V Ostrom quotes Tocqueville

Tocqueville has suggested that the danger of democratic despotism engendered by the search for simple solutions in a centralized state can be avoided if a democratic people give proper attention to political science as a “science of association.” He views a science of association as being “the mother of sciences. in democratic countries: “The progress of all else depends upon the progress it has made” (Tocqueville, 1945: 2: 110). A science of association will enable men in a democratic society to “comprehend the utility of forms” (Tocqueville, 1945: 2: 325) for putting the doctrine of self-interest to proper use as a rule of action for organizing and sustaining collective enterprises (Tocqueville, 1945: 1: 10). Tocqueville observes, “If men are to remain civilized or to become so, the art of associating together must grow and improve in the same ratio in which the equality of conditions is increased” (Tocqueville, 1945: 2: 110). A science of association is a necessary ingredient for advancing civilization in democratic societies and is the basis for Tocqueville’s conclusion: “A new science of politics is needed for a new world’ (Tocqueville, 1945:1: 7).

The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration, (page 93), Vincent Ostrom

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