Friedrich Hayek’s analysis of democracy, central planning, and the threat of administrative despotism owed much to his reading of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Painting himself as a classical liberal in the tradition of Burke, Acton, Smith, and Tocqueville, Hayek drew freely, frequently, and plausibly upon Tocqueville’s political thought. This article examines Tocqueville’s influence on Hayek and on twentieth-century American intellectual conservatism more generally.

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Jason R. Jividen holds the Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought in the Department of Political Science, Saint Vincent College.
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