Tocqueville’s Moderate Penal Activity

  • Emily Katherine Ferkaluk
Part of the Recovering Political Philosophy book series (REPOPH)


As part of its political purpose, On the Penitentiary System teaches us the importance of moderate political action for resolving problems that emerge within constitutional liberal nations. Ferkaluk argues that Tocqueville sought to temper French fears of recidivism by rejecting an easy but risky solution modeled after Britain’s penal colonies. Instead, Tocqueville attempts to persuade the French to adopt penitentiary systems modeled after American institutions because they promote a balance between centralized and decentralized administrative power. In both arguments, Tocqueville teaches the French public how to be moderate in penal reform to obtain justice for the criminal and to avoid a reputation for injustice garnered by imperial actions.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Katherine Ferkaluk
    • 1
  1. 1.Cedarville UniversityCedarvilleUSA

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