Jean Alphonse Bernard