Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorSkjoensberg, Max Simon
dc.identifier.citationSkjoensberg , M S 2019 , ' Adam Ferguson on the perils of popular factions and demagogues in a Roman mirror ' , History of European Ideas , vol. In press .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 255867641
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 11aeb2cf-9421-4d7b-9743-adbccf28be73
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85066131696
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000469696700001
dc.description.abstractFor the Scottish Enlightenment thinker Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) and many of his time, the history of the Roman Republic furnished the best case study for discussions of internal threats to a mixed system of government. These included factionalism, popular discontent, and the rise of demagogues seeking to concentrate power in their own hands. Ferguson has sometimes been interpreted as a ‘Machiavellian’ who celebrated the legacy of Rome and in particular the value of civic discord. By contrast, this article argues that he is better understood as a disciple of Montesquieu, who viewed Rome as an anachronistic and dangerous ideal in the eighteenth century, the era of the civilized and commercial monarchy. The greatest fear of Ferguson was military despotism, which was the likely outcome of democratic chaos produced by the levelling instincts of the ‘common’ people and demagogues prepared to harness their discontent. In such a scenario, a legitimate order in a mixed government would be turned into a faction putting the constitutional balance at risk, undermining intermediary powers, and ending liberty for all.
dc.relation.ispartofHistory of European Ideasen
dc.rights© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectAdam Fergusonen
dc.subjectPolitical representationen
dc.subjectThe Roman Republicen
dc.subjectThe Scottish Enlightenmenten
dc.subjectJC Political theoryen
dc.titleAdam Ferguson on the perils of popular factions and demagogues in a Roman mirroren
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Historyen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record