Alexis de Tocqueville argues that local government is the "seed of free institutions." On his account, active participation by citizens at the local level helps guard against the three great dangers to modern democratic regimes: sum of selfish preferences majoritarianism, tyranny of die majority, and mild despotism. This paper traces the decline of localism in the United States--an inevitable consequence of trends Tocqueville himself foresaw--and comments on the consequences, both from the perspective of the political community and from the perspective of individuals pursuing a decent and happy life.
Pidluzny, Jonathan W.
"W(h)ither Tocqueville's 'Seed of Free Institutions'?: The Importance and Decline of Localism in America,"
Commonwealth Review of Political Science: Vol. 1:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/crps/vol1/iss1/7